What I Wish I’d Known Before My Phone Was Stolen
There are times in life when you look back and think “I should have listened”. I’m pretty tech savvy and I knew some ways to keep my phone protected but I ignored them. Of course, that didn’t end well. While vacationing with my family my phone was stolen from a bathroom stall where I’d left it. Looking back there are so many things that I could have done to protect my valuable device and privacy.
I’m going to share with you what I wish I’d known before my phone was stolen. You see, my phone was stolen by someone who immediately used 5GB of data watching adult films up until the time I had the phone shut off. I am writing this so that everyone can learn from my mistakes and hopefully have a better chance than I did at locating their missing device. I will share with you what to do BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER your phone is misplaced or stolen. I hope you can learn from my mistakes, that’s the only silver lining I can take away from this whole experience.
There are so many ways to back up your contacts, messages, photos, and more. However, until you actually need those back-ups you don’t realize how valuable they are. My current service provider offers cloud space and if the free space isn’t enough I can purchase additional cloud space. Google offers storage for photos and more, and Apple offers the iCloud which is extremely easy to use. Even if you have these backup options installed and set-up on your device, I highly recommend double-checking them from time to time. I did have my cloud space set-up but had run out of storage. Not realizing that is what led to me losing my precious pictures.
Set-Up A Passcode On Your Device
Do it, do it now! I did not have my passcode set-up which made my phone an ideal target. I easily gave the person who took my phone access to everything! They didn’t even have to work for it. I now ask myself constantly if they would have left my phone alone if they wouldn’t have been able to easily access it. When you set-up your passcode please do us all a favor and be more creative than 1234!
Know How to Track Your Device
If you have an Android you can use Android Device Manager and Location History. If you are an Apple user install and activate the Find My iPhone, iPad or Mac app. Having these already activated and installed will give you the greatest chance of locating a lost/stolen device.
Purchase Insurance For Your Phone
If your unable to locate your lost or stolen device, then having insurance will help you get another one. It’s an affordable way to replace your device.
Track Down Your Device
If your device has been misplaced or stolen, now is the time to use those apps we just talked about. Check your Device Manager or Find My iPhone app. Both of these options will you the option to ring your device (even if the phone is on silent), locate it by GPS, or lock and erase the data on the phone. I wish I would have known about this when I lost my phone, it would have been very useful.
Don’t forget to check your Google Activity to see if there is any suspicious activity. You can do this in your account settings on Google from another device. If you think your device is lost, try ringing it. If you suspect it’s stolen, then quickly lock the phone remotely so that it can no longer be accessed. This will make sure your information is protected.
*If you GPS track your phone and you suspect it’s been stolen call the police, DO NOT attempt to retrieve the phone yourself!
Report Your Phone Lost or Stolen
Contact your service provider to report your phone lost or stolen, they will walk you through suspending your line and give you options for replacing your device.
Change All Of Your Passwords
There are so many things that can be easily accessed on our phone like emails and common shopping apps, normally our passwords are stored so that we don’t have to log in every time we open these apps. Change all of your passwords ASAP to help protect yourself!
Don’t think it can’t or won’t happen to you! I was shocked and unprepared when it happened to me. There are so many great apps and features put into place now to protect our phones we just have to be sure that they are installed and in place. Be prepared!
Has this ever happened to you? We want to hear your stories and advise on what you wish you would have known.
Find My iPhone – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/find-my-iphone/id376101648?mt=8
Android Device Manager – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.adm&hl=en
iCloud – http://www.apple.com/icloud/
Google Back-Up Information – https://support.google.com/photos/answer/6193313?co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid&hl=en