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Tips To Protect Your Phone After Sharp Rise In Theft Of Wireless Devices

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SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) - Noting that over 5,000 wireless devices were reported stolen in Michigan this year, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) is reminding all individuals to safeguard their belongings.

The MPSC suggests that all Michigan residents read over the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) consumer guide that provides tips on how to shield against wireless theft, how to protect data on cell phones, and what to do if a wireless device is stolen.

“The popularity of wireless devices continues to grow at a rapid pace,” MPSC Chairman John D. Quackenbush said in a statement. “The Commission encourages customers to take a moment to protect themselves against theft by following the helpful tips provided out by the FCC.”

The FCC announced the PROTECT Initiative earlier this year to combat cell phone theft. It consists of establishing a national database – scheduled to launch in late 2013 – to track stolen phones; putting in place automatic prompts on smartphones and tablets for consumers to set up passwords and take steps to secure their devices; and launching a public education campaign to urge customers to use applications to increase security and reduce the value of stolen devices.

In addition, many wireless companies are aiming to implement their own databases by the end of 2012 to prevent stolen smartphones from being reactivated.

CTIA -The Wireless Association has developed a public service announcement on “The Five Stages of Losing a Smartphone” to remind wireless customers to use the features on their smartphones to remote lock, track and wipe, if the devices are lost or stolen.

For more information, visit www.fcc.gov/guides/stolen-and-lost-wireless-devices.

The MPSC is an agency within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

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