Hello, lovely blog readers! I’ve learned so much in my research for Device Theft Awareness Month that I am just itching to tell you some of the tips I’ve picked up. I’m going to be honest with you – some of it seriously blew my mind.
Sometimes I still catch myself thinking “but this stuff is crazy, it’s not going to happen to me” and I have to mentally kick myself. Over 1.6 million smartphones were stolen in the US in 2012, and it’s only risen since then; it could totally happen to me (unless I start changing the way I approach having a phone in public). Every time I think about losing my phone (and more importantly, the stuff that’s on it) I find myself breaking out into a weird combination of hives and a cold sweat and then my vision starts getting a little blurry and basically – these tips are incredibly useful.
First and foremost, cellphones distract us. It’s the same reason we’re not supposed to text in class, or be on our phones while we’re driving – our attention is divided and we’re not totally aware of our surroundings. It’s funny, because in the past I’d been told if I was walking alone at night, it was a good idea to pretend to be on a call with someone who was nearby, to say loudly “Oh you left the light on, I can see it from here, I’ll be home soon!” I was told predators are less likely to accost a person who’s got backup nearby.
But that advice has changed a bit as the years have gone by. Obviously if there’s a predator lurking about, you can never truly know what their intentions are… but with device theft on the rise, having your phone out in your hand, advertising that you’re holding an expensive piece of equipment, is a big safety no-no.
I know, it’s news to me too. Don’t use our phones in public? But…. you mean just at night, right? Well – I know it’s hard, in a world that’s become so plugged in, but experts are leaning more toward advising people not to pull your phones out in public at all if you can stand it. At the very least, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
1. If you need to respond to a text or answer a call, wait until you’re inside a store or your your job or school. A theft is much less likely to happen inside a well-lit building surrounded by people/security/etc. I know this sounds absolutely crazy (don’t answer your phones when it rings?!) but there are very few times a text or a call can’t wait a few moments until you’re someplace safer to pull out your phone.
2. On that note, when you’re not using your phone, hide it away. A pocket that zips, inside a backpack or purse, or even your waistband.
3. Even earbuds are an advertisement that you’ve got a smartphone hidden away. Obviously there are times when it’s totally acceptable to wear your earbuds (running in broad daylight, riding the bus) but maybe you should turn the music down anyway if you’re walking alone at night.
4. Always keep your phone on vibrate when you’re not at home or somewhere equally as safe. Vibrate means you and you alone will know your phone is ringing, and no one else really needs to know anyway. A loud ringer is just another alert to thieves that you’ve got a phone on you.
5. Don’t fall for the bait – if someone asks you what time it is and you aren’t wearing a watch, tell them you don’t know. Use careful judgement if you’re going to pull out your cell phone when a stranger asks something like this, because they might be trying to distract you by pulling out your phone.
If you want to know how secure your phone is, you can take this little quiz to get an idea of where you rate on the scale.
I really haven’t signed on to write these posts to scare you, bum you out, or to push a product on you. I agreed to do it because I had no idea how real this threat is, and how easy it can be to protect yourself. Signing up with a program like Absolute LoJack can give you such a peace of mind, because even if your device IS stolen, they’ve got you covered. I didn’t even know services like this existed until I first started doing my research with Absolute LoJack Uncovered.
This month you can sign up using the sweet discount they’re giving my readers of 30% off a 1- year Standard or Premium Subscription – Just enter UNCOVER30 at checkout. This offer will be valid through Aug 31st.
Disclosure: This product has been gifted to me, however all opinions expressed in my review are my own.