Keeping your phone safe when you’re out and about


Police.UK– the national website for policing in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – recommend you follow these steps when you’re out and about to help keep you and your phone safe.

Be aware of your surroundings

  • Don’t text while you’re walking – you won’t notice what’s going on around you
  • If that’s not possible, stand away from the roadside, close to a building or wall
  • Going hands-free can prevent a thief from snatching your phone
  • If you need to call or use your phone on the street, look out for anyone on a bike or a moped near you
  • Make your call quickly so you don’t become distracted
  • When you are not using your phone while out and about, keep your phone zipped or secure in your pocket or bag.

Report all phone thefts immediately to the police and Campus Support. If you see any suspicious behaviour on campus, report this to the police and Campus Support too.

Use security features on your phone

  • Use your phone’s security features to stop someone using your phone if it’s stolen. Choose a strong PIN, passcode, password or pattern
  • Your phone may have other security features you can use – these could allow you to wipe data, lock your handset, or prevent a thief from restoring a phone to its factory settings from another internet device
  • Consider installing an anti-theft app. These can be an effective way of helping police trace your phone and identify the thief
  • See your device’s help pages for help with device location tracking, account recovery and message preview settings.

Things to do now:

Turn off message previews

Turn off message previews, so that thieves won’t see any messages about reset or login codes when your phone is locked.

Make sure you can still access your data

Make sure:

  • your phone data is regularly being backed up, either automatically over WIFI or by plugging it into a computer
  • there’s somewhere else you can get access codes sent to (two-factor authentication codes) to access your data from another device
  • you keep important information like family and friends’ phone numbers and passwords somewhere else secure, not just on your phone

Know how to identify your phone if it’s stolen

  • Every phone has an IMEI number which helps police and insurance companies to identify it if it’s stolen. UK network operators can also stop a stolen phone from working across their networks with its IMEI
  • Find your IMEI number by dialling *#06# from your phone and keep a written note of it. If your phone is stolen, report the number to your mobile provider to stop it being used
  • Register your valuables on an accredited property database
  • Remember, never confront a thief or risk your own safety for the sake of your mobile phone.

If you need immediate help

  • If you are in immediate danger or seriously injured call 999
  • If you call 999 and are unable to talk remain silent and press 55. There will be a recorded message and you must press 55 to confirm you need help.
  • If you are on campus and feel unsafe, call campus support (security) on 0151 794 2222 or go to your nearest University building and ask someone to phone campus support for you.

Do not intervene in any situation if it is not safe to do so. It is important not to put yourself at risk.

Support and further advice

Student Services

You’ll find lots of safety advice and support on the Student Services webpages.

Campus Support

Campus Support help keep our campus safe. You can find out more about the team by watching this video:

Report + Support

The University’s Report + Support tool is available for all students and staff who would like to seek advice and support for any incident of bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, hate crime or discrimination.

Students can use the online tool to contact an advisor who will discuss the situation with you. You can also choose to use the tool to report an incident anonymously. When you use the reporting tool to speak to an advisor, you will be contacted by a Wellbeing Advisor in Student Welfare, Advice and Guidance.

The Report + Support webpages also includes a series of support articles and advice for people who are experiencing harassment or who are supporting someone who has.

For more information about the tool, please visit our Report + Support webpage.