There are a number of ways to protect your phone from theft. If you take care of your phone it will take care of you. Here are some suggestions.
1. Use Common Sense
Don’t leave your phone unattended. If you are going to take your device near the water, be sure to use a waterproof case. A case with a wrist strap is a good idea on public transportation. “Hit and run” thieves can grab a phone and then dash out the door. It has the added bonus that if you lose your grip, you won’t drop it and break it.
2. Know Your IMEI Number
The letters IMEI stand for International Mobile Equipment Identity. While knowing your IMEI number will not protect your phone from being stolen it can help recover it. Reporting a stolen device’s IMEI number to your carrier can have the phone disabled for further use.
You can find the IMEI number on your phone by typing “* # 0 6 #” instead of a phone number in your phones keypad. You will receive a 15-digit number unique to your phone. Write down your IMEI number and report it to the police if your phone is stolen. They can then track the phone to try to get it back to you.
The trouble is that the IMEI number is stored on rewriteable flash memory, which means it can be wiped and re-keyed. Therefore, don’t lose any time before going to the police.
3. Lock Your Screen
The use of both fingerprint access and facial recognition along with pass codes protect your device and can help deter a thief. This will not always stop a thief, but it will make make it as tough for thieves as possible to use or even resell your device.
4. Use a “Find My Phone App”
On an Android phone, go to the Android Device Manager in Google Settings, which looks like a G with a gear symbol next to it. To track a missing phone, use your desktop or laptop computer to access Android Device Manager in the browser’s address bar.
On an iPhone, download and install Find My iPhone from the iTunes App Store. Sign in with your iTunes account. To track down your phone, use a computer to access Find My iPhone.
On a Windows phone, locate the Find My Phone app in the main settings menu. Use a computer to go to Microsoft’s account sign-in screen to find the phone.
The obvious downside is that you need to have access to a computer quickly to try to find and recover your phone. However, chances are that if it is locked, the thieves might rapidly dump the phone not far from where it was stolen and you may not even have to get the police involved.
5. Put Your Name on It
This is very low-tech, but if your phone is lost or has been stolen but abandoned, a personalized case can not only protect the device from damage, but could be one way of retrieving it. Use paper covered completely with Scotch tape to help waterproof it, or duct tape and permanent marker. You can tape the info to the phone and the phone case as well to boost your chances of getting it back.
6. Back Up Your Data Regularly
You can always buy another phone, but all your photos and contacts might be priceless.
7. Carry Insurance
You carrier will usually offer cell phone insurance that covers the phone being damaged, lost or stolen. It is good peace of mind for only pennies per day. To get a new phone, you would usually need to pay one flat rate, such as $50.
8. Always Report the Theft to the Police
You will need a copy of a police report for the insurance company if you are filing a claim. It also shows them crime patterns of cell phone theft in the area, which they can then try to crack down on.
If Your Phone is Damaged, Locate a Reputable Independent Repair Shop.