Smartphone Safety

Smartphone theft and the physical violence associated with it have risen considerably in San Francisco. To reverse this trend, we've partnered with Mayor Ed Lee, District Attorney George Gascón and the Police Department to increase security in the Muni system. For the next few weeks, Muni Transit Fare Inspectors may approach you while you are using your smartphone to talk about how to stay safe. We urge you to keep your eyes up and your phone down while riding Muni.

Eyes up phone down, will logos for Muni, San Francisco, Sheriff, Police and SFMTA

Below you'll find great tips on outsmarting smartphone theives and protecting your device. Also, please enjoy these very short videos.

Eyes Up Phone Down Videos

The animal world sets a good example for how not to have your smartphone stolen. Owls can rotate their necks 270 degrees to see everything around them. Whether you are on the Muni N Owl or just waiting for the N Judah, be like an owl. Being aware lessens the opportunity for someone to steal your much loved device with all your favorite pictures and contacts. Thieves will make a profit selling your phone and possibly the information stored in it. If you absolutely must use your phone in a Metro station or Muni vehicle, please do so mindfully and discreetly. So, keep your eyes up and your phone down.

Safety tips for when you are in public:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Avoid engaging in cell phone conversations while on transit.
  • Keep your cell phone and/or other devices in a pocket, purse or backpack.
  • Do not walk and text.
  • Never loan your cell phone to a stranger.
  • If your cell phone is lost or stolen, immediately report the loss to your service provider and the police.

More tips to protect your phone:

  • Password protect your phone.
  • Write down your model number, serial number and unique device ID.
  • On most phones, you can dial *#06# and the International Mobile Equipment Identifier or IMEI number will show up on your screen, or remove the battery for IMEI and serial number.
  • Use a location tracking app or anti-theft app.

If your phone is stolen:

  • Fill out a police report. Give the model number, serial number and Unique device ID to the police.
  • Change all your passwords for social networks, email, banks and important information stored in your phone.