Sometimes – more frequently than we would like – the worst happens. Well, it may seem like the worst.
You know exactly what we’re talking about; that moment when you’re walking down the high street, or through the train station or maybe just up the stairs of your house and go to reach for your absent phone. That’s when the panic kicks in.
Research has shown that roughly 183 mobile phones are stolen each day. What’s more, it’s also suggested that we are twice as likely to lose our phone that it is to be stolen – so the odds seem to be against us when it comes to our precious smartphones. Couple that with the fact Lost and Found Day is upon us and it seems inevitable that we become a little warier.
Now, more often than not your device will show up – usually down the back of the sofa or sometimes in your other pocket – but here are our top 5 tips of what to do when it doesn’t!
1.Use your phone’s tracker app.
Most modern phones will have some kind of application that allows you to track the whereabouts of your device – make sure you have this setup!
For Apple devices, you’ll be looking for Find My Phone. You can access this from the app on any other Apple device you own or alternatively you can find this service online. From there you will be able to see the location of your device, providing it’s switched on. If it’s off, or your battery has inconveniently died, you can at least see it’s last known location.
For Android devices, you can similarly use their app on an alternate device or find the service via your browser.
In the best-case scenario, your device will be at home – safe and sound. In the worst-case scenario, your device is not where it should be – move on to step 2.
2.Change passwords linked to important accounts
If your tracker app confirms that your phone isn’t where it should be, you’ll want to think about what passwords need changing. If your phone automatically logs you into an account, it may do the same for someone else. The most prominent accounts you’ll want to think about are; banking apps, social media apps and any work-related platforms.
Conveniently, most apps and social platforms have the ability to log you out of all devices at the click of a button. So, it’s best that you grab your tablet or laptop or whatever else you can get your hands on and do this. After that, it’s best to change your password to ensure that no one else can access your accounts.
3.Contact your carrier
It might not be the first thought that pops into your head after losing your phone, but it needs to be done. Your carrier will be able to track any unauthorised activity. So if someone starts trying to make long-distance calls off of your back, you won’t be held accountable.
Your carrier will also be able to provide you with your phone’s identification number – which you’ll need if or when you report the loss to the police.
4.Notify the police
We can’t stress the importance of this step enough! If your phone is lost or stolen and you do not inform the police within 48 hours, most insurers will not accept a claim. Additionally, if your phone by some miracle is handed in by a good Samaritan and you haven’t reported it – the police won’t know to notify you.
Now, when calling the police it’s vital that you have the necessary information to hand; the time of the incident, the date the incident occurred, and the phone’s identification number. You should also make a note of the crime reference number you are given by the police as if you choose to make a claim with your insurance provider you will need it.
5.Remotely wipe your phone
This step is usually the last resort following the loss of your phone. If you’re sure it is a theft, or that the device is unretrievable, you’ll want to consider it quickly.
If your phone is stolen then it’s likely that the perpetrator won’t be shy about looking through your device. This could include your social media accounts, your photos, your online banking information among with a number of other things. Don’t let them gain access to this information!
These steps will protect you from total disaster should you lose your phone – but they won’t change the fact you are now without a phone. Retrospect is a powerful thing and you don’t want to kick yourself make sure that your device is protected. Insurance plans can be found from as little as £6.99 a month! For an amount that you won’t notice in your monthly statement, it’s worth ensuring that you have a plan should your worst moment strike.