Help hold on to an iPhone
December 20, 2007 5:53 AM   Subscribe

Protecting an iPhone from theft or inadvertent misappropriation

I gave my girlfriend an iPhone for the holidays. She teaches in a school here in NY, and is worried about keeping it safe in the classroom. She often gives her phone to her kids to make calls to their parents and is concerned that one day, it will fail to make its way back to her. I understand her concern, since her camera was recently taken from her backpack in her classroom. Is there a way I can help her feel easier in her mind about carrying this expensive gadget around with her while she's at work? Ideas could range from insurance type things to just common sense tips. She's concerned enough to suggest I return it, but I thought I'd poll the hive mind first to see if there's some way she can keep it.
posted by lassie to Grab Bag (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
well it uses a sim card, which she can place in any phone. so get a cheap phone (or keep your old one around) she can let her students use to call parents and just swap the sim card in.
posted by noloveforned at 6:03 AM on December 20, 2007

Meh, too late. Same suggestion: Get a super cheap and old $10 used phone specifically for lending it (or ask your friends if anyone got a very old mobile rotting in some desk drawer). Additional hint: Don't swap sim cards, that's not going to work (very annoying in the long run). Get a cheap, pre-paid second sim card. She's not going to receive any calls on it, so it doesn't matter if it's a different number.
posted by Nightwind at 6:07 AM on December 20, 2007

None of the drawers in her room lock? As far as letting the kids use it, can't she just have a rule that they have to stay with her while they're using her stuff? Seems reasonable.
posted by sneakin at 6:12 AM on December 20, 2007

can she tell her students that because someone stole her camera she will no longer be lending them her personal property or is that not an option?
posted by phil at 6:19 AM on December 20, 2007

Can I play the role of crotchety old fart? Why the heck do her students need to be calling their parents from the classroom?
(Insert "get off my lawn, in my day we didn't have cellphones" rant here.)

Easy's an expensive piece of equipment. Don't let the kids use it and don't leave it sitting around unattended in the classroom.
posted by JaredSeth at 6:24 AM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

Also don't leave it in a backpack or purse; she should have it on her at all times if she wants to make sure it stays safe.

And I second the idea of a cheap pay-as-you-go phone for if the kids have to call their parents.
posted by bassjump at 6:28 AM on December 20, 2007

Suggestion from the fashion-challenged: Keep it in a fanny pack that she always wears? Or, if it has a way to attach a lanyard to it, attach the other end of the lanyard to her belt or something, that way the student has to use it within a few feet of her.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:32 AM on December 20, 2007

Even if you aren't worried about them "misappropriating" the phone, the kids might break it.
posted by grouse at 6:34 AM on December 20, 2007

I work in a school too. If kids need to make a phone call I write them a pass to the office.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:37 AM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

Send the kids down to the office to call their parents.

If she lets the kids out of her sight while they use her phone, who really knows who they are calling? Or in the case of the iPhone, what pictures they are looking at, notes they are reading, etc.
posted by mikepop at 6:39 AM on December 20, 2007

Seconding the "get a cheap phone and prepaid card" advice.

Either that, or she could get a slipcase for the phone and hook it up to one of those trucker-wallet leashes. That'd be pretty spiffy. I'm sure she'd go for that.
posted by adamrice at 6:43 AM on December 20, 2007

Nthing that the kids shouldn't be using her fancy phone. Either el-cheapo pre-paid phone for lending or a pass to the office.
posted by desuetude at 6:50 AM on December 20, 2007

Is she making excuses because she doesn't like it and wants to give it back?
posted by GPF at 7:04 AM on December 20, 2007

Heh. A lot of the responses here mirror my own thoughts about the issue (Why on earth would you have to loan the kids your cellphone, etc.). But I don't work in the school system, and take her at her word when she says situations arise (normally disciplinary, I understand) when it becomes necessary for parents to be called, and the child to be put on the line. I suppose the cheap prepaid phone is a possible way to go. It seems kind of weird to have two cellphones, though. adamrice and SuperSquirrel, I like your thoughts about physically attaching it to her body (no fanny packs, though!). I'll look into that too.

Does anybody know of any theft protection insurance plans that might cover this situation, either from Apple or anyone else? I thought about homeowners insurance, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't cover theft outside the home, right?
posted by lassie at 7:10 AM on December 20, 2007

Has she said why the kids can't call from the office?

It's not weird at all to have two cell phones, if one is super-pricey and you want to keep it safe. It's the best option if she wants to continue lending out her phone.
posted by canine epigram at 7:14 AM on December 20, 2007

It seems kind of weird to have two cellphones, though.

It seems weirder to loan an expensive iPhone to kids you are discipling. Just my opinion.

I'm pretty sure it wouldn't cover theft outside the home, right?

Homeowner's insurance might, or you might be able to purchase a rider for this. Ask your agent.
posted by grouse at 7:15 AM on December 20, 2007

posted by grouse at 7:15 AM on December 20, 2007

A friend got a floater policy from State Farm to cover his iPhone; he said it was about $6 a month. One caveat: you might want to get the policy from a different company or make sure it's not attached in any way to your homeowner's insurance, as I've read horror stories about major policies being canceled due to claims on floaters.
posted by littlegreenlights at 8:30 AM on December 20, 2007

I'm delighted to report that, thanks in some part to the answers here she's decided to keep it. Thanks, everyone.
posted by lassie at 8:10 PM on December 20, 2007

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