It's a scary feeling when you realize your phone isn't where you thought it was at its worst. Losing a smartphone can happen to anyone, but you can avoid the complete disaster of a lost phone if you are prepared.
The first thing to do when you realize that your phone is actually missing is not to panic!
ANDROID USERS: USE "FIND MY DEVICE"
If you have an android phone, the easiest way to find your phone is to use the Find My Device feature that has been built into your phone thanks to Google Play. Most phones and devices running Android 2.3 or later have this feature.
You can use it in the app or through a browser window. When you open the app or search in the browser, you will see all your devices listed at the top. Just click on your device and you can see where it was last "seen".
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This will also give you the ability to make a call, lock your device, or delete all content from your device. Note that if you choose to delete the contents of your phone, you will not be able to locate it again using Find My Device.
IPHONE USERS: USE THE "FIND MY IPHONE" FEATURE.
Apple makes it easy to locate a lost iPhone by installing the Find My iPhone app on every iOS device. It works similarly to Find My Device on Android and displays your lost iPhone on a map so you can easily find it. You can also access it through your browser.
You will have the ability to play audio on your iPhone, mark it as "Lost", erase your iPhone or send a message to your phone when it is in lost mode.
The Find My iPhone app can also locate lost iPods and iPads.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR PHONE IS STOLEN OR LOST?
If you have tried to find your phone and realized that it is completely lost or has been stolen, follow the steps below.
DO YOU HAVE INSURANCE?
If you have an insurance plan that covers the theft or loss of your smartphone, this is obviously ideal.
Your first step is to call your cell phone carrier to suspend service and then report it as stolen or lost.
If you can, remotely erase your device. If you don't know how to do this, ask your mobile provider.
Check: Reverse number lookup
Change the passwords to your accounts. It can be a pain, but it's better than risking someone being able to access your accounts and data through a stolen device.
File an insurance claim to begin the process of replacing your device. Many insurers offer next-day phone replacement, so be sure to ask about this when you file your claim.
IF YOU DON'T HAVE INSURANCE
The steps in this case are similar to those you should take if you have insurance. You should still:
- Suspend your phone service and report your phone as lost or stolen to your cell phone carrier.
- Remotely wipe your phone
- Change all account passwords to secure account information
- Check your landlord's or tenant's insurance policy and make 100% sure the replacement will not be covered (sometimes it is!).
If you use your phone to access work emails, apps, and other potentially sensitive information, be sure to notify your employer if you lose your phone. Your employer's IT department may have protocols in place to help secure your data.
PROVIDE PEACE OF MIND FOR FUTURE PHONE CALLS
If you've ever lost your phone, rest assured that you never want to go through this process again! After replacing your phone, follow these steps to secure your phone in case it gets stolen or lost again.
Consider insuring your phone. Our blog has information on the potential pros and cons of smartphone insurance, so start there!
Secure your phone with a strong PIN, a password that isn't easy to guess, or use a biometric option like fingerprint or facial recognition whenever possible.
Make sure your phone is registered for remote tracking if this is not a feature automatically built into the device.
Back up your data so you don't lose everything if you lose your phone again. Learn more about data backup and choose the right solution for you by going to: https://inlookup.com