Guard Your Cell Phone

Rob here with Patriot Privacy and the Self-Reliance Institute.

With the holidays fast approaching, I know this can be a crazy time of year.

Many of us are rushing about shopping for gifts for our loved ones and finishing end of the year projects at work.

The word hectic comes to mind.

So, I’ll be quick.

Still, I want to provide you with a warning that is especially important at this hectic time of year. The warning is based on a statistic and a bit of data behind the statistic that got me thinking about my own behavior.

The statistic is this: At least 1 in every 10 robberies involves the theft of a phone.

When you consider the huge number of robberies that take place every day across the United States, that’s a lot of stolen phone victims.

Specifically, according to a report in the Washiongton Post, “An FCC study this week concluded that thieves steal more than a million phones a year. Of all robberies committed annually in the United States, about one in 10 involves the theft of a mobile device, according to the report.”

A million victims a year!

Subtract children of an age range that wouldn’t have a mobile phone and your odds of having your phone stolen in any given year are in the range of 1 in 200.  Actually, for a number of reasons, the study estimates that there are even more phones stolen than the report accounts for – so the odds are probably even worse.

And here’s the important nugget of data behind that statistic.

Based on a study titled “Phone Theft in America,” of those one million phones stolen every year, the majority of thefts are “snatch and grabs” that take place in public places.

Dig a little deeper and you learn where most thefts take place.

  • 16% in a restaurant
  • 11% at work
  • 11% at a bar/nightclub
  • 6% on public transportation
  • 5% on the street

Seeing this information caused me to think about my own habits when it comes to carrying my cell phone.

Honestly, I am far too casual about placing my phone on counters and table tops in public places where it would be quite easy for a thief to grab it while I’m not paying attention.

And, having observed the habits of others in public places over the last few days since I read the report, it’s quite apparent that the majority of folks in public places are very careless with their phones.

Truth be told, I’m a bit embarrassed that I’m so casual with my phone as I should know better. After all, I’ve known for quite some time that in major cities a huge number of on street robberies – far more dangerous than snatch and grab thefts – involve smartphones.

Given the realities of phone theft, I’m making it a point – especially at this time of year when we’re in and out of stores shopping for gifts and preparing for the holidays – to safeguard my phone by keeping it locked (too prevent data theft if stolen) and in my pocket when not in use.

No more placing it on a table top or counter while I’m shopping or out with friends at a restaurant or coffee shop.

And with this quick warning and a bit of honesty that this “security expert” sometimes makes foolish choices when it comes to his own security, I hope you’ll think about keeping your cell phone safe and secure.

Also, given the statistics and data I’ve provided above, I hope you’ll share this alert with family and friends so we can get the warning about the epidemic of cell phone theft out to as many people as possible.

As always, feel free to drop me an email at [email protected]

Be safe, secure and free!

Rob Douglas – Former Washington DC Private Detective
Freedom Writers Publishing
1815 Central Park Dr. #358
Steamboat Springs, CO  80487

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