You’ve synced your email, address book, and calendar to your fancy smartphone, which has internet access, photos, and videos on it, too—but how do you keep a thief from ringing up your bill, or worse, stealing your identity using your phone? Tutorial site WikiHow runs down several steps you can take to protect your phone and disable it if it’s stolen, like locking the handset with a PIN code. Register your phone with your carrier so that you can disable it the moment you realise it’s stolen, wikiHow recommends, and mark the phone with ultra-violet pen so you can prove it’s yours.
Erasing your personal data from the handset from afar, however, isn’t easy or possible with many models. (In fact, when it comes to iPhones, Gizmodo reports that it’s not very easy to wipe your data from an iPhone when it’s in your possession.) When I lost my Nokia a few months back, which had the Gmail mobile application installed on it with my password saved, I immediately got online to change my Gmail password. However, when a kind soul returned the phone to me weeks later (with the service long shut off), I was freaked out to find that one could still open Gmail and flip through some of my old messages, which apparently had been cached on the handset. What the frak, Gmail? I hadn’t kept my handset locked, and that’s how I got the phone back—the person who found it called my Mum (listed in the address book) to hunt me down. The moral of the story may be that there are no hard-and-fast rules on how to protect your mobile phone in case of theft or loss. (Though after the Gmail experience, now I have put a lock code on my new iPhone.) How do you insure your phone and data in case of theft? Let us know in the comments.