Streams

Open Phones: Your Rules for Protecting Your Smart Phone

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Has your smart phone been stolen? Did you get it back? Either way, we've got your practical, realistic tips for protecting smart phones with a real-world tip sheet from Brian Lehrer Show listeners.


Tips from the BL Show Crowd

Note: We're working on a handy picture-guide with these tips, so check back soon!

  • Tommy – Manhattan: sit far from subway doors. 
  • Lauren – Crown Heights: don’t leave it out on a table at restaurants. 
  • Melissa – Park Slope: don’t leave it on the table at outdoor cafes; sit further from sidewalk 
  • Howard – Bronx: don’t lend to strangers 
  • Jesse – Remind people about the “find my iPhone” feature 
  • Kathleen: Don’t let strangers “help” with your bags. 
  • Luther – San Francisco: engrave the back of the phone with “REWARD IF FOUND” 
  • Fran from Syosset: use a zippered, “unattractive” bag, keep it at the bottom of the bag, when it’s in your pocket keep your hand ON it in your pocket.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's Official Tips

  • Take advantage of security applications. Consumers should take advantage of apps designed to deter theft
  • Apple users should upgrade to the latest operating system, iOS 7, and confirm “Find My iPhone” is enabled. This allows you to remotely track, lock and erase your data in the event that your phone is stolen. It also renders your device useless to thieves, further deterring theft.
  • Android users, the operating system on the bulk of non-Apple smartphones, should consider activating the “Android Device Manager,” which allows you to remotely track, lock and erase your data in the even your phone is stolen. 
  • There are many third-party security apps for Apple and Android smartphones to consider as well.

  • Password protect your phone.

  • Write down your model number, serial number and unique device ID, especially the International Mobile Equipment Identifier. Known as the “IMEI” number, this can be discovered by dialing *#06# or checking the battery compartment.

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Smartphone thieves look for easy targets.
    • Do not walk and text, and avoid engaging in cell phone conversations while on transit.
    • Keep your cell phone and other device(s) in a pocket, purse, or backpack.
    • Never lend your phone to a stranger.
    • Don’t leave your phone out on a table in public.
    • Try to keep your phone out of sight and in a place not readily accessible, even if that means a slight inconvenience in accessing it yourself.

    • React quickly if your phone is stolen. Much as you would immediately report a stolen credit card to your credit card company, there are steps you should take immediately if your smartphone has been stolen.
      • Report the theft to the local police department. This will allow law-enforcement to monitor popular resale (SITES) for your device. Having a police report will also help you should you choose to file an insurance claim for stolen property.
      • Report the theft to your wireless carrier. This allows your carrier to deactivate the service and add your phone’s unique identifying information to a database that may prevent it from being used again.
      • Activate any security apps that you have installed.
      • If you own an iPhone, log in to your iCloud account, go to Find My iPhone, and put your phone in Lost Mode.

 

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Comments [32]

DigitalUnlocking from NY

Here is urls list - you can use it for check iPhone:
<a href="http://digitalunlocking.com/iphone-imei-check/find-my-iphone-activation-check/">Find My iPhone Activation Check</a>
<a href="http://digitalunlocking.com/iphone-imei-check/imei-network-checker-full-info/">IMEI Network Checker Full Info</a>
<a href="http://digitalunlocking.com/iphone-imei-check/iphone-australia-blacklist-check/">iPhone Australia Blacklist Check</a>
<a href="http://digitalunlocking.com/iphone-imei-check/iphone-blacklist-check-iphone-imei-check/">iPhone Blacklist Check</a>
<a href="http://digitalunlocking.com/iphone-imei-check/iphone-europe-blacklist-check-iphone-imei-check/">iPhone Europe Blacklist Check</a>
<a href="http://digitalunlocking.com/iphone-imei-check/iphone-imei-carrier-check/">iPhone IMEI Carrier Check</a>
<a href="http://digitalunlocking.com/iphone-imei-check/">iPhone IMEI Check</a>
<a href="http://digitalunlocking.com/unlock-norway-networks/iphone-netcome-norway-unlock-blacklisted-not-found/">iPhone Netcom Norway Unlock [Blacklisted / Not Found]</a>
<a href="http://digitalunlocking.com/iphone-imei-check/iphone-out-contract-check/">iPhone Out Of Contract Check</a>
<a href="http://digitalunlocking.com/iphone-imei-check/iphone-refurbished-check/">iPhone Refurbished Check</a>
<a href="http://digitalunlocking.com/iphone-imei-check/iphone-replaced-imei-check/">iPhone Relaced IMEI Check</a>
<a href="http://digitalunlocking.com/iphone-imei-check/iphone-sim-lock-check/">iPhone Sim Lock Check</a>
<a href="http://digitalunlocking.com/iphone-imei-check/iphone-verizon-blacklist-check/">iPhone Verizon Blacklist Check</a>

