Oh no! You’ve lost your phone, and, after that sinking feeling has set in, wondering “what to do if you lost your phone”? We’ve all been there, staring into the abyss of our bag or scanning the room in panic.
It turns out that losing your phone isn’t just a “you” problem — it’s a universal concern. According to Statista, young adults between 18 and 24 are particularly susceptible, with nearly half reporting a lost or stolen phone at some point.
It’s a well-known fact that your phone isn’t just a device; it’s an extension of you, it has every bit of digital information with your life’s secrets. So, what do you do when it goes AWOL?
1. Try to Call the Phone You’ve Lost
First things first — ask yourself: Have I tried calling it to find my lost phone? I know it sounds painfully obvious, but sometimes in the panic of the moment, the most straightforward solutions escape us. It could be hiding in plain sight, tucked away between the couch cushions, or beneath a pile of laundry. Grab a friend’s phone or use a landline and give yourself a ring.
If the phone is on silent, Apple’s iPhones come with a neat feature called “Find My iPhone.” Android isn’t far behind when it comes to phone-locating features. Google offers a service aptly called “Find My Device.” Here’s how you can use any of it:
- Go to the iCloud or Find My Device website and log in using your ID and password;
- Once you’re in, you’ll see a map displaying the location of your device;
- You can now either play a sound, lock the device, or erase it entirely.
Remember, using these location services can only happen if the lost phone is turned on and connected to the internet, and you’ll need to set the feature up in advance for it to be useful. If the device is off or disconnected, you can still lock or erase it, and the action will take place once it reconnects.
2. Change the Passwords in Your Mail/Apps/Banking
Is it ringing but no one is answering? Well, we’ve ruled out one possibility. Now onto the next steps of how to locate your lost phone. While your phone is MIA, you’re not just missing out on calls and texts. Imagine someone getting ahold of your emails, social media, or worse, your banking apps. Creepy, right?
So as a preemptive strike, let’s change those passwords and fast. Use a different computer or device to log in and change your passwords for any apps or services you had on your phone.
Before anything else, think of changing the Email password:
- Navigate to your Google Account settings by clicking on your profile picture in any Google service, then clicking on “Manage your Google Account”;
- Find the “Security” tab on the left and click it;
- Under the “Signing in to Google” section, you’ll find the option to “Change Password.”
Now, to change the password on the apps with your personal info. Each app will have a slightly different procedure, but most follow a similar logic. Look for the settings or account options and hunt down the security or password options.
Your bank will also require extra verification, like sending a text or email with a confirmation code. Don’t be alarmed; this is good!
3. Deactivate Your SIM Card
The next step of what to do if you lost your cell phone is to deactivate your SIM card. Get in touch with your mobile service provider so that they can either suspend your service temporarily or deactivate your SIM card entirely. You’ll probably need to provide some verification to prove you’re the account holder.
4. Secure Your Social Media Accounts
It’s 2023, and let’s face it, social media is as essential as morning coffee for most of us. So, what happens when I lost my phone? Don’t even want to imagine.
When you’ve changed your passwords, it’s always good to double down on security. Many platforms allow you to review the devices where you’re logged in and log out remotely. You can usually find this under “Security Settings.”
5. Unlink Your Accounts
This step is often overlooked but incredibly vital. Your accounts are often linked together like a digital web. If someone gets into one, they could potentially access them all. Visit the settings of each of your important accounts and look for an option to review linked or authorized devices and applications. Remove your lost phone from the list.
How Scannero.io Assists in Locating a Missing Phone?
Let’s add a cherry on top of this sundae of helpful advice, shall we? There is a secret weapon meant to be used for such calamities: you can track your phone by the phone number! To do so:
- You’ll need to go to the Scannero.io website;
- Simply input your email address, create a secure password, and specify the phone number you’re aiming to track down;
- Once your account is active, Scannero will dispatch a text message that pinpoints the location of the number you’re searching for;
- You’ll receive an email detailing the precise location of the specified phone number. You can also visualize this location on a map within your personal account dashboard.
So, arm yourself with knowledge and proactive measures and locate lost phone with ease.
Losing your phone is distressing, disorienting, and downright annoying. But unlike misplacing your keys or wallet, a lost phone could potentially unravel your digital life. But it is salvageable if you act swiftly and smartly by taking the steps described in the article.
And hey, maybe it’s a sign from the universe to do a little digital detox. Ever thought of that? Stay safe, both in the real world and the digital one!