With Mobile Phones getting fancier, popular, and more expensive by each passing day; these devices are increasingly exposed to theft cases. These thieves are normally interested in your cell phone, and don’t show not interest over the data that is stored in your cellular phone. However, at times these
thieves or ultimately the new buyer of your stolen phone may access your crucial and very personal data. The situation may lead you towards a very depressing state leaving you with no option but to regret on better planning your personal data storage strategies.
Regardless of what measures should be considered in order to lessen these street crimes, I am going to focus on steps that may offer you least harms and damages even if you loose your cell phone. Let’s start discussing the topic by focusing on each point
Backing Up your Data: Data backup is very important. You may need these backups even when your phone goes dead. Backing-up your phone data may include following objects
- Contacts and numbers
- Short Messages
- Files (on Phone storage and Memory stick)
- Calendar events
Don’t keep any personal files/information in Cell Phone Memory: Be sure, that the information/files in your cell phone memory are not personal or of any confidential nature. We often keep our family photographs, movies, recorded voice conversations, account information sent to us by a friend through SMS, Debit Card PIN number in contacts and so on… DO NOT KEEP SUCH INFORMATION IN CELL PHONE. Consider following below steps
- Upload Photos/videos to your PC or burn them on a CD instead of keeping them in phone. This, at times, is ignored; we keep our voice conversation/videos of intense confidential nature in our phone’s memory. These files are on the edge of exposure if your cell phone is theft or even in case loose your cell phone, and can be mishandled by the thieves or any one who finds your phone.
- Note down important information from text messages (SMS) and delete them immediately
- Try not saving your PIN numbers in contacts, or if you can’t resist doing that, give them some dummy names, such as Manager Askari Bank, and store your PIN as 03004005689…where the 5689 is the PIN number that you wanted to store
- Make it a habit to remove all un-necessary messages from your inbox on weekly basis. You can store/backup your messages on your PC before permanently deleting from your cell phone. SMS messages can help identifying your relation with the sender/recipient’s number, hence this may cause identity theft
- Try locking your folders, phones by entering security codes, given that your phone supports this feature. It can be a handy feature, but make sure that this is not the ultimate protection, many software are available that can unlock your folders and other access of your phone.
How to minimize the chances for Phone theft: Although, these theft incidents happens at once, and no one can plan due to the severe situation that arises when a cell phone snatcher is standing before you with a gun and asking you for mobile phone and your valet etc…however, adopting following things may lead you to some better results
- Put your phone in Phone Casing, that is likely to be attached with your bag or belt; try not holding your phone in hands all the times. You can easily forget your mobile phone if it’s in your hands.
- Many of mobile phone users keep multiple handsets with them, in such case, if you are before a snatcher with a gun in his hand, try exposing your relatively low cost phone. For this purpose, making a master phone and other as secondly phone can be helpful.
- Don’t leave your phone on car’s dashboard, especially when you side windows are down.
PTA’s IMEI: PTA Chairman, Maj. Gen (R) Shahzada Alam Malik, on May 17th, 2008 said that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority is blocking almost 400 snatched handsets daily. If you want to get benefited of this service, try following things…
How to get your IMEI number: Make sure that you have noted your phone’s IMEI number, so you may re-produce it to PTA in order to get your phone blocked. You can get IMEI number of your phone by entering *#06# into any GSM based cell phone. You can also get IMEI number from the back of your cell phone’s packing that came with, when you had purchased.
How to Report:
- You can report your stolen phone with IMEI, by calling Police at 15
- Call at PTA’s toll free number 0800-25625
- Call CPLC (Citizen Police Liaison Committee) Tel: 021-5682222, Fax: 021-5683336 website: www.cplc.org.pk
- Email PTA [email protected]
What to Provide
- IMEI Number of your stolen cell phone
- Cell Phone number
- National ID Card Number
- Address and contact Number
However, PTA’s IMEI based blocking system is not ultimate protection as well. This way you are not going to get back your cell phone, however, the snatcher may not use your cell phone for any service. Still he/she will be able to access your data (contacts, files, text messages).
This Article was First published on ProPakistani back in May 2008