It’s one of the most annoying, stressful and inconvenient problems we can face in this day and age, losing your phone is a nightmare from start to finish. As much as we don’t like it, it does happen from time to time, and nothing infuriates us more.
But what should you do if you lose your smartphone? Thankfully, we’ve got you covered, and by following the steps shown in this article, hopefully you’ll be able to recover your smartphone and also stop it happening again!
Before you lose your phone…
If your phone has already gone missing then you can go ahead and scroll down, but if you’re worried about losing it make sure you follow these tips.
The first line of defence for your smartphone is your password or passcode, and if you lose your phone it’s likely that this will deter 99% of people from trying to get into your device. Granted, that person may well be trying to ring one of your contacts to inform them of your phone being found, but it could also be someone with the know-how to be able to access sensitive information.
Ensure your password is on, and then make sure it isn’t something like ‘password’ or ‘1234’. Also, try and avoid using your birthdate or pin number, this is just asking for trouble.
Find out how to use Touch ID for extra security here!
Can I track my phone?
iPhones already have the Find My iPhone app, but there are plenty of similar ‘find my phone apps’ for Android and Windows Phones as well. If you have one of these apps active it makes it much easier to find your device if it goes missing. Also, the majority of them are free as well, so it doesn’t cost you anything either.
Insurance is a good idea, even if you think you’re the most cautious person in the world. This makes sure that if your phone is lost, stolen or damaged, that you get a fresh one, no questions asked.
Also, you can register your phone on the Police’s Immobilise website, which makes it easier for them to identify your gadget as well. It only takes 10 minutes to do and is completely free to do, making it a simple yet effective way of securing your phone.
If you want to make your phone more recognisable, you can also sign it with UV ink, which is invisible to the naked eye, but shows under UV light. Also, it’s a good idea to avoid those smartphone cases with your cash and card compartments. Whilst they are handy, they also mean that if your phone is lost or stolen, you don’t have access to your bank account or any cash.
I’ve lost my phone already…
If you’ve already lost your phone or had it stolen, these are the things you need to do. Speed is key if you plan on finding your device, as if someone is given enough time, they may be able to access all of the information in your phone.
This is always a good idea to try, if you’ve lost your phone, the odds are that it’s still in the same place or someone has picked it up. If you call it, someone should find it, or the person who’s picked it up may answer it and be able to return it.
This is down to pot luck, but generally if the person who finds it is a decent human being, they’ll be happy to return it to you without any fuss.
Lock your phone:
If you’ve followed our tips from earlier on, you’ll have some form of password protection and phone tracking technology. It’s key that you immediately access this tracking app to lock your phone from any would-be hackers.
Whilst your password does secure your phone, there are computer programs which can break through them. If you have the Find My iPhone app, locking your phone through this makes it far harder to break, similar to the other apps available.
How to track your mobile phone:
If you can locate your phone through your lost phone app then take a screenshot or jot down the address as fast as you can. This can be handed to the Police to help get you’re your phone back, of course, this only works if the device is connected to the internet, so don’t bank on this being the case.
Many tracking apps let you display a message on the lock screen, make sure to do this when possible. If you can give a phone number to contact you on and explain that the phone is locked. Remember, if someone can see this and doesn’t attempt to return it, they will be breaking the law, so could be charged with theft if they get caught.
Report it to the Police and your network:
This counts doubly if your phone is stolen. It might seem over the top, but it is really the only way to track down your smartphone, contacting the Police and explaining the circumstances in which you lost your phone could result in a swift return of your device.
If you have an address of the tracked phone’s location using a lost mobile phone tracker then give this to them, this will count for good reason to search the listed address for your device. Do not under any circumstances take this into your own hands, as you have no idea just how dangerous the person may be.
Also, ensure the lost handset is reported to your network, once your network knows this it can remotely block your device and cancel the sim card inside it. It could be an inconvenience if you do get it back, but it’s one which is worthwhile.
Wipe your phone:
This is the ultimate last resort. If you’ve exhausted all other options and still can’t track it down, you need to wipe your phone, especially if you have sensitive information on it.
This can be easily done via your tracker app like Find My iPhone, but once it’s done there is no way back. If there’s no other option, it will ensure that none of your details fall into the wrong hands.
Also, if you inform your network that the phone has been wiped, they’ll ensure that it is blacklisted from all UK services. This means the phone won’t connect to any UK based signal, turning it into a glorified media player at best.
So, we’re hoping that you’ll never have to go through such a taxing experience, but if you do, we hope this guide has helped!