We all have at one point have lost our phones, or at the very least we know a friend or family member who has. Losing a phone can be a disastrous incident due to its value and the other consequences that follow right after. It’s a very painfully moment, given that mobile phones have become very integral to our lives and losing one seems like a setback. When someone gets their phone lost or stolen, the device’s data is at risk from a privacy invasion.
Moreover, all the media files get out of reach. Besides, the phone could be used in criminal practices without the knowledge of the owner. Most people don’t know how to track their phones when they get lost or stolen, therefore they end up buying new ones. The sensible step would be to file the phone as stolen, but even that is a long and complicated process.
The phone tracking system helps know the exact location of your phone. For the phone tracker to work, the phone must be turned on. The phone emits radio signals which is captured by the nearest mobile tower, which later is stored in the company’s database. This is the most common and basic way of tracking a phone, though a GPS (Global Positioning System) with aid of third-party apps is also sufficient to help in the tracing a phone.
How to track a lost phone
There a number of ways you can use to track a lost phone, as listed below.
1. IMEI number
The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) is a unique number that comes with every phone. It’s very easy to track a lost phone using IMEI, even when the SIM card has been changed. Whenever a phone tries to connect with a network to either make or receive a call, the IMEI number is emitted, which the user can track instantly. For it to work, your phone’s location services and data must be activated. Its advisable to always keep your location activated. Always keep a record of your IMEI number. To retrieve the IMEI, dial *#06# from your phone. Follow the steps below to track your phone using IMEI number.
- Go to your device settings
- Activate location services
- Enable mobile data or WiFi
- Go to Google device control
- You can reach your device using IMEI
- The page will display a map denoting the location of the phone
- If the device is unavailable, safety options will display. If the chances of retrieving the phone are low, it’s advisable to erase, lock or wipe your device to avoid your information from being accessed
2. Built-in solutions
Most phone manufacturers nowadays are incorporating inbuilt security features on devices, to help secure your information and track your phone in case it gets lost. These features include locking your phone, wiping data and get a prompt message when the SIM card is changes. With advent of technological revolutions, its now even possible to track your phone when switched off.
3. Third-party solutions
You can also use apps or programs to track a lost phone.
a. Find My Device
With Google’s My Account service, you can access all your information centrally including your phone’s. Under My Account, there’s Find My Device feature that helps people recover their lost phones using Google metrics. You can either lock it, wipe it, call it or see its location. In order to check the location of the phone, then it must be switched on and data activated.
Cerberus is a third-party app that captures photos of any person who want to gain unauthorized access to your phone. The app will the upload the security details to your email on regular basis, to help in tracing your phone. The app comes with catchphrase uniquely created to trigger a pre-specified action which includes locking, wiping and initiating an alarming shrill ring.
Getting your phone lost or stolen is a terrible fate for any individual. The damage includes monetary loss and not being able to access the valuable data that resided in it. If a phone is stolen, the first sensible step will be to report the stolen device to the police. The police can track the IMEI number down or at least blacklist it to restrict the device’s access to a network. Contacting the cell phone provider might also be a wise decision as they can look it up using the provided IMEI number. If the above steps don’t resolve the problem, then the best option of the lot is utilizing the assistance of IMEI tracking services.