“I lost my phone ” is probably the last thing you want to hear yourself say. You not only lose a handset which you have invested in. You lose your contacts and any important and sensitive information that you have saved on it. Your credit card information, important emails or even passwords may be all stored on it. Unfortunately, most phones do not use backup like the newest iPhone models, for instance. Even if you have phone insurance, it will just cover a fraction of the price of the phone, provided that your claim is approved. What do you do then?
Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can find your lost cell phone. Some of them are really basic and they may not work in a lot of cases, which in case we are really sorry you cannot find your phone.
Against many peoples believes there is no ultimate system or organization (yet!) that can track your phone and tell you it’s pin-point location without you first having to authorize it by e.g:
1) installing a software/app on your (smart)phone before losing it or;
2) authorizing the phone through a location-based GSM/GPS tracking service, prior to it’s disappearance of course.
However, there are also other preventive measures (see two paragraphs below) which you can take in advance and which are bound to work effectively. The choice is completely yours.
Call your phone from another one. I know this is obvious, but this is the first thing you should do to save you stress, preferably as early on in the process. It is most likely in your vicinity. If it is left at a office, someone’s home or even in a public place, someone is likely to pick up and you will be able to arrange the device’s retrieval. Try this method irrespective of what the chances of retrieval are.
Send an SMS to your own phone offering a reward to the person who is in possession of it. This is how to find a lost phone if you have no other means to track it. It is true that it will cost you something, but this cost will be just a fraction of the real value of the handset and the information on it.
For a detailed guide on how to recover your already lost (stolen) cell phone click here.
Methods for Smartphones (preventive measures)
These devices are mini computers with plenty of functions and this makes them particularly expensive. At the same time, they can store a lot more information than regular handsets and this makes them even more valuable. One way to find a lost cell phone of this type is to take special advance measures that will allow you to locate the device easily and quickly.
Android Smartphones: Download Apps that Track your Lost Phone
For Android smartphones, install a special app that will help you retrieve the device in case of loss. There are various apps which you can install. Some of the most widely used are SeekDroid, Wheres My Droid, Prey Anti-Theft and Lockout Mobile Security. These all work differently so it is worth doing a simple comparison to pick the right one. For instance, with Wheres My Droid, you have to send a text message to the device. With Prey Anti-Theft, the phone is located via GPS.
iPhone Smartphones: Download Apps that Locate your Lost Phone
Owners of Apple iPhone devices can use the app directly available form Apple called Find My iPhone (it’s free). It has a range of functions with the main one being the location of a lost phone on a map. You can also send a message to the device and erase the data on it remotely. These are additional features which are certainly useful.
For other smartphones, you can use different services available from the software manufacturers.
Track your Windows Phone with “Find My Phone” service
Owners of phones with a Windows operating system can use the Find My Phone service. Its main purpose is to show the device’s location on a map. You can also make your phone ring using the service. Another option is to lock the device to protect the information on it. You can also erase the data on the smartphone remotely.
Locate your Blackberry Phone with “Berry Locator” Cell Phone Tracking Service
There are special third-party applications for retrieving lost Blackberry phones. Berry Locator is one of the main options available. You have to send an email to your phone so that its location can show up on a map. In general, it is worth shopping around and comparing different products and services.
General Location Methods that Work With All Cell Phones
Not everyone has a smartphone. Even though these devices are the most expensive of all, traditional GSM phones can contain equally important and valuable information as their more advanced counterparts. There are ways in which you can effectively trace and retrieve any type of phone irrespective of its make, year of production and technology. You will never be stuck with the question, “I have lost my phone, now what?”
Have you been able to get back your mobile device after it got lost? How did you get it back? Share your experience with us in the comments!