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How to Prepare & What to Do If You Lose Your Phone

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Linsay ThomasGuest Blogger
November 23, 2016 · 763 Views

lost iphone

Source: Tom Grundy/Shutterstock via Digital Trends

Losing a cellphone can be a devastating loss, but it does happen. Maybe you misplaced it. Perhaps it fell out of your purse or pocket. Maybe a thief stole it. Sometimes we lose our phones temporarily, and end up finding them in the car or in the house. But what if you lose it while out running errands or while you are at work or school? Anybody can get their hands on it and view your personal information – especially if it’s not password-protected.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to prepare your phone in case it gets stolen or lost. While that might seem weird, you’ll think differently if you lose your phone and you’re able to retrieve it thanks to your preparation skills. Read on to find out how to prepare your phone for the worst so you can keep it – and your personal information – safe.

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How to Prepare Your Phone In Case You Lose It (and What to Do if It Actually Happens)



Be Prepared check mark icon

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Source: TekRevue

 

When you get a new phone, the first thing you should do – after you get it set up, of course – is write down some identifying information that will help you recover your phone should you lose track of it. You’ll want to have the following numbers handy:

  • Your phone number
  • Serial number
  • Mobile Equipment Identifier 
  • International Mobile Station Equipment Identity

The next step is to back up everything on your phone that you can’t live without. This may include apps, videos, photos, text messages, emails, contacts and games. Backing up all this data may seem like a huge pain, but it’ll be worth it if you lose your phone for good and need to buy a new one. You can easily transfer all the data you backed up onto your new phone. If you have an iPhone, you can use iCloud to back up your important data. If your phone is an Android, you can use Google Drive. There are also services such as OneDrive and Dropbox.

You also need to make sure your phone is as secure as possible. This means activating a screen lock or password on your phone so that your information can’t be accessed by a thief. If the thief doesn’t know how to unlock your hone, the best he or she can do is perform a factory reset. This would erase all your data, but on the plus side, the thief won’t be able to access it.

As a final step, make sure your phone’s remote services are set up. Android phones have an Android Device Manager, while iPhones have the Find My iPhone feature. Once the configuration is complete, you’ll be able to remotely track your phone. You’ll also be able to remotely lock it and even have it ring so you can try to locate it. As a last resort, you can perform a factory reset remotely. This will, however, wipe out all your data and allow the thief to use the phone.
 


 

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Finding Your Lost Phone magnifying glass

lost phone

Source: Windows Central

If you’re having trouble finding your phone, all is not lost. Maybe you just misplaced it. Try these steps to find it.

  1. Call or text your phone. Hopefully you left your ringer on. If so, you can call from another phone and see if you can hear your ringtone or text notification. If your texts display on the screen, you can leave directions on what to do with your found if it is phone.
  2. Use your phone’s remote services. If you’ve called your phone and can’t find it, try using the remote services to locate it. It should be able to tell you where it is, so that will hopefully out your mind at ease, unless it’s at a place you don’t recognize.
  3. Back up data, then remove it from your phone. Do a quick backup of your data to make sure that you can still access all your data later on. If you’re almost positive that your phone was stolen, you might want to use the remote wipe functionality to wipe all the data from your phone. That way, it can’t be accessed by anyone.
  4. Inform your carrier. Let the phone company know that your phone has been stolen and they can disable all services. That way, you won’t be charged for services and fees that you didn’t incur. They’ll let you know the next steps as well.
  5. Alert the police. If you saw someone take off with your phone, or have noticed fraudulent charges to your bank or credit card account since the theft, you’ll want to alert the police and file a report.

 

If you carry your phone with you at all time, the odds are very high that it’ll get lost or stolen eventually. Let’s hope you never have to deal with type of situation. By following the tips above, you’ll be more proactive when it comes to your mobile device. You can prepare for the worst, keep thieves out and hopefully even find your phone quickly.


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linsaythomas profile picture
Linsay Thomas is a seasoned writer and editor who has written thousands of articles about topics such as saving money, healthcare, law, pets and education. She hails from California, where she lives with her husband, two children and a menagerie of pets. When she's not writing, she enjoys sports, breeding chocolate Labs and visiting the beach.
CrystalloverDec 16, 2016
Useful!!! Thank you!