How to Booby Trap Your Smartphone to Prevent Theft

Make thieves think twice about stealing your phone

What to Know

  • Use a smartphone case with a wrist strap so a thief can't simply grab your phone from your hand.
  • Set up and use an anti-theft app to sound a custom alarm when theft is attempted.
  • If your phone is stolen, you can use the Find My app or Android Device Manager to help you locate it.

This article explains several steps you can take to prevent or discourage the theft of your smartphone. While no method is guaranteed to work, these methods are sure to give thieves a hard time and perhaps even thwart them entirely.

Smartphone Cases

If you're worried about using your phone in a crowded place, consider buying a smartphone case with a wrist strap. It's a simple but effective way to keep your phone tethered to your person. If a thief snatches your phone and finds it latched to your hand, it may startle, confuse, or deter them altogether.

Anti-Theft Apps

If wrist-snapping tether cases aren't your bag, consider an anti-theft alarm app. Many of these apps let you customize the alarm sound played during an attempted theft. You can create your own shrill alarm noise, or you can record your voice saying something threatening or disparaging.

Lo-Jack Your Smartphone

If you have an iPhone and your phone has already been stolen, use iOS's built-in Find My iPhone app to track down your device. Don't forget to set a passcode lock for your phone. You should also lock out settings changes to the Location Services so the thief can't turn off the GPS beacon on your phone.

If you have an Android phone, use Android Device Manager to help locate your stolen phone.

Be smart about when and where you whip out your smartphone. You may have paid the new or renewed contract subsidized price of $199 for your iPhone, but getting a replacement after yours is lost or stolen will cost a lot more. If your phone is stolen, report it immediately to your cell provider to avoid paying for calls or services the thief attempts to use.

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