Advice guide - Mobile phone security
Keeping your mobile phone safe
Did you know up to 10,000 mobile phones are reported stolen in the UK every month?
Whatever you use your phone for, be it to keep in touch with family and friends, for taking photos and videos, using social media, or for business purposes, you won’t want to lose your phone numbers and other data stored inside.
Follow the advice on this page to help prevent your mobile phone from being stolen.
Securing your phone
- Never leave your phone unattended.If you have to leave it, make sure it’s secure, out of sight and can’t be heard.
- Don’t draw attention to your phone by leaving it on view on tables in pubs, cafes and restaurants. A tactic used by thieves is to place newspapers or other items over the phone and scoop it up. They sometimes distract phone owners by asking for directions and taking the phone when they are not looking.
- Don’t leave your phone unattended in coat pockets or bags.
- Lock the keypad using a PIN number or pattern code when you are not using your phone. This means it can’t be used to make calls or access your personal data, such as emails and social media accounts, if it is stolen.
- Regularly back up your data, contacts and photos in case your phone gets damaged, lost or stolen.
- Record your IMEI number (International Mobile Equipment Identity) somewhere safe. To find out what yours is dial *#06# on your phone or look in the settings on your smartphone.
- Register your phone at property database Immobilise for free.
- Registering your details makes it more likely that you will be reunited with your phone if it is stolen and later recovered by the Police.
- If your phone is stolen - report it to the Police immediately. Tell them your IMEI number, if you have any tracking apps installed or any markings on your phone. Tell your insurer and service provider too.
- Mark your phone, battery and accessories with your postcode using an ultraviolet marker pen. If your phone is stolen and later recovered by police this will make it easier to reunite you with it.
- If you own a smartphone, activate the ‘Find My Phone’ app or install a free tracking app, such as PREY
- These apps provide a GPS location of the device when it is switched on. You can log in from a computer if your phone goes missing and locate your device.
- The apps also allow you to instruct your phone to make a loud noise (to help you find it if it is lost) or to wipe the contents (if you believe it has fallen into the wrong hands). Activating the app could also help police track your phone if it is stolen.
Get more advice on preventing many crimes on our crime prevention guides page.
To speak to our Crime Prevention Unit about protecting your property and reducing your chances of becoming a victim of crime, email firstname.lastname@example.org