Several years ago, I lost my smart phone. I had been visiting a local elementary school and hadn’t noticed that the phone fell out of my pocket onto the soft ground. It was only after I returned to the office that I realized that my mobile office was missing, along with all my contact and business info. So I kept calling my phone, which was in the possession of a 3rd grader who decided that she wanted it. Needless to say the Teacher made her confess that the phone wasn’t hers and the school contacted me. If you have ever lost your phone you know the stress. Your phone may have your banking information, it may have your home address, it could have photos that you don’t want seen, and many other personal information that could lead to identity theft or worse.
But what happens when it is snatched from your hands, and the thief runs with it. This is a common occurrence today as you may have seen in the news.
A few months back, a young lady was sitting on a train in Los Angeles, reading a book on her iPhone. With her head down and not paying attention to her surroundings somebody walked down the aisle and plucked her iPhone right out of her hands, then broke into a run and ran out the door as soon as the train stopped at the station. The young lady was stunned. She tried to chase after the thief, but her phone was gone and never coming back.
There are stories of people being robbed at gun point, assaulted, and all kinds of mayhem of people stealing smart phones or Tablets from citizens. This just as the use of smart phones users have increased, so has smart phone thefts. The thieves take these stolen phones or Tablets and sell them almost immediately on the Internet, at sites like e-Bay or Craigslist, Some stolen phones are sold in flea markets, shopping malls, or parking lots of shopping malls.
In order to reduce this crime, many of the major cell phone providers and carriers (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint, as well as Nex-Tech wireless) and the FCC are planning a national database of smart phones that would prevent their use by new owners. In a recent News report, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said the four leading carriers had agreed to set up their own databases of stolen phones within six months, and aim for a common registry within 18 months, allowing those who lose their phones to prevent them from ever being used again.
Things you can do to secure your phone
- Change your screen lock wallpaper so that it displays your contact information such as name, e-mail, alternate phone number. Do not include your address.
- Set up a screen lock and include an auto erase after so many attempts (if available)
Install a mobile security that will allow you to track your phone and possible remotely erase the data.
- Gadget Track
- Cylay (Jailbroken)
- Gadget Track
- Where’s my Droid
- Where’s my Droid
What can you do if you loose your phone
- Contact your cell phone provider and inform them, so that they can prevent it use, and register it as stolen
- Change all your login password stored on your phone
- If you have insurance (which you should) you can order your replacement
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