Cases of criminals on motorbikes snatching mobile phones from unsuspecting Kenyans before vanishing into thin air are increasingly becoming very common in many towns, Nairobi topping the list.
Often, victims are always approached from behind while busy either texting or calling. It occurs in a jiffy. Many rarely see it coming. For both the rider and pillion twerps on motorbikes, “Nimeibiwa” “Wooi mama yangu” and sisters’ soprano “Aki woishe simu yangu imeenda” woes only fuel them to speed up and disappear into an alley.
The momentary shock quickly paves way for a searing rage. Many hearts sink into boots. Others, unable to survive without smartphones while attempting to track theirs (efforts that rarely bare fruits), always have no otherwise but to dish out thousands from their pockets and unwillingly head to mobile shops for new ones.
Nobody can run away from the reality that thieves targeting pedestrians and travelers’ phones are competing day and night to outnumber face masks. Either you have been a victim or know someone whose smartphone was stolen.
While most of these thefts are conducted between 6.30 p.m and late into the night, criminals operate during the day too. Thus, here are some of the tips that can help you protect your phone;
1. Know your surrounding
Anytime you want to use your phone along the streets, especially making an emergency call, kindly check your environment first. Check for motorcyclists and pillion passengers. Look up, look out. If possible, make the call while dashing your eyes left and right to ensure no motorcyclist messes you up.
Make the call last as short as possible then return your phone to your pocket or bag. Otherwise, you might be distracted and give the thieves room to vanish with your phone.
Kindly avoid texting while walking. Texting takes up your maximum attention and bars you from knowing what is happening around you.
If you must send a text message, kindly get out of the road and stand close to a tall building so that no one emerges behind you.
Don’t carry your phone on your hands. If possible, keep it in your safest pocket.
2. Use your phone’s security features
To protect your phone anytime it lands in the hands of thieves or unauthorized persons, always ensure your security features are switched on.
Lock your phones using the pattern, pin or keypad lock to bar thieves from getting immediate access and using it for fraud. If possible, enable your phone’s finger print or facial recognition.
Some phones have other enhanced security features for users. These can allow one to delete data, lock the phone as soon as it lands in the hands of an unauthorized person or prevent the thief from using internet to flash it.
You can install an anti-theft app from the play store. These can be an easy way for the police to trace it and apprehend the thief.
3. Beware of your phone and its IMEI number
All phones have IMEI numbers that police can use to track it. While many rarely get help today from the police, in fruitful cases, IMEI numbers have been helpful.
To find your IMEI number, kindly dial *#06# from your mobile phone, write down the code and keep it. When you lose your phone, report that IMEI number to your mobile provider as fast as possible so it can be blocked.
Beside, always ensure your valuables are stored in a secure database. For your phones, always store them in Google photos.
Never confront a thief when you are attacked. Your life is very important that you should not lose for the sake of your phone. You can buy another phone. You can’t buy life anywhere on earth or in the eight planets.
Kindly turn on the notification bell at the bottom left so that you don’t miss any update as soon as it is shared.
Silas Odhiambo is the Founder of Silvan News, Reporter and Editor working side-by-side with teams in the field to shape, write and produce unique and dynamic stories for Silvan News’ TV, website and social platforms.