What to Do if Your Mobile Phone Ever Gets Stolen
Has your phone been stolen or misplaced? If the answer is yes, then don’t panic! Before we get into what you do when it’s clear the phone is gone for good is to start retracing steps and looking for the phone. Once you’re 100% certain it’s gone, it’s time to start considering what you need to do to safeguard yourself and your information. We’re going to take a look at 10 things you need to do if your mobile phone ever gets stolen
Try Calling Your Phone
The first thing you need to do is phone yourself and see if anybody answers. It’s possible you might have dropped it, and the person who found it is a good person waiting to figure out who the phone belongs to. So, just give it a shot and see if anybody picks up and if they do, try to organise a way to get your phone back.
Try FindMyPhone Features
If you’re not having luck with calling or messaging your number, try features that most phones have to find your phone. There are options like Apple’s Find My iPhone or Samsung’s FindMyPhone. There’s even an offering from Google. With multiple offers out there, you’re able to potentially see where your phone was last, and if it’s still online, you’re able to find out where it is in real-time.
Block The Sim Card
Once you’re 100% sure that your phone is gone, you want to phone your cell phone operator to have them block the sim card. While wiping the device is important, you’re going to need to be aggressive in making the phone as useless as possible. So, by requesting the carrier block the sim, you’re preventing them from having access to important OTP-password prompts, the ability to steal your identity by messaging your friends and family and gaining money from them, and more.
Warn Friends & Family
You need to make it clear to everyone that your phone has been stolen. Giving your friends and family a heads-up means they won’t be caught off guard when you start messaging them asking for money or other things. The last thing you want is to have a situation where a family member thought they were helping you, but they were actually helping the criminals all because they didn’t know.
Block The Phone
Blocking your phone is exceptionally easy. It’s important because it renders the device useless, ensuring you’re not at further risk of someone learning your private information.
Unlink All Bank Cards
Usually, when you use find my phone features to erase your phone, you’re given an option for unlinking certain cards. If it doesn’t offer you the chance, it’s very easy to do it on your own. You’ll need to go to your Google account and remove cards in the payment and subscription section. On iPhones, it’s slightly different in that you log into your Apple ID account and remove cards in the devices section
Beyond unlinking your bank cards, you will want to call your bank and have the cards blocked. Then, get new cards with new information so you can be 100% sure they have no access to your funds.
Remote Wiping Of The Phone
If your phone is gone, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll never see it again. Instead of wasting time exhausting searches for your phone, start thinking about the data and information on your phone. You’re going to want to wipe the phone or lock it. Android has options in the Find My Device menu to erase your device. Similarly, the iPhone has the same option on the iCloud section of your phone. Act quickly to protect your data. A phone can be replaced, but some information is set in stone and needs to be guarded.
Change All Passwords
This is one of the most important steps. Changing all your passwords is essential. While banking apps usually have multiple passwords to protect your money, other services don’t feature multiple passwords/pins/bio-scans. So, you will want to change your email passwords, online shopping account passwords, and any other password to a service or app that you might deem valuable. Focus on all the accounts that have linked bank cards and ones that ask for many personal details.
Report The Phone As Stolen
Don’t ignore this step just because you’ve made the phone useless. While your phone might not be recovered, you need to file a report in order to claim insurance. Beyond insurance, having that police report will absolve you of crimes committed using your phone and number, which is extremely important. You want to make sure that you’re able to separate yourself from the people who stole your phone by wiping the phone, deactivating the phone, changing all passwords, and reporting the theft. The goal isn’t to get the phone back. It’s to protect yourself and get the payout for a new device.
It’s easy for a phone to go missing or get stolen. It’s all happened to us at least once in our lives. While it’s important to be vigilant and do your best to keep you and your phone safe, it’s sometimes unavoidable. It doesn’t matter if it gets stolen. What does matter is how you respond to it getting stolen. Take these steps seriously, so you don’t have your information stolen and used for nefarious purposes.
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