According to Pew Research, nearly half of American adults are smartphone owners. Millions more own other mobile devices. Our contacts, calendars, and valuable information are stored on them. As usage increases, we are seeing an increase in thefts of these devices. Some ideas for preventing theft:
Pay attention to your surroundings when you are out in public. It’s easy to get distracted with mobile devices. Remaining alert can help you identify suspicious activity and react accordingly.
Follow your instincts and don’t use your device in an environment that doesn’t feel safe. Hold off on taking it out or using it until you are in a more appropriate location.
If you are listening to an iPod, slip it into your pocket once you have selected a song or play list. If you are not using your phone, put it away in a secure place. Don’t become a victim of pick pocketers by letting it hang out of your back pocket or purse pocket.
Set a password on all of your mobile phones to secure access to your personal information.
Talk to your kids about these tips, as they may be distracted using their smartphone and other electronics while in public.
Look into downloading a remote erase app, which will allow you to wipe data off your phone if it’s stolen or misplaced. Phones with this capability will also allow you to track the GPS on your phone.
Back up important information and photos just in case.
If you you have just been a victim of a crime or see a theft or crime in progress, dial 9-1-1. To report a crime that has already occurred and the suspect is long gone, you can call and report it to the police by dialing the non-emergency number at 503-823-3333. In some cases, you can report stolen property online at http://www.portlandonline.com/police/cor/ to the Portland Police. Be sure to read the criteria for reporting before you use the online form. If a mobile phone has been stolen, contact the phone service carrier to suspend the service, as well. Some carriers also offer insurance that will help replace the device if you sign up for it in advance.
Mobile devices are a part of our daily lives. Unfortunately, they are vulnerable to being lost or stolen. Employing some crime prevention strategies can make a difference.