If Your IPhone Is Stolen – Forward Planning

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iPhones are the world’s best-selling mobile phone. And there’s good reason for that, they’re sleek, fast and powerful.

Of course, all that comes at a price, but it’s a price that many people are willing to pay to have reliable, constant connectivity. However, since iPhones are prime devices and much in demand, that also means that they’re highly likely to be stolen. There’s a great market, even for used iPhones, and thieves are more than willing to take the risk to get the reward. Having your brand new iPhone 5 stolen is more than just distressing.

The majority of users have all kinds of personal information stored on their phone, and a stolen device can mean a stolen identity as well. If your phone gets stolen, there are certain steps that you need to take to ensure either the return of your device, or at least the safety of the information that’s on your phone. Even if your phone hasn’t been stolen (yet), you might want to keep reading, since some of these steps require prior preparation to make sure that you’re in a position to save your data…

  1. Notify the Police…

The first step that you should take is to call the police, or go down to your local station, and report your phone as stolen. Even though you’re talking about a phone, not something big, like a car, there are a few important reasons why you want to tell the police that your phone is gone.

In the case of identity theft, or financial loss, such as the thief being able to enter your bank account from your banking details on your phone, it’s important to have a record of the phone being stolen in order to prove that you weren’t the one making financial transactions with it. Insurance companies may also want a police report before they’re willing to pay out. And should you be able to locate your phone using one of the methods we’ll discuss below, a record of the phone being stolen will be necessary before the police will help you recover the stolen phone.

  1. Tell Your Boss…

Given how often the iPhone 5 is issued as a business phone nowadays, if your phone is connected to your office, you’ll want to give your boss the heads up about what’s happened. Again, there are a few reasons that you might want to do this.

Firstly, there’s a good chance that your company’s IT department already has processes in place for safeguarding information and data on your phone, in which case, they’ll do all the work for you.

Secondly, your company may want to report the loss on their own insurance claim.

Thirdly, if there’s the chance that your phone contains sensitive data to do with your company or your job, your firm will want to be able to lessen the impact of that data getting out.

Remember that if the phone is a company issued business phone it’s technically their property, and you do need to report the theft to the company.

  1. Change Your Passwords…

If you’ve accessed any of a multitude of online services, you’re going to want to go ahead and change all your passwords. This goes for simple things like email accounts, as well as online banking passwords. Don’t forget to change your Apple password while you’re at it, to stop the thief using your iTunes or App Store account. Changing your passwords won’t bring your phone back, but it will limit the amount of damage that the thief can do with your phone.

  1. Tell Your Mobile Service Provider…

You need to tell your cell phone company that your phone was stolen so that they can suspend your account, meaning that the thief won’t be able to make calls or send text messages that you’ll have to pay for. Some companies require that you have a police report before you can do this, others don’t, so you’ll have to check with your company first. Be aware of the fact that you will have to pay for any charges incurred before you have reported the loss to your service provider.

  1. Try to Track your iPhone 5…

If you’re pre-prepared there are a few ways that you can actually track the location of your phone using the GPS feature. The easiest and most common way is by using Apple’s Find My iPhone programme. This requires that you set up a (free) account through Apple before your phone is stolen. The set up process is easy, though it does require forethought. You can then use the service to locate your phone if it’s lost or stolen. In some cases, the police may be able to help you recover your stolen phone using the information given to them by Find My iPhone. There are also third party apps that will let you do the same thing, if you already have them downloaded before your phone is taken.

  1. Get Rid of Your Data…

Again, this requires a little preparation, and organising yourself before your phone gets stolen. But if you’re prepared it is possible to delete data from your phone remotely. This doesn’t being your phone back, but it does mean that the thief can’t access any of your personal data.

If you’ve signed up for the free MobileMe service with Apple, you can go online and basically set your phone to self-destruct, erasing all data, photos and apps from the device. Some of the above mentions third party tracking apps will also let you remotely delete data. And in the case of a company phone, it’s highly possible that your firm’s IT department will be able to take care of this step for you.

  1. Call Your Insurance Company…

Finally, the last step in the process is to call your insurance company to report the loss and make a claim. If you bought Apple insurance, call the Apple Customer Service line. In the case of personal insurance, call your insurance company. It’s probable that you’ll need a police report to complete this stage of the process, as few insurance companies will process a claim without one. Once you’ve done this, you’ll hopefully get a payout to buy a new phone.

When Phil Turner believed his iPhone 5 had been stolen, he contacted his network provider immediately. He knew he could get an affordable replacement by using Uswitch.com, a price comparison website.


Image courtesy of Ambro / freedigitalphotos.net

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