For many people, losing a phone is a devastating thing! Just think of all the data on your smartphone: family photos, private videos, valuable music, banking information, contacts, notes, documents and files.
No wonder whenever a phone is lost or stolen, one feels like they have lost half their life.
Because many of those items stored on the phone are very hard to recover. But thieves and finders don’t care about all that. All they care about is sell the phone for a few quid and feed their addiction.
Things you should do while the phone is still present
- Always think lost think STOLEN and protect against.
- Write down your phone’s IMEI number.
- Backup phone on a regular basis – once a month is good. (on computer, iCloud, Google Drive or apps)
- Write down in a book some important numbers – customer services numbers, spouse’s number & key people’s contacts.
- For smartphones, find and install an appropriate app that can help recover, lock or remote wipe your phone.
- Always secure your phone with a password or keylock – Makes it a little hard for a thief to get into your stuff.
- Always be alert. do not let your guards down when it comes to your phone. keep it out of display for starters.
- For Apple iPhone users, always make sure you have a fully activated iCloud account with Apple.
- For Samsung users always make sure you have a fully activated Samsung Account with Samsung.
But things never work in the perfect world, in most cases, we only think of doing the above when our phones have been already stolen or lost. Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda……
Things you should do when your phone is stolen or lost
Here are some tips for finding and tracking your phone, or making the media & contacts on phone unaccessible. Things to do immediately you realize that your phone is gone.
1. Use another phone to call your number. Make sure it is not hidden under the sofa or in your bag.
2. Call your service provider to barr the sim so that the thief or finder don’t run up your bill.
3. Get your phone’s IMEI number blocked for use in that geographical region by your service provider.
4. For phones bought off line blocking might be a challenge, but that will make it easier for your phone to be tracked or traced if the third party get comfortable and use your phone.
5. Report your phone to police and get a reference number. This helps when it comes to insurance claims & sim replacement charges. Remember if you have no witness, did not see the thief or no cctv evidence, the police might not investigate your phone or record it as stolen!!!
6. If it is an iPhone and you had an iCloud account, find a computer with an internet connection, log into icloud.com and trace your phone’s location, send an alarm to the phone, or simply wipe it. The same applies to Apple iPads with 4G (Simcard). Of course, a ‘good’ thief will switch off the phone immediately, or even wipe it and switch of location services, but chances are high that not all thieves are that good.
7. If you have an Android phone, you can log into play.google.com and send an app to your lost phone so it can be located. Apps like ‘Find My Device’ can be remotely installed to your Android phone at anytime the phone gets switched on and get connected to the internet. You can also download the SpyBubble app for free—useful if you want to track your phone from a web browser.
8. For Samsung Android users (if you have a samsung account) you can log into findmymobile.samsung.com and track, locate, ring or wipe your phone. This Only Works if the phone is turned on and has internet connection.
9. Find a company that offers IMEI tracking services for a fee (Apparently, they do not exist in UK due to privacy laws!). And hire them to track your phone’s IMEI. At the moment it is VERY difficult to find a company in the UK with a genuine IMEI tracking services (I don’t know why!!). Most companies will claim to track lost phones but they assume that your phone will stay on with your Simcard active!!
10. Find a company that keeps a database of stolen phones and report or register your lost phone. You could be lucky because most of these companies do a none committal IMEI-track-trace service.