Might not be surprising, but did you know that 4.5 million out of them got their phone stolen or lost, just last year 2013.
We also damage our phones in very odd places, the fireplace (not much to save after that) elevator gap between the door and floor, the litter box and deep fryer, just to mention a few.
We use the device to communicate, to interact and socialize. Contacts are created, numbers stored that would take hours upon hours to re-store, if ever lost.
How about those special pictures: your friend`s wedding, your son`s first birthday or Saturday Night fun out, pictures and memories that are invaluable.
This is data and information that is personal and has a tremendous value to each and every one of us. Is it enough though, to the point where we backup our information?
In this article we want to make you aware of why it might be a good idea to backup your device.
We will show you how others have lost phone data. We might even inspire you to backup up your own phone and save you some headache if it ever gets lost.
According to consumer reports 3.1 million Americans got their smartphone stolen in 2013, that is a number that nearly doubled from 2012. At this point we can only guess what that number will be for 2014.
Julia Got Her Phone Stolen, This Is Her Story:
I was in a public van with the windows down, texting, minding my own business. Traffic was bad so we were just stalled. It was crowded outside the vehicle and people kept walking past.
It was the bad side of town and I knew then that I shouldn’t be texting, but it couldn’t be helped. Suddenly a man zoomed past and grabbed my phone. Just like that!
Before I could make sense of what happened, the man was running away as fast as he could. I didn’t bother following him because I knew it would be pointless.
Prevent Your Phone From Getting Stolen – 3 Easy Things To Do
1. Be extra careful when you are out and about. Don`t be completely absorbed with your phone, be aware of your surroundings. If you are in a crowded place and you do get the feeling of “maybe I should just put the phone away” do it.
2. Make it hard to get to and put your phone in a pocket or in your purse where you can zip up.
3. Put a case on it, makes it harder to move and can give the phone a low profile.
Sometimes things happen anyway, BUT you want to do everything you can, to make it harder for the burglar to access your information.
You also want to make it easier for you to find your phone in case it does get stolen.
4 Things To Do, To Protect Your Phone`s Data
1. Use a strong screen lock. I know I was guilty of using the easy 4 digit PIN, be more creative and make it harder for people to get into your phone. Only 36% has a screen lock pin code, set on their phone and only 11% has a code longer than 4 digits. Make it hard to access your information.
2. Install a “find my phone app” on your phone. Depending on if you are using an Apple product, Android or other phone the setup might be a little different.
iPhone or iPad – two ways to do this, sign in to your iCloud account where the service is already activated – or install the “find my iphone app” onto your iphone to find your missing device. You cannot only see where it is, you can also see the record of where it has been. You now also have the option to lock your device by entering a passcode or even remotely wipe your personal data and restore it to factory settings.
3. Backup your device so that you know your photos, videos, contacts and more are safe.
Just think about it for a second, if you lost your phone right now what would be the one thing you would panic about? The pictures, the contacts… don`t put yourself in that situation. Only 29% backup their phone data to a computer or online.
4. Write down your IMEI number. This is your unique 15 digit code for the device. Here are 3 different ways to get your number.
A. Dial *#06# and your IMEI number should pop up on the screen.
B. Another place to look would be behind the battery, take it out and your IMEI number should be on the back of your device.
C. It can also be found on your warranty or receipt from the device purchase.
3.1 million phones got stolen last year and 34% did nothing of the above, they took no security measure at all.
What To Do If Your Phone Gets Stolen
- Log into the find my phone service, if it is gone/stolen erase the data of the phone.
- Passwords – I would say any passwords that you use on your phone, change them. It might be PayPal, store log ins, iTunes, Google Play and more, change them to be on the safe side.
- Let your banks know that you lost your phone and if you have payment options, close or change them.
- Report your lost phone to the police.
- Contact your telephone provider and close your account.
Good News a Head
Starting July 2015, smartphones sold in the US will be equipped with the ability to remotely wipe data from a phone.
This will be a great tool for lost or stolen phones, authorized by the phones owner. This was announced by CTIA the wireless association, earlier this year.
So your phone is nowhere to be found, you don`t think anybody stole it, but you might have misplaced it or forgotten it somewhere…
Did you have a late night? Did your little one get her hands on it? The couch, between the cushions? No, well don`t give up yet.
1.4 million lost their phone 2013, and never got it back. But wait, doesn`t mean you can`t find yours.
How to Prevent Losing Your Phone
- Install a phone locator app like the ones we talked about above, find my phone, just in case.
- Set up a docking station at home.
- Put a big bulky case on it.
- Backup your phone, it will not prevent it from getting lost but will make life easier if you don`t find it.
