You keep a lot of personal data on your smartphone. That means that if your phone is stolen, you run the risk of thieves accessing your private data. From stealing your bank details to using personal information to clone your identity, if your phone is stolen it can cost a lot more than just the price of replacing your phone. Read our blog to discover what steps you can take to protect your phone if it is stolen.
It’s easiest to take steps now to try to prevent theft. The best way to do this is to always keep your phone somewhere safe. If you’re travelling on a bus or train or walking in a crowded place, make sure your phone is not easy for a thief to get to or on obvious display. Avoid putting it in your back pocket or behind you in a back-pack. Instead, buy a phone cover with a pendant, which allows you to wear your smartphone around your neck.
Sometimes, no matter how carefully you look after your phone, it can be stolen. If a thief snatches your phone from your hands or demands you to hand it over, it’s wise not to fight back for your own safety.
Don’t panic if your phone is stolen. Here are five simple steps to make it easier to get your phone back and help you to block personal data from being accessed.
1. Put an inconspicuous mark on your phone to help to identify it. This could be just a small identifying mark on the back. For example, you could put your initial on the phone so you can positively identify it later.
2. Write down the IMEI number. The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number is a unique number for identifying a device on a mobile network. It has 15 digits. If your phone is stolen, your network provider can blacklist the device. That means your phone won’t be able to make or receive calls even with a new SIM card.
3. Back up data. Regularly back up your data so you still have access to contacts if your phone is stolen.
4. Download the Device Manager application. (Android). This application lets you track your phone remotely, block data, and even delete data if you need to. You can find out more in our How to track a stolen phone blog. If you have an Apple smartphone, you don’t need to download any extra applications because the Find My iPhone service in iCloud lets you remotely control your device.
5. Install an anti-virus programme. Some security applications, such as Avast Mobile Security and Avira Antivirus Security offer extended support that allows remote control of your device. These applications can be hidden in the phone’s memory, so a thief will not be able to find them.