9 Things You Must Immediately Do After Losing Your Smartphone

I’ve only truly lost my phone one time. I was riding the subway in Manhattan and it slipped out of a shallow jacket pocket. As soon as I was off the train — and the doors had closed — I realized my blunder. I called the MTA immediately to report the phone, but I didn’t have much hope that it would survive a lonely trip on the train with thousands of people coming and going before an MTA official had a chance to scour the cars. Luckily, a good Samaritan snatched it up before any would-be-thieves could get their paws on it, and it made it back to me in one piece. That’s not always the case, however, so here’s what you should do immediately after losing your smartphone.

9. Track your phone location

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1. Call or Text Your Phone

The first thing you should do in the event that you’ve lost your phone is to call it from another phone. Perhaps you’ve merely misplaced it.

If you’ve indeed lost your phone, perhaps someone has picked it up and they’re trying to find the best way to get it back to you. Whenever I’ve discovered a lost phone, the first thing I do is call “mom” or “dad” listed in the contacts. But if the phone is locked and there’s no access to the contacts, the finder may be standing by waiting for you to give it a ring. And once the battery is dead, you’ll have a harder time getting a hold of anyone, so do this first.

2. Lock It Down

We all have important and sensitive information on our phones. Hopefully, your device isn’t in the wrong hands, but to be sure nobody can access your private info, lock it down remotely. You can do this by logging into your Android Device Manager and Find My iPhone account on another device and manually lock the phone.

3. Locate Your Phone Via GPS

If you’ve called your phone and weren’t able to get someone on the other line, try locating it via your phone GPS locating service. It’s important to note that this needs to be activated on your devices so you can access them from another machine — otherwise this step is moot. Android Device Manager and Find My iPhone will help you do this as well

4. Set Up a Lock-Screen Message

Once your phone is locked down, the only way back into it is with your password — and chances are, whoever has your phone doesn’t have that information. Set up a lock-screen message to let whoever has the phone know that you’re looking for it, along with a phone number or other contact information to get in touch with you.

5. Report Your Phone Lost or Stolen

If you think your phone has been stolen rather than lost, you should probably file a police report. It sounds like a lost cause, yes, but I know people who have done just that and their phones have miraculously made it back to them.

6. Protect Your Accounts

Your phone is locked by now, but it’s still not a bad idea to protect your accounts, just in case. According to Gizmodo, you should log out of your social media and email accounts, until you get the situation under control. (See also: 6 Surprising Ways Your Smartphone Can Keep You and Your Family Safe)

7. Suspend Your Service

If you suspect suspicious activity on your lost or stolen phone, it’s best to err on the side of caution and suspend your service.

The last thing you want to deal with after the fact are erroneous charges and data usage bills that will only compound this already stressful situation.

8. Wipe All Data From Your Phone

When worse comes to worst, it might be time to chalk up the experience to a loss and wipe the phone clean. I had a phone stolen once, did all the steps I listed above — I could even see where the phone was in Manhattan when I used the Find My iPhone feature (although I couldn’t hone in on it given that everybody lives in a massive apartment building) — but after a few weeks, I gave up. I already had a new phone, and the stolen phone was either dead or turned off, so I could no longer locate it. At that point, I erased it and moved on.

Have you lost a phone or had it stolen? How did you handle the situation? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

How To Find a Lost Cell Phone And Track Live Location – Find Lost Or Stolen Phone

If you lost and forget your mobile phone somewhere and cant find it then try this 4 Tips Tutorial to Find a Lost Cell Phone And Track Live Location Of Your Mobile Phone

Step: 1 Finding Any Type of Mobile Phone

Call your phone. The easiest way to find a cell phone is to call your phone number from another phone. You can do this to find any cell phone, regardless of whether it’s a smart phone. Just ask someone you know to call your number, or use a free website service like wheresmycellphone.com or freecall.com to dial your number from a computer.

Step: 2 Have someone text your phone. A close second to calling your cell phone is having someone else text your phone.

If your phone is truly lost (as in lost at a public place, not misplaced around your apartment), you can text your contact info to your phone so that anyone who finds the phone will know your identity and how to reach you.
If you can’t find anyone to text your phone you can use a free website service like txt2day.com. You can also try texting a reward offer to your phone. This may convince someone who finds your cell phone to contact you and arrange a meeting

Step: 3 Retrace your steps.

Retracing your steps can help you find any lost or misplaced item, not just cell phones. However, if you had your phone at an earlier location and have realized that you left your cell phone somewhere, retracing your steps can help you locate your mobile phone (as long as it hasn’t been taken)

Whatever you do, don’t panic. Panicking will only worsen your situation, and might make it difficult to concentrate or think clearly Sit down for a moment and think about where you’ve been and what you’ve done. Consider when and where you last remember having or using your phone, and work your way forward from there. If you frequented any restaurants or stores before you lost your phone, try asking an employee if anyone found/returned a lost phone. If the phone was left with an employee, you should be able to simply give a description of your phone, or tell the employee your phone number so he can call it and verify that it’s your phone.

Step: 4 Contact your service provider.

Some cell phone service providers have GPS location services available to customers. Even if your provider does not offer such an option, they can at least cut off service to your phone.

Find your provider’s customer service number online, or look up your provider’s local offices in a phone book.

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