Smartphones are one of the most stolen portable possessions – tips to keep your smartphone safe
Most people have their lives saved on their smartphones and according to our claim statistics, they remain one of the most stolen of all portable possessions.
Smartphone theft is often an opportunistic crime. Criminals see a phone protruding from a pocket or handbag, lying on a coffee shop table or on the lap of a motorist driving with an open window, and they pounce immediately. Since many smartphones are worth a good couple of thousand rand on the black market, it’s easy money.
Criminals are also becoming savvier and more efficient at stealing – from pickpocketing, to stealing phones in traffic and even using kids as a distraction to help them get the job done.
The hassle of losing an expensive piece of hardware, along with your contacts and photos, is one thing, but the fact that criminals could also gain access to your apps, e-mails, passwords and bank accounts, if these aren’t properly secured, remind us of the necessity for extreme vigilance when it comes to phone security.
With this in mind, Dialdirect offers 10 top tips to protect yourself from mobile device theft:
- Be very careful with the kind of information that you save and share on your phone – keeping pictures of your ID document or saving messages where you shared your credit card info, for example, is not the best idea.
- Take the necessary measures to protect and back-up the content on your phone – starting with strong passwords, fingerprint and / or retinal recognition and ensure that your phone prompts you before allowing connection to any device via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
- Never make sensitive transactions, like EFTs, over non-secure Wi-Fi connections.
- Install a tracking app to help to trace your phone if it is stolen, and one that enables you to wipe the content remotely if necessary.
- Keep your phone hidden when you’re not using it – avoid leaving it in clear view on a table or car dashboard, or unattended in your office or any other public place.
- Put your phone on silent or vibrate when you are in a public place and only answer it when it is safe to do so.
- Remain constantly aware of your surroundings – be especially wary of strangers in your personal space, or those seemingly trying to distract you, even if they are children.
- Keep a safe record of your phone’s PUK and serial numbers.
- If your phone is stolen, report it to your operator immediately and obtain a blacklisting reference number. If the phone is blacklisted, the thief will not be able to use your phone and run up your bill.
- Make sure that your phone is insured at the correct replacement value.
At any given time, you could be carrying a small fortune around with you in the form of your mobile device. While portable possessions insurance covers you against theft and certain kinds of damage to these devices, it’s best to remain careful and vigilant to avoid damage and theft altogether.
Dialdirect is a licensed non-life Insurer and Financial Services Provider.