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Be Safe: Protect Your Smartphone

Apartment Living Local News
Each month we post relevant information to improve the livelihood of our residents by posting pertinent news and safety tips.  We hope you find these tips and those in the coming months helpful.  If you have any feedback, we urge you to leave your comments below.
With smartphones more popular and essential than ever, the theft of smart phones and other high-tech devices are naturally on the rise.  In fact, Consumer Reports shows that smartphone thefts have doubled since last year.  As an apartment resident, it is imperative to understand a few tips that will make the difference between being aware and being a victim.  Las Vegas residents, we're talking to you!

Preparing Your Device

First there are several security measures one can take to ensure that the information within the phone is secure if the phone is stolen. With today’s technology, thieves are not stealing phones because they are valuable mechanical devices. They are stealing iPhones, Androids and other smart and savvy devices for the valuable information they hold - your information. The first measure is to ensure you have a lock on your device. All smart phones come equipped with lock and pin code access features. Use it. The first line of defense is to ensure that if the phone is taken, the invasion of your privacy stops there. Unless the thief is a legit computer hacker, he is not making it past the lock screen protection. This makes your device essentially useless. More experienced culprits have knowledge of or know computer guys who can attempt to access the phone beyond the lock screen. This is where anti-theft apps come into play. Anti-theft apps provide the following incentives: GPS location, sounding an alarm, locking the phone, wiping the data completely, and more. IOS, Android and Windows phones offer anti-theft apps; many for free and others for a small fee. Overall, the protection of your private information is worth the minimal fee for these apps. Lastly, always ensure that you back your phone up to some form of system. This will ensure that you do not lose the information in the event it has to be wiped out of the cell phone to protect your interest. Lastly, invest in insurance. Having insurance makes the difference in paying for a whole new phone and paying a deductible to replace a phone.

In Short:

  • Lock your device with a passcode or other automatic lock system.
  • Download and register anti-theft apps.
  • Keep your information backed up to a personal computer or cloud storage system.
  • Insure your device.

Preparing Yourself

The most important measure you can take to ensure the safety of your device is to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Thieves are observant. They look for individuals who are not paying attention; who are fumbling with more items than they can comfortably handle (making them the perfect snatch and run victim); or people who give them quick and easy access to the device (walking with the device in hand, a device sticking out of a back pocket, etc.). Try to avoid walking and fidgeting with your phone. The focus you put into your device takes away from observing your environment. Avoid placing your phone in a back pocket. This is easy access for a thief. If possible, keep your device in front of you in a zipped pocket or within your pocketbook (for women). Thieves aren’t generally looking for a fight. They look for quick, easy heists of small, easy to conceal items. In the event you meet up with someone with more than a quick heist in mind, graciously give up your phone. If you have followed the steps above, there is nothing the thief can do with your phone. Your information is safe, the contents of the phone are safe, and you will be safe.

In Short:

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Make sure your phone is only easily accessible to you.
  • Willingly give up the phone without altercation.

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