Things to Do if Your Phone is Lost or Stolen

A phone nowadays is more than just a phone. Losing a phone can mean someone has a single access point to your entire life.

That’s why it’s wise to take extensive preventive measures in securing and protecting your device. Check out these ways to protect sensitive information and improve your odds of recovering your phone if it’s lost or stolen.

Is It Really Missing?

First, determine if the phone is truly missing, or if you’ve just misplaced it. It’s quick and easy to ring and pinpoint your device’s location. Just use Find My iPhone if it’s an iPhone, or Android Device Manager if you’re missing an Android phone. 

Lock and Wipe Your Phone Remotely 

If the phone is indeed missing, act quickly to remotely deactivate your device. Of course, this requires you to have the apps installed first. Here they are, by device and carrier:

Get in Touch with Your Phone Carrier 

Next, contact your phone carrier to report the phone as lost or stolen. Your carrier will provide you with options to either suspend or disconnect the phone.  

Change Your Passwords

Change your cloud password and lock screen password as soon as possible to put out fires and prevent further damage. Be sure to also change the passwords to your bank, email, social media, and other accounts you accessed from your phone.  For this reason, you should store important details somewhere easily accessible: inside the kitchen cabinet, on your spouse’s phone, or in your planner. These details include:

  • Carrier and account details 
  • Bank accounts and info
  • Important phone numbers (Do you know anyone’s number by heart?)
  • Sign-in credentials for location tracking. Find My iPhone only works if you know how to log in.
  • Your digital wallet balance

Preventive Measures to Protect Your Info

The best protection is prevention. Here’s what you can do now to make your life easier if and when your device goes missing:

-Protect your phone at the lock screen, using a fingerprint, face, or pin. Not having a lock on your phone makes you more of a target for theft. It’s like leaving valuables out in plain sight in your car (and tossing the keys to a stranger). Plus, a lock offers a valuable line of defense that gives you time to take action and protect your data in the event of a loss.

-Backup, backup, backup. Upload information to the cloud regularly so you have access to your most recent photos, music, and data. If you do find yourself losing your phone and having to remotely wipe your device, you want it to be something you don’t even have to think twice about. 

-Type passwords in manually instead of auto saving them so losing your phone doesn’t also mean losing your identity and savings.

Report to Work

Ever used the lost phone for work? This includes accessing work email, project management apps, or texting colleagues about work. If so, tell your employer. It protects you and them, and gives them a chance to secure their data.