Mobile phones are hot targets both for robbery and theft. As a violent crime, the increase in robbery for mobile devices is quite concerning.
When it comes to avoiding being a victim of robbery, the rule of thumb is - conceal what you have to steal. Unfortunately, most of us keep our cell phones in plain view most of the time. We hold them to text, place calls, listen to music, play games or just check the time. Given the high price tag of most mobile devices, and the high resale value, this makes them a huge target for thieves. Treat your phone like you would a stack of cash - that's what it is to thieves!
Here are some tips you can take to avoid being a mobile phone robbery victim:
- Don't use your phone in the street
- Password protect access to the device
- Auto-set screen lock functionality for the minimum time allowed
- Be aware of who is around you; if you feel uneasy, go inside a store or business
- Always maintain control of your device in public places – never leave it alone, even for a minute
- If you need to make a call, go somewhere public and visible like a business, then conceal your phone before going outside
- Put your cell phone on vibrate and only answer it when it's safe to do so
- Be especially vigilant on transit or in transit stations as these are the top locations for mobile phone robberies
- Don't use your earbuds or listen to music, even if your phone is hidden. The earbuds are a dead giveaway and you don't want to diminish your awareness by blocking out surrounding sounds
- If possible, provide non-identifiable contact information on or in the device for Good Samaritan scenarios
- Record device identifiers (serial number, make/model. ESN/PIN, identifiable characteristics) in a safe place
- Use an ultra-violet pen to print your personal information onto both your mobile handset and battery, to claim it if stolen (needs to be repeated every couple of months, it wears off)
If someone tries to take something from you by force, give it to them and call law enforcement. If you do become a victim of cell phone robbery, do not attempt self-recovery, even if you do have tracking software installed.