Dec. 03 2013 05:30 AM
Brian L. from Brooklyn

I studied karate when I was a teenager, and nowadays I carry a knife when I'm out at night.

Jumped three times, never successfully robbed. Let's talk about it.

Nov. 26 2013 12:41 PM
Tony from Canarsie

Huffington Post ran an article earlier this year about the worldwide stolen cell phone market.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/13/smartphone-black-market_n_3510341.html

Nov. 26 2013 12:27 PM
Bonn from East Village

The most crimes in the East Village (according to the local police) are stolen purses in bars because the young women are too dumb or drunk to take them with them when they go to the bathroom or the bar to order another drink. Sometimes the contents of the bag run into the high one hundreds - cell phone, wallet, credit cards, etc. Ladies, think before you drink! It really can happen to you.

Nov. 26 2013 12:05 PM
Astoriagrrrl

A purse snatching (albeit one that ended surprisingly well due to luck & rapid police response) taught me to try to stay aware wherever I happen to be. Otherwise, keep the e devices lodged deep in the bag and the bag tucked tightly under your arm, ladies.

If someone approaches you (for directions, whatever) take a step back before addressing them. If they are legit, they won't be offended; besides, it's more important to protect yourself than to be the nicest lady on the block.

Nov. 26 2013 12:03 PM
Elizabeth from Manhattan

I always buy a Samsung flip phone with a small hole.
I attach a wrist strap, so I can't drop the phone, and the strap helps me find the phone in my purse.

Smart phone manufacturers should be required to make
phones with a small hole for lanyards. Since they do not,
I think they want the phones to be dropped, lost or stolen.

Nov. 26 2013 11:49 AM
JA from NYC

I lost my iPhone recently and used the "Find my Phone" feature. It saved the day. I was able to track my iPhone back and forth on Amtrak trains for 24 hours, as long as it had a signal. It allowed me to pinpoint the phone to the exact station where it was about to arrive so that the Amtrak folks were able to call the conductor and have him retrieve the phone between the seats. I was also able to lock and write a message to appear on my iPhone in case it was found. I am a believer!

Nov. 26 2013 11:45 AM
Laurie from Brooklyn Heights

PS - I was able to track and remote-wipe my stolen Blackberry thanks to Google Latitude and the Blackberry Protect app. We tracked the Blackberry for a few minutes (the thief was on a bike when he swiped it from my hands) and it ended up in Bed-Stuy and when it stopped moving, I remotely erased it. Then I had T-Mobile disable the number until I picked up my replacement. The cops who took my report were pretty impressed with my sleuthing. But my business insurance covered it so I didn't care about getting it back. It was just useless brick at that point to anyone but the most technically sophisticated thief, which I'm pretty sure the kid on the bike wasn't. I've only used "Find My iPhone" to locate a misplaced phone in my own apartment!

Nov. 26 2013 11:45 AM
ben from nyc

Also for android phone users, there are third party apps like Cerebrus and Plan B that let you remotely wipe or track the phone.

Nov. 26 2013 11:44 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I was a 7 year old kid watching the stand in front of our first mom & pop store in Brownsville back in 1954, and watched my father chase down some hoodlum who snatched a bundle of socks from the little stand. He got them back. To this day I don't how he did it. But if you didn't watch your stand, it would all be gone by the end of the day.