What to Do If You Lose Your Phone
- Look for it. If you have kids around be creative, they are.
- Use a friend`s or family member`s phone and call your lost phone. Go look for it or maybe somebody will pick your phone up and answer. Easy yes, but very effective. Is there nobody else around, get on your computer and Skype, Facetime or use whatever communication channel that you can, to find your phone.
- Use the locator app. If you do not have a locator app installed there is still hope.
Have you ever cracked your screen or damaged your phone?
26% of iPhone users have done exactly that, cracked their screen.15% use cracked screens as we speak.
Cassandra Shattered Her Phone, This Is Her Story:
It was a warm July afternoon, so as you can expect, I was aimlessly riding around with my friends before I started my shift at work. My friend Gracie was driving and we pulled into the gas station, trying to figure out what to do.
I was texting a couple of friends and arranging some plans, when she decided to pull out of the driveway. I threw my phone on top of the dashboard and as she proceeded to turn right, I quickly yelled at her to hang a left. While the 90-degree angle her car was forced to make was in motion, I slowly watched as my phone slid off of the dashboard to the right – and out of the window.
After yelling for her to pull over, I jumped out of the car to find my new Palm Pixi shattered – but surprisingly, still on.
– Cassandra from Eaton Rapids, USA
If you are lucky you crack the screen, but are still able to use the phone, some damage it beyond any chance of saving it. It is pretty annoying when you can`t unlock the screen or have a phone that will not take pictures. Other common damages done to the phone is that it will not allow you to read or send emails or use the apps.
Dave Was Not As Lucky, This Is His Story:
“About a year ago, I was biking to work down a pretty busy street in Denver. My iPhone was in my pocket as it almost always is, but somehow it managed to slip its way out after I cruised over some rough pavement.
I immediately felt it slide out, and turned my head to see it bounce off the pavement and land right on one of the dashed, white lanes. It didn’t look too damaged from my brief glance, but heartbreak was on its way.
I turned my bike off onto a sidewalk, hoping that I could “Frogger” my way to the phone before it was any further assaulted. Of course, it was 8 in the morning and a lot of cars were making their way down the street.
A dense rush of traffic came towards my phone, and I held my breath hoping that everyone would just stay in their lane. Right at the end of the wave, a huge truck just happened to change lanes directly over my closest confidant, and I watched it crumble from under the truck’s massive wheels.
It was completely destroyed. I always put my phone in my bag now when I’m riding. Lesson learned.”
-Dave, Denver USA
Let`s look at some numbers…
According to SquareTrade 10.7 billions has been spent by Americans to repair and replace iPhones. That is just iPhone, let`s add Android, Blackberry, Windows… total of $23.5 plus billion over seven years. That`s a lot of money!
Where do we break our phone?
These Are the Rooms in the House to Stay Away From.
There are some areas in your home where your phone is more likely to get damaged than others. Here is the top 5 list of rooms in your home, to damage your phone…
- Driveway or garage
- Living room
It looks like our best bet is to hang out in the hallway.
What do we actually do to damage our phone?
Top 5 Ways to Damage Your Phone
- Dropped phone onto hard surface
- Water damage
- Stepped or sat on phone
- Left on roof of car
- Child broke it
Prevent Your Phone From Getting Damaged
- Use a protective waterproofed case.
- Slow down a little when you use your phone.
- Don`t eat or drink with the device in your hand.
- Leave it outside the bathroom.
What if the accident is there and your phone still get damaged.
Do you have insurance? It is very debatable if phone insurance pay off or not, BUT if you have it, use it. If the phone is not insured depending on the damage you might be able to fix the phone yourself. If that is too much hassle, have an expert take a look at it. Is it worth saving or do you have to buy a new phone?
As mentioned above the second cause of damaging a phone is water damage and the second most likely place to damage your phone in the house is the bathroom.
So is it only water that will damage the device? Nope, people also dropped their phone in beer, urinals, bucket of paint, porta potty, milk, the lake… the list goes on.
Bucket of Water... This Is Mashal`s Story:
My smartphone-misadventure was a little too much for me to register when it happened. After a wonderful yet tiring evening with friends, I had hastily got into my car and placed my phone in the outer, open pocket of my purse. No biggie, I’ll just put it in the more safer, inside zipped pocket later. Nothing would happen to it, right?
By the time I reached home, I had all but forgotten about my phone. I let out a sigh of relief after such a long drive and swung my purse on my shoulder that retaliated by sending its contents flying into a nearby bucket of water that was conveniently placed as God’s punishment, or my brother who was washing his car.
Prevent Your Smartphone from Getting Water Damaged
- Keep it out of the bathroom and other areas where you have water.
