Get Started Today!  (415) 295-4898

croom new

415 IT Blog

Steps to Take When You’ve Lost Your Phone

Steps to Take When You’ve Lost Your Phone

If you’ve lost or misplaced your smartphone (or tablet), it’s critical that you act quickly. Every second counts, especially if you suspect that your device was stolen. Here are the steps you need to follow immediately, even if you think you simply left it at a restaurant or in the backseat of a taxi.

The steps are pretty similar whether you have an iPhone or Android device, but we’ll note some differences.

Step 1 - Assume the Worst

I know, this sounds bleak. While it’s possible that you are going to get your phone back, it helps to go into this assuming you will need a new one, and that the following steps you are taking are to preserve your identity (and your dignity). Getting your phone back will be a huge bonus, but right now, you need to act to protect yourself.

It sounds terrible, reading that out loud, but hear us out. Your phone has access to your email (and tons of other accounts), right? If someone gets access to your email, they can reset any password they want and log into any account tied to that email. That includes your bank account, your social media, your web hosting accounts, and literally anything else. If someone owns access to your email, they own you, figuratively speaking.

Step 2 - Remotely Lock and Wipe Your Phone

If you’ve set up Apple’s Find My iPhone setting for your iPhone or iPad, or you’ve set up Google’s Find My Device app, you can track the location of your phone, assuming it is on and the GPS/Wireless data is turned on.

For iPhones, log into your iCloud account in order to do this. For Android, go to Google’s Find My Device page. From either platform, you can usually get the exact location of your device. If it’s somewhere you recognize (at the restaurant you were just at, or at the office, for example), lock the device and call the location and have it located before someone else finds it. If you don’t recognize where the device is or it’s on the move, lock the device and wipe it if possible. 

If you didn’t set up Find My iPhone or Find My Device, you might be able to find and manage your device from your carrier or the phone’s manufacturer. Here are a few links to use as a reference:

Step 3 - Report It Immediately

Tuck away your pride here, you’ll need to report that you lost your phone. If you control your phone plan (as opposed to your phone being given to you from your workplace), contact your carrier and let them know. They can stop your phone from using their network which might slow someone down for stealing your information.

Here are some of the larger U.S. carriers, as a reference:

If your phone is provided to you from where you work, you’ll want to contact them immediately too, so they can take proper action. If you use your phone for your job in any way (checking emails, getting messages, etc.) you’ll need to tell them. At this point, it’s a liability and not only is your data at risk, but some level of company data is at risk too. Most businesses should have the ability to revoke access to company data and email remotely, or they may even be able to remotely wipe the device or the work profile on the device.

Step 4 - Change Your Passwords

Here are the big three accounts to change IMMEDIATELY:

Log into these three accounts (if you have them) and update your passwords.

Remember, all of your passwords need to be unique, strong, and secure. Don’t EVER use the same password twice. Ever. We cannot stress this enough.

Next up, change out your passwords in this order:

  • Email accounts (if you have others besides your main Apple/Google/Microsoft accounts)
  • Banking/financial accounts (bank accounts, credit cards, Paypal, merchant accounts, etc.)
  • Cloud storage accounts (e.g. Dropbox, Amazon, Box, iCloud, Google Drive, Onedrive, etc.)
  • Hosting/Domain-related accounts (e.g. GoDaddy, Network Solutions, Cloudflare, etc.)
  • Social media (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • eCommerce stores (e.g. Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, ebay, etc.)
  • Services/utilities (e.g. Netflix, Hulu, your electric company, insurance companies, etc.)

Expect to spend a lot of time doing this, and be sure to take your time. You’ll want to be extremely thorough and ensure that every password is unique, and carefully document everything you do.

If You Suspect Your Phone Has Been Stolen, Report It to Authorities

We’ve saved this for the last step, but it’s probably a good idea to do this once you’ve changed your most important passwords. That being said, this step tends to not offer much as far as getting your stolen phone back.

Here’s the thing—if you track your phone and it is where you left it (for example, at a restaurant you were just at), then go ahead and call the restaurant and have someone find it and keep it somewhere safe for you. If your phone was stolen, or appears to be on the move, or it is somewhere that you couldn’t have left it, don’t try to retrieve it

If someone stole your phone, they are probably aware that you can track it. Don’t risk it.

Call the police and report it. There is no guarantee that they will be able to retrieve your phone (there’s no guarantee that they will even try, even if you provide the location), but it’s still a good idea to report it. It is a crime, after all.

Maybe, just maybe, someone picked up your phone and plans on being a good Samaritan and is taking it home to try to figure out how to get it back to its owner. You can’t really depend on that though—locking it and wiping the data is still a good practice. You could try calling your phone to see who is on the other side, but be extremely cautious. Again, if someone intentionally stole your phone from you, assume it is gone.

If You Find a Lost Phone

If you find a stray phone in a public place, the most helpful thing you can do is to give it to the staff at that place. For example, if you find a phone at a store, report it to customer service. Most people will instinctively backtrack and trace their steps to try to recover it. Help them out by leaving the phone at a location they would have lost it. Don’t try to take it somewhere else to help solve the mystery, you are only adding extra complexity, even if your intentions are good.

We hope you never lose your phone, but if you have, we hope this guide helps.

