The smartphone has managed to become so integrated into our daily lives that we take it with us everywhere we go. When we don’t have it with us, we may feel out of touch and like we’re missing something. What’s even worse is patting your pockets, or checking your bag only to find your phone has gone missing.
Here are four things you should do before you lose your phone and three things you should do when you lose it.
While you still have your phone
- Put your contact information on your phone’s lock screen. On Android, go into Settings, select Security followed by Owner Info. Put in your info and tick the box at the top of the window. For iPhone users, you’ll need to create an image with your contact information. When you have an image, plug your phone into your computer and put the photo in iPhoto. From there select Settings followed by Wallpaper. Pick the image you created and select Home. You’ll notice it show up on your lock screen.
- Install a tracker app. Tracker apps allow you to take control of your phone from a remote location (not your phone) and do things like wipe the memory, turn on the ringtone and GPS. For Android users, Android Lost and Wheres My Droid are both good apps. For iPhone users, Find my iPhone is the best app, and should already be on your phone. If you have a Windows phone you can simply log in to My Phone and click Find a lost Phone.
- Put your contact info in the phone. Many people who find a phone will turn it on and try to look for the owner of the phone, why not help them out and put called “Me”, or “In case of emergency.” Be sure to include another phone number and email so people can contact you.
- Backup important information. You should be backing up your data for this reason. Luckily most smartphone operating systems sync with the cloud, so be sure to turn on syncing to ensure important information and contacts are backed up.
- Call and text it. Before you activate the tracker app, try calling your phone and sending a text from another phone, maybe someone will pick it up or see it.
- Activate tracer. When you can get to a computer, log in to the website the tracker uses and use some of the options. The first thing you should do is turn on the GPS and see the phone’s location. If that doesn’t work, try sounding the ringer. As a last resort, wipe the memory.
- Contact the Police. If you’re worried about the information you have on your phone, or have reason to believe it was stolen, you should contact the police. It’s a long shot, but people have been known to also turn in lost cellphones to police stations, so it may be worth a visit.