Mobile Device Security

Mobile device security

Your electronic device is important to you, so we want you to keep it safe when riding Metro. Every day, an average of two high-value electronic devices are snatched out of the hands of Metro riders.

Here are some quick tips that can help prevent you from becoming a victim, and help recover your phone if it is stolen.

1. Set up GPS tracking of your device.

If your device is lost or stolen, having GPS tracking enabled can help police find it. This is a quick, simple and free process for iOS and Android devices that can help police track down a thief in the minutes after a phone is stolen. So far this year, at least three arrests have been made as a result of Transit Police using GPS tracking.

Apple Devices: Set up instructions for iPhones, iPads and other iOS devices

Android Devices: Several options are available for Android devices, including several from wireless carriers:

In addition, there are several third-party apps available, including:

2. Ride smart.

The safest place for your electronic device is out of sight. You wouldn't go around advertising that you have $300 cash in your pocket, would you? That's essentially what you're doing when you have an electronic device out in public. Here are some safety tips if you do choose to use a device while riding:

  • Avoid becoming distracted by what is on the screen. Always maintain an awareness of what is happening around you.
  • When holding your device, use both hands to make it more difficult to snatch.
  • Don't use your device near train doors. Many robberies take place as the doors are closing, allowing the thief to get away.
  • Don't use your device on escalators. Not only is this a safety concern, but increasingly, thieves are snatching phones by running up behind victims on the escalator.
  • White or red headphone cords are often a telltale sign that you have an expensive device on you. Consider changing the cord to a less conspicuous color.

3. If your device is stolen...

  • NEVER resist or chase a thief. No device is worth the risk of personal injury.
  • Instead, be a good witness. Take note of the suspect's description, including any identifying characteristics and clothing.
  • Then, immediately report the to police. Call Metro Transit Police at (202) 962-2121 or 911.
  • If the incident happened aboard a train, don't wait. Get off at the next station to report it.
  • Finally, contact your wireless carrier. Under a new law, wireless carriers can render your device useless, thereby eliminating the resale value to the thief.

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