MORE than half of all mobile phone users now fear not having their phones with them, as people's lives become more and more focused on the devices.
A survey by security firm App River found that a fifth of users now check their emails and messages while in bed, and some 42pc take their devices to places like the beach.
An astonishing 54pc of the 1,000 people who took part in the App River survey said they feared being "out of mobile phone contact", with women 17pc more likely to suffer from the phobia than men.
The report showed 28pc of people will also look at their work emails while away from home, with men slightly more eager to check their emails than their female counterparts.
A quarter of people even use their phones during a dinner date – with women 10pc more likely to do so than their male counterparts.
But only 50pc of people bother to secure their devices with a password, the study found.
"It's pretty clear that we're a society totally reliant on our phones not only for personal use but business use too," said Fred Touchette, senior security analyst at App River.
"What worries me is that, with so much information stored on them – confidential office documents, contact details, emails, photos and bank log-ins – when these devices get lost or stolen and end up in the wrong hands, the information is so easily exploited," Mr Touchette added.
He advised phone owners to protect their gadgets with a password or encryption.