What to do if your smartphone is stolen

You think that losing your smartphone is bad, wait until all of the information on it goes public

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Sometimes you just get careless with your belongings in public and sometimes, bad things just happen. Losing a smartphone is something most of us have experienced at some point or the other in our lives. I surely have had one stolen, and no matter how cheap or expensive the phone may be, it is never a good feeling when your smartphone is stolen. Once you get past the emotional impact of losing your smartphone, it is very important to secure the contents of your device, and yes, there is a way to do it even if you don’t have access to the smartphone anymore. Here is a list of things that you should do if your phone gets stolen.

Get your SIM card blocked
Typically, after stealing your smartphone, a thief would quickly turn off the device or take out the SIM card. However, there are some thieves who might utilise the SIM card for fraudulent purposes, and if this was a calculated theft, it could compromise your credit/debit cards and even bank accounts. It is highly recommended that after your phone is stolen call up your network operator and immediately get the SIM card inside the smartphone blocked.

OnePlus 5, smartphone is stolen

Report the theft
After blocking the SIM card you should immediately report the theft to the police. File a report by providing where and how the phone got stolen along with the device’s IMEI number. This will allow you to have the device blocked as well on the network. Typically, operators will block a stolen device if you give them the IMEI number, but some of them require a FIR. You can find out your device’s IMEI number by either dialling *#06# or just going through the labels on the box of the phone. They typically tend to have the IMEI number printed on it. If your smartphone is ever recovered the IMEI number will help recognise and authenticate the device as your own. Lastly, Make sure that you have written down the IMEI number of the smartphone and stored it in a secure place. So if the day comes that your device gets stolen you are not left unprepared.

Change Account Passwords Immediately
A smartphone in this day and age has a lot of your important account details stored like your banking information, Facebook account details, your email id details, and much more. If someone gets access to that information he/she can easily do a lot of harm. We recommend that you delay the sulking and quickly change all your account passwords.

password_change_screen

Try tracking the phone Online
If the phone is turned on and has an internet connection along with GPS you may be able to track where it is. For iPhone devices, you will need to visit Apple’s icloud website from where you can use the Find my Phone feature. After signing in you can see the last location of the device. You can also lock the device with a message for the thief or make the device ring or if all else fails you can wipe the device altogether. For Android, you will have to visit Google’s Android Device Manager website and log in with your Gmail ID (it should be the same one associated with your smartphone). After logging in, the panel the panel offers the same functionalities as Apple’s Find my iPhone.

google find my device

What to do before your device gets stolen – Some preventive measures
Setup a lock on your device, so that if the smartphone is stolen the thief has a hard time trying to open the device. Just make sure your password is difficult. given that we all have sensitive data on our smartphones, we also recommend having your security settings set to wipe the phone after a set number of failed login attempts. Even if you lose your phone, at least your personal information wouldn’t become public domain.