FCC reports on smartphone theft (RCR Mobile Minute)


    The FCC has released a report on mobile device theft protection just in time for the holidays, which law enforcement officials say is a prime time for device theft.
    The agency estimates that one in ten robberies involves a mobile device. The FCC says it was not able to collect enough data itself to estimate the overall number of nationwide thefts, but that Consumer Reports put the number above three million for 2013.
    The FCC notes that technical solutions to smartphone theft can be device-based hardware or software-based solutions, or they can be network-based. But many smartphone users are not taking advantage of any of these options. An estimated 36% have installed a PIN to unlock their phone, 29% have backed up the data on their phone, and just 22% have installed software that can help locate the phone if it’s lost or stolen.
    Law enforcement officials saw reported smartphone theft fall sharply after they started running public service announcements in the metro. The police offer cash rewards to people who have information about smartphone thefts.