The possibility of loss or theft is very real and becomes increasingly likely when travelling through unfamiliar environments. As smartphones hold many personal details and are invaluable in daily life, a lost smartphone is the last thing you want.
Many cities across the world are hotspots for smartphone theft, but by being aware of methods of theft and taking a few security precautions you can greatly reduce the chances of this happening to you.
Consider these security measures to avoid the theft, and prepare for the possibility.
- Be aware. Keep tabs on your smartphone and other valuables when walking in crowded places. Dozy tourists are easy targets. Presence is your greatest ally.
- Be suspicious, pickpockets might try and divert you – by either asking for help, distracting you with something, or concealing hand movements beneath newspapers or bags.
- Bags can also be swiped quickly by people running past or from moving vehicles.
- Keep your phone in your hand or in a zipped compartment. Don’t keep it in a shallow pocket from which it can easily slip out or be stolen from.
- Review our basic smartphone security tips
- Install a tracking application that can help you find your phone should you lose it. Find my iPhone is good for Apple devices, or prey for Android. Installing an app like this means that you have a way of locating your misplaced phone, and can potentially tell if it has been stolen or if you have simply lost it in your home. Note that these do require your phone to be turned on, with location services, and that airplane mode cannot be activated.
- Make frequent backups of your phone, use iTunes to backup your iPhone, and check the android sync settings to make sure it is automatically backed up.
- Consider taking out a mobile insurance policy
If you do lose your phone, or suspect it stolen:
- Report it to your network provider – so that they can block the SIM. This can prevent you having to pay for any further use of the phone. If you do end up finding your phone, then the process can normally be reversed. Network can provide replacement SIM with same number, but may charge a fee.
- Report the theft to local police, to which you might need to provide the phones identification number IMEI – this can be taken from the network provider. They should give you a crime reference number, which you can then use to claim on the insurance.