HELP! I’ve Lost My [Phone] [Tablet]…

Do you have a smart phone or a tablet? Of course you do! So, let’s pretend that you leave one of these devices on a plane or at a coffee shop-never to be seen again. Now what?

Can you wipe your device remotely? Do you have the serial numbers handy so that you can tell your employer/insurance/device manufacturer? No? That’s too bad. You’re stuck up a creek without a paddle… unless you follow these steps BEFORE you lose your device. Trust us, we don’t want you to lose anything, but accidents happen, so we want to make sure you’re protected if you ever need a little extra help.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. HAVE AN UNLOCK FEATURE. Make sure you use a multi-digit pin or a complex swipe. Better yet, unlock your device with a complex password. Yes, it’s annoying when you have to do it all the time, but if your phone ends up in a thief’s hands, it’s a huge protection.
  2. USE A MATTE SCREEN PROTECTOR ON ALL TOUCH DEVICES. Show us your screen and we bet we can decode your swipe or pin pattern… because we’ll follow the greasy swipes and spots left over from your lunch burrito, hand lotion, etc. A matte screen guard helps you to avoid these obvious marks. That said, you should still wipe off your touch screen several times each week with a soft cloth.
  3. INSTALL APPROPRIATE SOFTWARE to find or erase your phone. Please note, these fancy apps won’t work if your device is in airplane mode or isn’t connected to your cellular network or to Wi-Fi…which is why the above steps are so important! [If, however, your device is hacked and then connected to a cell or Wi-Finetwork, any device-lock or device-wipe instructions you’ve set for your device will go into effect.]
  4. KNOW YOUR NUMBERS. Take a picture of the serial numbers of your various devices. Save these pictures to a secure location in the cloud that you can access from any computer. This is especially handy if you need to fill out a lost device report for an airline for example.
  5. BACK UP YOUR DATA. If you have pictures saved to your device’s memory card and you lose your device, you’ve lost your pictures, too. Regularly sync your device to your computer, to your secure Cloud location, etc. to make sure that you have copies of the special things on your device that you can’t easily replace if your device is gone.

If you have any questions, or need help, just reach out. Or if you need to vent about a lost-device-you’re-still-mad-about, we’re here to commiserate. Losing a device is awful; losing a device that you can’t remotely wipe or manage is even worse. If you worry about losing a device, follow these steps right now. Better safe than sorry!