Take these steps now so that you can locate you mobile phone, if ever you lose it
Lost your mobile phone? Your first step is to take help of the police. To do that, you will need the purchase bill. So always keep it safely. You will need it while filing a first information report (FIR) at the police station. In addition, insist on filing an FIR instead of a missing information report (MIR). This is a long-drawn process and there is no guarantee of finding the lost object. Hence, you should act immediately on buying a phone and create options for locating it, if ever you lose it. If you are using a smartphone, you can take various precautions beforehand. You can then install an app, most of which are free, that would help you to locate your device, or even lock and erase all data, from a remote location.
If you are using an Android...
1. Install Google Android Device Manager from the Play Store. This is a free app and requires you to just link your registered Gmail ID from the device. It can help you locate your device, re-set the lock screen PIN and also wipe all data, if required. The only issue with this app is that it requires a data connection device and GPS to be activated.
2. Avast! Mobile Security: This is basically a free anti-virus app with additional features like anti-theft and privacy advisor. Its features like anti-virus and anti-theft can be made invisible; thus providing an additional level of security. Avast! Anti-theft component is invisible (stealth mode) to thieves and allows you to use remote options (via web or text messages) to locate your handset.
3. Plan B: This app is a real blessing, in case your mobile is stolen. It can be installed on your phone even if it is stolen or lost. All you need to do is access the Android Play Store from a PC and install the app on your device. Once Plan B locates your mobile, it sends an email with location information of the device to your registered Gmail ID.
If you are using an iPhone...
Life is much easier for an iPhone user. In case the device is missing or stolen, you just have to log in to your iCloud account. From here, you can trace your device, if you have enabled the ‘Find My iPhone’ service. If the mobile handset is not switched off, you can either play a sound, or send a message, lock it or wipe all data. Just remember that you will have to lock your device immediately; else the thief may disable the ‘Find My iPhone’ feature.
If you are using a Windows Phone…
Microsoft has introduced the software, ‘Find My Phone’, that helps to locate, lock or wipe data from a Windows mobile device. This free service, on windowsphone.com can ring, lock or erase your Windows Phone, or show it on a map from any Internet-connected computer. All you need to do is to sign into your Microsoft account to use the software. However, remember, you will need to enable the feature to automatically save the location every few hours or use push notifications. There is a limit of 15 text messages over three days to use SMS with a Windows Phone. However, for push notification, there is no limit.
Retrieving a lost mobile phone using the IMEI number may not work all the time. One, the process to track the device with IMEI is not simple; second, thieves may easily change the IMEI number. Most of them immediately take out the SIM and throw it away and then sell it to their regular buyer including, but not limited to, a pawn shop for as low a sum as Rs500.