There are now well over 1 billion smartphones in use around the world and in the UK more than 50% of mobile owners use smartphones.
We all remember when Apple introduced their ground-breaking first iPhone in 2007, but smartphones have been around longer (albeit in less advanced formats). Ericsson described its 1997 GS 88 “Penelope” concept as a “Smart Phone” before anyone understood what we now recognise the term to mean.
Blackberry, Samsung & HTC all offer challengers to the popular iPhone and with each new model that manufacturers develop, come a whole host of new features, functions and capability.
We humans are becoming ever more reliant on our hand-held devices….. Often it is not a traditional alarm clock we reach for in our half-woken state of morning, but our phone. What do we do whilst we brush our teeth these days…? We check our emails, twitter, Facebook! Waiting in a queue for something…? We pull our phones out again to fill that 90 second void with some app checking/game playing activity, because standing still, not doing anything, is just NOT common behaviour anymore!
Smartphones are vital not only in our personal lives but for work too. How long would you survive without being able to check your emails via 3G (or 4G for some) whilst out and about? It has become normal to share ONLY our mobile contact telephone numbers with work colleagues, customers, etc so that we can be contacted anytime, at all times.
So for a device that we all place such high value on (as well as in monetary terms), why do we not treat them so….?
According to reports, 1 in 5 of us have dropped our phone down the toilet. And so many more have suffered those heart-lurching moments when your phone manages to jump out of your hand and dive towards the floor. Many of these drops miraculously cause no harm (bar a few more scratches, to add to the collection) but some result in cracked screens or worse.
Whilst we cannot do that much to ease our ‘butter fingers’, there are things we can do to protect our phones in other ways:
- Don’t carry your phone in your back pocket – You wouldn’t walk around with Â£500 hanging out of your back pocket but we seem to forget what our devices are actually worth!
- Always use a PIN – Only 29% of us use this FREE yet potentially life-saving feature that ALL phones (not just the smart ones) offer.
- Keep a note of your IMEI number – This unique 15-digit is usually printed under the phone battery, or can be accessed by keying *#06# into most phones. If a mobile phone is stolen, the IMEI number helps your mobile service provider block the phone.
- Register your mobile (or other gadgets) at Immobilise – just in case in falls into the wrong hands.
- Turn off WI-FI, Bluetooth & Data Roaming when you’re not using them. And definitely when you are away on holiday!
- Keep your operating system updated and/or consider anti-virus protection. You do this for your PC after all, so why not your phone?
The UK are less mobile security aware than many other countries, but following these simple steps can help to change that and keep our most prized processions safe!