Lost your phone, and have no idea what to do about it? For your first step, read our guide on what to do if you lose your phone.
Did you lose your phone?
Smartphones are a necessity nowadays because of the convenience they provide, along with the communication capabilities it gives to the user. This convenience and portability lead to 96% of Americans owning a smartphone. Despite the value they provide, though, most people are still careless about handling them.
This carelessness is often enough to cause them to lose their phones. Most people will panic if they can't find it quickly. With our help, this won't be a problem and you’ll know what to do if you lose your phone.
Read our guide below and we’ll take you on a step-by-step list on what you should do when you lose your phone.
The first thing you should always do when you lose your phone is to call your number. There’s a chance that it’s somewhere out of your line of sight. This can save you some time and effort in continuing with the other steps.
If you aren’t lucky and this isn’t the case for you, then pray that someone picks it up. Most phones allow calls to bypass the security features you placed. This will allow anyone close to the phone to pick it up and answer.
If you hear an answer, tell them to meet in a public place to return your phone to you. The tale will end here and you’ll have your phone back. If they ignore the call or decline it though, then consider that they stole your phone.
Your next step is to find your phone. Android and Apple products have a built-in feature that allows you to track where your phone is. You only need to allow the feature to function while you have your phone with you.
This makes it important to enable the feature, as you won’t be able to access it if you leave it be. Android devices have this feature on by default from the moment you turn your phone on. You only need another device to track your phone.
The iPhone requires you to switch the feature on. You can find it in Settings under the “Find My Phone” tab. What’s great about the iPhone is that you can track your lost phone through iCloud. You need to have the location tracker enabled on your phone for these features to work, though.
Do note that many apps need your location tracker to be on before you can use them. If you still failed to turn this on, though, there’s another way for you to track your phone.
Some websites allow you to track your phone using your phone number. These are great for helping you find your phone when you can’t use the methods above. You only need to read their terms and conditions or their DMCA notice to know what you’re getting into.
Considering that someone stole your phone, making sure they can’t access your phone is essential. Most people don’t activate any security feature to make accessing the phone easier. What’s great is there are remote locking services for smartphones.
This is also among the features of the Find My Phone function of smartphones. Select the secure locking option and your phone won’t become accessible unless they know the locking code. This is useful if you have sensitive content on your mobile device.
You can also choose a message to display on the lock screen of the phone. This allows whoever’s holding the phone to see the message you display.
The next step is to change the passwords to sensitive accounts. This is to prevent people from stealing sensitive information from any of the accounts you linked to your phone. People who can access this can blackmail you or commit identity theft.
This makes it important to hop onto the nearest computer and change your passwords. Your social media accounts should be the first ones you change. These contain many contacts and even private photos nowadays.
The thief can also pose as you when they use your social media accounts. On that note, alerting people about your phone is also essential. This prevents them from leaking sensitive information to whoever is using your account.
Wondering what to do if you lose your phone? Consider the accounts linked to it. If you've linked any bank accounts to the phone, it’s time to freeze them.
Technology allows us to do some of our bank transactions online nowadays. The added convenience causes people to link it to their phones. This is fine until someone else has a hold of their mobile device.
Go to your bank and freeze your accounts before they steal money from it. This can save you from going bankrupt when someone has your phone.
Now that you’ve settled your crucial accounts, contacting your local authorities is the next step. Alert them of your situation so they can list it as a stolen item. This is good for you if you have insurance on your phone, as it allows you to get a similar phone or an upgrade.
You must only consider this as a last resort. This is because if you do this, tracking your phone is no longer an option.
You can have your phone wiped by your telecommunications company. Think of this as an online factory reset. It'll remove all your data and revert the phone to its base look.
Some states have a kill switch on all the smartphones made in the area. This is the same as the remote wipe but is faster since next to no verification processes exist for them.
Don't panic the next time you lose your mobile device. Change your passwords, freeze any important accounts, call the authorities, and double-check our guide here to remember what to do if you lose your phone.
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