Approximately 314 smartphones are stolen in London every day, according to the Metropolitan Police.
While in 2011 Americans lost 30 billion dollars worth of mobile devices. These facts speak for themselves. Losing your mobile or having it stolen is, unfortunately, a common occurrence for many, many people. Question is, what can you do about it? To answer this and more, we hooked up with a man who deals with disasters like this all the time, Nokia Care aficionado and Community Manager, Wayne Spillett. Here’s his priceless advice.
Has anyone seen my phone?
Every year, millions of mobile phones go missing, either the owner inadvertently forgot where they left it or it was stolen. We rely so much on our phones these days, not only do they keep us in touch with the world around us but they also store immense amount of information that we use regularly, so we really can feel naked if we don’t have our phone with us!
What can I do about my lost or stolen phone?
If you simply came into the house in a hurry with some heavy shopping, put your phone down and you have forgotten where, then there is the age-old trick of simply calling your number from another phone, and you can easily trace the sound of your ringtone to the space in the fridge between the milk and the fruit juice. Or is that just me?!
In case you misplace your phone and you do not know where it could be, it is wise to set a lock code (sometimes called a security code) and set you phone to lock after a period of inactivity. Always choose a lock code that you will remember easily but that will not be easy for others to guess.
If you think you may have lost your phone outside of home, you should also contact your network operator who can block the SIM card as an extra security measure so that nobody who may find your phone can make calls or use other services at your cost.
If your phone has been stolen, you should also report the theft to the police as soon as possible. You should receive a crime report of which you can provide a copy to your network operator. If your operator participates in IMEI blacklisting, the phone’s IMEI can be prevented from accessing your or any other participating network – this does not recover your phone, but at least it could help to thwart the thieves who will be looking to sell your phone for personal gain.
Important tip: IMEI blacklisting is permanent, so please do not consider this if there is a chance your phone has simply fallen down the back of the sofa!
Is it possible to find my lost phone?
With Nokia Lumia, not only is it possible, it’s also very simple! However, this does rely on your phone still having power and being within range of a network signal, so please don’t contact your operator to block your SIM until you have done this.
“Find my phone” is a feature of your Windows Phone 8 operating system which can be found in your Settings menu.
A good tip is to activate the feature “Save my phone’s location periodically and before the battery runs out to make it easier to find”. This gives you the added piece of mind that if your phone runs out of battery whilst lost, its last known position can be stored in the cloud.
So how do I do it?
Log into www.windowsphone.com using your Microsoft Account, which could be your Hotmail, Outlook, Live, X-Box et cetera login. Then hover your mouse over your username and phone name in the top right corner of the page.
From here you can select “Find my phone”, and you’re already on the way to being reunited with your electronic baby!
Click the “Find my phone” button and the service will begin trying to contact your phone in order to track its whereabouts. As you can see from the screenshot above, I seem to have left my phone at the office!
Some great tips from a man who has spent years dealing with these unfortunate occurrences. If there’s anything else you’d like to know, drop your questions om the comments below and Wayne will get back to you.