6 Things You Should Do When Your Smartphone Gets Lost or Stolen

Losing your smartphone, either through theft or by misplacing it, can be quite stress-inducing. After all, phones are an essential tool in today’s highly digitalised society, and losing yours can prevent you from using many modern conveniences. If you can’t find your phone and you suspect that it’s now in the possession of a criminal or a stranger, the first thing you need to do is regain your sense of calm. You need the presence of mind to quickly prevent unauthorised individuals from accessing your personal and financial data, assuming your online identity, or compromising your well-being and safety. 

Moreover, because smartphones are quite a costly investment, so it can be difficult to replace your phone immediately after losing it. However, it’s almost a must to have a replacement phone on hand to secure your information following a theft. To find smartphones with local data plans that will give you a lot of bang for your buck in such a short amount of time, use a metasearch engine to look for the best mobile plans Singapore has to offer. This way, you can keep costs down during this stressful period without compromising the integrity and safety of your private information. 

Here’s a list of what you can do to protect yourself after losing your smartphone. 

Prevent Unauthorised Access to Your Personal Data

The first thing you should do upon discovering that you’ve lost your phone is to protect your personal information and privacy. Using your replacement phone, change the passwords for all your important accounts, such as email, social media, online banking, and even streaming subscriptions. If you use your phone to store or access sensitive information that belongs to other entities such as your workplace, for instance, inform the concerned party immediately so they can take the necessary precautions as well. Additionally, if you’ve enabled remote data wiping capabilities through apps or built-in phone features in your lost phone beforehand, now is a good time to use this to erase your personal data.

Control Your Potential Financial Losses

To prevent unauthorised use of the financial accounts linked to your phone, promptly contact your bank and credit card issuers using your replacement phone to report the theft. Inform them of the situation and request a temporary freeze on your accounts or cards. During this period, it’s important to vigilantly check your transaction history for any suspicious activity and dispute any fraudulent charges. It’s also advisable to monitor your credit reports and consider placing a fraud alert or credit freeze to protect against potential identity theft.

man using phone

Activate Remote Security and Tracking

If your phone has tracking or remote security features enabled, such as Find My iPhone or Find My Device, use them to locate and remotely secure your stolen phone. These features allow you to stay updated of the device’s location, lock it, and even initiate a remote data wipe if necessary. Follow the instructions provided by the respective service or app to take appropriate actions.

Protect Work-Related Data and Prevent Security Breaches

After securing your personal information, it’s important to coordinate with your workplace, especially if you use your phone to access your work tools and accounts. Your company can guide you on the necessary steps to secure corporate information and prevent potential security breaches. This may involve changing work-related passwords, revoking access privileges, or remotely wiping any sensitive data stored on the stolen device. Cooperate with your employer’s IT department to ensure proper protocols are followed to safeguard corporate data.

Report the Incident to the Authorities and Undergo Proper Legal Processes

After a phone theft, report the incident to the local authorities, such as the police. Provide them with all relevant details, including any tracking information you might have. Obtain a police report or incident reference number, as it may be required for insurance claims or further legal proceedings. If you had insurance coverage for your phone, contact your insurance provider to file a claim and follow their instructions.

Manage the Emotional and Psychological Impacts of the Distressing Event

Experiencing a phone theft can be emotionally distressing. It’s important to prioritise self-care and seek support from friends, family, or professionals if needed after the event. Reach out to your support network to share your feelings and discuss the situation. Consider practising relaxation techniques or engaging in activities that help alleviate stress immediately after the event, especially if you find yourself worrying about the repercussions of losing your phone. Remember that it’s normal to feel violated or anxious after being on the receiving end of a crime, but rest assured that the feeling may lessen with the passing of time.