Science and techno world topic: PROBLEM SOLVER
Even before your phone is lost, learn its unique code. To do that press the following buttons on your phone keyboard or panel: *#06# Keep the information in a secured place for the day when your phone is missing. After the initial sinking feeling when you realize you've lost your phone, it's important to react swiftly to see whether you can retrieve it or at least cover your bases in terms of changing all of your passwords and logins.
Steps:Keep calm: Whether you think you've misplaced it or have actively witnessed someone swiping it from you, don't panic because a cool head will ensure you do the right things first.
Do the obvious first: If you've lost your phone due to momentarily forgetting where you last put it down, call it. Use a friend's cell phone or a landline to dial your phone. If your phone is nearby, you'll hear it and can retrieve it. Alternatively, perhaps someone will answer it and can tell you where it is. Naturally, this will only work if your phone is charged enough.
- If you don't have a landline or friend's phone available to call, try calling from your computer using a program like Gmail or Skype.
If you think you've just misplaced it, do a quick search in obvious areas: If you're the sort to have piles of paper, look under them! Slim cell phones can easily slip under paper piles.
- Check the back of wherever you've been sitting that day. Any seat that allows for swallowing of objects is a potential finding spot.
- Check under car seats; a phone can easily slip from your bag or pocket under a car seat.
- Ask if anyone in your family or circle of friends has seen––or borrowed––your phone. It's worth asking because you never know!
- Check under your bed and in the bathroom. The phone might have slipped from a pocket when you were getting changed, or you might have absent-mindedly left it on the bathroom cabinet.
- Check in obvious places too, such as where you put the phone to be recharged or where the household keeps all phones in a pool. Sometimes you don't see things for looking when you feel worried. Double check if the phone usually sits with similar colored gadgets, as you may simply have missed it.
Send an SMS text message to your missing phone: This will let anyone who might have access to your phone know that it is lost. The message could say "Help! I lost this phone. If you find it please call 555-2343. Karma points will be your reward."
Cancel your passwords and logins: The speed with which you need to do this and the extent of it will depend on how much you use your phone for online interaction. For some, this may be very little, while for others, it could be a huge task. If you're worried that the phone is in someone else's hands, the sooner you do this, the better, as identity theft is a serious, widespread issue. It's better to take the time to fix your passwords and logins before physically hunting further afield for your phone, simply because you'll soon get used to new passwords even if your phone does turn up but you'll find it much harder to undo the damage of a stolen phone that permitted someone to misuse your passwords.
- Deal with financial and personal information first, such as bank accounts, Facebook and Twitter logins, etc., then any broader information, such as online sites you rarely log into.
- Contact the telephone company with your SIM details, to have the account closed down and get advice. If you have a phone that is paid by usage rather than prepaid, and you cannot find it within 2 hours, it usually is a better idea to call your phone company immediately and tell them to deactivate your phone. If someone has stolen your phone, this will prevent them from racking up a ton of minutes at your expense.
- If you have an iPhone, use "Find My iPhone" or "GadgetTrak". For Android users, use "Where's My Droid" or "Lookout" (each needs to be pre-installed). These programs allow both contact and wiping of information remotely. If you haven't pre-installed such apps, keep moving through the login and password changes manually online or using a friend's phone. Or, some apps, such as the Android Plan B, can be installed remotely from a PC, provided you're paid up.
Call the places you have been and the people you have been with since you last remember having your phone: Finding the phone is worth this effort and potential embarrassment.
- Small business retailers and service providers often place lost items into a safe place before taking the to a lost and found area associated with their store, or to the police, simply because they don't have the time until the store closes. It is worth asking them direct first, as they may still be holding your phone.
Learn from your loss: If you haven't already installed a helpful app to locate your lost phone, do so once you've got your phone back or on your new phone. Also, think about how safe your usage of passwords is––whether you might need to upgrade them to harder passwords, or change them more often and reduce how many things require password access via your phone. At the end of the day, use the experience to safeguard future handling of your phone.