Looking back to the four years I spent in college, I now feel really lucky that I never had my cellphone or laptop stolen because device theft is so rampant on college campuses! Thinking about it now, I remember plenty of friends and classmates who had lost their phone, had it stolen at a party, or even had their laptop stolen from their dorm room because they didn’t lock their door when they left to go somewhere.
Since August is Device Theft Awareness Month, I’ve teamed up with my friends at Absolute LoJack to talk about risks of device theft and also to take the Absolute LoJack Challenge by going #DigitallyDark for part of next week (more on that to come later). But first, did you know that 3.1 million Americans had their smartphone stolen last year? But wait for it… that’s just stolen phones, how about the additional 1.4 million phones that were just lost and never found last year? Crazy, right! We all know someone who makes one of those Facebook pages that says “Lost My Phone, Need Your Numbers”. That makes you feel great right – now some random person has your friends phone with your name and phone number, probably your email address, and possibly even your address. Could you be the next victim of device theft?
I’m sure we can all come up with ways or places to have your device stolen or lost while on a college campus, but here are just a few of the ones that came to mind for me:
- Leaving your phone or computer behind in a classroom
- Not locking your dorm room door and someone stealing it
- Leaving your phone in the dining hall when you get up to leave with your friends
- Having your phone stolen from a locker in at the campus gym
- Loosing it at a party because you had too much jungle juice and left it somewhere
So, lets talk about some ways to keep that shiny expensive cell phone safe as well as the data on it, shall we?
- “Yo, dude, check out my sweet new phone” Or Not – Try to refrain from flashing that sleek new Samsung Galaxy phone to all your friends in a crowd. You might be showing off your new device to a potential thief.
- Get in the habit of checking for your phone when you leave some place (classroom, library, cafeteria, friends house). This quote from one of the Austin Power movie’s comes to mind for checking to make sure you have all your “items”
- Utilize a tracking app or software like Absolute LoJack to keep track of your devices or help find your tablet.
The first two seem pretty obvious, so lets talk some more about Absolute LoJack and what it is.
Absolute LoJack isn’t just another smartphone tracking software or app you install on your device to see where your device is. Their service goes much further than that and as far as even working with investigators and the police to recover your device. How awesome is that? There are 5 main features of the service:
- Locate: Using the WiFi, GPS, or geolocation signal from your device, the system can determine its last location.
- Lock: This allows you to lock the device and prevent anyone from accessing your personal information. A customized message can also be displayed on the screen like “IF FOUND PLEASE CALL 555-555-3039”
- Delete: Using this feature permanently deletes files protecting your private information. When used on a Window’s computer, you can even just delete specific files/documents.
- Recover: Absolute LoJack’s recover service launches an Absolute Investigations team to recover your stolen device, not just show you on a map where it might be.
- Guarantee: If you stolen device is not recovered within 60 days, they will help pay for your replacement!
Thanks to the great people at Absolute LoJack, I’ll be able to check out the software and how it works over the next couple weeks and be able to report back on it by going #DigitallyDark.
Ready to protect your device? Absolute LoJack has set up a special discount for my readers for the data protection software. You can get a 30% discount for either the Absolute LoJack Premium or Standard 1-Year subscription. Just use the code DARK30 at check out! But hang in there about a week for a chance to win a copy for free!
Absolute LoJack has provided me with a complimentary copy of their software for review; all opinions expressed remain my own.