Protect your smartphone from snatcher!!

I cannot believe my first blog post about my flashy new Galaxy S3 is actually a sad story … but I think it is worth sharing and we all can learn good lessons on how to protect your phone from snatcher.

This morning when I was sitting on bus, I picked a seat right next to the door because I could easily and quickly out of the bus. Just like normal, after I settled down, I took out my s3 and started intensely reading emails. Within only minutes, the bus stopped on major stop with a few people getting out of the bus, a young Asian male (likely in early 20’s) just snatched my phone out of my hands and ran away. I just immediately ran after that phone mugger without making any noise. Of course, he out ran me. There goes a phone I have used for less than a week and costed me $700+ including taxes.

Petty crime like this is on the raise. Even in safe and friendly city like Vancouver. We all should be more careful and avoid making the same mistakes as I have.

Here a few things you should do NOW.

  1. set security code to lock your phone!!! the data inside your phone actually worth more than the cost of the phone. protect your valuable data!
  2. install tracking app.
  3. clearly note down IMEI number of your phone, it will be very handy to report to police and police actually have a system to track down stolen phone with that number!

Avoid your phone being snatched:

  1. don’t use in public transit where you sit next to exit. it is making too easy for the snatcher to grab and run away.
  2. learn to hold your phone securely so you have a good grip and its not so easily snatched away. *DON”T* just hold the bottom end – that exactly what I was doing.
  3. be aware of your surrounding before you take out your phone. I understand the addiction to constantly check your emails, what’sApp and Facebook. But this can wait! If you really cannot wait, do I will plan to do, tether data to your older less attractive device like your iPhone 3GS. Use your ugly old device in public ;-)

Finally if you are as unfortunately as I am today, here are the things you should do when your device is stolen .

  1. Be sure to yell and ask for help. Don’t do what I have done. I just ran after snatcher and that’s the most dangerous thing! Don’t do that!!!
  2. If you have tracking app, turn it on and see if you can locate the device. Just note the location and report to police later. Don’t chase after the phone yourself.
  3. Trigger remote wipe to clear all data.
  4. Call carrier to suspend the phone line
  5. Call the police (non-urgent line) to report phone has been snatched/stolen. Provide police IMEI number because they have a system in place to track any lost / stolen phone by IMEI.
  6. Change password of *ALL* your email accounts!! (Great tip from my company’s sys admin)
  7. Search Craigslist for your stolen phone and report to police if you see it. Don’t go meet up with that seller yourself!

Hope you will never need to use the last few advice. Hoping the prevention and avoidance tips would have save you from the phone ever being stolen.

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