If you are the unlucky victim of a smartphone theft, the price you pay may be worth more than the device itself. In addition to your text messages, voicemails and e-mails, the thief also may have access to your bank account, tax forms and other personal information. Therefore, it is important to heed these safety tips, and avoid identity theft.
Enable auto lock: According to NBC News, only 25% of smartphone owners use auto lock to protect their phones. Auto lock is a free tool that locks your phone’s keypad after a period of inactivity, adding extra security and preventing unauthorized use. Follow these steps to lock an iPhone or an Android.
Erase your data remotely. It is a good idea to install an application that will let you access your smartphone’s data from a PC. That way, in case your phone gets lost or is stolen, you will be able to remove any private information stored on it.
Install tracking software: Fortunately, if your smartphone is stolen, there are applications you can download in advance that will let you track it: Where's My Droid, MobileMe and Berry Locator. Additionally, the software program Prey works on all the popular operating systems and can help locate your smartphone, laptop and other electronic devices.
Inform your service provider. If you are unable to locate your phone, give your service provider phone receipts, and ask to be contacted when your phone is activated. This will prevent you from being held liable for any charges that may have occurred in the meantime.
While smartphone theft can happen to anyone, it is important to be proactive and take measures to prevent it. According to USATODAY, smartphone thefts made up to 40% of all robberies in major U.S. cities last year, and the rate continues to rise. So don’t wait; protect your smartphone, and protect your identity!