It was still there after all? The shock when your iPhone or Android smartphone disappears is great. Nevertheless, it is now important to keep a cool head and to react properly. What to do? It’s best to follow these nine steps.
- Step 1: Call and locate your iPhone or Android smartphone
- Step 2: Put iPhone or Android in Lost mode
- Step 3: Delete iPhone or Android device remotely
- 4th step: lock SIM card
- Step 5: Change passwords
- Step 6: Block Google and Apple Pay
- Step 7: Lock WhatsApp
- Step 8: Lock AusweisApp
- Step 9: Report to the police
- Extra: for the future
Take a deep breath and exhale again. Losing your smartphone is not a nice thing. But do not panic! You still have the chance to find your mobile phone. And if this fails, you can protect at least all important data from unauthorized access. What is to be done, you will find out here.
Step 1: Call and locate your iPhone or Android smartphone
The simplest idea is the best: If you notice the lost phone, it’s best to call the device’s phone number. Maybe the phone is still in the immediate vicinity or not at all lost, but only in a place where you have not searched yet. Likewise, a request can be worthwhile with the local lost property office.
If this does not succeed, you should try in the next step to locate your smartphone. At Apple, this is achieved via iCloud.com and the “Search my iPhone” feature. If you have an Android device, go to android.com/find. However, this only works if you have activated this feature before the loss of the device and it is turned on. Likewise an active Internet connection is necessary. If your iPhone or Android smartphone is off, the last trackable location will be displayed when you place it.
If the location works, you can drive to the indicated location where the smartphone should be and send out an audible alarm to find it again. In any case, if it is not in a foreign apartment, you are of course not allowed to enter. In addition, you should note the IMEI number of the device, which is also displayed at the location. This ID you need for a report to the police or a possible compensation payment of insurance.
Step 2: Put iPhone or Android in Lost mode
If the location succeeds, you can put an Android phone as well as iPhone in the “lost” mode. This will display a lock code on the screen and deny access to third parties. In this mode, you can also display a custom message on the display. For example, you will announce how you can be reached. With a bit of luck, the finder will answer in this way.
Step 3: Delete data remotely on iPhone or Android phone
If you have no hope to get the smartphone back, although the location succeeds, you can delete the device in the last instance from a distance. You can also find this feature under “iPhone Search” in the iCloud and at android.com/find.
If you go this step, all data is lost on the device, even if the smartphone should fall back into your hands. Also, you can not locate the device after this step.
4th step: lock SIM card
If iPhone or Android smartphone is irretrievably lost, you should definitely lock your SIM card. By the way, even if the data deletion worked remotely. Your phone number will not be deactivated. The SIM card could therefore be inserted in another device. Only by blocking the network provider, you can safely prevent someone on the phone at your expense.
- SIM card lock at Vodafone
- SIM card lock at Telekom
- SIM card lock at O2
- SIM card lock at Aldi Talk
- SIM card lock at Tchibo Mobil
- SIM card lock at Congstar
- Lock SIM card at SmartMobil
- SIM card lock at ay yildiz
- Lock SIM card on WhatsApp SIM
- Lock SIM card at FYVE
- SIM card lock at network club
- SIM card lock at Lebara
- SIM card lock at Edeka mobile
Step 5: Change passwords
Now we come to the especially annoying part of the loss. You should change all passwords of all accounts that were active on the lost device. Even if you could delete the device remotely, it is recommended to take the trouble. Especially when some time passed between loss and deletion. Only then will the affected accounts be guaranteed protected.
But look at it this way: Theoretically, you should change all passwords every three months to be less vulnerable to data leaks. The lost device is the perfect occasion for password retouching. Here is a list of accounts you should think about, including links to change the passwords:
- Central Smartphone Account: Google Account, Apple ID
- Shops: Amazon, ebay, SATURN, IKEA etc.
- Social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
- Video streaming: Netflix, Prime Video, Maxdome, DAZN etc.
- Music Streaming: Spotify, Deezer, SoundCloud, YouTube Music etc.
Step 6: Block Google and Apple Pay
It is also advisable to call the provider of the stored at Google or Apple Pay credit card and temporarily disable the card for these services. The protections provided by Google and Apple prevent thieves from copying the card data to another device, but not from shopping at your expense for as long as possible.
Once the lost smartphone is back, you can unlock the card again. An alternative is to change the payment data directly to Google Play and Apple Pay, or to completely shut down the services. The latter step, however, can not be undone.
- Change payment method on Google Pay
- Cards are blocked at Apple Pay
Step 7: Lock WhatsApp
Sensitive data includes not only payment information, but also private chat histories. Especially if the remote wipe does not work, you should consider blocking messengers that are linked to your phone number. For example, if you lose a WhatsApp account, you have two options.
For example, you can activate your old account on a new device with a new SIM card with the same number as before, which will also deactivate the same account on the lost smartphone. The second option is to write an email to WhatsApp with the text “Lost / Stolen: Please disable my account”.
Unfortunately, just letting the SIM card lock is not enough to prevent someone from using your WhatsApp account on the lost device.
Step 8: Lock AusweisApp
This step is only relevant if you use the AusweisApp of the federal government for online identification. If only an iPhone or Android smartphone was stolen, there is basically nothing to worry about. Identity theft succeeds only in connection with the identity card.
However, should the entire bag, including the ID card and smartphone, have been lost, you must report the lost ID card to the authorities. This automatically locks the online ID function as well.
Step 9: Report to the police
If you are sure that your iPhone or Android smartphone has been stolen, you should report it to the police. For this you need the purchase contract and the IMEI number of the device, with which the smartphone can be clearly identified.
The IMEI number is noted in or on the device. If you have not noted the identification but before the loss, it is worth looking at old contract invoices or packaging. Again, the number may be found.
Extra: for the future
Once the smartphone is gone, of course nothing helps any more. But in preparation for the next device we recommend the following: Protect your smartphone with a screen lock with fingerprint, PIN or pattern (The PIN should be more complicated than “1234”, the unlock pattern should not be a “G”). Also note the IMEI number of the smartphone. It will be displayed when you* # 06 # typed on the keyboard.
A fingerprint scanner is a good protection against unauthorized access to your own smartphone.
For Apple, check “Find my iPhone” in Preferences. At Google, the same function is called “search my device”. Secure all important data regularly in the cloud or on a separate storage medium. On the other hand, we can not fully recommend theft insurance. This protection is often not worth it, because in too many cases it is not paid and the contracts are too expensive.
- Call on the number of the lost device
- Ask the local lost property office
- Try to locate the smartphone. Apple: “iCloud.com> Sign In> iPhone Search”; Android: “android.com/find> log in> select lost device”
- If tracking succeeds> note IMEI number> lock device and display contact details on screen
- If tracking succeeds, but there is no chance to get that device back> delete it remotely
- Lock SIM card at the provider
- Change passwords of the accounts that were on the device
- Block credit cards for Google and Apple Pay
- Block WhatsApp account
- Block AusweisApp if your identity card is lost with your smartphone
- Report to the police
- Properly prepare for the purchase of a new device