BEFORE your smartphone is lost or stolen:
- Be Aware. Know your surroundings and be cognizant of your smartphone use behavior. Similar to your purse or wallet, it's best to not call attention to your smartphone and create an opportunity for a thief to steal it (e.g., leave it on a restaurant table, use it while walking or taking public transportation, allowing strangers to "borrow" it to get directions, etc.). By knowing your surroundings, you may protect your smartphone from being lost or stolen.
- Lock It. As soon as you get a new smartphone, set a hard to guess password to protect your device and change it on a regular basis. If you don't know how to set a password for your Android, BlackBerry, iOS (Apple) or Windows smartphones, here are video and print instructions.
- Add Apps. There are a number of appsavailable that will remotely track, lock and/or erase your smartphone. In addition, some apps will remote trigger an alarm so people know that smartphone is stolen or take a photo of the thief so you can send it to police. By adding these apps now, in the event your smartphone is stolen or lost, you're personal information will be protected.
- Save It (Again). If you have photos, emails, contacts, videos or anything else that you want to make sure is available if your smartphone is ever lost or stolen, save it somewhere else such as a computer, USB drive or cloud service. It's always a good idea to have a backup copy.
- Insure It. If you are prone to losing things, you may want to consider insuring your device through your wireless provider or a third party entity so that if it is lost or stolen, your replacement device is covered.