Cellphone theft is on the rise, according to Consumer Reports’ Annual State of the Net survey, increasing from 1.6 million thefts in 2012 to 3.1 million in 2013.
Cellphone loss is also up, but less dramatically, from 1.2 million phones lost and not recovered in 2012 to 1.4 million in 2013.
Either way, your cellphone, and all the personal information stored on it, ends up in someone else’s hands.
According to Consumer Reports, travelers are among the most likely to be separated from their phones. High-risk locations include airports and airplanes, where the hustle and bustle “creates the perfect situation for a phone to be lost or stolen,” and public transport, including buses, subways, trains, and taxis.
So, what can you do to secure your phone, and the data it contains?
In the event your phone is lost or stolen, the following security measures can help limit the damage:
- Set a screen lock with a four-digit pin
- Back up data to a computer or the cloud
- Install software that can locate the phone
- Install software that can erase the contents of the phone
When it comes to avoiding theft or loss in the first place, most of the advice is simple common sense. One or another variation of “Don’t let the phone out of your sight” tops the list. And of course, there’s the contemporary chestnut: Don’t drive away while your phone is still sitting on the roof or your car.
Reader Reality Check
Have you ever lost your cellphone, or had it stolen?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.
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