3 things to do before your smartphone is stolen

The silence woke me with a jolt.

My bedroom was full of it. The silence. There was no buzzing, beeping or vibrating.  It was in that moment of complete tranquility I realized my smartphone was missing.

I usually put it beside my bed. But I had a hectic weekend, so I decided to give my good habits a couple of days off. In doing so, I somehow lost track of my iPhone.

What happened next was sheer panic, followed by a series of events I won’t get into right now. The story does have a happy ending. Thanks to my husband, my iPhone was found … but not until the very end of the day. Eight very LONG hours, I can assure you.

There is a silver lining to my tale of woe:  I can share with you the three things you need to do right now, to ensure that if your smartphone is lost, misplaced, or stolen, you have the situation under control.

Here are my top three pieces of advice:

1.  Lock your smartphone – If you don’t currently have your smartphone password-protected, now is the time to do it. Sure, it’s one more step between you and making a call, sending a text, or checking your email, but it’s worth it. For those many hours that my iPhone was gone, I had the peace of mind of knowing that no one could get into it … at least not easily.

2.  Install a finder app –  This app can be a lifesaver. Using GPS technology, the app can locate your smartphone.  The functionality of each app is different, but here’s a run-down. You can:

  • See the location of your missing device on a map.
  • Remotely lock your device and send it a message with a contact number. Whoever finds it can see what phone number to call from the lock screen.
  • Have your smartphone play a sound, even if the ringer is turned down or off.
  • Remotely wipe all data and restore it to factory settings.
  • Hide incoming email or text messages from the home/lock screen.

There are a bunch of apps to choose from.  Here’s a sample:

3.  Back up your data – As I was conducting my iPhone search, the thing that kept going through my mind was how important my photos are. The photos and videos I take using my iPhone can’t be replaced. I finally realized that with iCloud, they are automatically backed up to the cloud. But for those of you whose phones aren’t backed up until you sync it with your computer, do it now. If not, you put yourself in the position of losing your photos, songs, videos and documents … permanently.

As I now say, there are two types of people in this world … those who have had their smartphones lost or stolen and those who are about to. Make sure you’re covered in the event this happens.  Spend 30 minutes and do the three things I’ve listed above.

You never know when you’ll be awakened by complete silence.

Has your smartphone ever been lost or stolen? If so, what did you do? How did you find it … or did you find it?  Share your comments below and continue the conversation.


  1. Nice writing. I just added a password to my phone as I misplaced it on Thursday. I was pretty sure I left it in the classroom and was halfway to the parking lot. I walked with purpose. I found it. Actually one of the students did and they put in on my desk but I thought not having a password they could have pilfered all sorts of info like their tests! Yikes. Thanks again. I’m learning so much from all your mistakes!

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