Whenever we lose our phone, we panic. That’s the first thing we do. Whether you’ve misplaced it or it’s been stolen, you must act quickly to protect your sensitive data. People often lose their smartphones, and nothing holds more personal information than our smartphone itself.
So, Don’t panic and do the following steps in case of an unfortunate event.
What to do if you have lost your phone?
1. Try Calling Your Number Immediately
The first thing you should do after discovering that you have lost your phone is call it from another number. Maybe you have not lost it yet; perhaps you have replaced it with someone’s phone or mistakenly left it at a store. If your phone is not on silent, you can still hear it and find it.
However, if someone picks up your phone after it falls from your pocket or bag, they may answer it instantly. So if it rings and no one answers, contact the generous assistance.
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2. Lock Down Your Phone Right Away
It is always recommended for Android and iOS users to keep their phones locked with patterns, face-recognition lock, fingerprint, voice-recognition lock, passwords, etc. But you can also lock your iPhone remotely so that no one can access your private information. You can Activate Lost Mode on your iPhone by logging into another device and clicking on the Find My iPhone option by logging into your Apple account.
If it’s an Android device, you can use the Android Device Manager and look for the recent location of your device with the Find My Device option with your same google id. Here, you also get a chance to secure your device to start displaying a message on the smartphone. You can even erase your device remotely with Android Find My Device.
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3. Track Your Phone Using GPS when Lost my Phone
If calling does not help, try to locate the phone using your phone’s GPS. However, if you haven’t activated your phone’s GPS from the start, this method won’t help you at all. Your Android devices come with an inbuilt location tracking service that tracks the activities you do with your mobile phone. For example, you can log in to your Google account from another device and go to Google Location History to track your lost phone’s current location.
Or, with the help of Android Find My Device for Android or Find My iPhone, you can check the recent location of your smartphone.
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4. Lost my Phone – Erase All the Data Remotely
If calling or using GPS is not enough to know your phone’s location, maybe the person who got it took out the battery and your sim card as well. You can erase all your data from your iCloud or Google account, but this won’t let you track your device again. But if you had kept a backup of all your data before you lost my phone, you can restore it.
5. Report Your Stolen or Lost Phone to the Cops
If you think you have not lost my phone, preferably, it was stolen, then report it as soon as possible to the cops. Though the chance of getting your phone back is nearly zero, you can at least show the reference number to demand your insurance. First, however, you need to make sure that your phone is stolen and not lost.
In India, you can also file your FIR (First Information Report) online and report your stolen device without visiting the Police station.
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6. Deactivate Your SIM Card
As soon as you discover that your phone is not receiving any calls from you, contact your service provider to ask them to suspend your SIM card. Of course, this will not get your phone back, but you can at least prevent the misuse of your number. Moreover, if your mobile wallets are linked to your phone number, then the person who stole your phone can rob your account, as the OTP will be sent to your phone number during a purchase. This is a stressful situation, and the last thing you want right now is no balance on your account to buy a new phone.
7. Secure Your Online Accounts
Not only your emails but your social network accounts are also important. The moment someone finds your phone or steals it from you, that person can quickly look into your social media accounts and pretend to be you. They can access your Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, and other networks and text people you usually do. To prevent this, change your passwords from all accounts, including Google and other emails you have.
Preferably try to wipe your smartphone with the help of Android Device Manager or iCloud.
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8. Unlink Your Accounts
If changing passwords does not give you that mental satisfaction, you can manually unlink all your cloud accounts. Unlinking your cloud storage like Dropbox, Google Drive, etc., can also stop the syncing process, making your accounts safer. You can do this from your desktop or another mobile device by going to the account’s security page and removing your lost device from the list.
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How to Keep Your Device Safe, Always
If you have already spent more than three months without your previous smartphone and using a new one, you need to take some precautionary measures to ensure the disaster does not happen again. Here are some things you should do after getting a new phone in your pocket.
1. Try to Enable Tracking Location
With Android Device Manager, you can track your phone from anywhere, but you need to ensure that your phone’s location is turned on. Then, when you access the Android Device Manager from another phone, it will show you the latest position of your mobile and when it was online for the last time.
2. Secure Your Phone with a Password
As soon as you get a new phone in your hand, make sure to secure it with a password, pattern, voice recognition, or anything of that sort. These security features will keep your data safe for at least a while until the person hacks your phone. And it will also buy you some time to change your passwords, lock your SIM card, and secure your cloud storage by unlinking them.
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3. Keep Your Mobile Internet Data Enabled
A tracking app needs your phone’s location to be turned on, but it also requires your mobile’s internet connection. So even if you have access to a high-speed WIFI network, always keep your mobile data on though it affects your battery life. If you haven’t turned it on, consider it gone forever. This is what you must do when your phone is lost.
4. Back Your Data By Syncing to Cloud Storages
You don’t want to lose all your photos and stuff you have kept for a long time. Instead, try to sync them to your cloud storage every day to get to see them again. It will help you keep everything in place when you get a new phone in your hand. Also, try a monthly backup of your data to google drive, iCloud or any offline storage to make sure you have a copy of data in case of any unfortunate event.
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5. Maybe Always Purchase a Phone with Non-Removable Batteries
If your phone’s battery is not removable, they can’t mislead you by removing the battery. However, most of the types of phones these days come with this feature, so you don’t need to worry much in this case.
Many people’s lives revolve around their smartphones. However, it now does far more than merely store phone numbers and assist you in making calls. This gadget has become a part of daily life, from digital wallet information to taxi booking.
The smartphone is a device that many people adore and appreciate. So losing or having your phone stolen may be more than an annoyance or financial loss. But don’t worry, everything is not lost. Not yet. The above-mentioned tips might help you understand what to do when your phone is lost.
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