Although downloading twenty apps a minute might be the priority once you open your spanking new smart-phone this Christmas morning, phone owners are being advised to take heed of some security measures first.
The advice to be smart with your mobile comes as over 12,000 phones have been reported stolen in the last year, according to the latest figures from An Garda Siochana.
The number of phones targeted by criminal gangs, worth an estimated €5m in total, is up by over 33 per cent from the same time period in 2011.
Here are ten top tips to keep your smart-phone safe:
1. Before you download Facebook, Twitter or Tinder, register your mobile phone with your Service Provider.
2. Take note of your IMEI number and keep it in a safe location, other than on your phone. You can find this number on the back of your phone underneath the battery or by dialling *#06# on your keypad. If your phone is stolen, this number will be used to disable your phone.
3. Use the PIN Security feature and keep your screen locked at all times. Try not to choose the ever-popular PIN number ‘1234’.
4. When out and about in a public place, keep your phone out of view. Be street-wise. Your phone is very easy to whip out of your hands if you’re having a phone conversation on a crowded street.
5. Never leave your phone behind in an unattended vehicle, no matter how safe you think the area is.
6. Mark your phone with unique letters of numbers. If it is retrieved, you can prove it is yours.
7. If you do need to take or make a call in public, stand against a shop window or wall so you can see around you and cannot be approached from behind.
8. If you have a smart-phone, use the location finder app. When your phone is stolen, the app will be able to pinpoint its location.
9. If your phone is lost or stolen, the first step is to report the theft immediately to An Garda Siochana.
10. Second, contact your Service Provider straightaway with your IMEI to have your number blocked.
For more tips, keep an eye on An Garda Siochana's Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as www.garda.ie