Is there anything more annoying than having your mobile phone stolen? On a daily basis we carry so much personal information with us on our electronic devices, such as photographs and banking information, that losing a mobile is equivalent to being cut off from your mini world that means everything to you.
The fact is that this is just not a thought or a fear, but a reality that is increasing in our society on a rampant basis and the statistics might really alarm you. The Crime Survey for England and Wales reported that between April 2015 and March 2016, 446,000 mobile phones were stolen. The following year, Home Office reported that mobile phone theft surged to over 700,000. Well, these are the reported number; imagine the real figure which also comprises of instances that are not reported. Although, there isn’t any part of the world, where such instances are not happening, yet reports certify that London ranks highest in terms of mobile phone theft. If you live or work in London, you are twice as likely to have an electronic device stolen.
Of the total property theft reports in London, one-third of them are tablets, smartphones, laptops, and USB drives. If you take into consideration the cost of these devices, we can easily carry up to £1,000 of electronic gadgetry that we need to manage our day-to-day lives. Inmates at a West London young offenders’ institute claimed that the sell-on value of a new mobile phone ranged anywhere from £10 to £60. With such lucrative returns, you can imagine how motivating it would be for thieves to steal mobile phones and sell.
Who Are The Victims?
We give our children mobile phones to keep them safe and end up making them more susceptible to the trauma of robbery. Most of the victims of mobile phone theft are children under the age of 15 and women. Research has shown that maximum thefts have occurred with children and women, mostly at public places.
Who is the Perpetrator?
As the saying goes, ‘Catch them young and see them grow’. The big market of mobile theft is operated like any other business where teenagers between the age of 14 to 17 are manipulated to rob and in return earn some easy money. These kids can easily go unnoticed in a crowded place and that is exactly the strategy. They silently follow you and before you could react to the situation, the robber has already snatched your phone and has disappeared in the crowd.
How Can You Protect Your Devices?
Athough we might say that the police should catch hold of such mobile rackets and stop the crime, yet it is our own personal responsibility to take preventive measures, in order to secure our important devices. There are a few obvious things to think about when protecting yourself from mobile phone threat: how to prevent the phone from being stolen in the first place, what to do after your phone has been stolen, and make sure you have mobile phone insurance.
- The first rule of personal security is to be aware of your surroundings. As a simple example, avoid using your phone on the street.
- Don’t leave your phone unattended particular in public areas. Be aware that 35% of stolen phones are taken when the owner is on public transport or in some other public area and 22% of stolen phones are taken in bars and clubs.
- To protect your data, always use strong passcodes, so that even if your device is stolen, your data is secure.
- Use apps that could track your phone, after the theft. Something similar to ‘Find my mobile’.
- Keep a backup of all your important personal data in your google drive.
- Acquaint yourself with the security features on the phone and use them. Lock your phone with a password or a biometric authentication, such as face recognition or a fingerprint.
- After the phone is stolen, wipe the data from your phone or lock your phone remotely with another device. Then track the location of the phone remotely with another device.
- All Smart phones come with a unique serial number known as an IMEI (International Mobile Station Equipment Identity) or MEID (Mobile Equipment Identifier). Please note that number and keep it safely.
- Most importantly, please purchase phone insurance along with your phone. This is not an added cost, but the best way to secure your high end device. Your mobile insurance is a small price, compared to your phone.
The above are precautionary measures that needs to be done before your mobile is stolen. By following these important points, you can at least safeguard your personal and professional information. However to protect your phone from theft, be aware of your surroundings and keep them safe. Use a hands free device and when not in use, hide it safely. In case your device is stolen, immediately report the instance at your nearest police station.