This summer, Americans should keep a close eye on their prized smartphones. Mobile protection claims data from Asurion indicates the summer months see more than a 50% jump in smartphone loss and theft. To help protect consumers against the expected surge of lost smartphones this summer, tech help services company Asurion purposefully “lost” smartphones in three major cities across the U.S. to test the likelihood of them being returned.
The result: Locked phones featuring a contact number on the device’s lock screen were three times more likely to be returned to their owners. Seventy-one percent of Americans lock their smartphones with a passcode, fingerprint or facial recognition protection. However, less than one in four say their screens are password protected with contact information featured on the screen, according to a recent Asurion survey. Asurion tech experts explain how to keep your device safe this summer:
– Add Your Contact Info to Locked Screen: Add your contact number or email address to any photo. The easiest way is to take an Instagram Story with your photo choice and add in contact info. Download the image to your phone. From there, go to Settings – Wall Paper and Themes. Select your downloaded image, then press Set as Wallpaper – Lock Screen.
– Enable Find My Phone or Similar Service: Many people assume this is automatically activated with every phone, but it needs to be manually turned on in their phone settings. For iPhone, go to Settings, tap on your name at the top of the Settings list, then tap iCloud, and look for Find My iPhone to confirm it’s on. Set “Send Last Location” to ON. This will automatically send the phone’s location to iCloud any time that the iPhone’s battery is critically low. For Android, download an app from the Play store, such as the Google app Find My Device. Then just follow the setup directions once downloaded.
– Don’t Assume the Worst: Many people don’t call the establishment where they accidentally lost or left their phones, thinking there’s little chance of getting them back. During Asurion’s experiment, it heard from many organizations that had drawers full of lost phones waiting for owners to reclaim them.