Smartphones have always been our priced possessions and more or less an extension of us. We rely on them and take utmost care of them. But unfortunate incidents do happen and phones get stolen or lost all the time. Nothing new. Right! But what about all the sensitive and personal information stored on your phone?
Mere thought of losing your smartphone with all the data can make your blood run cold. Smartphone being stolen or lost is something that is faced by majority of smartphone owners around the world. Here we bring you 5 steps that can help you when you face a situation like this. Instead of freaking out and running helter skelter you must keep your cool and try following these steps.
Damage is done! Now What?
If your device is lost or stolen then instead of freaking out you can follow some steps to get back to your smartphone or at least try. As it is always worth giving a try.
Using Google Maps and Location History
Android devices come with inbuilt location tracking service which in fact tracks your every move where ever your phone accompanies you. It pinpoints your location precisely using various Wi-Fi and other signals. You can easily locate your smartphone’s location after it is lost or taken away from you using this feature by logging into your Google Account and then navigating to Google Location History option.
Contact Your Cellular Operator At The Earliest
The moment you realize that priced possession aka your phone is no longer with you you can immediately contact your cellular operator to lock the services on the SIM card on your phone. Though it will not bring back your lost phone but prevent and misuse of your SIM card as any unscrupulous person can take advantage of your SIM card and can tarnish your image.
This step is highly recommended to follow as soon as you got to know that your phone is lost.
Remotely Wiping Data Using Android Device Manager
All your hopes of getting back you phone have died down! Now what? Well you can restrict access and prevent misuse of your personal and sensitive information by wiping it off remotely. Many tracking apps out there offers the functionality of completely formatting your phone and prevent unauthorized access to your data.
It is one handy tool provided by Google and comes to your rescue when your phone has been lost or stolen. You can always activate it by going to Device Administrator section of Security Settings of your device.
Android Device Manager can track the location of your smartphone as well as lock your phone remotely if you have not locked it earlier. Other than that it also allows you to remotely wipe your phone preventing misuse of your personal data like photos, videos, emails and contacts.
Report Theft As Soon AS Possible
The moment you realize that you have lost your phone register a complaint with the police and obtain the case number. Give all the necessary details like IMEI number to the police which will help them to track the location of your phone.
It will not help you to get back your lost or stolen phone but in case your phone is used for some anti-social or unscrupulous activity then it will not come back to haunt you as you already have the official record for reporting your missing phone.
Change Passwords of All the Social Networking Accounts
The first and foremost concern when you have lost your phone is your privacy. You must immediately change the passwords of all the social networking accounts in which you logged in from your phone. it will restrict any unauthorized access to your social accounts like Facebook or Twitter and prevent further damage.
Precautionary Measures You Can Opt For
Do not wait for your smartphone to be lost or stolen. Prepare before the situation arises and your phone meets its fate. By preparing we do not mean to hire a thief to steal your phone or drop it casually on the road.
Securing Your Data
Every smartphone comes with many inbuilt security features like locking your smartphone with Password, Pattern and Facial recognition. Most of the time entering passwords or drawing patterns to unlock the phone is thought to be cumbersome by majority of people and they avoid using it.
But the sole purpose of these features is to keep your phone and all the data in it safe from unauthorized access which might come handy when your phone is lost or stolen. Always opt for patterns or passwords that are hard to guess.
Try locking all your Social Networking apps, Contacts and Photos as you may not like someone accessing and intruding all your personal data. Also many people tend to store their banking passwords and other related information on the phones which must be avoided at all cost.
Backing Up Your Data
You may not want to lose all those tons of photos and videos that you have shot over time as well as hundreds of contacts in your phone. It is always wise enough to back up all your data before it is lost or taken away. Sync data to many cloud services available out there.
Install Tracking Software
The best thing about tracking apps is that they can track and locate your smartphone. it is highly advisable to install a tracking app, out of which many of them freely available, to locate and get back to your smartphone when it goes missing.
Contact Information on Lock Screen
You must provide contact information like your email or alternate phone number or an address on Lockscreen of your phone. This step is important in case a Good Samaritan finds your missing phone and will be able to contact you via that information.
Despite all the precautions and preventive measures you take some things are bound to happen. Losing a phone is one of that. Although, most of the time you will not get it back but preparing for the circumstances in advance is highly recommended. So that next time you step out you do not have to worry that much.