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Consumer Safety

Important Wireless Issues

We want you to always feel safe and secure while enjoying your Verizon Wireless service. That’s why we’d like to make you aware of the following important issues.

Please take a minute to review the important info presented here. It’s information every wireless customer should know, including:

  • Tips on protecting your device from loss and theft, and what to do if your device goes missing
  • Important information about using your wireless device and your health
  • How to use your device with other service providers’ networks

This section also includes a summary of Verizon’s device unlocking policies.

Safety & Security

Unfortunately, no one can completely prevent loss or theft. Bad things sometimes happen. That said, we’ve come up with several steps you can take to reduce the chances of having your device – along with the personal data stored within it – lost or stolen. This section also includes information for reporting and replacing a lost or stolen device.

Help protect your device by following these simple suggestions:

Always be aware of your surrounding environment:

  • Use your phone discreetly if you feel you are in an unsafe area.
  • Never leave your phone unattended or visible in your parked car.
  • Take extra care during times when you could be distracted, such as when checking out at the store, when using public transportation, when going through airport security or when approached by a stranger on the street.

Make sure you document your device’s information, including make and model, serial number, and its unique identification number (the MEID or IMEI).

Install and update anti-theft software, which can be downloaded from your phone’s app store.

Apps are available that will locate your device from any computer, lock your device to restrict access and sound an alarm to help you locate it.

For most Android devices, Verizon Wireless offers a Mobile Security application that provides these and other features.

Use passwords to protect your data:

Verizon suggests adding a passcode, password or security swipe pattern to protect the personal information on your phone or tablet. You can do this through the Settings menu. Some of the latest models also offer fingerprint and/or face recognition to lock and unlock the device.

If using a password, create a password that is easy to remember but difficult for anyone else to guess. Don’t create passwords that contain:

  • Basic words that would be easy to guess, like ‘password’ or ‘verizon’
  • Simple keyboard patterns like ‘qwerty,’ ‘111111’ or ‘123456’
  • Names of significant others, children, pets, sports teams, hobbies, etc.
  • Any form of your first or last name, birth date, license plate number, telephone number, etc.
  • Titles of popular movies, books or songs

And always practice good password security:

  • Never share your passwords with anyone, especially over the phone or through email.
  • If you must write your passwords down, don’t leave them where someone could discover them.
  • Don’t re-use passwords across different websites or devices.

Lost or Stolen phone

Equipment protection can help you repair or replace your device if it’s ever lost, stolen, damaged or defective after the manufacturer warranty expires.

If your device is lost or stolen:

First, try to locate your phone by calling it from another phone or by using the GPS locator if you have one installed. (You can download a GPS locater from your phone’s app store.)

If you’re certain your phone has been lost or stolen:

  • Contact Verizon Wireless right away at 800.922.0204. Or, login to My Verizon to suspend service and report your lost or stolen device. You can also contact your local police department to report the theft.
  • If you have anti-theft software installed on your device, such as Verizon Mobile Security, use it to lock your device and wipe it of any sensitive information.
  • Change the passwords to any personal accounts you may have accessed from your device – these include any email, online banking, shopping and social networking accounts.
  • If you are enrolled in Total Mobile Protection Coverage or another Wireless Phone Protection program, contact Asurion customer service at 888.881.2622 to file an insurance claim.

Emergency Alerts

We make it a priority to keep communities informed of imminent threats to safety – and to alert them to missing persons in their area – by using Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs).

WEAs are free wireless notifications delivered to WEA-enabled mobile devices as part of a public safety system in conjunction with federal, state and local authorities.

There are three types of WEAs:

  • Presidential Alerts: These alerts issued by the president can include news of national concern.
  • Imminent Danger Alerts: These alerts can warn you of extreme weather or other threats to safety.
  • AMBER Alerts: These alerts notify the community of abducted children or other missing persons who may potentially be sighted in the local area.

You may opt out of Imminent Danger and Amber Alerts through the Settings menu on your device, but you may not opt out of Presidential Alerts per federal mandate.

Enhanced 911 (E911)

Enhanced 911, also known as E911, allows Verizon to provide enhanced location information to emergency call takers so they can more effectively route calls for emergency assistance.

The E911 information we provide to public safety answering points does two things:

  • It automatically delivers the 911 caller’s telephone number to the call-taker.
  • It enables the call-taker to obtain an approximate location of the caller so they can dispatch emergency responders who are near that location.

E911 works for all GPS-capable phones, including all wireless phones sold by Verizon Wireless since December 31, 2003.

Verizon Wireless does not provide E911 service for calls placed through any third-party applications you may have downloaded to make voice calls. Refer to the terms of service for these apps to learn whether you can reach 911 when using them.

