Stolen phone? What to do

Ever get that panicky feeling when you can’t feel your phone in your pocket? Luckily, most of the time it’s just fallen down the side of the sofa. But what happens if your phone has actually been stolen?

Phones are a valuable target for thieves because they hold a lot of sensitive data about you, so it’s important to know what to do if your phone goes missing.

Don’t take matters into your own hands

Most phones have tracking capabilities, so you can get a good idea where it is. But once you’ve found out it’s best to take this information to the police and report your phone as stolen, rather than trying to confront the thieves yourself. Don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation.

Lock and erase data from the phone

Your first priority should be to protect your data. If your phone has a remote locking and data erasing feature, you should enable it right away. You might feel reluctant to wipe your phone with all your photos and messages on there, but the longer you leave the more time the thieves will have to access it.

Call your network provider

If someone manages to access your phone before you have time to lock it, they can easily start racking up calls and texts and using all your data. You don’t want to have to pay for that, so make sure you get in touch with your network provider as soon as possible. They should be able to help temporarily block your phone. If you have a pay as you go SIM with a rolling contract, it may be easier for you to cancel the plan and then purchase a new one once you get your phone back.

Call your bank

Another person you’ll want to notify is your bank. Most of us now use online banking on our phones because it’s convenient, but it does mean that losing your phone can cause problems. Even though there are security measures in place to stop unauthorised people accessing your account, it’s best to let your bank know it may have been compromised. They can then look out for any unusual activity and put your cards on hold if necessary.

Change your passwords

We use our phones to access lots of different things – from emails to shopping and gaming. If your phone is stolen, it’s safest to presume the passwords to these accounts are compromised and so it’s best to change them straight away. You should also make sure you are always creating strong passwords to make it even harder for potential thieves.

Contact your insurance company

Last but not least, you should let your insurance company know your phone is missing as soon as you can so that you can file a claim. If you haven’t already got insurance, now’s the time to get it (before anything goes wrong). There are loads of great deals out there and you can even use a comparison site to find the right cover for you.

Although having your phone stolen is a horrible thing to happen, following these steps should help ensure you protect yourself and limit the damage caused. Stay safe.

  • SMARTY Team
  • February 15th, 2020