Losing your smartphone is probably equivalent to losing a limb in the current digital age we belong to. Our smartphones are an extension of our lives, they help us keep on track with our daily routines, work meetings, calorie intake, social media updates and all the latest on stocks and trades at times too. The way we use our smartphones reflects our dependency on the device, but it also shows that these vessels of technology carry vital information that we do not wish to share with the world… at least, not just yet.
But sometimes the dreaded ‘slipping out of the pocket’ or ‘forgetting in the club bathroom’, is the fate determined for our precious smartphones and after the panic, anger and sometimes tears, action needs to take place…
Here are a few top tips you may want to keep in mind just in case your smartphone goes missing:
1 – Give yourself a ring
This might sound obvious and even a little silly, but there is a great chance that your smartphone is hiding in the couch or stuffed at the bottom of your bag – your kid sister might even have taken it as a joke; so there’s no harm in giving yourself a ring from another phone and having a quick listen around the house, car, office or restaurant you’re in.
If you don’t find it immediately; someone might pick up and let you know that your phone is safe. Although it may not seem so most of the time; there are a bunch of good people out there and plus, with all the tracking technology installed in phones, you’d have to be a pretty lousy thief to steal a phone.
Top tip: Try and get the call in before your battery goes flat or the phone is switched off!
2 – Commence lock down
While some devices may contain a few more elements of ‘sensitive data’ than others; we all want to protect what’s on our phones. Even a simple (and innocent) selfie can be taken out of context and placed on the web for all to see. Some phone users also have valuable information such as images of identity documents, medical stats and of course the great majority of us have contactless payment inbuilt into our phone via Apple Pay for example.
You can easily log into your Android Device Manager or Find My iPhone account to lock your phone manually. You will obviously need to have this set up beforehand, so if you have not set up this phenomenon on your phone yet; it might be a good idea to do so.
3 – Time to GPS that baby
If you have your GPS locating service activated on your phone (which you should); you’ll be able to find your smartphone’s whereabouts in no time. You’ll need to access Android Device Manager or Find My iPhone once again for this.
If you find your smartphone but feel like it might be in someone’s possession, it might be a good idea to inform the police and let them guide you in retrieving it. Remember… safety first.
4 – Keep your data safe
OK, it’s clear to say that your phone is locked now – there’s no way of getting into the device without a password or some genius bout of hacker tactics; but let’s look on the brightside and play it even safer. First off… call your service provider; let them know that you’d like to suspend your service.
Once your phone is successfully locked down and your service cut off; it’s probably a good idea to change all passwords for social media accounts, email accounts and other online logins you might want to secure. Think about your daily browsing, what needs to be signed out of? It’s also probably not a bad idea to give your bank a call and let them know that all mobile payments should be deactivated from your account.
5 – Time for a clean slate
If you’ve gone through all the steps, tried your best to locate the phone; cleared the passwords and sorted out a new service and banking system… enough time has probably gone by and you’re most likely on your way to getting yourself a new phone right?
Well, maybe it’s time to wipe all the data from your phone and give yourself that added hit of protection. Start afresh, start clean and protect yourself from any nasties that could come your way if your phone is actually in the wrong hands.
The most important thing to remember when you lose your phone is to stay calm, don’t think of the worst case scenario and jump to detrimental conclusions, for all you know your phone is sitting under your car seat. Wait… did you check the car?