Losing a possession is never easy. Heck, losing anything can cost a tear or two. With the way that we have become so dependent on our devices the loss of a cellphone can severely impact one’s life, not just socially but financially as well.
There a few tips as to precautions one should take prior to losing their device, I’ll cover them below but the gist of this article is for those wanting to know “how can I recover my lost or stolen cellphone in Zimbabwe” question.
As I use Android devices the tips and suggestions are for that operating system, if you use something else, like Windows, I’d suggest you change devices soonest. As for Apple users, surely you can afford to replace it!
While You Still Have Your Phone
There are a few things you should do while you still have access to your phone:
- Remove screen lock and SIM lock
You want to make it as easy as possible for someone to open your phone and be able to contact you. If you’ve dropped your phone somewhere and it’s locked there is no way for the person who’s found it to go through it and call last dialled numbers.
- Save all your contacts to Gmail
This won’t really help you recover your device, but it’ll make sure that your contacts are all saved to the cloud and accessible from a new/different device.
- Find and save your IMEI number
Every phone or broadband device has an IMEI number (it’s a unique serial number-like 15 digit code) and this number is used by the mobile networks to identify your device. Send yourself an email (or store it in Google Drive) for when you may need to access it.
- Link your Gmail account to the phone
Sign in on your phone using your Gmail account. Don’t use an account that you don’t have the password to because when you need to recover/track your phone, you’ll need the password for the account.
- Install two apps: Phone tracker and an App locker/hider
You want to install an app that will allow you to track your phone, something like GPS Phone Tracker, this is to safeguard you in the event that someone detaches your Gmail account from the phone. The app locker app will allow you to hide your tracker app and no one will be able to delete it (well unless they hard reset your phone) and you can track your phone.
- Keep GPS active
This will finish your battery faster, but rather have a dead/flat battery than not to have a phone at all! Turn on your phone’s GPS location feature and keep it active at all times (it’s not like you’ll be given a notification that you gonna lose your phone in 5 minutes).
As a precaution, you want to make sure that it is as easy as possible for someone to start using your phone when they find it because it’ll be easier for you to track it. If your phone is password locked and has all these security features anyone who comes upon it will just go have it reset and that will delete all your tracking apps (well, besides the IMEI, but as you’ll read shortly the method of going to your mobile network is not the easiest.
When You’ve Lost Your Phone
I’m going to consider the ‘best’ of people and not assume that it has been stolen, so in the unlikely event that you ‘lose‘ your phone be sure to take the following steps:
- Try and call the phone
Many a time people don’t realise that the phone might be closer than they think and a simple call will sound it and possibly help you find it if it’s nearby. Did I say you should always keep your volume on high? How else will you hear it?
- ‘Google Search It’
Visit Google and type in “find my phone”. You’ll be prompted to sign in with the same Gmail account as the one that’s on the phone. This is where the tricky part kicks it: your phone needs to be connected to the internet in order for it to give out its position. If there’s no internet access be sure to keep checking after about every 6 hours or so as to where the phone is located.
- Search through the GPS phone locator app
Log on to the app’s website with the credentials you used when you signed up and search for your device from there. Again this assumes that your phone will have access to the internet.
- IMEI, Police and Mobile Networks
Take your IMEI with you to the police. File a lost report, that includes the IMEI number, type of phone and mobile number. With this police report “usually” the police go to the mobile network and follow up on your behalf. However, you could try producing these details to your network provider, Econet seemed to take them, and follow instructions from there.If it doesn’t move as fast as you’d like it, check with the investigating officer whether there is anything that you could do to assist them. Sometimes they just “may not have fuel/transport to go to each mobile network”.
These are the methods used to recover one’s phone. Have you used any other way that has worked for you? Maybe it’s high time we considered cellphone insurance.
Consider sharing this post with your friends and family in order to safeguard them in the event of loss or theft.
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