The Cloud Continues Massive Growth
Steps to Take Before You Accidentally Lose Your Ph...
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Tuesday, January 19 2021

Captcha Image

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://web.415it.com/

Mobile? Grab this Article

QR Code

Tag Cloud

Security Tip of the Week Technology Productivity Business Computing Best Practices Data IT Support Data Backup Network Security Privacy Hosted Solutions Cloud IT Services Efficiency Software Data Recovery Internet Email Managed IT Services Business Mobile Device Phishing Small Business Malware Collaboration Google User Tips Innovation Outsourced IT Hackers Cloud Computing Cybersecurity Tech Term Smartphone Upgrade Hardware Business Management Microsoft Computer Mobile Devices Communication Android Managed Service Business Continuity Workplace Tips Windows 10 Covid-19 Smartphones VoIp Quick Tips Backup Disaster Recovery Ransomware Managed Service Provider Paperless Office Network Encryption Remote Work Communications Passwords Data Management Office 365 Business Technology Wi-Fi Server Users Saving Money Browser Internet of Things Remote Monitoring Artificial Intelligence Managed IT BDR Help Desk Social Media Save Money Healthcare Holiday Windows 7 Vulnerability Compliance Document Management Government Windows Laptops Blockchain Data Security Managed IT services Chrome Scam Facebook Automation Microsoft Office Applications Miscellaneous Wireless Tip of the week Employer-Employee Relationship Project Management Vendor Management Mobile Office Information Gadgets Avoiding Downtime Health Two-factor Authentication Redundancy Analytics Antivirus Remote Virtualization Bandwidth Office Processor Machine Learning Infrastructure Software as a Service Net Neutrality Mobility Apps Information Technology Website RMM OneDrive Managed Services Data Loss IT Management Company Culture Training Proactive Customer Relationship Management Maintenance Meetings IoT VPN Regulations Networking Hard Drive BYOD Storage Files Access Control Router Employee-Employer Relationship Virtual Private Network File Management Cooperation Unified Threat Management Data Storage Risk Management Remote Computing Managed Services Provider Money Word Remote Workers Payment Cards Social Network Patch Management Data Breach Display Tablet Server Management Recycling Internet Exlporer Dark Web WiFi Augmented Reality Smart Technology Professional Services Computing Alert Assessment Holidays Monitoring Co-Managed IT Vendor Network Management Remote Worker Remote Monitoring and Management Management Financial Consultation Mobile Security Operating System Flexibility File Sharing Unified Communications Password Spam Search Employees Time Management Electronic Health Records Consulting Downtime Instant Messaging The Internet of Things HIPAA Utility Computing Gmail Bring Your Own Device Fleet Tracking Zero-Day Threat Black Friday IT Consulting Statistics Identity Cyberattacks Social Notes Samsung Screen Reader IT Assessment User Management Mouse Language Servers Budget Mobile Device Management Proactive Maintenance Solid State Drive SharePoint Modem Credit Cards High-Speed Internet Customer Service Superfish Tech Support Gamification Solid State Drives Mail Merge Break Fix User Error G Suite End of Support Favorites Voice over Internet Protocol Projects Smart Tech Digitize Asset Tracking Backup and Disaster Recovery Value of Managed Services Cyber Monday Staff Bluetooth Mobile CRM Read Only Security Cameras PowerPoint Permissions Recovery Teamwork Computing Infrastructure Point of Sale Tech Terms Cybercrime Cyber security Microsoft Excel Downloads Computers Development MSP Finance IT Technicians Cost Management Options Telephone Address Motherboard Windows Server 2008 Chromebook Gifts Conferencing Return on Investment Connectivity Shadow IT Human Error Content Filtering Printing Google Calendar Fraud Authentication Shared resources Going Green Techology Alerts Websites Migration eWaste E-Commerce Theft Database Management Cookies Cables Travel Outsource IT Electronic Medical Records 5G Mobile VoIP Virtual Reality Vulnerabilities Hacker Settings Personal Information Outsourcing OneNote Permission Manufacturing Firewall Technology Laws Managing Stress Virtual Assistant Bitcoin Authorization Batteries Outlook Comparison Disaster Resistance Licensing SaaS Chatbots Peripheral Features GDPR Emergency Multi-Factor Security Nanotechnology IT Wires Active Directory Technology Tips Mirgation Laptop Wireless Internet Big Data Data Warehousing Printer Mobile Computing Optimization Politics Transportation Wearable Technology Star Wars Video Conferencing How To Test Smart Devices Distributed Denial of Service Unified Threat Management Touchscreen Hacking Enterprise Content Management Banking Private Cloud Wasting Time Current Events Legislation WPA3 CIO applications Shortcut Specifications Proactive IT Identity Theft Enterprise Resource Planning PCI DSS Procurement App Business Telephone Windows Server Digital Payment Hotspot Heating/Cooling Cache Remote Working Employer/Employee Relationships Apple Operations Virtual Machines Geography Lenovo Biometric Hard Disk Drives Sensors Managed IT Service Trending Social Networking Reviews Bookmarks ROI Database CEO Students Daniel Stevens Marketing Printers Twitter CES Education Regulation

Latest Blog

It isn’t often that you’ll hear a managed service provider say something like, “There’s no school like the old school.” In many ways, however, the basic principles of a solid business IT strategy haven’t changed all that much… despite the momentous changes that we’ve witness...

Latest News

We are proud to announce that 415 IT and our CEO, Daniel Stevens, were recently featured by CIO Applications. We discussed how and why we serve our clients, as well as some sneak peeks for our future. Read our interview by visiting:  https:...