Smartphones these days are more than just communication devices; they are the digital assistants that help us manage our data, appointments, business, and more. If your device gets stolen, it’s important that you take steps to protect your data because if the thief manages to get your data, he can extort you for money or even share it to damage your personal and professional life. In this Vodytech Guide, you will learn how to protect your Smartphone & Data if it’s stolen!
What to do if you lose your smartphone?
If you have just lost your smartphone and you are not sure if it’s stolen or not, there are a couple of things which you can do right away.
The first thing you can do is to call on your number and hope that it vibrates or rings. If it’s ringing, there are great chances that it’s not in the wrong hands because thieves usually turn off the phone first. So, if it’s ringing, look around, and there are chances that you might find it.
The second thing you can do is to locate your phone using Google Find My Device if you use Android or iClouud.com/find if you use your iPhone. You can use these services to locate the device and even ring it remotely to find it.
If none of the above methods worked and you are still unable to find your phone, it means that your phone is gone. Now you should take steps to ensure that your data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands and your phone isn’t used for any illegal purpose.
Remotely Erase your Data
Once it’s established that your phone is stolen, the first thing you need to do is to remotely erase the data so that the thief can’t access your private data.
If you are an Android user, go to Google.com/android/find and click Erase Device, which will remove all the content and your data from the device. Similarly, if you think that you can find your phone and you don’t want to erase your data, you can select Secure Device, which will lock the device, and it will allow you to display a message or phone number on the lock screen, which anyone can use to contact you if they find the phone. However, if you are unable to find the phone within 24 to 48 hours, we recommend that you erase the data as soon as possible.
If you are an iPhone user, you can turn on Find My iPhone Mode which will enable the activation lock on your device. Once your device is in activation lock, that person will need your Apple ID and password to access your phone. If you want to remotely erase your data, you can do it too from iCloud.com/find.
Block the IMEI of your Device
Once you have removed the data from your stolen smartphone, the next step is to ensure that your phone isn’t used for any illegal purpose and the best way to do it is to block the IMEI. Once the IMEI is blocked, the stolen phone can’t be connected to the Network Carrier, which will make the device useless for making calls and messages. To Block the IMEI, you will need to provide the IMEI of your device along with proof of ownership to get things done.
Call you Network Carrier
Once you have blocked the IMEI number of your device, the next step is to contact your Network Carrier and report the Stolen SIM. You can ask them to block the stolen SIM, and they will issue a new SIM Card for you with the same number. They will also require proof of ownership to proceed with Blocking Request.
Report the Police
Once your device is stolen, it’s important that you report it stolen to the Police. It will allow Police to track your stolen phone, and if they recover it, they will return it to you. For the report, you will need to provide IMEI, proof of ownership, and other required documents to file a complaint.
Change your Passwords
If your passwords are saved in Google Chrome or any other browser, it’s important that you change the Passwords for all important accounts such as Banking App, Facebook, Twitter, etc. However, if your passwords are stored in Password Manager, you don’t have to worry about anything, and your passwords will be safe. But still, you can change the master password as a precaution.
Contact your Bank
If you have used your Credit or Debit Cards for shopping in the past using your smartphone, there are great chances that they can be used for illegal shopping or transactions. So, if your device is stolen, contact your bank and ask for any recent activity on your bank account. If there’s any activity, launch the application to reverse that transaction and also cancel your current debit/credit card.
Contact your Insurance Company
If your phone was insured, there are great chances that the Insurance Company will reimburse you and get you a new Smartphone. So, if you have insurance, contact your insurance and provide them with all the details to find out if they will reimburse you for the stolen phone.
We would also recommend you contact your lawyer before you contact the insurance company to consult. In this way, you will be in a better position to present your case, and there are chances they might agree to get you a new phone.
That’s all, folks. In this guide, you learned how to protect your smartphone and data if it’s stolen. We also explained how you can get a new phone for free if your phone is insured. If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments. Also, check this guide to learn How to secure your Android before attending a protest.