In a world where smartphones have become an integral part of our working and social lives, the threat of smartphone theft has been getting greater and greater. Over 400,000 people in the UK had their phone stolen in 2016. Theft of phones by moped riders has become a serious problem on the streets of London. Despite the epidemic, nearly a third of phone owners in the UK say they don't take any preventative measures.
Cellphone theft is a major problem in the U.S. as well. According to Consumer Reports National Research Center, 2.1 Million cell phones were stolen in the U.S. last year with another 3.1 Million cell phones reported as being lost.
Here, we'll lay out three top tips that will allow you to keep your most important gadget safe.
Make it Hard to Get To
Think about the places where a thief is most likely to be able to snatch your phone: if it's hanging out of your back pocket, sitting in your open hand bag, or laying on top of your hand, it's an open target for a thief to grab. Make a habit of keeping your phone somwhere that'a hard to get to, such as a zipped inside pocket of your coat or handbag.
Only use your phone out on the street when you absolutely have to. This is where most cell phone thefts occur so you need to be cautious. When you do use it outside, adopt a defensive posture and shield your phone from passers-by, keeping it locked in your hand in a claw like grip and pressed against your chest.
Make Good Use of the Inbuilt Security Features
Any good smartphone should ship with inbuilt features that will allow you to keep your personal data safe if the phone does get taken from you. Set up a hard to guess passcode or PIN for your phone, or a biometric security feature such as fingerprint ID. Download and set up an app such as “Find My iPhone” that will allow you to track the phone's location and lock or wipe it remotely. You may even be able to display a message on the phone that will help it get returned to you.
Not all of these security features will be available on every model of phone, so make sure to check with the manufacturer's specification. And remember that these features will only work if you actually switch them on and configure them.
And it should go without saying, never send email, enter personal information, or make purchases while using an unsecured public wifi hotspot.
Get High Quality Smartphone Insurance
When a gadget is integral to your daily life, you need to be able to replace it as soon as possible if it gets stolen. Having a decent phone insurance policy will allow you to get a replacement, and avoid a situation where your phone gets stolen at a time when you can't afford to buy a new one. Different insurance premiums will offer varying coverage, so make sure to check what you're getting before you sign the contract.
Most good iPhone insurance policies will cover loss, accidental damage and unauthorized calls. Generally, they won't cover the theft of your phone if you leave it unattended in a public place like a café. They also might not cover you if you don't report the theft quickly enough, so make sure to report it within 24 hours of noticing that the phone is gone.