Nearly three quarters (74 percent) of UK mobile phone owners admit they don't regularly back-up their personal contacts, says Lookout Mobile Security.

Research by the smartphone security software developer, which has been released to conincide with the UK launch of the software, also revealed 85 percent have no way of location their handset if it's lost or stolen.

Furthermore, despite the fact six in ten said they're concerned about losing personal contacts and information and 50 percent fear their smartphone may be hacked, just four in ten say they set a PIN or passcode on their device and only a quarter install security updates.

Only a third worry about the web links they click or the apps they download on their handset. Meanwhile, just 20 percent said they're concerned about using unsecured Wi-Fi connections to access the web from their mobile phone.

More than two in five (46 percent) admit they consider their smartphone their most important gadget – above an MP3 player, eReader, laptop and even their car, while 34 percent admit they check their mobile phone every time they go to the toilet or make a cup of tea.

Over half said they feel 'frustrated' or 'anxious' when they lose their phone, while 15 percent claim they not survive at all if they lost their phone and just under a third said they only last a maximum of a couple of hours.

"Mobile threats don't discriminate based on where you are. They tend to be global, affecting people around the world," said Lookout CEO and co-founder, John Hering.

"Smartphones and tablets are our most personal computers. The survey reinforces just how important they are to people. As consumers continue to use their mobile devices both at work and at home, they should take steps to protect them and the personal information on them."