She was waiting for the bus when a thief on a bicycle grabbed her phone from her hand and drove away. The same thing can happen to you

She was waiting for the bus when a thief on a bicycle grabbed her phone from her hand and drove away.  The same thing can happen to you

Taking care of the security of data on your smartphone has never been as important as it is now. Phone theft has become a real plague in Europe. They are a more popular target for thieves than payment cards or wallets.

The loss of a valuable device can be very painful, but it is nothing compared to what can happen when a thief gets access to our personal data. Then you can even lose your life savings and end up with huge debts. All it takes is for someone to gain access to our data stored in various applications and use them to empty our bank account and extort several loans.

How often does smartphone theft occur?

Criminals use many different methods to gain possession of the device and the valuable data it contains. Most often, these are typical pickpockets and direct robberies on the street.

According to a report by a journalist from the Financial Times, there are entire gangs of smartphone thieves operating on the streets of London. Masked people most often ride bicycles and snatch smartphones directly from the hands of passers-by. Apparently they behave like predators – they carefully observe and attack their victims by surprise.

“It took just a few seconds for a masked man on an electric bike to snatch my smartphone from my hands as I waited for a bus in crowded central London this morning. One effective and undoubtedly well-rehearsed maneuver enabled him to snatch my smartphone while I was halfway through sending a message… And then I was filled with fear as the thief drove off with my smartphone with an unlocked screen, wrote Claer Barrett in an article in the Financial Times.

The author’s fear was not caused by the loss of expensive equipment, but by the terrifying prospect of what the thief might want to use her data for now. Claer Barrett then began a race against time in which she had to quickly remotely deactivate the stolen smartphone and do it before its “new owner” found a way to change passwords and bypass other security measures. This is one of the methods to cut off the criminal from the contents of our device as quickly as possible.

How to protect yourself against smartphone theft

Protecting yourself against smartphone theft is a key step to protect your personal data and avoid financial losses. Here are some effective ways:

1. Use the screen lock feature

Activate the screen lock on your smartphone to prevent unauthorized access. You can use a PIN, pattern, password or biometric technologies such as a fingerprint reader or facial recognition.

2. Install the remote tracking and blocking app

There are various applications available on the market that allow you to remotely track your device’s location and remotely block and erase data in the event of theft. Examples include Find My iPhone for Apple devices and Find My Device for Android devices.

3. Activate the remote data wipe function

In case of theft, you can remotely erase all data stored on your smartphone to protect your privacy. Make sure this feature is activated in the settings of your remote tracking device or app.

4. Back up your data

Regularly back up important data stored on your smartphone, such as contacts, photos and files. You can store backups in the cloud or on an external drive.

5. Avoid dangerous places and situations

Try to avoid situations where you may be an easy target for thieves, for example when using your phone in crowded places or late at night.

6. Physically secure your smartphone

Use a protective case or cover to protect your device from mechanical damage and hide its value. Additionally, avoid leaving your smartphone unattended in public places.

7. Register your smartphone

Register your smartphone and write down the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. In case of theft, report the IMEI number to your mobile operator or law enforcement to help track your device.

Remember that protecting your smartphone against theft is not only about protecting the device, but also protecting your personal data and privacy. Therefore, it is worth taking all possible precautions to prevent undesirable situations.

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