Smartphones are expensive and the information you have on that smartphone may be worth more than money.Recently, there has been a surge of iDevice thefts in New York City and beyond.
The Wall Street Journal reports, “in New York, there were more than 26,000 incidents of electronics theft in the first 10 months of 2011—81% involving mobile phones—according to an internal police-department document. In Washington, D.C., mobile phone-related robberies jumped 54% from 2007 to 2011, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. And the data may drastically undercount thefts.”
While there really isn’t a way to prevent a thief from targeting your phone, you can make sure that all of the information on your device is protected.
Back up your phone regularly. Services like 'iCloud' and 'Android Back Up' automatically save your content.
Make sure that you write down your phone's serial number and carrier IMEI number (International Mobile Equipment Identity). These typically can be found in your device's Settings.
If you have an iPhone or iPad enable the 'Find My iPhone'. This is done when you first set up your phone. It can also be done later through iCloud.
When activated, Gadget Trak will generate location reports, including map points, longitude & latitude and IP address to help you pinpoint your lost device. It can even snap photos of the thief! Definitely worth the price if you have a ton of important information on your phone.
Disguise your phone as something else. Cases like the BookBook by TwelveSouth make your phone look like a book.
If you use public transportation, remain aware, and don't become engrossed in your device. It's best not to have it out.
The Wall Street Journal says, 'Subway or bus riders make great targets, especially those engrossed in their devices near the doors. When the doors open, a veteran thief will swipe the device and flee, the doors closing behind him. I was off the train before the doors could stop me--at the cost of eating through a straw for a month.'
Some phone companies may require proof that the phone was actually stolen, versus it simply being lost.
A police report serves as evidence, which will make your wireless provider more cooperative, especially if insurance is involved.