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Lost Your Smartphone? Don’t Freak! Follow These 4 Steps.

Yutaka Tsutano, Flickr.com

Misplacing your smartphone or even having it stolen can happen to anyone, but there’s no need to freak out. Just follow our lead.  These tips will put your panic to rest. 

Tips for Staying Calm Should You Lose Your Smartphone!  (from MoneyTalksNews.com):

1. Prepare for it!

If you ever lose your phone or it’s stolen, you’ll be prepared if you’ve done the following:

  • Added a password, required to unlock the phone.
  • If possible, set your phone up so your locked screen will show a way to contact you.
  • Recorded your device’s unique identification number somewhere safe so you’ll be able to report it to the police and your carrier.
  • Made sure all important info is backed up, either to your computer or a cloud service.

2.  Put a locator app on your phone

No matter what kind of phone you have, there’s probably a way to track it if it’s lost.

  • If you have an iPhone, the Lost My iPhone app is pre-installed, and can see where your phone is and lock it remotely. If it’s been stolen, you can also wipe your phone remotely.

Whatever phone you own, find out if it comes pre-installed with a locator app. And become familiar with how it works, so you’re not scrambling to figure it out in a time of stress.

Whether you have a prepaid or regular smartphone, it’s likely there’s an app for that. If you misplace your phone, the sooner you use the app, the higher the odds you’ll get your phone back. If there’s no app pre-installed (as with Android phones), find one and get it installed.

3.   Consider insurance

  • If you’re worried about the cost of replacing a lost or stolen phone, consider insurance. Most carriers have a program you can pay for on a monthly basis – whether it’s worth the cost will largely depend on how likely you are to lose your phone. But keep in mind the replacement cost for today’s top-of-the-line smartphones will run into the hundreds.
  • If you lose your phone, you’ll obviously still want to do your best to find it rather than filing a claim. But if you can’t find it, insurance means getting a replacement quickly.

4.  Get a replacement now

  • Buy the cheapest phone you can find that will work with your SIM card and keep it in a drawer. This won’t help if your phone – along with its SIM card – is lost or stolen, but it will sure come in handy if you drop your phone in the pool or otherwise render it useless.

In fact, if you’re planning to visit a phone-hostile environment, such as the beach or camping, take your cheap phone and leave your expensive one at home.

And just an F.Y.I., according to MoneyTalksNews.com stealing phones is becoming less profitable for thieves.  Until recently, a stolen smartphone meant an instant $200 or more for the thief. But starting October 2012, the four main carriers opened a stolen phone database to track stolen phones across carriers.

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