YONKERS, NY — Smartphone thefts are way up. Based on a just-released survey, Consumer Reports estimates the number of stolen phones nearly doubled in the past year to 3-point-1 million. More than a million smartphones were lost and never recovered.
Consumer Reports’ says more than half of smart phone owners don’t secure phones with a passcode.
Consumer Reports says you’ll have better luck getting your phone back if you think ahead.
One recommendation is to tape your email address to the back of the phone.
They also recommend keeping your phone’s unique ID somewhere safe. It’s could be used by police if the phone is lost or stolen. You can find the ID by dialing star-pound-zero-six-pound.
And Consumer Reports recommends setting up a “find my phone” account, though the survey found less than a quarter of smart phone owners use one. Android phones have it built in. Go to Google settings and click the Android Device Manager. In Settings, be sure to activate “access location.” On iPhones, install “Find My iPhone” from the app store. Make sure you’re signed in to iCloud with your Apple ID. If your phone goes missing, sign into the account from a computer or tablet.
If your phone is lost or stolen, consumer reports says change the password on all your important accounts and file a report with the police. You may need the police report to dispute unauthorized charges on your credit cards, and let your bank and credit card companies know that your phone is missing, too.