The Internet, the Philippines and Internet in the Philippines
    Issue 18 July - August 2000 I S S N   0119-7088
 

THIS SIDE OF THE PHILIPPINES
How To Keep Your Cell Phone From Being Stolen and How To Find Lost Cell Phones

By Willie Potgieter (wcp@celltrace.com)

Maria thought it must be a mistake when her friend screamed, "How dare you call me at 4:30 in the morning!" After a little checking, Maria discovered her cell phone had been stolen. The thief apparently entertained himself by placing prank calls to the numbers stored on the phone.

Not only did Maria have to replace her phone and change her service, she had to explain the impolite phone calls her relatives and friends had gotten from the prankster. She was also forced to deal with big long distance bills the thief rang up.

This kind of occurrence is becoming more and more common as cell phone theft reaches epidemic proportions world-wide. Here are ways you can keep from becoming a cell phone criminal's next mark.

  1. Take time to enter a password in your cell phone. This makes it very hard for the average crook to use it. The thief can get your phone, but he can't make calls.
     
  2. Don't put your real name on your phone. While you might think this makes it easy for someone to return your phone in the event it is lost, your name emblazoned on your phone is a big temptation for a twisted individual who wants to do you harm. Use a nickname when programming a banner for your phone.
     
  3. Be careful not to leave your cell phone unattended on restaurant tables. Many a phone has vanished when the owner was looking away. Also avoid carrying your cell in a open bag on a crowded street.

In the event your cell phone is lost or stolen, the news is often frustrating. Police don't have the resources to investigate the many thefts that take place daily.

Fortunately, cell phone users are banding together to create databases that can easily track lost and stolen cell phones. People who find a lost phone can report it to the database to instantly locate the owner.

You can list information about your lost phone in the database to have it automatically cross referenced with the list of found phones.

As cell phones become more and more advanced in their technology, lost and stolen phones will be an ever daunting problem. Careful precautions against theft and registration with a database can help you from becoming a victim.


Willie Potgieter is an expert in cell phone recovery. See his site http://www.CellTrace.com for information on his cell phone registration and tracking service. The site offers several low- cost packages to secure your cell phone against loss or theft. Reach Willie at wcp@celltrace.com.
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