It can take only 15 minutes for a third of mobile users to notice that their device is missing.

Research by SecurEnvoy and YouGov found that one in three mobile phone owners would know that they had lost their phone within 15 minutes, while it would take an hour for 61 per cent of the people surveyed to notice.

According to the survey, younger mobile phone owners are far more likely to notice that their phone had gone missing sooner, with 28 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds saying that they would notice their mobile going walkabout within five minutes of losing it, while just 13 per cent of the 55-plus age range would notice in the same timeframe.

Steve Watts, co-founder of SecurEnvoy, said: “What these figures suggest is that mobile phones have become part of the national psyche, with people carrying them around much in the same way as they carry their wallets and purses.

“The clear trend is that the younger a person is and the more steeped in the digital culture they are, the more use and awareness they have of their mobile handset, resulting in mental alarm bells ringing if they find their prize possession missing, for whatever reason.”

Watts went on to claim that the phone has now become a ‘business enabler' with multiple communication channels and secure data transfer and storage offered.

“As society continues down the path of the electronic revolution, and today's young teenagers become tomorrow's adults, this trend can only accelerate. Mobile phones are now being used as multi-functional devices,” he said.

“The time will come when we will open our cars, access our front doors and office premises, all using our mobiles. We are only just beginning to scratch the surface of multiple functions, largely owing to the immense flexibility that the modern cellular handset now offers people of all ages and classes.”