Smartphone Theft Costs Time and Money

Smartphones are an essential business tool, and while these omnipresent devices allow employees to stay in touch 24/7 from nearly any location, they present some serious security issues.

As smartphones have become increasingly sleek and small, they’ve become easier to lose. Moreover, with their growing capabilities for storing personal and business data, they’re also becoming more desirable for thieves and play an increasing role in identity theft.

And it’s not just the smartphone user who loses out. His or her employer may also suffer.

Employees now commonly store business contacts and possibly more critical and sensitive company information on the devices. Plus, a smartphone may automatically connect to a company’s network, compromising vast amounts of other data. In addition, some employees use the camera on their smartphones to take photographs in the course of business.

While smartphone makers are certainly making strides to build strong security functions into their phones, there are some precautions your business can take as well.

For starters, install additional security features on for-business-use smartphones that enable an alarm to be activated if a device is lost or stolen. You can also set up smartphones to show a permanent text in the display area (for example, a name and office phone number).

Stress the importance to staff members of keeping devices and data safe. Bring in a security expert to explain the nuts and bolts of protecting their devices — and reward employees for compliance when possible.

Among other steps smartphone users can take to help prevent theft and recover stolen phones:

  • Lock the phone with a password.
  • Keep track of where the phone is, never leaving it unattended.
  • Read smartphone contracts carefully — some provide for specific steps that users must take if the smartphone is stolen.
  • Notify the police immediately if a theft occurs, so there’s a written record of it.
  • Under some purchase and lease agreements, call the device provider to report the theft. Note the time of the conversation, to whom the user spoke and that person’s job title. Doing so can help later if the provider claims the theft wasn’t reported and there are thousands of dollars in phone charges on the next bill.
  • Record each smartphone’s International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. This can assist the police in proving the phone was stolen.

Copyright 2023

This article appeared in Walz Group’s June 19, 2023 issue of The Bottom Line e-newsletter, produced by TopLine Content Marketing. This content is for informational purposes only.