Nowadays mobile phones are an important part of practically everyone’s lives. They play an integral part in it, which is why losing one is not only distressing but can actually disrupt your work and daily routine.
Losing your phone can make you feel cut off from communication. On top of that if you’re unable to find it you’ll have lost all the data that is stored there, or it could even end up falling into the hands of others.
It goes without saying that you would want to do all you can to make sure none of that happens. And although it is difficult to completely eliminate that risk, there are many ways that you can mitigate it and make it much less likely you lose your phone or have to use a phone watcher app to track it down.
Only Use Timed Silent Mode
Assuming you do lose your phone, the first thing you’re likely to do is call it. That way if it is simply misplaced and is somewhere nearby you’ll be able to hear it ring and find it quickly.
Alternatively if it isn’t nearby and is actually lost, there is the chance that someone else may hear the phone ringing and help you retrieve it. While there is no guarantee they’ll return it to you – it is better than nothing.
Of course that plan will fall flat on its face if your phone is on silent mode, and doesn’t ring or make any sound when you call it. To make sure you don’t end up in that boat, your best bet is to get into the habit of only using the timed silent mode.
By using the timed silent mode, your phone will only stay silent for a fixed duration, after which it will revert to its normal mode. In other words even if you do lose it and it doesn’t ring initially – eventually it will.
There are several ways to set timed silent mode, and it will largely depend on the type of mobile phone you’re using. Additionally there are many apps that will let you set a duration or completely automate your silent mode too.
Keep Your Phone in Your Pocket
As mobile phones have started to get bigger and bigger, more and more people have grown into the habit of not keeping them in their pocket but placing them on tables or other surfaces instead. That is almost never a good idea, and if you turn away for just a few seconds or get distracted your phone could end up stolen.
The best solution to protect your phone is to keep it in your pocket at all times. It may not be all that comfortable if your phone is very large, but it is still better than risking it being stolen.
If it really isn’t possible to keep it in your pocket, your next best bet is to use a phone holder or holster of some kind. Try not to put it in your back pocket either, or you may end up accidentally sitting on your phone and damaging it.
Keep in mind that contrary to popular belief, holding your phone in your hands is not safer than placing it in your pockets. If your phone is in your hands it is a prime target for snatch-thefts, which are becoming increasingly prevalent.
Be Consistent When Putting Your Phone Down
Ever lost your phone in your room or while you’re sitting on your desk? It may sound ridiculous but it is a lot more common than you might think. Even though you can easily find it again, you’ll still waste quite a bit of time in the process.
The good news is that it is really easy to make sure you don’t lose your phone in this way and all you need to do is be consistent. Start to get into the habit of putting down your mobile phone in a designated location at all times.
For example when you’re in your room you could put it on a docking stand to charge, or when at your work desk you could leave it in the inner corner. Once you’ve established a fixed habit, you won’t have to worry about temporarily misplacing it.
Aside from putting your phone down in the same designated location, you should also try to avoid putting them down in random places. For example you should be careful that you don’t put your phone down in a public restroom, on your car, or any other place that may be risky.
The key to pulling this off is repetition. At first you will need to always take note and be mindful of where you’re placing your phone, but after a while it will become second nature to you.
Check Your Phone Regularly
One of the best habits is to check your phone from time to time. It doesn’t have to be too often, but you could check it every hour or so.
As you can imagine if you’re the type of person who is constantly checking your notifications or messages – this shouldn’t be an issue. However if you’re the type of person who doesn’t, and who often leaves the phone unattended for hours on end – it can help you to ensure you don’t accidentally misplace it.
A good way to start fostering the habit is to check if there are any new notifications every hour. Alternatively if you prefer you could take short breaks every hour and spend a few minutes watching a video on YouTube, browsing the net, listening to music, or playing a game.
Get a Proximity Alarm
Proximity alarms are one of the most convenient ways to make sure you don’t accidentally leave your phone behind anywhere. It consists of a small gadget that will notify you with an alarm when you get too far away from your phone.
