What to do if your mobile phone is lost or stolen
What to do if your mobile phone is lost or stolen
Losing your smartphone can be one of the biggest nightmares. Not only because they are generally a big investment, but for many reasons including critical data loss, photos and important documents can be housed there to name but a few. You would never want confidential information, not so much as a personal picture, in the hands of an anonymous person.
Well, thanks to advanced technology, now we have quick and easy ways to find lost mobile phones. However, you must be entirely sure that your phone isn’t simply misplaced before resorting to these steps – so do check thoroughly first. If you are quite sure your phone is actually lost or stolen, the first steps you should take is to inform the police and block access to all the data on your android phones or iPhones. If your phone is left unlocked and its data accessible, whoever has it can use your or sell your phone instantly.
While almost all of us spend a large percentage of our days with our smartphones glued to us, sometimes we can lose track of them after placing them somewhere close by. Here are the best and most useful ways to deal with your stolen or lost mobile phone, in case you have unfortunately are in this situation. Let’s start with the most important part.
1. Lock your Android Phone or iPhone
It may sound a bit obvious but locking your lost phone is the most important and fundamental step to prevent any misuse. If your phone has accidentally got into the hands of a stranger, the first thing they would most likely do is explore it. If you just take a minute and remotely lock the device before anyone manages to investigate the data inside, there shouldn’t be any major issues.
To lock an android phone; you simply need to navigate to search ’Find My Device’ on any search engine or through the Play store. For the quickest access, visit ‘Google.com/android/find’ and then click ’Secure device’. This way you will be able to instantly lock your phone as well as being able to erase any data present at the same time.
Note: for this to work, you must already be logged in to your Google account from your mobile phone too.
After you log in from the web browser, you can change the lock screen password and create a new one. At this point you are able to remotely erase your data which means you can delete all information – photos, messages, contacts – currently on your phone, so it doesn’t get misused.
For iPhone users; the method is pretty much the same, except there is an advanced ‘Lost Mode’ feature additionally activated in the ‘Find my iPhone’ app. This means when you use the ‘Find my iPhone’ application or enable the mode by logging in to ‘icloud.com/Find’, it is already trackable. Once you log in, ‘Lost Mode’ will be automatically turned on, and it also has an option of showing a custom message on your lost phone’s screen with your reachable number. With this in place anyone who finds your phone has a way to reach out to you to return it.
2. Reach out to Your Network Provider and Report Police
Your phone’s network provider can help you as soon as you are sure your phone is lost. You should immediately inform the network to block any sim usage for future pay bills or unauthorized use. As well as that, before filing a report to the police about a stolen or lost phone, you must also get the IMEI number of your mobile phone which is its own identification number. You can provide this number to the police to help them further investigate the phone and track things related to it.
The smartest way to report to the police instantly is by dialing 101 or going to the police station in the UK, some boroughs also offer an online reporting system. After you lodge a complaint or file a report, remember to keep a record of the crime reference number. If you need to put in an insurance claim later down the line, this reference number will be needed.
3. Alter All Passwords
It is crucial for users to protect all their devices by next updating all passwords, including extra login details and pin codes. This needs to be done even if you have a hope of getting your device back -change your passwords at any cost. Some of you might also have auto-saved your passwords, these should all be updated too. The thief, or new user of your phone might be able to crack your code, or re-use the password wrongly and for that reason, you need to take these precautions to stop this happening.
4. Trace your phone yourself
If you have already handed over this case to the police, they may have just started their investigation – there are however shortcuts to tracking your phone yourself if you are so inclined. These include GPS tracking, using Dropbox, and as mentioned earlier, the ‘Find my Phone’ app. However, in all these cases, your phone must be active on the internet or at least logged in with your Google account.
5. Calling Your Bank
Here is yet another critical step that you need to take once you are entirely sure your phone is lost; make sure to call your bank and disable any credit/debit cards from use before you can change your pin code. A lot of online websites, apps, or platforms may have your online bank data already saved. So, you need to shut off every online facility before it’s too late. You can also ask your bank about any recent activity that may have been performed over social media accounts, shopping sites, or elsewhere. For the safe side, it is good practice to block all services and get a replaced credit card.
In the most modern technological world, there will always be instances of lost or stolen phones. But, with more solutions now available around the tech space, it is now easier at least to deal with it. Hence, we advise you not to worry too much and hope for the best! Even if you don’t get your phone back, at least you now know how to deal with the situation safely. And since you may now be in the market for a new phone why not hop over to the official OPPO UK Store and get your new replacement phone with amazing specs at amazing price-points!