It is unfortunate to lose an iPhone. The mere thought of not finding your device is enough to run chills down your spine, let alone the feeling of actually losing it. Apart from being an expensive and fancy piece of technology, your iPhone also carries a lot of valuable data that can be misused if it falls into the wrong hands. That’s why Apple has built some robust tools for iOS that can help keep your data safe, even if your device is misplaced or snatched by a thief. All you need to do is take some preventive measures.
This blog post by your friends at RTC Electronics will help you understand what should be done to protect your data if your iPhone is lost or stolen. Let’s take a look.
1) Enable Find My iPhone
The first thing to do (if you haven’t done it yet) is to enable ‘Find My iPhone’ on your device. ‘Find My iPhone’ is an app that lets you instantly see your phone’s location by logging onto a browser. Follow the steps mentioned below to set up this app.
- Start at your Home screen
- Tap Settings > [your name] > iCloud. For users of iOS 10.2 or earlier versions, go to Settings > iCloud
- Tap ‘Find My iPhone’ (at the bottom of the menu)
- Slide to turn on ‘Find My iPhone’ and Send Last Location
2) Turn On the ‘Lost Mode’
Once ‘Find My iPhone’ is activated, you can find your device and take additional actions to either recover your device or keep your information safe by turning on ‘Lost Mode’. If your iPhone is lost or stolen and you should-
- Sign in to com/find on a PC or Mac (you can also use ‘Find My iPhone’ app on another iPhone)
- Open Find My iPhone app and select your device to view its last location on the map. If the location shows your device is nearby, you can make a call on your number to locate it.
- Turn on ‘Lost Mode’ of your device to remotely lock it with a passcode and keep track of your device’s location.
- You can also use Lost Mode to display a custom message on the phone’s screen with instructions on where to return the phone (in the case, someone has found your device)
3) Use Settings to Delete Data After Incorrect Password Entries
Apple offers several settings for security purposes so that your data is not misused even if the device is lost. One option to really make sure that a thief can’t get your data is to erase all the information if the passcode is entered incorrectly ten times. However, people who are not good at remembering passwords or passcodes should be careful before taking this step.
To enable this setting, follow these steps:
- Go to Settings
- Tap Touch ID & Passcode or Face ID & Passcode (depending on the feature your device offers)
- Slide to turn on ‘Erase Data’ (it will turn green when on)
Even if your iPhone is lost, you can rest assured that the thieves won’t be able to access your personal information as ten unsuccessful attempts to unlock the phone will automatically delete all data.
4) Remove Your Debit/ Credit Card Details from Apple Pay
The next thing to do is to remove your debit or credit card details from Apple Pay (if you have set up Apple Pay on your iPhone). The best part is that Apple Pay is a secure app which uses Touch ID or Face ID systems to function, thus making it unlikely for anyone to use your card without your permission. But it is better safe than sorry.
You can remotely delete your payment card details from Apply Pay easily by logging onto to iCloud. If you get your phone back, you can simply add the details again. To remove card details, follow these steps:
- Go to iCloud.com from a web browser
- Log in by entering your log in credentials
- Click on Settings
- Select ‘Apple Pay’ under ‘My Devices’ section at the bottom of the page
- Click on ‘Remove All’
5) Change Passwords of Accounts Linked to Your iPhone
Your phone is one place where you access all accounts of your digital life such as Email, Instagram, Netflix and Online Payment Gateways. That’s why changing the password of all accounts linked to your phone is necessary after the device is stolen. Use a PC, Mac or any other iPhone to access your online accounts and change the passwords immediately. Make sure the new password is no where similar to the old passwords to avoid hackers from figuring out your new password with the help of the old one.
6) Remotely Erase Your Data with iPhone Apps
If there is no chance of getting your phone back, the last resort is to remotely wipe your data from your device. As mentioned earlier, use ‘Find My iPhone’ app to erase your device. You just need to tap on ‘Erase Phone’ option, next to the option of ‘Lost Mode’. It will prevent anyone else from accessing the data on your missing phone.
Having your iPhone lost or stolen not only costs you a loss of hundreds or thousands of dollars but also makes your personal data vulnerable to theft and misuse. Although the monetary loss is almost impossible to get back, your data can be protected by taking a few steps before and after the phone goes missing.
To protect your information stored on the phone, make sure you follow the above preventive measures suggested by the gadget experts at RTC Electronics. Also, don’t forget to inform the local police and your network operator to track your phone through IMEI number and block your mobile number.