Here are some important points to keep in mind about the limitations of E911:
  • Verizon Wireless’ E911 service works only where Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) have upgraded to Enhanced-911 capable equipment or systems.
  • Because wireless phones can react to the environment – for example, due to weather conditions or surrounding terrain – the enhanced location information we provide to emergency call takers can’t guarantee a precise location.
  • In some places, public safety call takers still rely solely on the caller’s descriptions to locate and dispatch help to people in emergency situations.

Health-related Topics:  Avoiding Potential Hearing Loss

Misusing any portable audio device, including mobile phones, can impact your hearing and potentially lead to hearing loss.

Prolonged exposure to loud sounds is the most common cause of preventable hearing loss. Some scientific research suggests using portable audio devices, like portable music players and wireless phones, at high volume settings for long durations may lead to permanent hearing impairments. These impairments may include noise-induced hearing loss, tinnitus (a ringing in the ear), hypersensitivity to sound and distorted hearing. Individual susceptibility can happen regardless of headphone use.

We encourage you to follow these common-sense recommendations when using any portable audio device:

  • Set your device’s volume in a quiet environment and select the lowest volume at which you can adequately hear.
  • Don’t turn the volume up to block out noisy surroundings. If you choose to listen to your portable device in a noisy environment, use noise-canceling headphones to block out background environmental noise.
  • When using headphones, if you can’t hear people speaking near you or if someone sitting next to you can hear what you’re listening to, it’s too loud. Turn the volume down.
  • Limit your listening time. As the volume increases, less time is required before your hearing could be affected.
  • Avoid using headphones after exposure to extremely loud noises such as concerts that might cause temporary hearing loss. Temporary hearing loss might cause unsafe volumes to sound normal.
  • Do not listen at any volume that causes you discomfort. If you experience ringing in your ears, hear muffled speech or experience any temporary hearing difficulty after listening to your portable audio device, discontinue use and consult your doctor.

Learn more from the American Academy of Audiology

Learn more from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Medical Devices

Using a wireless device near an implantable medical device, such as a pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, can potentially cause interference with the medical device.

If you have an implanted medical device, we recommend that you follow these guidelines when using wireless communications devices:

  • Always keep the phone or wireless device more than 6 inches from your implantable medical device when the wireless device is turned on.
  • Don’t carry your phone in a breast pocket.
  • When using a wireless phone, use the ear opposite the implantable medical device to minimize the potential for interference.
  • If you have any reason to suspect that interference is taking place, turn the wireless device off immediately.
  • Read and follow the directions from the manufacturer of your implantable medical device and reach out to your health care provider if you have additional questions.

Radio Frequency Emissions

We pay close attention to issues related to radio frequency (RF) emissions and aim to keep our customers informed.

As explained on our website and in the brochure provided with each new wireless phone, your wireless phone contains a radio transmitter and receiver, and emits RF energy during use. RF energy has been studied by scientists worldwide for many years, and research continues.

Wireless phones sold in the United States are subject to federal safety requirements and must be tested and certified for compliance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations. If you’re concerned about the effects of RF emissions, the link below provides answers to commonly asked questions about the health effects of wireless phones, tips for reducing your RF exposure and research highlights from other informative resources.

Learn more about radio frequency emissions

Device Unlocking Policy

In order to mitigate theft and other fraudulent activity, newly purchased devices are “locked” to work exclusively on the Verizon network.  We have separate device unlocking policies that cover postpay and prepaid devices, as well as special rules for deployed military personnel.

“Unlocking” a device refers only to disabling software that would prevent a consumer from attempting to activate a device designed for one carrier’s network on another carrier’s network. Due to differing technologies, an unlocked Verizon Wireless device may not work – or may experience limited functionality – on another carrier’s network.

Postpay Device Unlocking Policy

Devices that you purchase from Verizon are locked for 60 days after purchase.   Devices that you purchase from our retail partners are locked for 60 days after activation.  After 60 days, we will automatically remove the lock. Following the 60 day lock period, we do not lock our phones at any time.

Prepaid Device Unlocking Policy

Devices that you purchase from Verizon and certain devices purchased from our retail partners are locked for 60 days after activation. After 60 days, we will automatically remove the lock. Following the 60 day lock period following device purchase, we do not lock our phones at any time.

If you purchase a 4G Phone-in-a-Box from our retail partners, you should review the back of the box to determine the lock period applicable to that device.

Unlocking Policy for Deployed Military Personnel

If you are a Verizon Wireless customer in the military and receive relocation orders outside of the Verizon Coverage Area, we will unlock your device at your request, even during the 60-day-lock period following the purchase of your device.