Losing your iPhone in a crowded mall, in the cafeteria, or just randomly on the street or in a taxi isn't going to be news you can digest easily. iPhone thefts have been increasing even in a city like New York and it's becoming a menace now. People report iPhone thefts almost everyday and the situation isn't all that good.
We always think that it happens to someone else but it's always better to take adequate precautions to make sure this doesn't happen to ourselves. Besides preliminary precautions like not using your iPhone in a deserted street, not parting from it even for a brief second when you are in the cafeteria, mall or restaurant etc., it would be better to take a few more precautions that go a little deeper.
We're going to see what you can do to:
- Make sure your iPhone is safe even if it gets into the hands of someone
- Make sure you can recover your iPhone even when it gets lost
If you've lost your iPhone, only a few points from this list will be useful. Check out #3 and #5.
For the rest of you, read them all because we all need to protect our gadgets. Our reliance on them and the data they contain is much more than what we think or assume to be.
1). Using Find My iPhone
Find My iPhone from Apple is the default method of tracing your iPhone via iCloud (or other iDevices on which you've installed the Find My iPhone app). You can and should enable Find My iPhone in your iCloud settings (Settings -> iCloud -> Toggle Find My iPhone to ON) so that your iPhone can be tracked no matter where it is.
You can use Find My iPhone from the web to trace your iPhone. This is how you do it.
- Go to http://icloud.com/#find
- (Login with your Apple ID credentials)
- Click on ‘Devices' on the far top left of the screen and choose your iPhone
You have these three options:
Play Sound: If you want to alert people nearby your lost iPhone or if you want to find out where your iPhone is (if in case you are in the vicinity), use this option.
Lost Mode: This will lock down your iPhone so no data can be stolen from it. But remember that a restore of the device can actually let the thief use the iPhone as a new one.
Erase iPhone: if you fear for the worse and want to make sure no data is compromised, use this option to erase all data from your iPhone remotely. It's also called a Remote Wipe.
2). Install a few apps
Find My iPhone isn't the only app and most obviously it isn't a complete app in itself. Although no app is perfect and fool-proof, you do have the options to explore. There are plenty of iPhone apps to track a lost device accurately, to protect the data and to enable remote wipe.
Some of these are:
- If Found+ (puts a basic wallpaper with your photo and contact details so whoever finds your iPhone can contact you)
- Device Locator
3). File a Police Complaint Immediately
When you lose your iPhone and there's no way to find it easily, you'll first need to file a complaint with the cops. It's not that they can definitely trace it for you but the rate of finding your iPhone increases. Cops can easily get some valuable data from the service provider too which can be helpful in locating your iPhone.
4). Use iProtect
iProtect is a Cydia tweak that sends a message when someone changes the SIM card on your device. It can be installed on any jailbroken iPhone (you can read the full review here). Since most thieves change the SIM immediately, this tweak can come in as a very handy solution.
5). Find Out About SIM/IMEI Lockdowns
Once you inform your carrier, your SIM is locked down automatically. This prevents the thief to misuse your SIM card in anyway. However, you can also explore the possibilities of an IMEI lockdown. In fact, when you are reporting your theft to the cops, you might be asked your IMEI number. It is always better to note down your IMEI (Settings -> About on your iPhone)
Prevention is better than cure, so take all the precautions before something happens. Install and activate tracking apps. They're easy to use and most of them are free. Activate Location Services always. And don't be careless about the gadget. It's becoming hot property.