(StatePoint) There’s a serious issue threatening to fray the ties that bind American households. Mobile cable theft -- not by masked bandits who come in the night, but by sons, daughters, spouses and roommates.
A new survey from Anker, the world’s most popular mobile charging brand, looks at this growing trend and provides some tips on how to untangle things at home.
There are a lot of mobile devices (and chargers) in American homes. Over 84 percent of consumers have three or more mobile devices in their household, and over 43 percent have five or more, making cable theft a real issue.
One out of five consumers have had someone at home take their mobile cable and claim it as their own, and almost the same number, 17 percent, admit to doing it themselves and lying about it.
All this thievery is creating some charged emotions. Not surprisingly, 18 percent of consumers say this issue has led to major arguments at home. And while it might not be as upsetting as housemates leaving their dirty clothes around the house, 10 percent of consumers say cable theft at home is their number one pet peeve.
To help, Anker is sharing a few easy tips to guard against cable theft.
• Label It: Use colored duct or Gorilla tape to differentiate cables and chargers.
• Mark It: Using a colored Sharpie add a dot, smiley face or initial to your cable and charger.
• Tie it: Using some yarn, ribbon or even a zip tie, make your cable more easily identifiable in a multi-cable household.
• Bling It: For those DIY types, there is an almost unlimited number of things you can do to claim your cable and make it your own. Give this one a Google search or check out Pinterest and you will see everything from glitter wraps to handmade crochet sleeves.
• Upgrade It: Your stock cable looks just like everyone else’s. So, consider upgrading to one of Anker’s braided nylon cables. They have a distinctive look and feel, and come in such colors as black, red, white and more. For more information about lightning cable, micro USB cable and mobile charger upgrades, visit anker.com.
While most people wouldn’t dream of borrowing someone’s toothbrush or underwear, it seems like charging cables have become fair game for housemates to use or even walk off with without asking first. However, distinguishing your gear from everyone else’s in your household can help you guard against unintentional theft.