Losing your phone can be quite panic-inducing, especially when you realize just how much of your life is on your phone! Text conversations, contacts, photos, important tabs on your internet browser, saved logins, notes...your phone may even be your payment method, or use the case may hold your cards! So, are you prepared to lose it? Here are so definite steps you should take in case it happens, as well as after it does happen.

Apple:

Beforehand:

Make sure Find My is turned on. Go to Settings>Apple ID>Find My>Find My iPhone>On.

Additionally, within the Find My menu, select Share My Location>On. You can choose who to share it with. We suggest at least one loved one! Your location will be found even when your phone is offline, in power reserve mode, or powered off. That way, you can contact that person to check the location if you misplace your phone.

Lastly, make sure to have Locations Settings turned on. Settings>Privacy>Location Services>On. Then, scroll down to Find my, select that, and make sure Precise Location is turned on. That way you're getting the most...precise location (hah!)...of your phone!

Now, go back to Apple ID and select iCloud>iCloud Backup>O. When On, your phone will get backed up when connected to power, locked and on WiFi. Choose what you'd like to get backed up. You can select it all, or only what you use/find the most important. (Keep in mind, the backup does take up storage. Not selecting everything can help save on space!) This way, if you lose your phone, you aren't losing all the data. It can be found on your other Apple devices or online at iCloud.com.

Afterwards:

First off, use Find My to locate your phone. Hopefully that'll be the end of the drama!

If you use Apple Pay (even if you don't use it often, you may have your cards saved there!), don't fret! Payments aren't authorized without your Face ID, Touch ID or passcode. Then, go to iCloud.com/Find and mark the phone as Lost. This will lock your phone and disable Apple Pay. You can also go into Settings on another Apple device you have, select Wallet & Apple Pay>Turn off Apple Cash. If you want to take a more permanent step, you can suspend or remove the ability to pay from your phone using Apple Pay. This'll work even if the device isn't connected or is offline.

If you don't have your cards stored electronically in your phone, but they are physically stored in your iPhone case, contact your bank(s) immediately to cancel or lock those cards. Some banks allow you to do this easily in the app!

Additionally, contact your wireless carrier to disable the account to prevent calls, texts and data usage.

Android:

Beforehand:

Again, make sure Find My Device and Location are both turned on. Settings>Security>Find My Device>Turn On and Settings>Location>Turn On. It will also help if you go to Advanced location settings and turn Improve Location Accuracy on.

To ensure your phone is being backed up, go to Google One>Storage>Set up data backup OR View details>Manage backup>choose your backup settings. You can also manually back it up by going to System>Backups>Back Up Now>Continue.

To ensure Find My Device is turned on, go to Settings>Google entry>Security>Find My Device>Turn on.

To increase security, you can also turn on two-step verification. Security>2 Step Verification.

Afterward:

If you lose your Android, take these initial steps:

Go to Android.com/Find, sign in and select your device (if there are multiple). There, you'll be able to view its location on the map. Then, you'll be given a few options: Play sound, Secure device or Erase device. If you erase it, Find My Device will no longer work. Keep in mind, these few options will only work if the phone is turned on, signed into your Google Account, connected to mobile data or WiFi, as well as Google Play, and have Location and Find My Device turned on.

If you're confident your phone is lost for good or is stolen, you can lock or erase it using Find My Device. Once it's locked, Google Pay won't be accessible to whoever may have gotten ahold of your phone.

Again, be sure to contact your wireless carrier and bank(s) as well.

Hopefully these preventative steps will help you not only locate your phone, but also recover it quickly and free of stress. If you have any questions or would like to make an incident response plan with us in regards to mobile work devices/laptops, contact us today! 

headshot, owner, president, author, partners plus, IT company, IT services, SSD, recommendationBill Hogan is the Owner and President of Partners Plus. He has 40 years of experience in the technology industry, specifically IT support services. Bill has spoken at seminars all over the country about network management and published his latest book in 2018. Partners Plus was selected by PHL17 as the best Computer and Information Technology Support Company in the greater Philadelphia area in 2018.