Reader Erica Kwiatkowski contacted us this morning with the following tips, care of the sometimes frightening folks at AT&T, about how not to get your smartphone stolen while in public. The advice is aimed at San Francisco, so we thought it best to share with you. Everyone knows someone who has had their phone ripped off while either walking down the street, sitting at a restaurant, or, say, even during a trick gone sour. ("All three of my roommates have had their iPhones stolen throughout the city just within the last few weeks," Ms. Kwiatkowski explains to us.)
And with that, here are some choice tips at protecting your smartphone in public. Enjoy:
1. If you need to use your phone in public, use headphones or a Bluetooth headset so you can keep your phone in your purse or pocket. ["Strongly recommended." - SFist]
2. When dining out, especially if you’re sitting at an outside table, never leave your phone out and within easy reach of passersby. ["Not possible. It's just never going to happen. For us, anyway."]
3. Don’t text and walk, and keep eye contact with those around you. ["Hard to follow, but probably a good idea. Side note: if you are going to text and walk at the same time, please veer to the right side of the sidewalk and be caution of people behind you. Text walkers tend to slow their pace while "lol"ing at some stupid shit their friend said."]
4. When on public transit, be aware of opening and closing doors; they make for quick getaways for thieves.
5. Add a PIN or security password to your phone or wireless device. ["To those of you who do not use a pin code on your phone, we have a question and some advice: What kind of magical sunshine and lollipop world do you live in? You need to be medicated."]
6. Back up your phone/device regularly. ["Live in the cloud, people."]
7. Learn how to back up your SIM card contacts.
8. Download and enable services and applications that can track a stolen phone via GPS.
9. Change your online and voicemail passwords every few months. ["YES."]
10. Download device protection and privacy apps for your smartphone and consider purchasing supplemental insurance. ["Which is to say, AT&T wants you to buy more stuff."]
If you phone is stolen, you should suspend service and report it stolen within 24 hours -- to your service provider and the authorities.