Smartphone Theft: What You Can Do To Stop the Rise

Smartphone theft on the rise [London, UK] Recent statistics from London’s Metropolitan Police suggest that 70 per cent of all personal crime is mobile phone theft, and the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reports that it’s the only crime in the UK that’s actually on the rise.

The report goes on to say that “a widely reported increase in the number of thefts from the person committed in London by criminals on bicycles and mopeds may also be a contributory factor”.

In the US the upturn in smartphone theft has been likened to an epidemic. Half of all personal thefts in San Francisco involve mobile phones, according to the SF Examiner. Meanwhile, New York City saw a 40 per cent increase in iPhone thefts during 2012.

High-Value targets on the street 

Smartphones are state-of-the-art, feature packed devices that are becoming more powerful - and more portable - all the time. They also cost a lot of money. We walk down the street idly texting our friends on pocket-sized gizmos that cost the same as an HDTV or laptop computer. No wonder thieves are targeting smartphone owners for hit and run robberies.

Because smartphones are such everyday things, we take them for granted. But to prevent crime, we need to think again. We should be careful when taking out our phones in quiet urban areas, where thieves often operate. There are an increasing number of cases where people have had their phones snatched out of their hands as they use them.

We should treat our phones like we treat our wallets and put them in pockets that are difficult for thieves to reach. Hands free headphones, Bluetooth or wired, mean you can make calls and listen to your music without retrieving your phone from its hiding place.

Find my iPhone 

Prevention isn’t always possible - and that’s where mobile security products can help. iPhones have built-in features that enable you to set your phone to “lost” mode and ping when you can’t find a device, similarly, Norton Mobile Security enables you to use Remote Scream – which will cause your phone to create a horrifically loud screeching noise, alarming thieves – and helping you identify where the handset is.

So, while it’s a fact that mobile phone crime is on the rise, we don’t have to take it lying down. With a combination of careful, common sense prevention and the use of built-in features and mobile security applications, we can make stealing phones more hassle than it’s worth.

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