By Alok Saboo on December 3rd, 2012
When it comes to protecting your mobile phone from theft, it goes without saying that you should take every care to ensure that you look after it and that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. The latest smartphones can cost a very significant amount of money, so it’s important not to have it stolen. Whilst technology is improving all the time and phone companies can often track and recover cell phones, it’s a lot more convenient if you don’t have it stolen in the first place.
So here are a few things you can do to avoid having your phone stolen in the first place:
- Keep your eyes on it at all times: This is obvious. A phone is not the size of a car and it will take someone less than a second to steal your phone if you turn your back.
- Avoid charging it in public whenever possible: Even the most careful of us can get caught up in something important or side-tracked, so unless absolutely necessary try not to charge it in your local restaurant or on a train. If you absolutely have to charge your phone, follow the previous rule and stay near your phone.
- Buy a holster: If you often forget your phone or keys, consider a holster. That way every time you use your cell phone you get used to putting it back. Hoslters/belt pouches will often fix to your belt or trousers and you have a better chance of keeping it for longer. Plus, it has the added bonus of making you feel like you’re in the Wild West!
Whatever precautions you take, sometimes things happen and you can have your phone stolen regardless of how careful you are. At this point it’s about three things: Recovering your phone as quickly as possible; not allowing the thief to use your phone; and protecting your data. You can follow some simple steps to secure your mobile data.
- Pin lock: It’s very easy to lock your phone so that others can’t use it without your consent. Get a pin that you can remember and always have it locked. It will also protect you from having other important information you may have saved on your phone from being accessed.
- Make a note of your IMEI number and report the loss to your provider immediately: If you do this there is a good chance your provider can block your phone quickly and avoid anyone using it.
- Protect your data: More people are using mobile devices for connecting to the workplace now so if you want to ensure your data is protected then use encryption software such as Sophos Mobile Encryption. This is especially recommended if you’re a company or work in an IT department that deals with company data. It’s available for Android and Apple and will stop thieves accessing your data.
- Look into tracking software: This comes in various formats such as the iPhone ‘find my phone’ app. This one will allow you to use another Apple device that you own to locate and recover your phone. If a thief steals your phone and replaces the SIM, there is also ‘Theft Aware’ for Android that will send the thief’s number to two other phones of your choosing. This will give you a far greater chance of recovering your phone. Another useful app is Phone Retriever, which is available on all mobile OS. When your phone is stolen you have to login to your ‘vault’ and there you can lock or locate your device. You can also send an SMS pin to your phone to lock it but the only downside is that to secure the phone you have to purchase a serial number “from participating outlets”. Mobiguard comes in at $8.99, but is a great little app that allows you to take videos and screenshots from any internet connection worldwide, just in case you lose your phone abroad.
- Insurance: Finally, you may also consider buying an insurance for you phone. Most providers are happy to insure your phones against any loss, damage, or theft. You can also buy private insurance. The insurance cost depends on your device. While the insurance will not be able to protect you from loss of data, at least you can recover the cost of your phone (minus the insurance).
Armed with this information you have a far better chance of retaining or recovering your cell phone if it is lost.
Author Bio: Kerry Butters writes this article on behalf of Smartphone Genie, where you can find iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S3 deals.