Your Smartphone Could Make You A Crime Victim

Just a week ago, a friend of mine lost his iPhone to some thieves. He was on the phone when the robbers came on a bike from behind him, and snatched the phone away. 🙂

It’s sad to hear of such occurrences but that’s how it is these days, especially phones are more advanced than ever, some being even more powerful that computers you see in your office!

The Most Expensive Thing On You

Before the age of digital technology the most expensive thing on our body are commonly watches or shoes. This might still hold true for those wearing designer apparel but for the modern day individual, the smartphone will always be the most expensive item on their body.

A low end smartphone costs about RM 400 – 700 while top of the line models go beyond RM 2,000.

The Apple iPhone

The Apple iPhone is a great device; it has a superb build and a great operating system. While Android devices keep dropping in price as new models kept getting introduced into the market, the iPhone maintains its retails price all the way until the next revision appears, which is usually on a yearly basis.

Even with the appearance of the new generation of iPhone, old ones still retain very good second hand value. With all the merits of the iPhone comes the one negative point for it – it’s highly targeted.

Unlike Android devices that come in many shapes and sizes, the iPhone carries a very distinguishable design characteristic. It’s so distinct that it’s not difficult to know “That’s an iPhone”, of course telling the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S apart at a glance would be difficult due to their similarities.

Look, I’m not discouraging you from buying an iPhone. It’s just fact that the iPhone holds great second hand value and it’s easily identified, and that makes it a worthy target for snatch thieves. It’s also easiest to sell due to the high demand.

Let’s face it, even thieves do consider “effort(risk) vs profitability vs ease to tell“.

As if having the phone stolen wasn’t bad enough – what if you were blackmailed to pay for the return of it?

Staying Safe

1. Try to avoid using your phone at sidewalks or crowded area, like say tapping away on Facebook. It’s not difficult for someone to just walk up to you and snatch your phone.

2. Hold your phone securely. I noted how some people hold their phone at the base as seen in the photo below.
Holding in such fashion means you not only have less grip on the device but you’re also leaving more than half the device open for someone else to easily grip on as they snatch. Someone holding the top and bottom (flat surface area) will have more overall grip area than the person (you) who is holding it just by the side.

3. If you really need to use the phone at the sidewalk – remember to look all over the place and pay attention to the surrounding. This is not just about losing your phone but it is about your own safety as people can sneak up on you as you are caught up in conversation.

If possible, try to conduct conversation at a safer place. You can always ask the person to continue the conversation a bit later, just a few minutes to spare you from danger.

4. Hold your phone low, and closer to your body. Sure, sitting cross legged and holding your phone at a good distance and just balancing it by holding the bottom half of the phone could make you look cool at the bus stop but it’s just a recipe for disaster.

The photo below is a good example, looks like a very easy target for a phone snatch.


5. Case covers could help. Here’s what my phone looks like.

It’s the HTC One you saw earlier, this time with the Otterbox Defender, my phone’s Ironman suit. It’s so ugly now (yet cool in some ways) that it’s impossible for one to identify the phone model. It also made my phone a lot bigger, to a point that it’s difficult to pick from my pocket.

So You Lost Your Phone?

Here’s what you can do if your device is lost, regardless whether it was stolen or misplaced.

What To Do When Your Android Phone is Stolen
What To Do When Your iPhone is Stolen
How to Find your Lost or Stolen Windows Phone 8
Lost or Stolen BlackBerry — What to do?

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