Having your phone stolen or lost is a frustratingly stressful and upsetting situation that can happen to anyone. Especially since smartphones are personal gadgets containing loads of valuable information, the situation only becomes increasingly stressful as time goes by when it is missing. Fortunately, there are several steps you can follow immediately after you realize your phone missing or stolen, which can hopefully help you recover the smartphone and protect your personal data.
1. Contact the Phone by Calling
Initiate the recovery process by simply calling the missing phone using another gadget. Calling the phone will allow you to hear the ringing or vibration if it is within earshot. Of course, this is more difficult with the phone set to silent mode but is always a good step. Another way of contacting the phone is by using the phone service’s mobile app to sound an alert message to the missing phone.
2. Contact the Phone by Texting
If calling doesn’t work, then try sending a text to help a do-gooder return the missing phone. The text should include instructions on contacting and locating you so that the person who found your phone can reach you and return it.
3. Utilize an Integrated Find My Phone Feature
Modern smartphones like the honor x8 phone usually come with integrated security features that allow users to track their phones using another device. In addition to tracking, there are several other remote options including locking, ringing, and wiping the smartphone data. Of course, this feature is only accessible when enabled, and can be different depending on the device. Android devices have the feature “Find My Device”, while Apple devices have the feature “Find my iPhone”.
4. Wipe the Phone Data
Contacting the phone may be ineffective, especially if it was stolen. If the phone was stolen, then remotely wiping the phone’s data would be ideal for protecting your personal data. Ideally, deleting the data should be done immediately and quickly since any wasted time means more time for thieves to remove the SIM card or place them in containers that deflect cellular signals and networks.
5. Remotely Lock the Phone
The Find My Phone feature comes with an option to remotely lock the phone. Regardless of the location and as long as there is a cellular signal, you can remotely lock your phone and even change the passwords in your logged-in accounts. In changing the passwords, consider prioritizing your most private accounts with sensitive information like your social media and finance-related profiles.
6. Contact Mobile Service Carrier
If the missing phone cannot be contacted or located, consider contacting your phone’s service carrier. Mobile carriers can completely cut off any cellular service to the phone. Also, they can even label the phone to be unusable and therefore unable to utilize any service regardless of a new mobile carrier or SIM card. This handy option benefits you by protecting your data while also protecting anyone who may have purchased the used phone not knowing it was stolen.
7. Contact the Authorities and Police
Lastly, contacting the police and alerting them of the missing or stolen phone allows you to more easily create a case against any deceitful actions related to the phone after it went missing. Also, if phone insurance is available, then an official police report will be needed for the insurer to process the claim.
Although misplacing or having a phone can be stressful, following a series of steps similar to the one outlined above is a systematic way of maximizing the chances of possibly locating the device, retrieving it, or protecting your data against any thieves. Also, taking immediate action on top of a systematic approach is key to minimizing loss and any other additional issues that can arise from the missing device.