SOURCE: Asurion

January 24, 2011 05:00 ET

Tips for Mobile Phone Protection

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - January 24, 2011) - (Family Features) Reaching for your mobile phone, only to find it isn't where you thought it was, can bring a quick flash of panic. When you realize that it's lost, or even stolen, the stress levels really begin to rise. Don't think it could happen to you? The experience is more common than you may think.

Asurion, a technology protection company, estimates that 60 million cell phones are lost, stolen or damaged each year. This year, they project that 1 in 4 people will lose, damage or have their cell phone stolen.

If you lose your phone, or suspect that it's been stolen, what should you do? CTIA, an international association for the wireless telecommunications industry, recommends immediately contacting your carrier and telling them to turn off your phone so you're not responsible for charges. Some carriers will let you do this online, while others may require a phone call. You should also contact the police to file a report on the theft, and if the device is covered under your homeowner's policy, file a claim through your insurance.

CTIA also has these tips to prevent your device from being misused if it's lost or stolen:

  • Use the security features on your device. 
  • Use the personalization feature and put your name and a different phone number so that if someone finds your device, you can be contacted for its return.
  • Keep a back-up of your contacts, calendar, and other information somewhere else, such as your computer.
  • If you have a tendency to lose things, you may want to consider mobile phone insurance. Make sure you understand what the plan does and does not cover, and that you don't buy redundant coverage -- your home, renter's or auto insurance may also cover phone replacement.

There are also apps available that may help you find your phone if it is lost. For example, Mobile Recovery is a web- and phone-based application that can help Verizon Wireless customers in the event they temporarily lose or misplace their phones. Asurion's Mobile Recovery app is included at no additional charge as part of Verizon Wireless' Total Equipment Coverage program on compatible devices, and offers:

  • Locate Phone -- If the phone is outside audible range, you don't have to retrace your steps looking for it. As long as the phone is powered on and within the coverage area, the "Locate Phone" feature uses GPS to provide the location of the missing phone on a map, and provides turn-by-turn directions to its location.
  • Sound Alarm -- Know the phone is in the house, but can't remember where? Customers trying to find a misplaced phone can use the "Sound Alarm" feature, which triggers an alarm, even if the phone is on silent or vibrate mode.
  • Lock Phone -- Once you have determined your phone is lost, you can use "Device Remote Lock" to prevent unauthorized use.
  • Wipe Contacts -- You can protect your privacy by remotely erasing contacts from your phone.

Take steps now in case your phone is lost, and be equipped to recover it in case the worst should happen. It's easier than you might think, and will give you peace of mind. To learn more about Mobile Recovery, visit