Help, my phone is gone! Six things you should do

by Dirk and MarjanDid you know...15/12/2016

Help, my phone is gone! Six things you should do
It can happen to the best of us: your phone has gone missing and you have no idea where it is. So what do you need to do to get it back? And how do you protect your data in the meantime? These tips will get you going.

  1. Call yourself

    A simple but very efficient way to find your phone is simple to call it. Maybe it just slipped out of your trouser pocket at the office or in your cosy chair at home. If you’re quiet, you might hear it ring and vibrate. Or did you lose it somewhere else? Then perhaps one of your colleagues or friends – or some honest person – will pick up.

  2. Find your phone via GPS

    No answer when you call? Then you could search for your phone via its GPS function. Do you have an iPhone? Log in to icloud.com and click ‘Find iPhone’. If your phone is on and able to make a GPS connection, you’ll spot it on the map in a little while. Click on it and you can have your phone play a sound. Easy when you happen to be nearby.

    Android devices have a similar function, the Android Device Manager (ADM). Same concept: click the GPS icon to find your phone and then you can have it ring or lock/erase it.

    There is a caveat, however: you first need to make sure your phone can be found via iCloud or ADM.  On an iPhone you go to ‘Settings’, ‘iCloud’ and ‘Find iPhone.’ 

    On Android, it’s ‘Settings’, ‘Security’, ‘Device Manager’ (but this can vary across brands). 

  3. Lock your phone

    iCloud and ADM also allow you to lock your phone from a distance and to show a specific message on the phone’s screen, like the fact that you’ve lost it and a phone number where the finder can contact you. 

  4. Log out from all your accounts and change your passwords

    Even with your device locked, it’s a good idea to logout of your accounts (like Facebook, Gmail or Twitter) as soon as possible. That way, anyone who wants to access them needs to reenter your password. On most services, you can do that through the web site or desktop version. On Facebook, for instance, you can go to ‘Settings’, ‘Security’, ‘Where’re you’re logged in.’

  5. Erase all data

    If you really want to put your mind at ease, you can opt to erase your device via iCloud or ADM. That way you make sure none of your sensitive information falls into the wrong hands. Take care: make sure you make regular back-ups of your phone, to avoid losing your data altogether. 

  6. Notify the police

    If you think your phone was stolen, you should report it to the police as soon as possible. To do that, you’ll need your phone number and your IMEI number. You can find the IMEI on your smartphone in device info or by calling *#06#. But that doesn’t do you any good if haven’t got your phone anymore. So let’s hope you still have the original box the phone came in, because that always lists the IMEI number.

    The police will file a report and give you a certificate to have your SIM card blocked. That way you prevent a thief to call or surf at your charge.

    Thanks to the IMEI number, your phone will also be on a watch list.

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