Despite manufacturers’ best attempts and new legislation on the matter, smartphone theft is still a major issue in the US. In fact, one out of every 10 robberies and thefts in the US involves a mobile device according to a recent report from the FCC.
What’s more concerning is that this figure is likely on the conservative side considering most people probably don’t report stolen phones to the police.
Smartphone kill switches, like those now implemented by Apple and Google, have led to a decrease in the number of phones stolen and will likely continue to do so as some areas will soon mandate the feature by law.
All smartphones sold in California after July 2015, for example, will be required to come with anti-theft technology pre-installed.
The FCC indicates that anecdotal information suggests that at least some of the smartphones stolen in the US are being exported to countries that are both geographically and politically far away from America. Selling hot handsets on the black market is no doubt big business for those involved.
The best line of protection is to enable Activation Lock and Find my iPhone if you are an iPhone user. Those using Android 5.0 Lollipop can check to make sure Factory Reset Protection is turned on. Thieves will be less likely to swipe a handset if they think it’s locked and can’t be resold.
And above all else, just keep a watchful eye on your phone (and your surroundings) when out in public.