Loss or Theft of a Smart Device 

When I started using a Smart Phone they were not called such, they were referred to as a PDA Phone in the beginning and then Microsoft needed to refresh their mobile operating system and coined the term Smart Phone.  I wasn’t particularly worried about loss or theft because I pin protected the device and I had insurance from my carrier, Sprint, that would replace the device after a modest deductible.  I also did not worry about my data because I had everything synced with Outlook, even text messages and call history.  This worked well for me because when a device failed or was replaced all I had to do was plug it in the USB port and away I went.

When I got my Android tablet, I set it up so my important personal data was kept in a secure, encrypted container with a complex passcode.  So I was not worried about people accessing my data and my device was insured.  I never thought about theft because I always kept the device secure or on my person.  A couple of weeks ago, it was in my car, in my driveway and someone took it out of my car.  Needless to say I was devastated and posted on Facebook about it.  Within minutes one of my friends suggested a piece of software called Plan B  that I could install in the hopes that it would help me retrieve my missing device.  The awesome thing about Google Play is that you can login to the website and install applications on your device through the website.  So I chose to install Plan B and thus far it has not worked for me but this could mean the device has just not been connected to the internet or that someone wiped the device.  If it does connect to the internet it is supposed to email me the location when it does. 

Google PlayIf I had not of cancelled the wireless internet on the device, it would have installed instantly and notified me of the location.  I could then use text messages to control the device.  Unfortunately when Sprint screwed over all their HTC View owners I eventually decided that $20 a month for 1gb was just too much money.  Even if I did not get ahold of the device, I carried the $15 dollar insurance package which would have replaced the device by now for a small modest fee.  Unfortunately the insurance went along with the service.  I know, sucks to be me and I just hope that all the fleas from all the camels in Saudi Arabia infest the person who took it’s underwear so that it gives new meaning to Jock Itch.  While I know anyone could have done it, I am leaning more towards a male as this was a very bold theft.  But I digress.

For my Cell Phone I have installed a program from Google Play called Prey and this program will allow you to do some awesome things with your device remotely should it become misplaced or misappropriated.  I will let you know after I have had some time to play with it if it is a viable option or not.  There are quite a few applications like this on the market and I always try and use the open source products first since this allows others to fix the bugs or take over development should the current developers decide against further development or they get a real life. Smile

So I recommend installing something and making sure that if you have a high end smart device that you also carry theft and damage insurance from your carrier.  A new smart device can run as high as $800 without a carrier discount and they only give them every two years so if you lose the device it will cover it.  Most carriers have it for $10-15 and a $100 deductible which over the course of a two year contract with no deductibles will set you back about $300 but isn’t that worth it knowing that if you drop it or lose it that it will be replaced?