How To Retrieve Your iPhone If It Is Lost Or Stolen.
IPhones are expensive equipment these days and are therefore a desirable target for thieves. Therefore, it can be heartbreaking to discover that someone has tapped your phone while you weren’t looking.
It is no less painful to find that you simply lost your phone through negligence on your part. As a result of theft or carelessness, the smartphone stores so much information about you that its loss can be a real disaster.
So what if this happens to you?
Before pressing the panic button, I prefer to try simple solutions first. In this case, a simple solution is to make a phone call. You will not believe how many times I was convinced that the phone had been gone for a long time, and discovered that I was sitting on it.
The only time it won’t work is if your phone is in Do Not Disturb mode. If you enjoy using Do Not Disturb mode, list your home landline number or spouse’s mobile phone number as Favorites in your iOS contact book.
Then, in the Do Not Disturb settings, allow anyone in your Favorites to call independently.
Use “Find My iPhone”
If the call on the phone did not turn it on, then you should consider that it is gone. So it’s time to take some more proactive steps.
To do this, you need to turn to Find My iPhone, the built-in iOS tracking system, to pinpoint the exact location of your iDevice in real time. Apple uses it by default the first time you use the device, so do yourself a favor and don’t turn it off. You won’t be able to turn it on later when the device is gone.
I usually don’t like when location services are turned on, so I usually carry my iPhone in a Faraday bag when I’m not using it. But it is “Find My iPhone” that I never completely turn off location services. If you don’t have the money to buy new phones every time your phone goes missing, you can’t afford to turn it off.
Assuming you have Find My iPhone turned off for some reason, it’s very easy to turn it back on. Go to Settings iCloud Find My iPhone .
Enable both Find My iPhone and Send Last Location .
Send Last Location is a useful feature as it ensures that you can see the last known location of your phone on a map if the battery is low.
Track your phone
By turning on Find My iPhone, you can start tracking your phone to see where it has gone. You can use a different iDevice (such as a friend’s iPhone or iPad) or by going to iCloud.com and signing in with your Apple account details. If you want to use a different iDevice, search for the Find My iPhone app.
When you open it, after a few rotations of the compass, you will see a map of your area (make sure you let the app know your location). ICloud will then try to find all your registered iDevices. Use your fingers to zoom in on the map to get a more accurate street location.
The map tells me that the phone is somewhere in my house. The next thing to do is to click “Actions” at the bottom of the map.
This will give you three options: Play Sound, Lost Mode, and Erase iPhone.
Since the phone is clearly in my home, the best choice is Play Sound. Even with the sound turned off, this will still work. It mutes the volume of the phone and emits an ear-splitting sonar pulse. My dog ??jumped ten feet when he heard this.
On the other hand, if you see on the map that your phone is on the other side of town, in another city, or on the other side of the world, then it’s time for Plan B.
Lost Mode lets you lock your device, mark it as Lost, and remotely send a message to the iPhone’s screen to the person holding it. This can be anything from a threatening message to a seductive message offering a reward for safely returning your phone.
Trying to get your phone back on your own by navigating to its location on a map is usually a very bad idea, as you may experience violence. The golden rule is to contact the police instead.
If you are sure the phone will never come back, or you think the thief has access to the information inside the phone, it’s time to erase its contents.
However, keep in mind that this is a very radical, irreversible step. But if you know that the phone is gone forever, then be sure to do it.
4 preventive measures for the future
If you are forced to get a new iPhone due to theft or loss, there are four preventative measures you can take in case your new phone gets lost or stolen in the future.
Set a passcode
Imagine that your phone has no password and a thief starts looking at your belongings. Think for a moment what they will have access to.
Your email, your contacts, your Facebook conversations (possibly revealing personal information), Apple or Google Maps programmed with your address (which makes the thief come and try your luck again), photos, videos the list goes on
So do yourself a huge favor and set a password.
Consider turning off lock screen notifications
Consider disabling lock screen notifications
If someone picks up your phone, even if it’s locked, notifications still appear on the screen. SMS messages and email previews come to mind immediately.
Do you want a thief to read them? Of course not. Then turn off preview in settings.
Turn on “Erase data after 10 unsuccessful password attempts”
Turn on “Erase data after 10 failed passcode attempts”
This is a very handy feature. By giving a person just 10 attempts to get a password right before the information explodes, it stops brute-force attacks and gives you the confidence that your information is more or less secure.
You will find this option under “Touch ID & Password” in Settings.
Be sure to back up to iCloud or iTunes every day
Make sure to backup iCloud or iTunes every day
This must be done strictly. If your iPhone pulls out a pin and blows up all of your belongings, you’ll lose them forever unless you back up to iCloud. It doesn’t take long if you do it in iTunes, and you can leave it running in the background while you search YouTube for cat pictures and laughing babies.