You don’t realise quite how essential your smartphone has become to your life until you lose it… or it gets stolen. You face the inconvenience of all your contacts, pictures and social media accounts becoming instantly inaccessible, but also the realisation that your phone could cost hundreds to replace. Phone theft may unfortunately happen any time. Cheap monthly contracts hide the real cost of top-end handsets. So how can you protect your phone from loss or theft?

INFOGRAPHIC ABOUT UK PHONE THEFT

UK Phone Theft

Guard It

Stroll through any pub, coffee shop or restaurant and you’ll find a multitude of phones sitting on tables or on top of bags, well within reach of thieves. And look on any high street, on the train or on the bus, where almost everyone is holding their smartphone in their hand, ready to snatch. Keep it in your possession and away from prying eyes.

Lock It

Your phone is equipped with loads of safety features, such as PIN lock, SIM lock, fingerprint ID, data encryption and GPS location tracking to avoid phone theft. Using them will make your phone useless to a thief, help you track it, and protect your data too. You can also download extra apps to help with phone security, such as a feature which uses the front camera to take pictures of anybody trying to access your phone.

Save It

Our mobiles can be the key to our lives, with all our important contacts, and many treasured photos. Don’t go through the devastation of losing these when they can be simply backed up. Regularly backing up your phone on to a computer, or even using a cloud-based service such as OneDrive, iCloud or Google Drive will make sure all your dearest memories and essential contact network will be safe.

Block It

If your phone does get lost or stolen, immediately make contact with your phone provider to get it blocked. The phone can be rendered unusable, and ensure your data isn’t at risk, and nobody can run your phone bill up. You may also find that installing certain apps will allow you to remotely stun the phone if it gets stolen, ensuring nobody can use it. This is one of the good way to keep data safe when phone theft already done.

Report It

Always report it to the police as well. Police forces and the mobile phone industry use a database called CheckMend which keeps records of stolen phones. Keep a note of your phone’s IMEI number (you can find this by dialling *#06# on the handset), which the police will ask for to ensure it goes on the database if it disappears. If anyone tries to sell it in the future, it will flag up on the database.

Insure It

If your phone gets stolen it could cost several hundred pounds to replace, and if you’re in contract you’ll still have to keep paying off the one that’s been stolen. Even replacing a broken screen is pretty expensive. However, for just a few pounds a month you can buy mobile phone insurance to protect your phone against damage, loss or theft. If you ever need to use it, mobile phone insurance is worth its weight in gold.

UK phone theft infographic