Take a look at some of the best 1 minute films from the Out Of Your Hands competition, which encourages kids to learn more about using tech safely...

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You may not know about the Out Of Your Hands (OOYH) initiative, but it addresses something really vital for anybody who owns a smartphone. Through a variety of means, OOYH seeks to educate children and young adults about the risk of phone theft, as well as the dangers of identity theft, data theft, cyber-bullying and harassment. Would you believe that about half of all street crime involves the theft of a mobile phone?

We’ve been talking to Hamish MacLeod – Chairman of the Mobile Broadband Group – about how exactly the OOYH campaign goes about raising awareness of these potential risks.

Raising awareness

First things first, though: where did this all begin?

“Smartphones were really the catalyst for the whole campaign,” explains Hamish. “When smartphones first came to the market, not only were they very desirable bits of consumer technology, they also held a massive amount of people’s personal data. As a result, phone theft became a real issue.

“There are two things that the UK mobile industry has done to redress the balance. The first of those was a database that would track stolen phones and block them from all networks, and the second was the creation of MICAF – the Mobile Industry Crime Action Forum – which was specifically designed to combat mobile phone theft. It was agreed that the mobile phone industry would build an educational program to tell consumers how to keep phones safe, and to raise awareness of all the ways that someone can steal your phone, or indeed, your data.”

A big part of that awareness raising involves us. We’ve been helping to fund these efforts for the best part of a decade now, and on top of that, if you keep an eye on the Mobile Life section of Vodafone Social, you’ll find plenty of helpful articles on how to keep your phone safe and secure. We’ll be working more and more closely with the OOYH campaign to bring you all their latest resources as well.

 

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We know just how stressful it can be to have to deal with a lost or stolen phone. Click the link below for our top tips on staying safe, and what to do if your phone goes missing…
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That includes the fantastic Out Of Your Hands competition, which this year tasked school children across the country with making a short public information film about phone, data or identity theft.

This year’s competition is already wrapped up, so you can check out the winning entry below, courtesy of Nicola Irvine from Stanborough School in Hertfordshire. Click here to take a look at the second and third place entries, too!

 

 

“The competition first started when we teamed up with the major banks,” explains Hamish. “Nowadays, if someone has their phone stolen, they likely have had lots of personal data stolen as well, meaning it’s very much in the interest of the banks to combat fraud. So we jointly devised the idea of a nationwide competition to help to educate young children.

“The idea is that this should be a running competition, so hopefully we’ll get some more exposure for it and get even more schools entering next year! The winning entries get prize money and some Amazon vouchers into the bargain, so it’s a nice incentive.

“It’s not a Pulitzer,” he laughs, “but I’d be more happy with a couple of hundred quid of spending money as a school kid anyway!

“There’s still a huge amount we can do,” says Hamish in closing. “Obviously we want to continue to get people on board to help us spread the message, because there are always new developments that we feel people should be informed about.”

Stay secure on holiday: Going away this summer? Click here to check out our guide to keeping your mobile and data safe and secure whilst you’re away…