Your on holiday, enjoying yourself. Making memories and taking photos to reminisce on during those rainy days back home. You reach to grab your phone from your back and…it’s not there. Disaster has struck, and the phone could be miles away by now.
Keep calm. Try and call it to see if the person who has found it picks up the phone. Be relentless with the calling. Find a friend who has an iPhone and open the Find My app on their phone. Use your own iCloud to sign in and check for your iPhones last location. Fingers crossed its just sitting in your hotel room where you left it. If not, then this app will help track it. If you have an iPhone X or above, your phone will send out short burst of signal (even when switched off and the SIM removed) to the Find My network. This should hopefully increase your chances of tracking the device.
Gather your insurance documents if you have any. Usually insurance companies will have a set procedure for stolen devices. Contact 101 to report it as a lost/stolen device and provide the phones serial number. (Usually found on the box if you have it, or can also be seen if you sign into iCloud on another phone or PC). Police will advice that you DO NOT attempt to recover the device yourself. You don’t know the individual you are dealing with.
If the device is definitely deemed irrecoverable. Remote erase the device using the Find My app, but DO NOT remove it from the account afterwards. This ensures that your personal data is destroyed on the device, your Apple pay is removed and that the person who has stolen it cannot use it without your iCloud credentials.
Contact your network provider and let them know what has happened. They will place a complete remote block on the device rendering all signal to the device is cut off. Making it useless to the thief even if they do somehow get passed your account locking the device. (This can be undone if you do find the device again)
Change your account passwords. Any accounts you had signed into that device, consider them now compromised. This can include Email, Facebook. Twitter, Banking apps, even the main iCloud account itself.
Monitor your iCloud email for the next few weeks. Sometimes thieves will use phishing tactics to get your iCloud details to unlock the phone. If you receive emails asking to confirm payment details, missing information or password resets. Delete them and DO NOT click any of the links. Instead, contact Apple Support via their live chat feature and confirm if the email is genuine.
Alert your friends that the phone has been stolen. Sometimes the thieves will attempt to extort your information from contacts saves on the phone or its SIM card. If your friends receive any strange messages or emails asking about your information, tell them to delete it and not to respond.
Loosing your phone can be stressful, especially the thought of loosing your data and having to start again with a new phone.
Ensure that your device is always backed up, including photographs and messages. (Check in settings, tap your name, tap on iCloud and make sure the things you want backed up, are switched on)