Stolen or lost electronics are an everyday affair for almost everyone in today’s world. In 2016 the UK alone saw the theft of half a million mobile and smart devices, while even third-world countries like Peru and Argentina report 6000 and 5000 devices lost or stolen every day. Lookout’s Phone Theft in America report found that of all reported lost and stolen devices in the USA.
- 10 percent of victims reported a loss of company data.
- 12 percent of victims had fraudulent charges made to their accounts.
- 9 percent of victims had their identity stolen.
Even if you’re fortunate enough not to have lost your favorite electronic device, there’s always a chance your device might get lost or stolen in the future. In case that happens, here’s everything you need to know on what to do after recovering your lost or stolen device.
Set Up Stronger Protection
After recovering a lost or stolen device your first priority should be improving the security of your device. This includes changing all passwords and security questions as well as implementing encryption on your device. In simple terms, the process of encoding all user data on a smart device that uses a symmetric encryption key is encryption.
Unlike passwords and security questions, it’s much more difficult to get around encryptions as their main task is to make any data on the device unreadable. Electronic devices have two types of encryption methods: file-based and full-disk. Both of these encryption methods have their advantages and disadvantages.
Full or Partial Encryption
In file-based encryptions, multiple encryption keys lock off different files in a device. This means anyone who steals the device will have to decrypt all the files to get anything valuable out of it. Each key allows for one user only, meaning multiple users can’t access the same file simultaneously. Most devices that allow for file-based encryption also allow for Direct Boot.
The main disadvantage of a file-based encryption system is that it’s not compatible with all smart and electronic devices. Also, managing and remembering multiple keys is a bit tough for those who’re not memorizing multiple security protocols.
Full disk encryption on the other hand is a more generalized and comprehensive solution to device security. In this encryption method, a single key is used to protect the device’s password, barring anyone from gaining access to even the Direct Boot screen. On the downside, this method of encryption only protects the storage drive, not the device itself from any hacking or unauthorized access attempts.
Ideally, you will want to implement both encryption methods on your device as not only will it ensure double-layered protection for your device as both methods have flaws compliment the other.
Check If Everything Works
Once you recover your device, naturally do a thorough checkup and make sure everything is fine and your device is still in good condition. A lot of times lost or stolen devices come back with defects due to manhandling or crude device access attempts, which can result in a lot of issues.
If you find yourself wondering why is my computer so slow? after recovering the device, take it to the tech repair service and get it checked. Chances are something will need to be changed, but that’s an extra expense you have to deal with if you want your device running properly. Also, have an expert do a software scrub to ensure no unwanted malware was installed during the time it was lost or stolen from you.
Check All Your Information
Aside from your device’s hardware, you also need to make sure that all the information stored on the device prior to the loss or theft is still. Make sure to check what kind of information you had on your device. Sensitive information like passwords, private communications, business communications, and more are often the primary target of mobile and electronic thieves, so ensuring it hasn’t been tampered with is very important.
If you feel like your data has been tampered with, change all security protocols you have for banking, credit cards, etc as this will prevent the thieves from causing any damage if they haven’t already done so.
Always Stay Alert
Recovering a lost or stolen electronic device is a very difficult task in the first place, so if you do end up recovering it you should do everything to make sure that everything’s OK. Using the tips mentioned above will help you a lot on that end. While being security conscious does help, you should try not to lose it again.