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Study reveals why some people keep losing their phones

The top end losers of mobile devices tend to lose their devices more than ten times. How do people end up losing their phones so often and what makes for a regular phone loser? A new study by Carphone Warehouse has investigated the characteristics of those who are more likely to lose their phone highlighting key aspects of their behaviour.

The study applied to people in the U.K. Devices are lost regularly in the U.K., as they are all around the world. The top are for device loss in London (which has by far the biggest population density). In all, 25,690 mobile phones were lost in the city of London alone from April 2017 to April 2018.

Each mobile device loss is not only an inconvenience, it represents a security risk for the phone owner, presenting an opportunity for personal data to be accessed.

The study, based on a weighted survey of 1,100 people across the U.K., finds there is a gender difference for starters. The survey finds that men lose their phone more often than women. With this finding, women lose their device three percent less often than men.

The typical “Chronic Phone Loser”, as the study describes the person who is inclined to lose their device, is a male who has lost his phone more than ten times. In terms of the age range, the person is 25-34 years old and tends, unsurprisingly, not to be very well organised in life.

There are some other characteristics of this person, such as they are more likely to own an exotic pet and they were born at a time of year that places them under the mythical astrological star sign of Gemini. These more light-hearted factors are interesting, but they cannot be linked any way to causation.

The phones that are lost more often by the “Chronic Phone Loser” group tend to be Android devices rather than Apple devices (the ratio is 57: 43). Another characteristic, and this perhaps helps to explain why phones are lost, is that regular losers of mobile devices are high users of public transport. It is also noted that this group are more inclined to lend their phone to someone else, which is another reason to attribute to the reasons for mislaying a device.

With the U.K. focus, the region where there are the greatest number of mobile device losses is the North East. Within this region, people are twice more likely, compared with the rest of the state, to have lost their phone more than ten times. In the North East, the extrapolated data suggests that 5 percent of the population in this region are likely to have lost a device ten times or more (for the whole of the U.K. the rate is 2.5 percent).

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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