I recently splashed out for a new phone. With mobile contracts being what they are in the US (obscenely over-priced in a poorly regulated market) I decided to buy an unlocked phone outright, making it the most expensive thing I own, as well as being one of the things I'm most likely to lose - a dangerous combination.

Here's the three things I've done to help guard against that, two obvious, one hopefully interesting enough to justify this post:

  • Installed tracking software. Prey in my (Android) case, but there's other options out there for all mobile OSs.
  • Put my wife's phone number, an email address and a promise of a reward on the lock screen.
  • Etched the same email address onto the body of the phone, using my wife's Dremel style grinder. Bit extreme I'll admit, but acceptable since I have no intention of ever selling the phone (it'll go to my wife if I ever upgrade) and also since I have a Samsung I can do it under the back cover so it doesn't make the phone look ugly. You could of course go to a professional engravers too.

Bang goes the warranty too of course, so you may wish to wait until that's run out for this:

Steal my phone will ya?

Bonus suggestion: Check the phone is covered by your home insurance. Last time I did this (in the UK) it cost no extra, but I did have to specifically list it (and anything else over a certain value). Even if it costs more it won't be as much as the dedicated insurance the carriers try and sell you.

Here's hoping Murphy's law doesn't lead me to drop it in the toilet the day after posting this. :-)

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