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How do I track a lost or stolen iPhone?

Losing our smartphones, or having them stolen, is something many of us dread. After all, these nifty gadgets are like our very own personal assistants – their apps and tools help us to organise our lives and keep everything in check.

Having to replace a smartphone (and all of its apps) can be a real nuisance. It can also be upsetting if you were to lose personal photos and videos that weren’t backed up.

Thousands of mobile phones are misplaced each year in the UK. It’s a risk to just hope that it’ll never happen to you – you’re better off being prepared by taking out iPhone insurance.

Gadget Cover can help you find policies that will protect your gizmo against things like accident and liquid damage, theft and loss (for an extra fee).

If you take out iPhone insurance through Gadget Cover you’ll get to enjoy benefits like unlimited claims, truly instant cover, discounts on policies paid annually and the first month of cover totally free if you opt for monthly payments.

Can you track an iPhone?

The good news is that there is a way to locate a missing iPhone – and it’s all down to a clever app called Find My.

As a blog on Apple Support explains, the Find My app can be used to locate your iPhone (as well as iPads or an iPod touch), take steps to help you recover it and keep any personal and/or sensitive information safe.

If you have reason to believe that your iPhone has been lost or stolen, here’s Apple’s step-by-step guide on how to find it again:

  1. Sign in to your icloud.com/find on the internet or access the Find My app on another Apple device.
  2. Open the app, select ‘Find iPhone’ and choose a device to find its location. If the device is close, you’ll be able to make it play a sound to help you or someone else locate it.
  3. You can mark the device as lost (which will lock your iPhone remotely) and create a custom message with a number to be displayed on the lock screen. If you’ve added any credit, debit or prepaid cards to Apple Pay, the ability to pay using the app will be suspended if you’ve marked the device as lost.
  4. You should now report your smartphone as either lost or stolen to the police – they might request the serial number of your device. This is a very important step if you suspect that it’s been stolen and want to make a claim on your iPhone insurance policy.
  5. It’s possible to erase your device remotely, meaning it will prevent anyone from accessing the data. All of your details (including credit, debit prepaid cards on Apple Pay) will be wiped from the device, and you won’t be able to locate it using the Find My app or Find iPhone on iCloud.com. You can’t track it once you’ve erased the device, either. If you remove the iPhone from your account after it’s been erased, the Activation Lock will be switched off, meaning that another person will be able to turn it on and use it.
  6. It’s also a good idea to get in touch with your wireless carrier to report your device as lost or stolen. They’ll be able to disable your account to prevent anyone from using texts, phone calls or data.

If you’ve enabled Family Sharing, this will allow a family member to locate the device.

All they need to do is use their Apple ID to sign in to iCloud. All family members signed up to Family Sharing can find their device this way.

What can you do if Find My isn’t enabled on your iPhone?

You won’t be able to locate your missing or stolen iPhone using the Find My app if it isn’t turned on on your device. However, there are things you can do to ensure your data is safe – these include:

  • Change your Apple ID password so that no one can access your iCloud data or use other services (such as iTunes) on your phone.
  • Set new passwords on other apps on your device, such as Facebook and Instagram.
  • Report your device as lost or stolen to the police – again, they may request your phone’s serial number so have this at the ready. Get in touch with your wireless carrier, too, as they can disable your account.

As Apple notes, Find My is the only way you can successfully locate your device. So, it’s well worth switching on.

Protecting your device against theft

Thieves are opportunists, the Police.UK website points out, so don’t make yourself an easy target. Taking steps to protect your device and keep it safe can save you a lot of hassle and stress in the long run – it shares some pointers:

  • If you’re not using your device to text someone or make a phone call, hide it away.
  • Store your phone inside of a bag or in a front pocket.
  • Don’t attach the smartphone to a belt or around your neck.
  • Be vigilant – always be aware of what’s going on around you when making a call outside and in public.
  • If possible, avoid using your smartphone at night unless absolutely necessary. If you need to, use in a place that’s busy and well lit.
  • Avoid getting your device out at bus stops or train stations, as thieves tend to target these areas.

iPhone insurance from Gadget Cover

Protect yourself against unexpected mishaps with iPhone insurance from Gadget Cover.

You can take out a policy through us if your phone is less than 18 months old,  is in good condition and full working order, and you can provide proof of ownership.

Our iPhone insurance policies include all you need to protect your iPhone from the most common issues users encounter: loss, theft and accidental damage. But you’ll also enjoy benefits like instant cover and protection for iPhone accessories.

Protect your tech today – get a quote!

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