MISSION, KS--(Marketwired - Dec 5, 2013) - (Family Features) As you rush from store to store this holiday season, making your list and checking it twice, you may not be giving careful attention to safeguarding your cellphone. Distracted shoppers make easy targets for mischief and even simple careless losses.

Each year, the percentage of claims filed for lost or stolen cellphones increases in November, December and January, according to claims data from Asurion, a mobile protection and solutions company that partners with wireless providers around the globe. New Year's Eve is the most dangerous holiday for phones, with an 83 percent increase in claims.

"The risk of theft increases during the holidays, and consumers need to consider a more comprehensive approach to protecting their smartphones and the valuable information on them," said Bettie Colombo, spokesperson for Asurion. "Purchasing cellphone protection can save customers hundreds of dollars on a replacement device and reconnect them quickly to friends, family and coworkers during the holiday season."

Technology-based tools are available that can perform a wide range of functions. These include location-based services that help you find a missing device, remotely lock it and even erase the data should a device land in the wrong hands.

To help keep your smartphone and the personal, irreplaceable information it contains safe this holiday season, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Back up your content regularly, whether to your computer or through a reputable cloud service.
  • Update your phone's software regularly to ensure you are protected from the latest security vulnerabilities.
  • Enable password protection, especially if your phone provides access to banking or credit accounts.
  • If your phone and provider offer them, enable location-based services that will let you track down your phone if it gets lost.
  • Insure your phone. The best buys are comprehensive policies that safeguard you from loss, theft, damage and malfunction.
  • Avoid using your phone to log into personal accounts, such as online banking, while using an unsecured public wireless network.
  • Carry your phone in a deep pocket or in a purse with a zipper or other secure closure to prevent it from slipping out while you're busy perusing gift ideas.
  • Make a habit of checking for your phone as you leave a store or location. While this won't prevent it from getting stolen, it will narrow the search field if it goes missing.

Visit www.asurion.com for additional information on smartphone insurance and technologies to protect your information and device.

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