Posted October 13th, 2022 by SimpliSafe
According to results collected for the year ending in March 2020, the CSEW (The Crime Survey for England and Wales) estimates that around 325,000 individuals in the UK reported their phone being stolen - proving that this situation is all too common. There are several serious risks that come with smartphone theft, all of which can be avoided by thinking clearly and acting quickly should you become a victim of crime. We’ll be taking you through the process step-by-step, so you should have a better idea of what to do if your smartphone is stolen.
So, what are the dangers of your smartphone getting into the wrong hands? If you’re not careful, you could face a variety of long-term consequences:
Protect yourself from the risk of data theft by keeping your smartphone safe and secure at all times. If they manage to access your personal information, identity fraud becomes possible. With potential access to your bank accounts, social accounts, home address, passwords and email addresses, you could face a whole host of dangers.
Hackers can find a way to access your social media accounts upon stealing your smartphone, occasionally holding an account ransom until requesting that the owner send them an unreasonable amount of money.
Photos, text messages or emails discovered on your smartphone could be used for blackmailing - an extremely stressful situation that no one wants to end up in.
Your smartphone is a valuable piece of technology, which can be used to a thief’s advantage. It’s possible for them to swap out the phone’s original SIM card and reprogram it, to then be resold.
In the unfortunate event that your smartphone is stolen, don’t make the hacking process any easier. By setting up a PIN - one that isn’t easy to guess - and enabling biometric access - which could be in the form of a fingerprint scanner or facial recognition - it automatically makes it much harder for someone to access your smartphone.
Setting up smartphone tracking is an efficient way to keep tabs on the devices you believe have been stolen - which, in turn, should make it easier to find. You never know, your device may have been left at a friend or family member’s home instead. There’s no point wasting time and effort on a device that hasn’t actually been stolen.
You shouldn’t leave your smartphone, or any of your valuables for that matter, in a place that’s easily visible to passersby. Instead, it’s better to keep your device with you at all times or lock it up in a secure, shielded location.
If you’re planning on leaving your smartphone in the house for the day, try locking it up before heading out. Providing a thief with easy access to your home opens up a variety of security threats, so staying extra vigilant will protect you, your family and your valuables in the long run. For unmatchable security, invest in the perfect home security package - including anything from Indoor Cameras and Outdoor Cameras, to Motion Sensors and Entry Sensors. If someone were to break into your home and attempt to steal your smartphone, these will act as efficient burglar deterrents, subsequently reducing the chances of your home becoming a potential target.
First things first, try not to panic. Calmly check tracking software to confirm whether your smartphone has actually been stolen before completing the following steps. This could save valuable time and effort.
If you believe that your smartphone has been stolen, you can report the crime to the police. You can either report the crime online, dial 101, or head to the police station. Provide as much detail as you can to make solving the crime easier and quicker. If the situation is serious - such as assault or burglary - call 999 for immediate help.
Locking and wiping your device remotely will reduce the chances of personal data and sensitive files from being accessed, so the quicker you do this, the better. This process will depend on whether you have an IOS, Android or Windows Phone, but it should be straightforward to follow.
Prevent a thief from driving up your phone bill - either through copious calls, sending out numerous texts or using up your data - by calling your network provider as soon as possible to suspend your contract. This will prevent costly charges down the line.
Now that a thief has got hold of your smartphone, it’s much easier for them to try and access your social media accounts. To ensure that your personal information remains protected, change all of your passwords. This is particularly important if you’ve autosaved any.
If you can access your bank account or credit card via your smartphone, it’s vital that you contact your bank to prevent financial crime. By informing them that your device has been stolen, they may insist that you cancel your card and order a new one to make certain that your details are protected. You should also keep an eye on bank statements to see whether there has been any new activity. If any transactions appear suspicious, let your bank know straight away.
For those who have their phone insured (which we highly recommend you do if you haven’t done so already), you might be able to retrieve some of the cost for your device. The final step would be to contact your insurance company if you think your phone has been stolen.
Here at SimpliSafe, we understand the importance of protecting both yourself and your most loved possessions. By relying on an advanced, customisable home security system, you can put your mind at ease. Contact us today to see how we can help.