If you’ve found yourself desperately Googling ‘where is my phone’, you’re not alone. Millions of people have lost their phones, or have had them stolen. Considering that your phone contains so much personal information and important contacts, let’s cut to the chase and look at the phone location services offered by phone manufacturers and OS vendors.
How To Find An Android Phone Using Google’s ‘Find Your Phone’ Service
Google has a simple page titled ‘Find your phone’ that lets you log into your Google account and locate your phone if it is logged into it. The page provides a number of options to help locate it, including making it ring at full volume, even if its muted! (also useful if someone stole it and muted it so you can’t hear it).
Bear in mind that a thief can press the power button to stop it from ringing, so listen carefully! If the phone isn’t connected to the Internet, these steps could fail as well.
How To Track Your Phone:
If you don’t hear the ring, there are other steps to find your phone, such as clicking the ‘Locate’ button right beside the ring option I mentioned in the top right corner of the screen.
That will take you to their location-based service that will attempt to ascertain the location of your phone and show it to you on a map.
Another thing you can do is remotely lock your phone and send a note to the finder (if any) and tell them that you’ve lost it. There are also other options to protect your data, but if all hope is lost, it also provides the option to remotely erase your phone if it was stolen.
Samsung users can optionally use Samsung’s Find My Mobile service as well.
How To Find A Lost Or Stolen iPhone
Apple offers a service called ‘Find My iPhone‘, which can either track your iPhone or lock it to protect your data. It also offers ‘Lost Mode’, which can be used to lock your phone, display a custom message, and disable payments via Apple Pay, just in case a thief tries to spend your money.
If You Can’t Recover Your Phone, Erase It
Your phone is a gold mine of information to an identity thief, and also a gold mine to a petty thief. It’s too easy for criminals to rob you blind if they steal your phone.
They can steal your identity without obtaining any credit card information or passwords (they can do it via your email, but this isn’t the only way they can do it), so wipe your device if you don’t think it’s recoverable. After that, contact your carrier and report it. Always keep your phone’s documentation (all of it) in a safe place. You may need that to identify it if it’s ever recovered.