LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Our banking, our social networking, our identities; it's all available in the palm of our hands. Having all that information in one place makes your phone a prime target for identity thieves.
According to a report published by Consumer Reports, the number of cell phones stolen in the United States nearly doubled in 2013 to more than 3 million. Of those surveyed, a whopping 34 percent had no security measures on their phones to protect their data.
A study published by Creighton University said that the annual cost of cell phone replacement, along with phone insurance, costs consumers $2.5 billion dollars a year.
Major cell phone manufacturers like Apple, Google, and HTC announced an agreement last week, to implement a anti-theft chip into new phone models, beginning next summer.
In the meantime, security experts maintain that locking your phone with a PIN code, and having tracking software, are the best steps to protecting your data.
Scott Hunter at US Cellular says the best data security starts with not having your phone stolen in the first place. He suggests using a case on your phone, so it becomes harder to take.
"You feel it if you lose the device, or if someone's trying to take it off you. You would be able to feel the tension coming off you," said Hunter.