London: Guess what`s the biggest phobia in the world? It`s "nomophobia" -- the fear of being without your mobile, says a new study which has found that nearly 66 per cent of people are affected by it.
In fact, the number of people afflicted with nomophobia -- "no mobile phone phobia" -- revealed in the study in the UK shows a rise from a similar research four years ago, where 53 per cent of people admitted the fear of losing their phone.
In the latest study, of the 1,000 people surveyed in the UK, 66 per cent said they felt the fear, the `Daily Mail` newspaper reported.
Young adults -- aged between 18 and 24 -- tended to be the most addicted to their mobile phones, with 77 per cent unable to stay apart for more than a few minutes, and those aged 25 to 34 followed at 68 per cent.
That number is up from a similar study four years ago, where 53 percent of people admitted to the phobia.
The study showed that people on average check their phone 34 times a day, and 75 per cent of us use the phone in the bathroom -- with many people saying it is the modern equivalent of the newspaper.
Andy Kemshall, co-founder of SecurEnvoy that commissioned the study: "The first study into nomophobia, conducted four years ago, revealed that 53 per cent of people suffered from the condition and our study reveals this has now risen to 66 per cent in the UK and shows no sign of abating.
"A reversal on the 2008 findings is that, back then, it was men that were more afflicted yet today it`s women. I`d be inclined to draw the conclusion that, perhaps because more men have two phones, they`re less likely to misplace both and therefore be left phoneless."
Other findings showed that, even if 49 per cent of people get upset if their messages and texts were viewed by a partner, most don`t bother with securing our phones, with only 46 per cent using some kind of lock code, and just 10 per cent adding encryption to their data.
Kemshall added: "With 58 per cent of the respondents using at least one device for business use, this lack of security is a worrying trend that needs addressing."