Smartphone theft has not gone away. We replace too many stolen smartphones at our ClickAway stores in the Bay Area. It happens in shopping malls, schools and colleges, sports clubs, restaurants, subways and more. We have supported legislation to demand that smartphone makers include a kill switch – requiring a password before a phone can be reset and thus resold.
This week, Google and Microsoft came on board, making kill switches available on 97% of the smartphone market. Newer versions of Apple’s IOS have a switch called Activation Lock and tracking software. In May, Samsung added a similar system they call Reactivation Lock. Some older phones cannot be updated with this feature. So if you’re child frequents areas where smartphone theft is prevalent, for their own safety, make sure they have an updated phone. Any you too for that matter. Contact ClickAway for a location nearest you with questions in this important matter. 1-800-960-9030 or go towww.clickaway.com.
What to do if you’re a victim of smartphone theft?
We fantasize about our stolen phones exploding by remote control in the thief’s hands but in reality not much happens and the trend continues. Bars and restaurants are the top spots for smartphone theft as is public transportation. If it happens to you, follow these steps:
- Find My Device – make sure this is turned on, whether you’re on Android or Apple. Your Location has to be set to high accuracy for the best results.
- Locate your smartphone with your smartwatch. Paired to a phone, your smartwatch can make it even easier to locate the phone.
- Wipe your smartphone data remotely. It only takes a few seconds to reset the phone (and the thief won’t be able to stop it once it’s started), but it’s irreversible, so consider this option carefully before doing it.
- Report your smartphone theft. To report your phone as stolen to the police, you’ll need IMEI number (in the box or in the about section of the phone’s settings menu. You will also need the model, phone number and circumstances of the theft.