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Lost Your Smartphone? Check the Airport

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Travelers would be wise to keep a tight grip on their mobile devices next time they're in an airport.

A new study revealed that more than 8,000 mobile devices were left behind at just seven of the country's largest airports in the last year.

Overall, 3,444 smartphones and tablets, 3,576 laptops and 996 USB drives were forgotten by travelers at airports in Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Charlotte, Miami, Orlando and Minneapolis.

According to the research, the Transportation Security Administration's checkpoints and the restrooms were the most common places mobile devices were left behind.

Six of the seven airports surveyed donated the found mobile devices to charities or sold them at public auctions, while one indicated it turned missing phones and laptops over to police after 30 days.

Past research found that more than 60 percent of smartphone users not using a password on their device.

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"These research findings are a wake-up call for (chief security officers) and security managers across all enterprise organizations and SMBs," said Bob Heard, CEO of Credant Technologies, which sponsored the research. "With widespread BYOD adoption, companies must be vigilant in securing data wherever it resides."

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Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.