With summer vacations quickly approaching, your phone becomes more susceptible to pickpockets and thieves. Don’t let your vacation be ruined by losing all your data. By preparing properly, you can avoid any potential phone loss over your vacation. Learn how to avoid phone misplacement or theft and protect your phone just in case with this helpful guide!
Before your vacation:
Create a strong password for your phone
Before your vacation, opt to create a longer, more complex password. For iPhone users, consider setting up Touch ID as a form of security, as well as a 6-8 digit passcode. When you power your phone back on, it requires both of these steps to unlock, so it will increase your phone’s security in the instance of it being stolen. For Android users, set up a password that includes both numbers and letters, or create an extensive pattern if you would rather use the dots.
Set up “Find my Phone” on your devices
While this method isn’t always perfect, it can be essential for the first few hours after your phone is stolen or lost. Find my iPhone requires your phone to be connected to the internet (either using WiFi or cellular data) and must be turned on. Prior to your trip, make sure to download the Find my Phone app on your devices and create a login that you will remember.
Back up phone content
Make sure to download all content, like photos, videos, or contacts to the Cloud or a similar storage system before leaving on your vacation. This will ensure that if your phone gets stolen, you will be able to access and re-download that content onto a new device.
Write down the phone’s ID number
Most phones have a unique identification number, usually written in small font engraved on the back of the phone. Make note of this information before you leave so you can give that information over to the police for tracking purposes.
During your vacation:
Keep your phone in eyesight at all time
During meals, avoid putting your phone in a bag or purse or leaving it on the edge of the table. If possible, put it in your lap to avoid letting anyone try to swipe your phone.
When out and about, don’t leave it in your back pocket
This is the easiest place for pickpockets to see and take your phone. Try leaving it in locked bag or holding on to it tightly. Be especially wary of public transportation—thieves will take advantage of crowded subways and buses and try to sneak your phone out of your pocket, a feeling you will likely just associate with being brushed by fellow subway-riders. If the weather is cold, keep your phone in a pocket in the interior of your jacket.
Do not allow strangers to borrow your phone
This is a tactic often used by pick-pocketers. They will likely use an excuse like “my phone died” and they will ask to borrow yours, before quickly running off with it. Instead, encourage them to step into a nearby store or hotel and ask to use the business phone. If they are persistent in trying to make a call from yours, it is likely they were just looking to steal your phone from the beginning.
If your phone is stolen/lost:
Use Find my Phone app to erase phone content
Take advantage of the first few hours immediately following your phone going missing. Log onto Find my Phone on another device (it can be any device, as long as you know your login information) and try to locate your phone on the map. Ideally, the phone will land in the hands of someone willing to find you and return it.
While you cannot change your password on your phone, you can change the passwords to your bank, emails, and social media accounts. Login to these accounts from a secure device soon after the phone has been misplaced to secure your important information.
Call bank and phone companies
Don’t forget to inform your bank and phone company of your stolen or misplaced phone. This will help both parties get ahead in case fraudulent charges begin showing up on your accounts.
File a police report
While it may seem like a drastic action to take for a cellular device, if you’re determined to find your phone, file a police report at the closest station to where it went missing. This will likely take away some vacation time, but could save you hundreds of dollars in the instance that they find your phone.
Protect your phone’s content and your personal information by staying ahead of potential pickpockets and thieves. Your vacation is a time to be enjoyed, and it is difficult to do that when you are worried about potential information theft from a lost or stolen phone. And in the instance that you drop and crack your screen, contact Computer Guys of Orange County for a quick and easy screen replacement or repair!