With technology becoming more high tech and mobile, millions of people in the nation are carrying around expensive devices in their pockets and purses.
With costly mobile technology on us all the time, the chance of a device being stolen has dramatically increased over the years. Whether you are walking down the street, riding the bus or leaving a device in a gym, there are many ways a smartphone can get stolen.
Before it's too late, here are five steps to prevent smartphone theft:
1. Know your surroundings
One of the first and most crucial steps to preventing thieves from taking your device is to know your surroundings, Prey Project reported. When you increase your situational awareness of your surroundings, you can are more in tune with any suspicious activity that may surround you.
For example, if you're taking the bus and are surrounded by several people, keep purses or any bag holding the device in sight. When bags are hanging on shoulders, it makes it easier for thieves to take devices when you're not looking. If you carry your smartphone in your pocket, keep your hands down at your waist to give an extra barrier between your device and the thief.
2. Use highest-level screen lock
Many new smartphones are coming out with the latest and most-advanced security technology. According to Consumer Reports, the newest iPhone 5s has a thumbprint identification setting that will only allow selected users turn on the phone.
For other smartphones that require a password, avoid simple codes such as "1234" or "5555" because thieves will figure these numbers out quickly. While codes with four completely different numbers might be hard to remember at first, logging in will become extraordinarily easier after a few days of practice.
3. Activate a "find my phone" app
Using the highest-level screen lock will deter some thieves, but in the instance it doesn't, having the "find my phone" app activated will help locate the device when the thief gives up on trying to unlock your password, Consumer Reports said.
These apps use GPS technology to visually locate where the device is, which is important since the information is needed immediately. Most thieves will turn off the stolen phone and try to replace the SIM card immediately, but using the finder app could get a spot on the location before it's too late.
4. Avoid texting while walking
Even though it seems like it should be advised against anyway, texting and walking not only puts you in danger for not paying attention, but it also makes you an easy target for thieves in the street, Prey Project reported.
Additionally, Siobhan Schabrun, an honorary senior fellow at the University of Queensland, performed a study that discovered people's balance is affected if they walk while texting, which could leave you more defenseless to criminals, CNN reported.
When you pick up your phone to answer a call or a text, you're unmindful to the environment, and good thieves know this. It's far too easy for a phone to get yanked out of your hands on the street - especially so when you aren't expecting it.
5. Invest in personal insurance
Smartphone thefts happen all the time, and even some of the best protectors of their devices can forget a phone on the train or in a restaurant. Investing in smartphone insurance could give you the peace of mind that you're constantly protected no matter what the situation is and some plans can even protect your other electronic devices such as tablets, laptops, and cameras as well.