May 28, 2014
News Release

Lookout Introduces Theft Alerts To Put the Brakes on the Phone Theft Epidemic

New research shows 68 percent of phone theft victims are unable to recover a stolen device

San Francisco, CA - May 28, 2014 - To deter the growing phone theft problem, Lookout, the leader in mobile security, today introduced Theft Alerts to its flagship consumer product, Lookout Mobile Security. Theft Alerts provides users with crucial, contextual alerts anytime suspicious activity occurs on their device, giving them timely information to get their phone back. Theft Alerts is now available in Lookout Mobile Security Premium on Android and iOS.

Thieves take common actions seconds after stealing a phone, including removing the SIM card or powering off the device, which prevent the owner from calling or tracking it. Lookout’s Theft Alerts recognizes these actions, and within minutes sends the victim an email with 1) a photo of the thief and 2) a map of the device’s exact location*, providing the victim with clues to take immediate action and get their phone back. Actions that trigger a Theft Alert include:

  • Incorrect passcode entered
  • SIM card removed*
  • Airplane mode enabled*
  • Device turned off
  • Lookout removed as device administrator

"From the day we started Lookout, we've dedicated ourselves to fighting smartphone theft," said Kevin Mahaffey,” co-founder and CTO of Lookout. "Today, the problem has grown so large that nearly 70 percent of phone theft victims never get their phone back. This is not right. That's why we decided to build Theft Alerts, a real-time service that intelligently arms users with information they need to get their precious devices and data back."

A trending problem

Lookout’s recent Phone Theft in America research report reveals that just over 1 in 10 smartphone owners are victims of phone theft, and 68 percent were unable to recover a stolen phone following the theft. The research also shows that in the U.S. smartphone thefts are most likely to occur in the following locations (in rank order):

  1. Restaurants
  2. Bars/nightclubs
  3. At work
  4. On the street

It’s what’s inside that counts

When a phone or tablet is stolen, a person’s privacy is put at risk. Smartphones carry highly personal information, from banking and financial records to corporate email. Insights from Lookout’s research reveal that following a theft:

  • 10 percent of phone theft victims report loss of confidential company data
  • 9 percent experienced identity theft, and
  • 12 percent experienced fraudulent charges to their account

To prevent these outcomes, one in three phone theft victims are somewhat to extremely likely to pay $1,000 to recover the data on their phone. With Theft Alerts, people are armed with the necessary information needed to help recover a stolen device and safeguard their most personal data.

With the launch of Theft Alerts, Lookout Premium now provides the most robust phone theft recovery features on the market. Lookout Free provides essential security including the ability to scan all applications for malicious activities, back up a person’s contacts, and locate a lost or stolen device. Lookout Premium includes all the essential features available in Lookout Free, plus:

  • Additional security and privacy protection: Privacy Advisor and Safe Browsing
  • Enhanced backup and restore: Photos* and call history, in addition to contacts. Transfer data to a new phone.
  • Comprehensive theft protection: Theft Alerts and Remote Lock & Wipe

Lookout Premium is available on Android and iOS for $2.99 per month or $29.99 annually.

*Current features available on Lookout Premium for iOS

Research methodology

The survey was conducted online by IDG Research on behalf of Lookout between March 4 and March 20, 2014. The survey was fielded to respondents in the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany who reported owning a smartphone. Quotas were set to ensure that approximately 500 respondents (2,403 complete responses) from each country had their smartphones stolen at some point, while another 100 respondents from each country were allowed to complete the survey despite never having their smartphone stolen.

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