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Did you lose it or was it stolen? The chances are good someone took it. About 3.1 million Americans were the victims of a smartphone theft last year, according to Consumer Reports. But the real problem isn't losing the physical device. That can be replaced. The problem is losing all the data in the phone -- from contacts to photos to videos to sensitive, personal information stored on it. Lose that information and you could lose your identity. So where are you most likely to have your phone swiped? Lookout Inc. ran the numbers.

The top 5 places where phone theft is most likely to happen:

  1. In a restaurant
  2. In a bar or club
  3. At work
  4. On public transportation
  5. On the street


How can you prevent phone theft and keep your personal data safe? Lookout and IDG Research offer these tips:

  1. Place a passcode or PIN on your phone.
  2. Install a mobile security app on your phone that will allow you to remotely wipe out the data if it is stolen.
  3. Be alert! When you are out, safeguard your phone. 44 percent of phones that were stolen were taken after owners left them in a public place. Another 11 percent were pickpocketed. Note that phones are most likely to be stolen between noon and 5pm.
  4. The sooner you notice your phone has been stolen, the higher the chance you'll get it back. While 90 percent did whatever they could to get their phone back, only 32 percent succeeded. Immediately report the theft to police.
  5. If your phone is stolen, contact your mobile carrier to file a report or insurance claim.