- Put the phone away when you are around the pool, the lake and other areas where this is a risk of water damage.
- Put a protective waterproof case on it.
What to Do In Case of Water Damage
What if you are unlucky and your phone just slips in that bucket of water or falls in the loo… What can be done? Can you save your phone?
Try these steps to save your phone.
- Get it out of the water
- Dry it off
- Turn the phone off, if it`s still on
- iPhone leave the battery in – Android take the battery out
- Put the phone in a bag of uncooked rice (or other absorbent material) to draw out moister
- Place it by a window where you get some airflow
- Wait 24 – 48 hours before turning it on
Does this work every single time? Probably not, but it is worth a try, right.
Whether it be your own device or your child`s if you are a parent I am sure that you are the one fitting the bill.
More than 85% of American children have their own mobile device. I know in our case, my kids do not only use their own device, but mine as well.
So why should we as parents be worried? Here are some interesting facts from SquareTrade:
33% of the parents say that their device has been damaged by food or drink. Half, yes 50% involved milk, 36% involves chocolate and candy and 16% involves yogurt.
How to Keep Your Device Safe Around the Kids
- Make sure your kids stay away from food and drinks while using the device.
- Have a rule that keeps the phone or tablet out of the bathroom and kitchen.
- Always have it in a protective case.
- Have your kids put the device back in the same spot after use, a docking station for example.
- Backup the device on a regular basis.
23 million Americans have damaged their phone while watching football, basketball, baseball or other sporting event. So how do these accidents happen? Is it when getting excited over a win or frustrated over a loss, sure but that only counts for 12%.
Gear up for game time, protect your phone because…
33% damage the phone by dropping it while holding it in their hand.
18% damage their phone with liquid drops; this could be dropping the phone in the toilet, spill water on it or sweat (? Sweat that`s got to be excessive sweat)
13% drop their phone in the beer glass.
12% passion drop this mean a drop in anger or excitement.
8% damage their phone with a bar drop meaning the device is falling from the bar or a table.
How to Keep Your Phone Safe During Sport Events:
- Put a cover on your phone that will protect it.
- Don`t text and sport… Put your phone down, in your pocket if you are at the arena.
- Wipe off that greasy chips hand before picking up the phone.
- Leave your phone out of the bathroom.
- Put your phone in your pocket before picking up the beer glass.
According to SquareTrade these are the clumsiest states in the US as far as iPhone and iPad damage. If you live in one of these states you got something to blame a damaged phone on…
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
Damaging or losing your phone, does it have something to do with gender?
We sum it up for you:
Men should leave the phone out of the garage since that`s where they are most likely to break it. Men who are 70% more likely to lose their phone then women, should really get one of the phone finder apps installed if it`s not done already.
Women should keep a close eye on their phone since they are 42% more likely than men to have it stolen. Women should also leave the phone out of the bathroom since that`s the most likely room in the house they break their phone.
Browsing the web on your computer can get you into all kinds of trouble with viruses, malware, spam and other damaging code, your phone is no exception.
If you browse the web using your phone you do have the potential of picking up damaging programs to it.
Yes, you can harm your phone by downloading apps. This can be all kinds of apps – news apps, game apps and shopping apps to mention a few. We agree to all kinds of stuff when we download these, a lot of times free, apps. They can pull all kinds of personal information so be careful.
Be aware of that if you jailbreak or root your phone you might be of greater risk of picking up a virus.
What to Do to Block Harmful Virus
- Research before downloading, if the app is not represented by one of the big download services like iTunes or Google Play you might want to take an extra look at the app and company behind it. Don`t download if it looks shady.
- Check the reviews, what are others saying about the app
- Read the terms and conditions, are they pulling data that they don`t really need?
- Install a mobile security software or anti-virus app, there are many to choose from we recommend the McAfee software or Avast.
What can you do if the damage is done?
- Indentify and uninstall the app with the virus.
- Use a software to scan the phone and make sure it`s all gone Avast is a good option.
The reason you have not yet backed up your phone, might be the thought of “it will not happen to me”. Am I right? Well after reading this article I am sure you are well aware of the high risk, for any of us, losing or damaging our phone.
Think about this for a second, if you lose your phone right now what would you value the contacts, photos and other data on your phone to? Would you pay $100 to get it back, $200, maybe even $500?
According to Plaxo people value their address book data from $500 and up.
Only you know the value of the data stored in your phone.
Getting a backup can be a cheap way to make sure all of that is safe with you.
- Click Here and we will show you how to backup your Android device.
- Click Here and we will show you how to backup your iOS device.
We want to hear from you. Did you lose or damage your phone or maybe it got stolen, we would love to hear your story feel free to share below.