28 July 2020

How to protect your phone if it ever gets lost

Lost Phone Photo by thiago japyassu from Pexels

Losing your phone can be a frustrating experience. Whether it’s a simple annoyance, such as misplacing it around your house, or a significant issue, like leaving it in a public place, losing your phone can cause you stress and it can cause you money.

You may be wondering what to do if you loose your phone. Whether you have an iPhone or an Android, there are simple steps you can take to make sure your phone is safe from theft and to ensure that you can find it easily.

Both iPhone and Android have apps that can help you find a lost or stolen phone, but these apps must be enabled on your phone before it goes missing.

What to Do If Your iPhone Is Lost

There are a few methods for finding a lost iPhone - the method you choose will depend on how you’ve set your phone up and whether you have enabled Find My Device.

If You Have Find My Device Enabled

The Find My Device app lets you find your device, helps you get it back, and protects your information. You can access it by going to http://icloud.com/find or using the app on another device. You will then log in with your iCloud login.

Select Find My iPhone. The app will show you where your iPhone is on the map. If it is close enough, you can opt to make your iPhone play a noise so you can find it.

You can also choose Mark as Lost. This action will lock your iPhone and display a message saying the phone is lost and list a number where you can be reached. Apple Pay will not be available for use, which is helpful if you have card information stored in the app.

You should then report your phone as missing to local authorities. If you have the serial number, which can be found on the box, the authorities might want that as well.

If some time goes by and you give up on finding your phone, you can use the Find My Device app to wipe all of the information from your phone. Once you do this, you will no longer be able to track the phone and whoever has it will be able to unlock it.

Remember to report your phone as missing to your cell phone carrier and remove it as a trusted device.

If You Do Not Have Find My Device Enabled

If you did not activate Find My Device, there is no way to track your device. However, there are still a few things you can do to protect yourself and possibly get your phone back.

Change all of your passwords. Immediately create a new Apple ID password so that no one can access any of your information and accounts. If you have any other apps on your iPhone that automatically log you in, such as Facebook, you will need to change those passwords, too.

As stated above, make sure you alert local authorities to your missing device and give them the serial number. Also, inform your cell carrier and remove your phone as a trusted device.

What to Do If Your Android Phone Is Lost

As with the iPhone, how you go about finding your lost Android phone depends on the settings you have enabled.

If You Have Find My Device Enabled

If you have signed into a Google account on your Android phone, then Find My Device should be enabled, unless you manually turned it off. For you to use Find My Device, your phone must be on, logged on to Google, connected cellular of WiFi, be visible on Google Play, and have location services enabled.

You can go to the website http://android.com/find and log in with the Google account you use on your missing phone. Your lost phone will receive a notification and you will be able to see where your phone is on a map. If the app cannot find your phone, it will show you its last known location.

You can set the alarm to ring for five minutes. You can also lock the device and send a message to the screen. If you think the phone is gone for good or if you are worried about someone finding your information, you can erase the phone. After the phone is erased, you will no longer be able to locate it with Find My Device.

You can also use your Wear OS watch to find your phone if the two are paired.

If You Do Not Have Find My Device Enabled

If you didn’t enable Find My Device on your phone before it went missing, here’s what to do if you loose your phone.

You should report your phone as missing to the police and change any passwords that might be insecure if another person has your phone.

What to Do if You Misplace Your Device in Your Home

It’s a common problem to set your phone down somewhere in your house and then forget where you put it. Some people do it several times a day. Before you tear apart the sofa or dig through the garbage, there are some easier ways to find your lost phone.

You can always ask your phone’s virtual assistant to help you find the phone. Your phone will make a pinging noise, allowing you to follow the sound.

Smart speakers can also help you find your phone by making your phone ring or play music. Just make sure you have paired your phone with your speaker.

If losing your phone is an everyday thing, there are Bluetooth products you can use to make your phone easier to find.

Losing your phone is a pain, there’s no way around that. But if you know the steps to take both before and after losing your phone, you can make the process of finding it simpler. With the right moves, you can protect your sensitive data and get your phone back where it belongs.