Over the summer our local Fox News station reported a 48% spike in grab and run thefts of cell phones over a two week period but in general, cell phone theft is on the rise and isn’t just confined to our Nation’s Capital. According to technology protection company, Asurion, $5 billion of stolen and lost phones need to be replaced each year and they make up more than 30% of robberies in major cities.
Why? Perhaps it’s because we always have our devices out to check email, snap a quick photo, purchase something on the go, text, engage in mobile banking, or update our social networks. Having our phones out makes them easy targets for theft and since they’re small, portable, and almost everyone has a mobile device, they’re a common item to be stolen.
According to Asurion, the most popular devices to be targeted are iPhones. 48% of claims filed with Asurion are filed by iPhone users because of loss and theft. The company also approximates that Apple and Samsung Galaxy devices are 35% more likely to be lost or stolen.
Not only is it a hassle to have to deal with replacing your phone but consider the sensitive data stored on your device and potential consequences of that information getting in the wrong hands.
With cell phone theft on the rise, here are six ways that you can safeguard your device to protect the important data on your phone:
- Be conscious of where you’re using your phone. Perhaps it’s wise to unplug and tuck your phone away during your commute or when you’re in crowded places.
- Password protect your phone. Asurion found that only 50% of smartphone owners do this and without a password, anyone can access sensitive data on your phone.
- Engage the Activation Lock (aka kill switch) you’re an iPhone user running iOS 7. This theft deterrent is designed to make the phones less desirable to thieves by requiring them to have Apple ID and password before the “Find my iPhone” feature can be turned off and any data is erased from the device.
- Back up the data on your phone frequently. 43% never do this.
- Change your password. 32% of Americans change their password less than once a year. Try to do it quarterly if you can’t remember to do it monthly.
- Get Asurion Mobile Protection. Not only will Mobile Protection cover drops and spills, but it also covers loss and theft to get you reconnected quickly. Since the service is offered through wireless carriers to provide a replacement rapidly, you don’t have to suffer the inconvenience of shopping for a new device and potentially paying full price for a replacement phone that could cost as much as $850.
This is part of a sponsored post campaign with Asurion. All opinions are my own. Images and statistics courtesy of Asurion.