Carrie in Baltimore, MD asks:
I’ve seen a lot of disturbing stories in the news about the increase of cell phone theft on buses and in other public places. How do I keep from becoming a victim myself?
Theft of cellphones and other portable electronic devices is on the rise and in some cases, violence is involved. Some victims are being physically assaulted and seriously injured, others may be threatened with guns or knives. It was reported that there were 579 thefts of cellphones or tablets in San Francisco from November to April of this year.
Here are a few tips to decrease your chances of being a target or to minimize the damage if it actually happens to you:
1. Unless you are home, keep your phone out of sight with the ringer turned off, this includes the office and your car. If it’s not seen or heard, it’s less tempting to take and harder to get. Criminals like easy targets
2. Pay attention: Many victims report that they were engrossed in reading an email or in a verbal conversation when they were attacked. People who are distracted are specifically targeted since that gives the bad guy the advantage of surprise
3. Keep your device locked with a password or PIN. If someone does get ahold of it, this could prevent them from accessing your personal information or at least buy you some time to recover your device
4. Download and install software that can remotely track or wipe your phone, Apple has the Find My iPhone feature
5. Use an ultra violet pen to print your street address and an alternate contact number onto both your mobile handset and battery. This makes your device easily identifiable as your property if it’s recovered. The ink will wear off after a few months, but you can redo it at that time
If you find yourself in a bad situation:
6. Give it up: hand your device over if someone demands it. It’s not worth risking your safety
7. Notify the police and your carrier immediately in the event of loss or theft
8. Request an immediate, formal investigation from your carrier and file a police report
9. If you do have a track or wipe app installed, activate it as soon as you can. The device needs to be turned on in order for the track or wipe to work and If the thief powers the device off, you may be out of luck
10. In addition to reporting your phone lost or stolen, you should also disable your phone number (not account number) so that no further charges can be made to your number
For more information on the best methods for protecting the integrity of your electronic devices and your sensitive information in and out of the office, call Teltek IT today!
Teltek is proud to offer IT services as the fourth component to our multi-systems approach as your single source technology services company. This Managed Service Provider (MSP) offering completes our longstanding goal to provide our clients with a one-call resource for all of their business technology needs. IT outsourcing, remote back up and disaster recovery, helpdesk support, computer network relocations, security products and server/desktop virtualization are just a few of the services available.