Keep thieves from stealing your phone

By Tonny Akankwatsa

Follow these best practices to keep your iPhone or Android from going missing in the first place.

That feeling of panic and despair that hits your gut and steals your breath the moment you realize your phone is missing. It’s awful. It’s consuming.

Phones are prime targets for thieves, or for opportunists who get lucky and find a device its owner has unknowingly left behind. The small, portable nature of a phone makes it easy to conceal, unlike larger electronics like a laptop or stereo equipment. If someone can unlock your device, there may be a wealth of information to exploit you before selling your phone, we all saw what happened Martha Kay scenario. If not, handsets can be stripped for valuable parts used to refurbish other phones, then sold for hundreds of shillings in profit.

So ask yourself: is your phone really as safe and secure as it could be? Below I have collected this practical checklist to keep your phone from straying, plus some specific products and tools that can help keep your phone in your orbit. Read on and stay alert.

Leaving your phone behind happens more often than you think.

First things first

If you don’t have a fingerprint, face scan or passcode set up, do that immediately.

Make sure Android Find my Device or Find my iPhone is on.

Set up backups on your iPhone or Android phone so if your phone goes missing you won’t lose your data or should I say secret information and nudes, just saying.

Keep your phone in sight at all times.

Take phone safety to the next level

Use a PopSocket, a wrist strap like Phone Loops or a case with a lanyard or anything else that physically attaches it to you.

If you’re traveling in an area known for pickpockets, you might conceal your phone in a zipper scarf.

Invest in a Bluetooth tracker tag like Tile that can alert you and ring your phone when you press the button.

Go DIY; and create a back-hide attachment on the case and on the inside of your bag so that you can quickly slap it into an unexpected and out-of-reach spot.

Set up high volumes if you have an Amazon Echo or Google Assistant to turn up your phone’s volume and then call it if you can’t find it in the house.

Buy Bluetooth ear buds.

Put the phone away and listen over headphones so you look confident whilst you gadget will be safe, instead of out of place after loosing it.

In that same way you can use a based Smartwatch, you can monitor notifications and send quick replies while keeping your phone in your pocket.

Practical tips that are easier said than done

These may seem straightforward, but go ahead — see how often you do these.

Use a basic case to hide an expensive phone not a fancy one that shows off your UGX 3m phone.

Adopt an on-guard posture that keeps your hand on your phone, tucked under a leg, etc. at all times.

Never leave your phone in the open while you walk away, even for a minute, even if you’re keeping an eye on it. Use a sweater, a water bottle or literally anything else to save it while you order over the counter in a cafe.

Remember that someone could grab your phone from your hand, make it hard to get to while you’re using it, especially in taxi or a crowded space.

Keep your phone in the same place so you’re more likely to feel the difference if someone takes it from you. Say a particular side of the pocket or bag.

Move your phone from your pants pocket to an inside jacket pocket if dressed in one, purse or bag when you’re not using it, even if only for a few minutes. The harder it is to get to, the harder it is to steal. Besides, don’t be lazy for you can’t budget for another everyday.

If your phone is in a back pocket, leave your shirt untucked to cover it and use vibrate for your notifications so that it periodically reminds you it’s there.

Pay attention when people approach you on the street for directions, petitions, canvassing and so on.

What to do when its truly gone

1. Don’t panic. It might be that your phone slipped between the couch cushions, you forgot it in the bathroom, or set it down for a minute when you rushed out the door.

2. Use your tools: Go straight to a laptop or other device (you can even borrow someone else’s phone) and track it using Apple’s Find my Phone or Android’s Find my Device. Got it thank me later.

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