What to do if your phone is lost, stolen or damaged!

Moe from Mondo / 05-05-2021 / Tech news

Having to deal with a lost, stolen, or damaged phone is a gut-wrenching experience that can happen anywhere, at any time. The good news is, there are always ways you can prepare for these situations and ensure that you incur as small a loss as possible.

Lost

Losing or misplacing a phone can happen to anyone especially if you’re stressed or doing too many things at once. If you’ve searched everywhere and still come up empty-handed – don't panic!

● Find my Phone

Both the iPhone and the Android are enabled with technology to help you locate your phone quickly and accurately. Find My iPhone helps you track your phone using your Apple account details on any other device. For Android users, a feature known as Find My Device, it works similarly and is linked to your Google account.

● Insurance

If you have a new phone, it’s advisable to apply for comprehensive cellphone insurance with your cellphone provider as this will cover you in the event of a loss. But remember, you can only apply for this within a certain time frame after you purchase your device.

● Information backup

Lost your phone and worried about your pictures and videos? If automatic backups were activated on the device before the loss, there’s no need to worry. For Android users, a copy of all your data will be uploaded to your Google Drive, while iPhone users can find this on their iCloud account.

● Contact your network provider

If after some time you still can’t locate your phone, there is a chance it has ended up in the wrong hands. Because of this, you need to have it blacklisted immediately and have your SIM blocked with the help of your service provider. Your provider will also provide you with an ITC number as this will be required for the police report.

● Police report

Losing a phone can be a highly stressful situation but remember to hold onto your composure and report the incident to your nearest police station as soon as possible. Although they may not be able to get your phone back, they will provide you with a case number for insurance purposes.

Stolen

A stolen phone can be a traumatic experience especially if it is violently taken from you. But, don’t let the situation get the better of you. Instead, take control in the following ways:

● Lockdown a lost phone

Although you may want to locate your phone online and track down the suspect, it is important not to place yourself in a harmful situation. Instead, you can use the find my phone service to turn your phone on lost mode. This ensures it is locked and no one can access your personal information and apps.

● Insurance

Today, many cellphones are easily worth over R30 000 and this makes them an attractive option for petty criminals. Therefore, comprehensive cell phone insurance is a necessity as your stolen device will be replaced with the same or similar option. You can apply for insurance with your service provider (for a new phone) or, alternatively, if your home is insured you can include the device among your home contents insurance.

● Information backup

If your phone is stolen, the bad news is, chances are it's gone forever. But this doesn’t have to mean the same for your data. Provided backups are switched “on”. You can back-up your iPhone or Android in the settings menu – once activated all your data will be saved on iCloud or Google Drive. Doing this ensures that you will then have access to all your data – even if you never see your phone again.

● Contact your network provider

A stolen phone needs to be blacklisted and the SIM blocked with the help of your service provider. Once again, your provider will need to provide you with an ITC number as this will be required for the police report.

● Police report

Although you are probably shaken up after the theft of your cell phone, you must prioritise reporting the case to the nearest police station. You need to get a case number which will be required by your insurance company. This number is also important for your bank and online shops in case your accounts have been accessed and used fraudulently.

Damaged

No matter how well you take care of your phone, there is always the possibility of damage – both big and small. Therefore, you should be prepared for anything. Here are a few tips:

● Information backup

Water, screen, or hardware damage can be so hazardous to your phone that it can prevent it from functioning properly. If the damage is bad enough, you may not be able to access any of your data such as images, apps, or contacts. To prevent this from happening, always ensure that your phone is backed up so you can easily access your data on any other device such as a laptop or tablet.

● Insurance

A cracked screen is no fun, and neither is a phone you are unable to switch on at all. Fixing these problems can cost up to several thousand rand or you may even need to replace your phone entirely. This makes cellphone insurance a lifesaver. Depending on your cover, insurance can pay for accidental damage, as well as device repair or a replacement. Don’t be caught powerless when phone trouble comes calling, always be prepared so you get the best out of any situation!

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