BWH Security reminds staff, visitors and patients to always be mindful of where they leave their cell phones and other electronic devices on hospital property.

Recently, there has been an increase in cell phone theft at BWH, which BWH Security investigator Brenda Carey-Mullaney attributes to people leaving their phones unattended.

“Many people we’ve spoken with have charged their cell phones in public spaces, such as a break room or public waiting area, and stepped away for some time,” she said. “When they return, their phones are gone. Many of these theft cases could be prevented if people were more aware of the risks of leaving a phone unattended in a public place, even if it’s only for a few minutes.”

Carey-Mullaney suggests people keep their phones close to them at all times and not leave them alone in areas where they are visible to others. She also recommends setting a phone passcode to make it more difficult for someone else to use the phone or access information stored on it. BWH-issued phones already require a passcode for added protection.

As an extra layer of security, there are phone location services and apps, such as Apple’s “Find My iPhone” feature or Lookout, which can be installed on most phones. The apps help cell phone owners locate their devices if they are ever lost or stolen. You can download the app, create an account and then track the location of a phone from any computer. Security has used these apps in the past to recover stolen or missing phones.

If you suspect your phone has been lost or stolen on BWH property, call BWH Security at 617-732-6565 immediately to report it and see if the phone has been turned in. If a phone is believed to have been stolen, Security will work to retrace steps and file a police report. If the phone is a BWH-issued phone, please also call the IS Service Desk at 617-732-5927 to report the lost or stolen phone so it can be wiped clean of its data.