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Safety Guide: Preventing Theft of Tablet Computers and Mobile Phones

Losing a Smartphone should not be taken lightly. Smartphone’s can contain valuable data which can be used to conduct criminal activities by criminals. It’s better to be safe than sorry. 

If you fall under the age group of 18 to 25, it’s probable that you’ve most likely had your mobile phone and or tablet lost or stolen in the past.  Just last April, a survey funded by Pew Research discovered that nearly 45% of mobile phone users who fall under this age group have either lost or had their phones stolen.  Another part of the study looked at an older age group of 35-54 year olds’ and found that 3 out of 10 individuals had their mobile phones either stolen or had lost them in the past.  Theft of mobile phones and tablets are not a new trend, these portable devices have long been hot targets for thieves. However, since the advent of smartphones which are in essence, a mini computer capable of storing a lot of sensitive data, such as usernames and passwords, your browsing history, your personal contacts and possibly personal PDF documents that may contain data on your identity, you may end up losing more than just your phone – In certain cases, your identity. 

So, why are smartphones so popular with thieves? One reason is because many wireless carriers have made the switch to GSM technology which makes it easy to unlock any phone, meaning the stolen phones can be used by any subscriber; thus, thieves are easily able to resell them to anyone. It’s recommended that after purchasing any phone, its best to write down the IMEI number, in case it gets lost or stolen in the future, this makes identifying the phone easier when it’s recovered. Smartphone users should realize that they risk losing their smartphones every time they go out in public. Armed thieves are always on the lookout for anyone using expensive phones.  If you happen to be held up by an armed robber, don’t fight back or try to resist, hand them your phone, your life is more important than any material object.

If you never had the misfortune of getting robbed for your phone, then consider yourself lucky. Though, don’t take your luck for granted. Your only solution is to avoid using your Smartphone in public places. You should never leave your phone unattended anywhere, be it at the restaurant, at the coffee, the school library, or while waiting for the bus or train at the station. Someone can easily walk out with your cell phone while you’re occupied indulging your coffee or reading the morning newspaper. Next thing you know, your iPhone is missing, it’s that simple for professional thieves to steal your Smartphone or tablet computer.  There are numerous apps both for iPhone and Android which allow you to track your stolen phone. Though, it would be quite stupid for you to confront the thief on your own, the smart thing to do is to contact the police immediately and report the location. Other useful software that should be installed is data security software which locks your private data preventing criminals from accessing your private information from your iPhone. Moreover, you should secure USB portable data storage drives which often contain sensitive data, and since they are small and portableFind Article, you are more likely to lose them.

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Cara W Morris is Marketing Manager at New, a data protection and Information Security company that provides software to Secure USB and external storage devices.

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