The average person carries around 2.9 devices with them at all times. This includes smartphones, tablets, laptops, e-readers, mp3 players and now smart watches and other wearable technology. Depending on the device, the combined total can rapidly add up to a substantial investment. While the monetary value is important, our dependence on these devices to work, play and conduct financial transactions makes them invaluable. If and when a device is lost or stolen, the experience can be financially costly, and more importantly very traumatic if you are a teen whose lifeline is the smartphone.
In Australia a survey of 375 parents revealed 8 percent of high school students in the country carry up to $1000 worth of technology with them at all times, with 73 percent carrying a mobile phone, 38 percent a laptop and 27 percent a tablet computer.
Because of the price points of these devices, the theft or loss of these items is increasingly being addressed by insurance companies. Whether the insurance is part of the policy for the home or standalone product specifically designed to ensure consumer electronic products, it has now become a necessity.
In the UK when the average person leaves the home they carry 970 pounds or $1603 worth of gadgets with them, resulting in companies being established to specifically address the loss and theft of these devices.
The US also has a large problem with mobile devices being lost or stolen. Studies have revealed 113 cell phones are lost or stolen every minute in the US, and as smartphone penetration rates continues to increase replacing cell phones, insuring the devices becomes that much important.
If you have a smartphone, tablet or laptop, it is important to take appropriate measures to ensure the device and the data within it are protected. If the device contains sensitive information you can purchase services or applications that are able to lock out the device or wipe the information contained within the device so it won't fall in the wrong hands. Additionally tracking services can be obtained to determine where the device is, whether you lost it or someone took it without your permission.
Some of the steps you can take to keep your device safe are to:
- Update all the software on the device including the operating system, security software or any application
- Lock it with a strong pass codes and passwords
- Buy insurance from the wireless service provider if it is available
- Purchase tracking software and data erasure service
While there is no guarantee you will not have your device lost or stolen, the best way to hedge your bets is by only carrying the device you need when you go out.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker