Posted by: Yosef B. | January 3, 2013

What to do before (and after) you lose your Phone or Tablet

Would you nonchalantly walk down the street holding $600 cash in your hand? Would you forget that same wad of cash on a restaurant table after dinner?

Unless you’re very rich or very foolish, you probably are going to be very conscious of a $600 wad of cash.

How about your $600 iPhone or Android? Most people don’t think of their phone in the same context as a wad of cash, but that’s exactly what it is. The following are some common sense tips to keeping your phone in hand (or pocket).

What to do before you lose your device:

  1. Password protect your phone! Yes it’s a bit frustrating to have to enter a pin every time you want to access your phone – consider it paying your insurance premium. If you store any sort of personal information, people’s contact information (including e-mail addresses), directions to your house, favorite stores, etc. or any other personal information – don’t make it any easier than you have to for a thief to get access to your information. Last but not least, don’t! make it something easy like “1234” or your birthday!
  2. Use remote protection apps such as BlackBerry Protect from BlackBerry App World, “Find My iPhone”, or “Prey” for Android – these apps can either help you find or wipe phone your phone remotely.
  3. Make a record of your phone ESN, IMEI or MEID number – usually found under the battery cover, this will make it much easier to report the lost/stolen phone to your carrier or the police.
  4. Backup your data on regular basis! I recommend backing up your phone to your computer at least once a month if not once a week. If you use a service such as gmail for storing your contacts, they are already backed up – but don’t forget your pictures, or any other files you may store on your device!
  5. Finally, be careful how you use and store your phone. Be aware of your surroundings, don’t leave your device in plain sight in a vehicle or public space. Be careful about displaying headsets and ear-buds while in public. white iPhone ear-buds are equivalent to posting a “I have $600 cash in my pocket” sign on your back.

What to do after you lose your device:

  1. Send text to phone & call it – if it’s lost, someone may find it & return it to you. If it’s stolen – this probably won’t help much.
  2. Try using the remote locator application that you (hopefully) installed. You might be able to find your device or track it as someone moves around with it.
  3. If your sure your phone is gone, use the remote wipe application that you (hopefully) installed. Most thieves don’t care about your data – they just want to turn your device into cash, but why take a chance?
  4. Contact security or authorities – it’s possible that your device might have been found or put in lost & found.
  5. Call carrier & report lost/stolen phone – ask to suspend your service (messaging & calls) so thieves won’t be able to use it for expensive international calls.

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