How To Stop Your Phone Being Stolen and What To Do If It Is.

Author James Mash 23.7.2014. | 12:00

How to Stop your Phone Being Stolen and What To Do If It Is.

 

Phones are for so much more than just making calls. They have become an integral part of our lives and we spend more on them than ever before so probably comes as no surprise that phones are now one of the most common things to have stolen.

The UK’s National Mobile Crime Unit says that phone thefts account for around half of all street crime. Phones are easy to snatch from someone’s hand or pocket, easy to carry and very easy to dispose of by selling on, but it’s not just the phone that’s valuable. Once a phone has been stolen you could find yourself with huge bills being racked up or even worse your private, personal data could be stolen.

You can protect yourself against phone theft. Most phone thieves are opportunists and they like nothing better than an easy target, someone who’s distracted, a phone that left on a table is easy to steal, don’t give them these sorts of easy opportunities.

  • Simple things, like keeping your phone in a tight or zipped front pocket prevent it from easily be taken without you noticing and will mean thieves arte less likely to target you.
  • When you sit down in a coffee shop of cafe don’t take your phone out and put it on the table, even if it’s next to your hand. Keep it in your bag or better yet your pocket and only get it out if you need it, then put it away after.
  • Don’t walk around with your phone in your hand. It’s easy to snatch especially if you’re distracted.
  • If using your phone at night turn the screen brightness down so as not to draw attention to yourself and the phone.
  • Don’t use your phone while distracted, paying for something or getting on or off transport as you’re distracted and can become an easier target.

But what else can you do. Well you can take these simple steps to protect your phone in case it is stolen.

 

Lock It.

It’s probably obvious, but always lock your device if you’re not using it. I can’t think of any phone that doesn’t have some sort of security lock code or pin feature which can stop a thief from getting access to your calendar, diary, social media, e-mail, telephone numbers and any stored passwords for banking etc.

 

Bar Expensive Numbers.

Most phones allow you to bar certain sorts of number. Some allow you to bar all numbers with certain prefixes such as premium rate numbers which can be used to run up huge bills on your account, you can also block overseas numbers as well with these settings. It’s normally fairly easy to set this up and you will need the security pin for your phone.

 

Change Default Security Codes.

Most phones come with default security pin codes which need to be entered to change certain settings such as call barring etc. It’s no use setting these up if you don’t also change the default security codes as anyone can look up online what these defaults are. If you’re worried you will forget the codes write them down somewhere safe and keep the information in a different place form your phone. I have these written down in my user manual which is kept in a safe location at home.

 

Enable Tracker Information.

Activate or install tracker applications on your phone. Some phones have this built in other will need an application to enable this. Unless you’re an international spy and don’t want to be tracked yourself this is an easy way to locate your phone if it get lost or has been stolen.

 

Note Down Your Phone’s Details.

Every phone has a unique number. It’s called the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. You can type in * # 0 6 # on your keypad to find this. Alternatively you can check in the phones settings or open the case and read this from the phone, normally under the battery. If your phone is stolen you should report it and provide this information, that way anyone caught the police and phone companies can use this to traces a phones owner if they recover it as stolen property. Also not down all the other details of you phone. The make, model, color etc and keep them in a safe place.

 

Report Any Theft.

If your phone is stolen make sure you report it as soon as possible. Contact the phone company so they can block the phone ensuring it can’t be used; also report the theft to the police. If you’re in the UK you can use the Immobalise.com web page which will make it much easier for police to know if a device has been stolen, it will also simplify insurance claims and it’s totally free.

You can click the following link to view more of our excellent how to guides.

Author James Mash 23.7.2014. | 12:00
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