Tech Prepper: What to Do If Your Phone Is Lost or Stolen

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(Last Updated On: February 8, 2021)

NOTE:This post is part of iFixYouri’s Tech Prepper series. This series covers how to prepare yourself and your digital devices for any of the worst case scenarios they may face: viruses, malware, theft, or loss.

Please check out our other posts in the Tech Prepper series:

Imagine you are about to head out and start your day. Before you leave, you quickly make sure you have everything you need. Keys- check. Wallet- check. Phone- no check. Without your phone in sight, you assume it is lost, or even worse, stolen. Here is what to do if your phone is lost or stolen. 

Retrace Your Steps

The first thing you should do before panic sets in is retracing your steps from the time you woke up.

Check common areas like your bedsheets, trash cans, couch cushions, fridge, and car. 

If you have no luck finding your phone in any of these locations, where you last had your phone may trace back to somewhere outside your home. 

Call and Text Your Phone 

The next step to find your missing phone is simple- call it. 

You may have overlooked your phone when retracing your steps, so giving it a call can lead you in the right direction. Hopefully, you can hear your phone ring or see its screen light up. 

If you still have no luck finding your phone, a call can still help out significantly. A family member, coworker, or kind stranger may be the person to answer your phone call and help you get your device back. 

Another option is to send a text message along the lines of “Missing phone. Please call _____.” 

Use Your Phone-Finding Features

Pretty much every smartphone has some sort of phone-finding feature or app. One of the most popular is the Find My app. 

For instance, Find My iPhone allows you to track your missing Apple devices such as your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch.

The app also allows you to mark your phone as lost, which will lock it with a passcode, activate a screen lock message that says “Lost iPhone. This iPhone has been lost. Please call me,” and allow you to erase everything on your phone. 

Use the Cloud to Back Up Your Phone

Before you delete everything from your phone, you need to back up your information on the Cloud, that way you will not lose your pictures, notes, and documents. 

You can also manually upload your information directly to your computer. 

If time passes and you believe that your phone has been stolen, you should back up your information and wipe your device as soon as possible before it ends up in the wrong hands. 

Change Your Passwords

If you still cannot locate your phone, you need to change all of your passwords.

First, you need to change your Device ID password, which will prevent anyone else from accessing your information. 

To be safe, you should also change passwords for any other account you have, like  banking and social media.

Contact Your Carrier and Report Your Phone as Missing  

One of the last efforts you should make to find your phone is to call your carrier and report your phone as missing to authorities. 

Your phone carrier will cancel your service, and authorities will keep an eye out for your missing device. You will need to provide your phone’s make and model, serial number, and IMEI number, as well as proof that the device was stolen. 

Even if you follow what to do if your phone is lost or stolen, it is not guaranteed that your device will appear again. But if you have a warranty plan, there is a great chance that the manufacturer will cover damage, loss, and theft. 

What to Do if Your Phone Is Lost or Stolen By iFixYouri. 

Photo Credit: Ashkan Forouzani Via Unsplash