Enable device tracking
Any smartphone on Android or iOS has a built-in feature that allows you to monitor the location of your phone through a network or other device. On Android, it’s called Find a Device and you can turn it on in the Security and Location section of the Settings menu. On iOS function is called “Find the iPhone” – to enable it, you need to go to “Settings”, click on your portrait and choose your phone.
After enabling the feature, you can monitor the location of your smartphone from any device that you accessed under the same Google or Apple account.You can also look in the network where your phone was last logged by logging into Google Account and iCloud.
If you have stolen a phone, you can see where the attacker took it, however, it is better not to hunt after it. It is better to clear all the data of your smartphone with the same function “Find a device” or “Find an iPhone”.
Protect your lock screen
Think about all the applications in which you have saved passwords on your phone – Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, as well as e-mail. The only thing that separates all these accounts from the person in whose hands your smartphone gets is the lock screen.
Therefore, you need to think about the means of protecting it, whether it’s a PIN, a pattern, a fingerprint or your face. Lock settings can be found in the “Security and location” section on Android and “Face ID and password” (or “Touch ID and password”) on iOS.
Make a backup of your data
Be prepared for the fact that you can never return your phone. So you have to save all your important data somewhere else. Fortunately, your applications and the operating system do most of the work for you (if you install Instagram on a new phone, then your account data will not go anywhere).
To save other information, such as system settings and application data, you need to enable built-in data copying. On Android go to “Settings”, select “System”, go to the advanced settings and click “Backup”. On iOS the procedure is similar: go to “Settings”, click on your name, select your device, and then “Backup to iCloud”.
If necessary, you can use other services to save files in the cloud, for example, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Photos and iCloud Photos.
Other protective measures
Smartphone can always be insured – for a relatively small monthly fee, some insurance companies are ready to compensate you for damage caused by loss, theft or breakage of the phone. The cost of the service depends on the price of your smartphone.
To increase the chances that someone lost your lost device, you can leave your email address or additional phone number on the lock screen. To do this, in the Android settings, you need to select “Security and Location”, click on the gear icon next to “Lock Screen” and select “Message on the screen”. On iOS, you have to go to the “Health” application and select “Medkarta” and leave the contacts that you can see on the locked screen.
If you use two-factor authorization, then without a phone it will be quite difficult for you. So think in advance how you can enter the right accounts without access to the phone. For example, for Google accounts, you can specify an alternate phone number or use redundant authorization codes.
What to do if you have stolen a phone or you lost it
Previous tips can make life easier for you in this situation, but you still need to do the following.
Contact the operator (or police)
First you need to call the operator. He will be able to check if someone is spending your money on calls and whether your name appears on the stolen phone. The operator can also lock the SIM card.
If the phone was stolen, contact the police. The chances of returning the phone are small, but they will be even smaller if you do not inform the police about the loss. In addition, if you have issued insurance for your smartphone, you will need a criminal case number.
Find out where your device is
As already mentioned, you can use the “Find a device” or “Find an iPhone” feature and, if necessary, remotely lock or clear your phone.
Check your accounts
Fortunately, most applications report attempts at unauthorized entry. For example, on Facebook you can see all the places where someone came to your account. If you do not recognize one of them, you can click the icon in the form of three points and choose “Exit”. It is also possible to exit the application on all devices. A similar function is in other services, including Google and Twitter.
If your smartphone is protected by a screen lock, then do not be afraid that someone will be able to go into your applications. However, it is better to be safe and change passwords, so that no one can accurately access your accounts.