Alex O'Brien


What to do when you lose a phone

What to do when you lose a phone

Lisa Du is director of ReadyTechGo, a service that helps people gain the confidence and skills to embrace modern technology.

We all know the feeling. You reach your hand into your pocket, expecting it to brush against the cool, solid surface of your phone. But all you find in there is air. You panic. Your heart drops. Your phone - your very livelihood - is missing!

Now, most of the time, we feel and fumble around for it until we realise we’d placed it elsewhere, or (in more cases than I’d like to personally admit) that it was in our other hand the whole time. But sometimes, the reality of a truly lost phone comes crashing down on us. If you’ve looked everywhere, retraced every possible step, and given up all hope of finding your still need not worry.

If you’d already made the following precautions prior to losing your phone, you can leave the arduous search up to modern technology!

For iPhone users

Once you’ve set up an iCloud account, it comes with a neat app: Find My iPhone.

This handy app will show you the current location of your phone on a map, allowing you to chase it down. Not only that, but it will also show you where your phone has been for the past 24 hours, so that you can track its movements.

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Furthermore, it gives you the ability to protect your phone, and the sensitive contents within. You can do this by putting your phone into “Lost Mode”, which locks your phone and prevents anyone else from using it.

You can then also send a message to your phone, so that whoever is in possession of it may see it. For instance, you might leave a message with your contact details, so that your phone may be returned to you.

You also have the option to initiate a remote erase on your phone - this will erase all the contents of your phone, so that you can protect any important private data.

So how do you do all this when you don’t have your phone with you? Well, make sure that you’ve set up an iCloud account. You will then be able to login to and use these features on another device with internet access (such as a desktop computer). Alternatively, download the “Find my iPhone” app on another device, such as an iPad or iPod, and open up this app on this device to use these features.

For Android users

The Android equivalent to Find My iPhone is called Android Device Manager. It provides much of the same features as Apple’s Find My iPhone.

You can also pinpoint the current location of your phone on a map, but one difference is that this feature will not work if your phone’s location access is turned off. It also won’t work if you’re not signed into Google on your phone, your phone is off, or there is no mobile data or WiFi connection on your phone. Make sure this criteria is fulfilled if you plan on using Android Device Manager!

If your phone is on, connected to WiFi/has mobile data, and signed into Google, Android Device Manager will also allow you to lock, erase, and call your phone.

Like with an iPhone, you can access Android Device Manager by using another device. You can visit the Android Device Manager website, or use another Android device to download and open the Android Device Manager app.

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Everyone can agree that losing your phone is a huge waste. Now, with these precautions in place, you’ll never have to resign to losing those several hundred dollars again

Have you ever lost your phone before? Were you able to retrieve it, and if so what did you have to do to make it happen?

Let us know in the comments.

For more information about ReadyTechGo, visit their website here.

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