Nowadays, it can be safe to assume that most of our lives revolve around our “phones.” It’s funny how such small device contains such large quantity of our personal and vital information, and not to mention our daily dependency – or, hopefully, the lack thereof.
Regardless if you’re a phoneaholic, distractions and thievery are all too common causes of losing possession of your precious phone.
In other words, maybe you’ve lost your phone when you were in the middle of a wondering thought due to your profound careless nature, or maybe you just gave a thief the exact perfect timing to simply snatch your phone from right under you.
If you want to stop burning money on lost or stolen phones, you need to be conscious, cautious, and aware of how you are handling your phone at all times.
First off, back pockets are always a bad idea. You can’t have that much of a sensitive bottom, and you certainly don’t have eyes on the back of your head; therefore, putting a valuable item literally behind your back is an easy way of losing it or getting it stolen. It can even fall out of your pocket without you ever noticing. Hence, first tip: No back pockets.
If the back-pockets practice is terrible, then leaving your phone exposed and away from you is definitely twice as bad. Keep your phone near you at all times: don’t leave it near edges of table, don’t leave it unattended while charging in public places, etc. Remember, leaving your phone open is an invite for anybody to swoop in and take it, like a hundred-dollar bill lying around with nobody around.
Another thing you can do is personalize your phone as much as possible, such as with a case-like sticker glued to your phone, for instance, like the ones they offer at http://www.skinit.com. With this sort of stickers, you can make your phone go with whatever theme you like, but most importantly, make it easy to identify. Easy-to-identify phones are not a top target for common thieves because they usually just want to resell the common devices…and not be caught using or unable to sell such a highly customized phone.
You could also put a message on your lock screen, just in case an honest person gets a hold of your phone.
For example, put a message with contact information that people can contact you if they find your phone. Obviously, it can’t be your own phone number but a social media handle or someone else’s number will suffice.
The way to do this will differ from phone to phone, but it is usually found in the security settings. Also, setting up a PIN number is useful, since every time your phone turns on, you’ll have to enter this code to access your data.
If you’re an iPhone owner, you’ll be happy to know that all Apple devices have the “Find My iPhone” option, which you can just turn on in your device when it goes missing.
You can do this by tapping Settings > iCloud, then scroll to the bottom and tap “Find My iPhone.” Slide to turn that ON, as well as the “Send Last Location” setting. To sign in, simply enter your Apple ID.
– Android and Other Phones
It’s always a great idea to download apps specifically tailored for these potential scenarios.
If you don’t have an iPhone, you can download something like Prey, which has a Free Plan that includes coverage for three devices, reports, geo-location, alert messages, and screen lock. Prey also offers other plans that include a remote wipe option, plus cover more devices, starting at $5 a month. The app works great on Android or iOS device.
Lookout is another choice, combining tracking options with anti-virus protection. The app has interesting features, such as recording a phone’s last location before the battery dies, backing up your contact data before a remote wipe, and taking a pretty picture of the would-be thief to be emailed it to you along with location data. Lookout offers a free two-week trial, afterward, it’ll cost $3 a month.
If it’s already too late, and you no longer have your phone or didn’t download a tracking app, there are still some things you could do.
For iPhone users, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have already activated your “Find My iPhone” setting, as it’s pretty much standard now.
For Android users, Google’s Android Device Manager app contains options to ring your phone very loudly (even if it’s muted), lock it with a new password, and even wipe out your data.
To get this app, go to Google Play to download it, then enter your Google account password to enable it
The best part of all is that this service can be fired up for the first time without having it configured on your phone, although results may vary. You can remotely track your phone since Google’s Web portal should indicate the last known position of your phone.
Now, if you are beginning to accept the reality that you may never recover your phone, then a wipeout or a deactivation of your phone is highly recommended. This is to prevent thieves from obtaining your personal information, like your bank account passwords, social media, and other relevant information you might have on your phone.
Using the IMEI code of your phone should be an easy way to deactivate your phone by contacting your phone contractor. The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number is a unique identification number each phone has so that if your phone gets stolen, thieves cannot change the SIM card and expect to keep the phone.
So, even if you do get your phone lost or stolen with the blithe possibility of never seeing it again, you can always keep your data safe. But most all, the important thing is to prepare and prevent it from happening by taking all these precautionary measures that we have discussed – and you can be sure you won’t lose it or at least have means of retrieving your phone.