What to do if you have lost your iPhone
If you lose your iPhone, not only is it pain to fork out for a replacement, but you also have your data to worry about. Smartphones are used for everything nowadays, and that includes social media, emails and even online banking. If somebody steals or happens to find your phone, they could gain access to a wealth of your personal information – and that’s way more disastrous than having to buy a replacement. Here are a few tips on what to do if you have lost your iPhone.
Find My iPhone
One very handy feature of the iPhone is Find My iPhone, a service allowing you to track and locate iOS devices and Mac computers (the service is available for iPhones using iOS 5 and above). Your iPhone will need to have access to a data connection (3G, WiFi), have Find My iPhone enabled and it will need to be turned on in order to be located.
Go to iCloud.com and log in using your Apple ID and password. You can then select ‘Find My iPhone’ and the iCloud will attempt to locate your phone. If iCloud can find your device, you’ll be able to determine its location – it could be at the bottom of your bag, at the restaurant you just got back from or somewhere completely different.
If it’s apparent that your iPhone is simply lost in your home somewhere, the service allows you to make the device play a sound at its maximum volume, regardless of whether your phone has sound enabled or not. It should be easy to locate from then on.
If you think your phone has been lost or stolen and you have iOS 6 or later, you can flag the device and lock it with a passcode by enabling Lost Mode. You also have the option to restore your phone to its factory settings, essentially erasing all content. This is handy if you have confidential information stored on your device, but it will mean that your phone can no longer be located. It will, however, make it difficult for someone to use or sell, due to it being activation locked.
If Find My iPhone brings no luck, you should change your passwords as soon as possible, particularly to your personal (and work, if applicable) email. By changing the password, this should prompt a re-authentication message should somebody try to open your account. Similarly, changing your password for your online banking service will prevent access.
With social media, simply go to the website and access your application settings – you should be able to revoke mobile access from there.
Prevention – Use Common Sense
To avoid any future disasters, be sensible with your phone and, as always, use your common sense. Make sure you’re always aware of your iPhone’s location, keep it zipped away in a bag or a pocket and don’t brandish it in public. Make sure you have a passcode on your phone and don’t choose passwords that could be easy to guess.