After all, it’s your lifeline to work, home, and social life. It probably contains your banking information, passwords, music collection, emails, pictures of your kids, and all your contacts.
What would you do if you just lost it one day?
It’s definitely worth it to prepare yourself now so that if it happens to you one day, you’ll have the best chance of finding your lost phone.
So what can you do to avoid the overwhelming panic and fear that comes from losing your smartphone? Here are our tips…
Device protection coveragefor your phone is just like insurance for your health, car, or anything else. It protects you in the event of the unexpected. You typically pay a deductible for your smartphone to receive a replacement.
Be sure to back-up your data regularly so you’ll be covered if your phone is ever lost or stolen. Snap Secure, iHound, or BullGuard are examples of ways to back up data online so you can access, restore, and transfer it to a new device.
Make a note of your phone’s serial number. This will be useful to police if your phone is ever stolen.
Set a passcode on your phone as a basic security measure. If someone else has your phone but doesn’t have the passcode, they can’t get into your data. (And avoid easy-to-crack codes like 1-2-3-4 or 5-5-5-5).
On many smartphones, you can configure your settings to automatically delete all data on the phone after a passcode is entered incorrectly a certain number of times. (Just be sure you don’t accidentally delete your own data by using a tricky passcode you can’t remember easily).
Install GPS tracking software on your phone. Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to find a lost phone with GPS technology. Many phones come pre-installed with this feature, so check that out. If it comes with your phone, activate it! If it doesn’t, get an app:
- An iPhone with the Find My Phone feature makes it simple to use your PC to find your iPhone on a map – then you can lock the phone to prevent it from being used. You can also wipe out the memory to protect data if you think your phone is gone forever.
- Free apps like Lookout are also an option. With this app, you can locate your phone on a Google map and activate a loud alarm even if the phone is in silent mode.
- AvastMobile is another free app that offers remote options for locating and recovering your phone. You can do everything except access or restore your contacts – but you can locate your device, lock it, wipe out the data completely, set off an alarm, and even receive a notification if your SIM card is changed.
Know when you’re most likely to lose your phone. According to Lookout Mobile Security, most smartphones are lost at certain places and times:
- Between the hours of 9 P.M. and 2 A.M.
- At coffee shops, restaurants, or bars
- During big festivals like Mardi Gras
Be sure to keep a close eye on your phone while you’re traveling for the holidays, attending a large public event, or out on the town for the evening. These situations tend to result in most cell phone thefts and losses.
IF YOUR PHONE IS ALREADY MISSING…
If you think you’ve simply misplaced your phone during your regular daily routine, spend a little time re-tracing your steps. If you have previously installed GPS tracking software on the device, give it shot soon after losing your phone (before the battery has a chance to run out).
Change All Your Passwords
Immediately change the passwords of various accounts you keep on your smartphone. Email, iTunes, online banking- use your computer to change these passwords before anyone with your phone has a chance to take control.
Report stolen phones to the local police department and carrier if a theft occurred. The serial number is an important way for police to help track it down.
Replace the Device
If you’ve purchased device protection coverage, file a claim to get a replacement device.
You should also check your current wireless contract to see whether you’re eligible for an upgrade. nTelos offers anytime affordable upgrades, which will allow you to affordably upgrade to a new device before your contract expires. (Contact us for more info).
If you’re not yet an nTelos Wireless customer, we’ll even buy out your current contract if you switch from another carrier. It’s definitely a limited-time offer worth checking out.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Smartphones have become the tools we use to manage our lives. If your phone is lost or stolen, it can be scary and stressful. But be prepared, and you’ll be back in the game before you know it.