Hopefully, you won’t ever lose your mobile phone. Losing your umbrella on the train is one thing; losing your mobile phone is a completely different story. The social stigma of not having a phone to look at on the journey home is bad enough as you might start talking to someone. And even worse, if you haven’t backed up your data—and that’s about 25% of you. It’s a complete pain in the butt.
I found a mobile phone by London Bridge once, a Blackberry Bold, which I later found out belonged to a guy from Atlanta, USA. As it was unlocked, (SHOCK HORROR, some 30% of you don’t employ a password on their mobile) I was able to trawl through the directory, called a few numbers and left a message. They did their part, emailed the guy. He had his mobile phone back within 24 hours and I’m really chuffed about that. But not all stories end in this way.
PUT A PASSWORD ON YOUR MOBILE NOW
Did I hand it back to the guy, just because I didn’t want a Blackberry as only 200,000 people bought one, there is that! I know what it’s like to lose photos of your kids, the missus in the shower from holiday and some great shots of the Mustang car club that came to Brighton the year before.
Mobiles can be lost in some amazing ways, like the builder from Stockport who lost his mobile phone… guess where? He buried it within a wall he was building. Or there’s the keen gardener from York, who buried his mobile phone in his garden. My personal favorite is the one about the undertaker who lost his mobile phone—and you’ll only need one guess.
10,000,000 mobile devices or smartphones, tablets and laptops go AWOL or are stolen like this each year and that’s just in the UK. One in five is lost by employees on a work night out. Some are lost on the bus, taxis and public toilets—a popular destination. And for those companies that rely on their staff using their own personal mobiles for work, the personal mobiles that your staff members put all your company’s sensitive and important data, yep they too get lost.
Mobile theft can also be violent. In 2015, a nineteen-year-old woman was shot in the head in London for her mobile phone. So be careful, be aware of the state you’re in and where you are trying to make a phone call. And I for one have been approached by a stranger in the street, to use my phone to make an emergency call! My advice: you dial the number and put the call on loudspeaker. Don’t be handing over your phone for a couple of tears on someone’s face, they may take your phone and run. And you’ll be the one in tears.
Before the smartphone, dumb phones had a lock to stop pocket calls and that was all. Did they get stolen? Of course, they did. But it didn’t hurt so much; dumbphones didn’t cost as much back in the early days. They were more perfunctory and never over £100. Some top-end smartphones now cost up to £1,100.
Smartphones can’t be used once reported stolen, the network will switch it off, that’s true. But it’s not always the mobile they’re after. The SIM card is just as valuable to thieves—using your mobile number to ring up super high rate premium numbers in faraway lands can run into many thousands of pounds.
HAVE YOU PUT A PASSWORD ON YOUR MOBILE YET?
It’s been suggested that as many as four out ten mobiles are not password-protected. And just to prove my point: a family in the US had their house burgled. The thieves stole more than just mobiles, they took everything—sofas, TV, everything out of the kitchen, I mean everything. In amongst the loot was the family’s eight-year-old son’s iPad.
Everyone including the Police thought the family would never see their stuff again. The young boy was having none of it; he went to his friend’s house and used his computer to see if he could locate his iPad. Lo and behold, his iPad was switched on and sent a ping on a map. The boy took a print of the map and convinced his father to take it to the Police, which he did.
The Police raided the address and found the boy’s iPad and all the family’s stuff and a whole bunch of other stolen goods. So, what did the boy do that saved the family’s fortunes? In their story, they had a switched-on iPad, and the boy used an App called ‘Find my iPhone’. Other platforms have a similar product and methodology for finding your mobile.
So, I’ve lost my mobile phone or it’s been stolen. What can I do, what should I do?
Call your network, tell them that your mobile phone is lost or stolen so that they can block it or stop anyone else using it. Call them straight away, so that you can stop anybody running up your bills. And using the links below, register your mobile onto your Find My Phone platform and all may be well.
PS. If you see that your phone is in some place you don’t recognise, call the authorities and have them retrieve your property. Be on the safe side.
If you have lost your phone, use these links or others like it.
For Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.androidlost
For iPhone: http://www.apple.com/uk/icloud/find-my-iphone.html
For Nokia: https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/11579/microsoft-account-find-lost-phone-device
For Sony: https://myxperia.sonymobile.com/signin
For HTC: www.google.com/android/devicemanager