iphone is the most snatched handset – official

Rating: Don’t emerge from Tube station using it

According to a report in the Sunday Times here, in London (England) the iPhone is the most common handset snatched by muggers. The Metropolitan Police say that although iPhones only account for around 28 per cent of total phone sales, they make up 28 per cent of handsets reported as stolen. This report contains a great deal of information on how to avoid a handset mugging and how to prevent personal data theft. Did you know for example, is that a typical modus operandi is for the mugger to be on a pedal cycle and swoop passed as you come out of a train station? Those planning to attend the MWC 2013 in Barcelona should take notice.One of the most important tips in this piece is that thieves like to snatch the handset when the owner is using it. Talking, texting or browsing, for example.

The story’s author, Ed Chipperfield, even quotes stats from the British insurance company, LV, saying that one in ten people lose their handset when operating it.

That way the thief can defeat a pin lock before it kicks in. As a result, it really isn’t a good idea to start using your handset immediately you emerge from a Tube (Metro/Underground) station.

Here at GoMobile News we’re not so sure that smartphone owners need to turn geo-location off so that the handset thief can’t work out where you live. A bit extreme.

The whole piece is highly iPhone-centric, so it gives details on how to secure iOS apps by going to ‘Restrictions’ and ensuring that Deleting Apps and Location Services are password protected.

Readers get the impression that only the iPhone is protected thanks to Findmyiphone. However, find my phone is a standard part of Windows Phone, too. (It’s under Settings).

There are also Find My Phone style apps for the RIM BlackBerry (including one which is free).

Actually, what is probably more important than trying to locate the phone is the remote locking and wiping of personal data. There’s Smart Lock and Wipe for £1 fro BlackBerry.

The impression that Android smartphones are less well catered for is, of course, false. There are plenty of ways of protecting such handsets.

Here at GoMobile Towers, we’d argue that installing a decent mobile security app on your Android phone – such as avast!, does the job nicely.

In terms of stolen handset discovery, GoMobile News has extensively tested Prey – an app which is either free or you go for the paid for Pro version. See our previous story here.

Prey for Android can be found on Google Play here.

Good news is that Prey can now work on Wi-fi only. Great for those trying to protect Android tablets which have no cellular connexion.

One last tip for those planning to protect their handsets with PIN numbers. Many handsets are recovered because the owner hasn’t set one.

The finder then simply dials the last person called from the call log or finds ‘Mum’ in the addressbook.

If you PIN protect it, this won’t work. So ensure you create some kind of screen saver that show a number to be called if the handset does become lost or stolen.

Maybe the thief might even use the number to ask for a ransom?

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
This article was published in MWC, Mobile Devices, Mobile Stats, WP8, mobile security and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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