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Travel Tip: Finding Lost Smartphones

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Although technology is supposed to make traveling more efficient, few things are LESS convenient as when smartphones are lost or stolen. A study from the Ponemon Institute surveyed business travelers, and found that 29 percent of smartphones were lost while traveling. Outright theft is also a big problem, accounting for 30 to 40 percent of robberies in major cities. So what can you do if your smartphone goes missing?

The first solution is an app called Find My iPhone—or its counterpart, Where’s My Droid. It will actually locate your phone via GPS.There’s also a Lost mode, which locks the device and sends across a text message …so if a good Samaritan picks it up, they can contact you. Just remember this only works when the device is connected to 3G or Wi-Fi and when the app is activated.

The FCC and several wireless carriers have launched a database that prevents phones reported as stolen from being activated. An insurance policy is always helpful, but be aware of the deductible, and more often than not, you’ll get a refurbished device, not a brand-new one. And guys, always password protect your phone…that one’s a no-brainer.

For more information, visit the Apps & Technology and Gadgets & Gear archives.

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