Making it harder for thieves and robbers to target your mobile phone and other portable valuables is easier than you think.
Follow the advice here to protect your valuables and yourself when out and about:
- Register your valuables on www.immobilise.com. It’s free and could help you get them back if they are lost or stolen
- Keep your valuables out of sight and in a secure pocket, case or handbag when you are not using them
- When you are using them in a public place remain aware of your surroundings and people around you
- Use security lock codes on your electronic valuables if they have them
- Keep a record of the electronic serial number (ESN) of your electronic valuables
- If you have a phone with an IMEI number keep this also. You can access this by typing *#06# (star hash 06 hash) into your mobile. It will display the 15 digit IMEI code for that phone
- Security mark your valuables with your postcode and house number
- Report lost or stolen phones immediately to the police and service provider
- Attract attention to your phone or other valuables when you are carrying or using them in public places
- Park in dark, isolated places or take short cuts through them on your own
- Leave valuables on show in an unattended car
Keeping your tech safe
There are many apps available for smartphones and tablets that use GPS (Global Positioning Systems) to help you track them should they become lost or stolen. Some of these apps are free, others are not and some may be available as part of a package of other functions.
Which one you choose is up to you but you should research any apps you have concerns about before downloading them.
To safeguard your phone or tablet you should:
- Read the app's reviews. The reviews posted can sometimes be inconclusive or misleading. However, recent structured complaints about misconduct should be a clear warning.
- Check the apps permissions. If an Android app wants to do anything more involved than responding to your direct input, even just going online, it must seek authority in a "permission's list" shown before you download it. Ensure you examine the permissions.
- Requests for access to the phone's storage and internet connection should be fine assuming the app stores data and displays online information or adverts. But if an app requests activity that has no clear link to it’s function, be cautious.
- In particular, beware of requests relating to access to your contacts list, calendar or browsing history, monitoring or placing of phone calls or sending text messages.
- When in doubt, search. If an app's reviews are inconclusive and its permissions raise concerns, try doing a simple Web search linking the app’s name and eg malware?.
- Install Anti Virus Software. Make sure that you keep this software up to date to stop newly developed threats affecting your phone or computer.