Nowadays there are several types of proximity alarms available. Most work via Bluetooth, and some have other features that will help make it easier to find your phone.
It is advisable to find one that is convenient to carry around, or attaches to something that you always carry on your person. For example a proximity alarm that is a keychain, fits on your keychain, or can be stored in your wallet.
The reason for that is simple: You can’t afford to be careless with the gadget and accidentally leave it in the same place as your phone. That is one of its only downsides, and you could actually end up losing both your proximity alarm and your phone if they’re left in the same location.
Use Android’s Find My Device or Apple’s Find My iPhone
Both Android and iOS have tools to help you immediately track down the location of your smartphone. The Android version of this service is called Find My Device, whereas the iOS version is called Find My iPhone.
To use these tools you first need to enable them in the settings of your device. Once enabled, all you need to do is look up either of those services on your browser and then log in to your Google or Apple account respectively. The tool should immediately show you the current location of your phone on a map.
In both Find My Device and Find My iPhone there are options that you can use to make the phone start ringing so that you can find it more quickly. On top of that if it looks like your phone is stolen or isn’t going to be found there are features to secure it or erase its data.
It should be noted that there are other third-party apps that can achieve the same result and will track your phone’s location using GPS, Wi-Fi, or cell phone tower triangulation. For example you can track your phone’s location easily from the Hoverwatch site if you use its app.
Backtrack with the Google Timeline
Another useful service to try if you lose your mobile phone is Google’s Timeline. It will essentially map out all the location data from your phone and show you exactly where it has been recently.
If you want to use the Google Timeline, you need to first make sure that location reporting and location history are enabled on your mobile phone. Assuming they are, you can visit the Google Timeline website at any time and see where and when your phone was last located.
Because it will show the complete history of location data, Google Timeline is a great tool to backtrack to the last location your phone reported from. Even if the phone itself is turned off, you can see when it was last on and at the reported location.
Customize Your Lock Screen with Contact Details
Generally speaking if you happen to lose your phone in a public place, it is likely to end up getting stolen. However there are good Samaritans out there too, and you may just be lucky enough that your phone is picked up by someone willing to return it to you.
Customizing your lock screen with your contact details can increase the odds that the person who finds your phone gets in touch. It is best to set up a lock screen that lists your emergency contact number as well as any other contact details.
On Android devices you can add a lock screen message with the contact details or you could customize the wallpaper. Additionally you can set up the Emergency Information to list a few people as emergency contacts.
Similarly on iOS devices you can add contact details to your lock screen using the Apple Health app. It will let you designate people as emergency contacts.
Back-Up Your Phone Regularly
Technically backing-up your phone’s data won’t prevent it from being lost. However what it will do is help you to restore your phone exactly as it was after you get a new one.
As you’re probably aware there are many ways to back-up your phone nowadays. Without using any additional software you should be able to back-up your contact details, messages, apps, settings, and media files on any iOS or Android mobile phone.
Still if you prefer convenience, there are lots of apps that can help you to comprehensively back-up your phone’s data, and automate it too. The features of these apps vary, so be sure to check what is (and is not) covered.
Regardless of which option you choose, you should try to back-up on a very regular basis so that you can restore your phone easily any time it is lost. It is up to you to determine how often that is, but if you’re dealing with important data that is regularly updated – you may even want to think about backing it up on a daily basis.
Starting to see what you need to do to make sure you never lose your mobile phone? While there are no guarantees, it is safe to say that taking these steps will dramatically reduce the risk of your phone going missing. At very least it should make it easier for you to track it down or restore it if it does.
In the event that you do lose your phone and you don’t think you’ll get it back or feel that it has been stolen, you should act fast. Take steps to secure your phone, change all your important passwords, and report its IMEI number to your service provider.
If you do all that you can at least minimize the fallout from losing your phone. Assuming you backed up your data, you can then restore it onto a new phone.
For the most part none of these steps are particularly difficult, nor are they expensive. If you take into account the disruption, loss of data, and cost of replacing a phone when it is lost – it is definitely worth taking some time to try to avoid that in the first place and limit its impact.