This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Protect Your Smartphone Without Insurance

Editor's Note: Be sure to also read the other two parts of this series, Insuring Your Smartphone May Be Smart and iPhone Peace of Mind Comes at a Price.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Most people still don't, or won't buy insurance. One report says just 27% of smartphone owners insure their phones. However, market researcher iGR does note that smartphones owners are more likely to buy insurance then non-smartphone owners because of the higher replacement costs.



But if you can't afford to -- or refuse to -- insure your smartphone, at least keep it protected. Here are some tips from the experts and companies:

Damage control:

  • Don't carry your phone in your pocket
  • Use a screen protector to prevent scratches
  • Get a case to protect the back and sides against scratches and drops
  • Get a really good case like the Otterbox Defender Series (with three protective layers: hard polycarbonate shell covered by silicone skin plus built-in screen protector) or Ballistic's Hard Core case (built-in screen protector and hard shell with shock absorbent polymer and silicone outer layer). Very few promise protection from water, but the LifeProof iPhone case promises protection up to a depth of 6.6 feet.
  • Turn on the phone's automatic back up to prevent data loss
  • If your phone gets wet, remove the battery and SIM card and let it completely dry. Don't use a hair dryer. And don't try to use the phone, which could allow water to move deeper into the phone's electronics.
  • Install anti-virus or anti-malware to prevent data damage; most of the major computer anti-virus companies offer a product

Loss/theft protection

  • Set up the phone's built-in security by turning on screen or keypad lock or requiring a code or pattern to unlock device access
  • Clearly identify ownership either by a simple ID sticker or an app like Contact Owner, available on Google Play, for Android or Owner Information, available through iTunes for iPhone. Both state the owner's contact information right on the locked screen.
  • Turn on the free service from the manufacturer:
    • --Windows Phones: Microsoft's Find My Phone lets you map the phone's location, make it ring, lock the phone and erase it.
    • --Apple iPhone: Set up the Apple's Find My iPhone service on Apple's iCloud to map the phone's location, send it a message, lock it or erase it remotely.
    • --BlackBerry: Download BlackBerry Protect to back up data and help find the missing phone.
    • --Android doesn't appear to have a built-in service to find missing phones. But several apps are available to help locate missing Androids, including Plan B, available on Google Play.
  • Download a free or inexpensive app to help locate your phone or lock or wipe the phone remotely if it gets lost or stolen. Some popular apps: Android Lost, available on Google Play or Find My iPhone, mentioned above.
  • Already lost your phone? Try Plan B from Lookout Mobile Security, mentioned above. The Android app is pushed to the missing phone where it launches, turns on GPS and messages the phone's location back to the account holder.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Tamara Chuang is an outside contributor to TheStreet. Her opinions are her own.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $131.70 -0.26%
GOOG $539.45 -0.06%
FB $80.33 -0.27%
TSLA $250.93 1.40%
YHOO $43.20 -0.41%

Markets

DOW 18,123.95 -39.04 -0.21%
S&P 500 2,120.62 -2.86 -0.13%
NASDAQ 5,097.6540 -8.9390 -0.18%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs