Phone theft is prevalent in the U.S. In 2013, 3.1 million Americans were victims of smartphone theft, according to a Consumer Reports survey. Thus, you need to equip your smartphone with security features to prevent becoming a victim of this crime. There are many ways thieves carry out their dirty work.
In the U.S., most cases take place because of forgetfulness. Around 44% of theft victims lost their phones because they accidentally left their phone behind in a public area where a thief later snatched it up. In the U.K and other parts of Europe, pickpocketing and snatching are more common. These cases, where a phone gets grabbed quickly from the hand, make up 40% of all phone theft incidents in Britain.
For smartphone theft victims, the cost of the gadget is minimal compared to what it contains. Most smartphones store personal data such as photos of the places they’ve been and the people in their lives. These gadgets also contain a record of what they have posted on their social media accounts or things they bought online. What’s more, they hold credit card numbers and other vital information that thieves can use for more damaging crimes.
Here’s how to protect your phone against theft.
3 Simple Ways to Protect Your Phone from Theft
1. Download “Don’t touch my phone” app
You can download many apps that will increase the protection of your smartphone. One of the most popular apps is Don’t Touch My Phone, which is available on iOS and Android. This anti-theft mobile app detects motion and sets off an alarm when someone attempts to touch or disconnect the charger of your device without your permission.
The blaring alarm will only stop when you key in the correct password on your phone. Not only that; the application will also take a photo of the attacker if he or she fails to use the correct password. The app will automatically send his or her photo to your email.
This app will also send you all the information about the location of your phone which will help you find your mobile device quickly.
2. Use a Strong Screen Lock
Security experts also advise using a secure password, fingerprint scanner, or other features that ensure your phone is protected, instead of the easy-to-decode 4-digit PIN.
In apps where you need to supply passwords, make sure they contain a string of at least eight characters and consist of a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Also, make sure that your password doesn’t form recognizable words or phrases—particularly those that can be associated with you.
3. Back-Up Your Files
You should keep your files protected. One way to do this is by using free over-the-air backup for your phone camera content, settings, and other personal data. Many phone carriers, manufacturers, and operating systems offer these features to protect their customers from smartphone and identity theft. For example, iCloud on iOS devices.
By becoming more security-oriented through the use of applications like Don’t Touch My Phone, strong passwords, and cloud storage, you can help protect your phone — and even your identity — against thieves.