As for handheld mobile devices, like "smartphones," I had one cell phone back in 1991-1992 and never again. What for?

Nov. 26 2013 11:44 AM
Jel from NYC

I lost my iPhone recently and used the "Find my Phone" feature. It saved the day. I was able to track my iPhone back and forth on Amtrak trains for 24 hours, as long as it had a signal. It allowed me to pinpoint the phone to the exact station where it was about to arrive so that the Amtrak folks were able to call the conductor and have him retrieve the phone between the seats. I was also able to lock and write a message to appear on my iPhone in case it was found. I am a believer!

Nov. 26 2013 11:43 AM
Tony from Canarsie

I recently spent a week in the hospital, and one of the first things they told me was not bring any valuables.

Nov. 26 2013 11:42 AM
tony from absurdistan

brian, property is theft! if you're iphone is stolen it's nothing more than a just redistribution of wealth in an unjust society. Happy hunting!

Nov. 26 2013 11:41 AM
Sal Gonzalez from Suffolk

What about letting a waiter or waitress charge your phone at a restaurant or bar????

Nov. 26 2013 11:41 AM
Magaly Pena

I live one block from the Criminal Court in Downtown Brooklyn. A young man leaving the courthouse asked to use my phone to call his mom to let her know he was out of court and on his way home. As I have a nephew close to his age who could have easily been in his shoes, I said "yes" without hesitation. He called his mom just like he said, thanked me politely and handed back my phone. I was happy to help. I should add I have a flip phone that's 4 years old but I would hope I would have done the same if I'd had a smartphone. Of course, follow your gut and use common sense.

Nov. 26 2013 11:40 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Before I had a cell phone (late adopter here), I was the stranger asking to borrow people's cell phone once in a while. But that was before smartphones, so the risk of theft was probably lower.

Nov. 26 2013 11:40 AM
Karen from NYC

Find My Phone:

Used it. Be sure not to use the remote "wipe" function; just freeze access, or your FMP function won't work.

We tracked the phone, reported the theft to the Mt. Kisco police, and used Google maps and Google earth to identify the street on which the phone was being held. The cops knocked on doors, but could not find the phone (no warrant, not sufficient info for probable cause). The guy who had it figured out what was going on, however, because he turned off the phone and, we think, removed the battery. Phone gone.

Nov. 26 2013 11:39 AM
Tom from Park Slope

But please -- do a segment on what happens to the iPhone, etc, after they've been stolen? Who are the middlemen and how do they ply their trade?

Nov. 26 2013 11:39 AM
Angela from Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

I have an iPhone case with a wrist strap, like a camera. I use the wrist strap when i'm reading on the subway and if I have it out on the street to use a map or the like. I've never had it stolen, but I figure if someone wants to grab it out of my hand and run, they will have a little trouble getting it. Of course they could always try to break my wrist, but it's unreasonable to expect people to never have their phones out in public.

Nov. 26 2013 11:38 AM
Robert from NYC

Well I hate cell phones (I hate phones and talking on them) and only have one in case my 92 yo mom has to contact me so only she and very few people have it. So my cell phone is sooooo cheap and does nothing special and is somewhat broken so my protection is whoever steals it deserves what they got. That's how bad it is. I might even thank them.

Nov. 26 2013 11:38 AM
Tony from Canarsie

Two words: land line.

Nov. 26 2013 11:38 AM
Dylan from Midtown

Android users can use the Android Device Manager through Google:

https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager‎

It lets you track your phone (and set off an alarm) if stolen, but you can also lock and erase the device so no one else can use it.

Nov. 26 2013 11:37 AM
Clare from Brooklyn

Rather than the suggestion to "Keep your cell phone and other device(s) in a pocket, purse, or backpack," I would suggest "Keep your phone on your person." I was mugged and gave up my purse a couple years ago, but did not lose my phone because I had it on me, not in my purse. (Same advice for keys!)

