3) TRACK YOUR PHONE WITH FIND MY
You already locked your phone in Step 1 using Find My
iPhone, but you can also use this free service to track your
phone’s location using the device’s built-in GPS. The only
catch? You need to have set up Find My iPhone before your
phone was stolen.
4) DON’T TRY TO RECOVER IT YOURSELF;
GET HELP FROM THE POLICE
If you’ve been able to locate your iPhone using Find My
iPhone, do not try to recover it yourself. Going to the house of
the person who stole your phone is a definite recipe for trouble. Instead, contact the local police department (or, if you’ve
already filed a report, the one you reported the theft to) and
let them know that you’ve got information about the location
of your stolen phone. While the police may not always help,
the more information you have, the more likely police are to
recover the phone for you.
5) FILE A POLICE REPORT
If you can’t recover the phone right away, file a report with
the police in the city/neighborhood where the phone was stolen. This may or may not lead to the recovery of your phone
(in fact, the police may tell you there’s very little they can do
either because of the value of the phone or the number of
thefts), but having documentation should help when dealing
with cellphone and insurance companies. Even if the police
tell you they can’t help at first, if you can get data about the
location of your phone, having the report may be necessary
for getting the police to help you recover it.
6) NOTIFY YOUR EMPLOYER
If your iPhone was given to you through work, notify your
7) CALL YOUR CARRIER
employer of the theft immediately. You may even want to do
this before you file the police report, since your corporate IT
department may be able to prevent the thief from accessing
critical business information. Your employer may have given
you guidelines about what to do in case of theft when they
issued the phone to you. It’s a good idea to brush up on them.
Whether this should be the seventh step in the process or
should come earlier depends on your circumstances. Some
phone carrier may be more inclined to take action when
you’ve got a police report, while others may act right away
without one. Calling your carrier to report the theft and have
the account tied to the phone suspended or canceled helps
ensure that you don’t pay for charges incurred by the thief.
Before you cancel your service, try tracking your phone using
Find My iPhone. Once service is turned off, Find My iPhone
will only work when connected to Wi-Fi.
8) CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS
Changing your email account passwords will prevent the thief
from reading or sending mail from your phone. Beyond that,
changing online banking, i Tunes, and other important account
passwords will help prevent identity theft or financial theft.
9) CALL YOUR PHONE INSURANCE
COMPANY, IF YOU HAVE ONE
If you have a phone insurance policy from your carrier or
an insurance company that covers theft, be sure to call the
company. Having a police report is a big help here. If you can
recover the phone with the help of the police that’s ideal, but
reporting the situation to the insurance company will get the
ball rolling in the meantime and help you get money to replace
your phone if you can’t recover it.
10) NOTIFY PEOPLE
If your phone’s gone and you weren’t able to track it via
GPS and/or lock it, you’re probably not going to get it back. In
that case, you should notify the people in your address book
and email accounts of the theft. They probably won’t be getting calls or emails from the thief, but in case the thief has a
bad sense of humor or more seriously bad intentions, you’ll
want people to know that it’s not you sending troublemaking
11) PROTECT YOURSELF IN THE FUTURE
Whether you get your iPhone back or have to replace it with
a new one, you may want to change your habits and behaviors
to prevent future thefts. Setting a secure passcode, enabling
Touch ID or Face ID, and enabling Find My iPhone are all great
places to start.
Sam Costello has been writing about technology since 2000. He has published articles
with CNN.com, PC World, Info World, and Computer world, among others. He has
written about PDAs, monitors, and printers for Samsung's consumer websites, and
about apps, streaming media, and eBooks for the Que Publishing website.