Lost Stolen iPhone or Smartphone? How to Prevent - What to Do

Lost PhoneCTIA-The Wireless Association released a public service announcement (PSA) video to help cell phone customers in case of  loss or theft.  The association also offered guidelines for actions before and after your phone is stolen or lost.  

A database that prevents stolen smartphones from being reactivated will be implemented by December 31, 2012, provided the phones have service in the U.S. by October 31, 2012.

AT&T, Cellcom, Nex-Tech Wireless, Sprint, Nextel, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless have deployed databases that use unique smartphone identifying numbers to prevent smartphones reported by their customers as stolen from being activated.  AT&T and T-Mobile USA have established connectivity to populate smartphones reported as stolen in the GSMA Global IMEI database for use by other carriers.

Here are some CTIA Reminders.

BEFORE your smartphone is lost or stolen:

  1. Be Aware. By knowing your surroundings, you may protect your smartphone from being lost or stolen.
  2. Lock It. As soon as you get a new smartphone, set a hard to guess password to protect your device and change it on a regular basis.
  3. Add Apps. There are a number of apps available that will remotely track, lock and/or erase your smartphone.
  4. Save It (Again). If you have photos, emails, contacts, videos or anything else that you want to make sure is available if your smartphone is ever lost or stolen, save it somewhere else such as a computer, USB drive or cloud service. It's always a good idea to have a backup copy.
  5. Insure It. If you are prone to losing things, you may want to consider insuring your device through your wireless provider or a third party entity so that if it is lost or stolen, your replacement device is covered.

AFTER your smartphone is lost or stolen:will

  1. Report It. If you know your smartphone is stolen, immediately notify your wireless provider so you can avoid incurring charges on the usage. If your device is lost, tell your provider to put a "hold" on your account so that if it ends up being stolen, you've prevented unauthorized usage. You may also report your smartphone stolen to your local police department. Let them know what tracking or other kinds of apps you have installed that may help them locate the thief.   will
  2. Locate it. CTIA and its members remind you that your safety should always be your number one priority so you should never attempt to recover your smartphone on your own.
  3. Erase It. If you have sensitive information, such as financial, health or work, or you believe your smartphone won't be returned, it's best to remote erase, or "wipe" it.