Nov. 26 2013 11:36 AM
Laura from Staten Island

I attended a local civic meeting, and our neighborhood police officer said that we should turn on, "Find my iPhone," in our settings. Also, each phone has a IMEI number. If a phone is stolen, police can use the IMEI number to find it. So, write down your IMEI number.

Nov. 26 2013 11:36 AM
Laura from Staten Island

I attended a local civic meeting, and our neighborhood police officer said that we should turn on, "Find my iPhone," in our settings. Also, each phone has a IMEI number. If a phone is stolen, police can use the IMEI number to find it. So, write down your IMEI number.

Nov. 26 2013 11:36 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

It is almost essential to have a cell phone these days, but flaunting them is just plain stupid. On the other hand, I actually saw a guy have his phone ripped off WHILE he was talking to someone on it, so flaunting is relative.

The best bet is to keep your devices thoroughly stowed in pockets or bags with Velcro or zippers when not in use. If you have to use them in public, be certain to have some form of retrieval mechanism (tracking system) in place on the phone and check your surroundings before taking out the device and while using it. If you think you're in an at risk situation, don't even reach for your phone because anyone inclined to steal it will note where you have it hidden.

Talking about leaving a phone out would be superfluous. You don't leave your phone out the same way you don't leave your keys, wallet, jewelry out.

I have loaned my phone to strangers, but under supervision and only people I judge to be reliable. Thus far, thank goodness, I have been lucky.

Nov. 26 2013 11:35 AM
Laurie from Brooklyn Heights

C'mon, Brian - enough with the "disguise it as a Blackberry" jokes -- I use both an iPhone AND a Blackberry Q10 and it was my Blackberry that got plucked from my hands last summer, NOT my iPhone :) I've been a Blackberry user for many years and also an iPhone owner since the original iPhone. I use both all day long, for different purposes, I currently have a Blackberry Q10 and an iPhone 5s. Last summer I still had a Bold 9900 and an iPhone 5. The Blackberry got stolen. None of my iPhones have ever been stolen. Thieves tend to be equal opportunity, unfortunately.

Nov. 26 2013 11:35 AM
William from Manhattan

Not walking and typing is probably the single best piece of advice, not only for protecting 'phones from theft, but also owners from injury. Apparently emergency rooms are full of people who have walked or fallen into assorted obstacles while gazing into their glowing screens.
Text walkers aren't even saving time. Several studies show that most people both walk and write so slowly when doing both at once that they'd save time by stopping to type and then resuming walking.

Nov. 26 2013 11:34 AM
Carolyn from Brooklyn

I'd call in, but my phone was stolen from my purse last week. I used the iCloud's "lost mode" to lock it remotely, but I didn't have the new software or any other app that would help me find and recover it. According to iCloud, my phone is offline. Does that simply mean the thief turned it off? I am wondering what the thief could actually do with this phone. If they are able to get around it being locked, is there any chance of me / the police ever recovering it?

Nov. 26 2013 11:32 AM
Hedy Kalikoff

To Edward, above. There are several apps exactly like that. One called "Prey." It takes a picture of whoever is holding your phone and tells you where it is. My daughter used it recently and wow that thief was really startled. Other apps: you can alert it to make a huge siren noise. Really startling for the thief.

Nov. 26 2013 11:32 AM

Brian, these phones are stolen for ONE REASON. Because there is a resale market for them.

So if everyone listening simply called their legislators instead of calling WNYC, we would get some change. They should ask for a law that REQUIRES that every cell phone company doing business in New York State allow its customers to VOID the serial number of a stolen phone once it is reported as stolen. Then the problem would go away.

That is how it used to work. It ended because ATT and Apple and Sprint and Verizon would rather sell you a NEW phone and also provide service to the stolen phone than they would VOID the old phone. But it doesn't need to work that way.

Nov. 26 2013 11:30 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretenious Hudson Heights

A real Smart Phone would "phone home", tell its owner where it is, based on GPS, take a photo of the person using the phone and send it to the owner, play an audio message announcing that the phone has been stolen. "HELP, HELP".

Nov. 26 2013 10:55 AM

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