CREDO Tip: Do these 6 things immediately if you lose your phone

Do These 6 Things Immediately If You Lose Your Phone
Do These 6 Things Immediately If You Lose Your Phone

Losing your phone can really stress you out. In a 2017 survey by the Physiological Society, a London-based nonprofit, people ranked losing their phone as life’s 14th most-stressful event, just above moving to a new home.

But there are measures you can take to mitigate the anxiety – and the risks – that come with losing your phone. If your phone is lost or stolen, take these steps right away. 

Call your phone

This is the obvious first step. Maybe your phone isn’t really lost. Maybe it’s just down the back of the couch or under the bedside table.

Or maybe your phone really is lost and someone picked it up. Your passcode, fingerprint scanner or whatever security measures you have in place could make it difficult for this good Samaritan to answer your phone when you call it. But if your phone does ring, that’s an encouraging sign. The first thing a thief might do with a stolen phone is switch it off.

Track your phone

Android and iOS phones have built-in tracking tools that allow you to locate your phone via GPS. These tools are turned on by default in most phones these days, but you should double-check to make sure (obviously, you should do this before you lose your phone.)

On your iPhone, go to Settings, tap your name at the top of the screen and then tap the name of your phone. From here, you can toggle on Find My.

On your Android phone, Find My Device is enabled by default once you sign into a Google account on that phone. To check, open Settings, then tap Security & location. If you don’t see Security & location, tap Google then Security. Tap Find My Device and see that it’s on.

Of course, since your phone is missing, you’ll have to use another device to track it. You can use the Find My iPhone or Find My Device app if it’s installed on that other device. Or you can use these websites: and

Find My iPhone and Find My Device are quite helpful. You can see your phone’s location on a map, lock your phone remotely and erase all your personal data – as long as your phone remains switched on. If your phone is switched off, you’ll see its last known location, and your phone will be locked and/or erased as soon as it is switched on by whoever has it.

Display a “lost” message on your lock screen

Both Find My iPhone and Find My Device have a feature you can use to display a “lost phone” message and a contact number on your lock screen.

This feature is available in an iPhone’s Lost Mode and in an Android’s Secure Device mode. Using these tools, which you can access at the sites linked above, you can choose a message and contact number that will be displayed automatically on the lock screen of your missing phone, such as “This phone has been lost. Please call me at (415) 555-1234. 

This is probably the most effective step you can take to retrieve your lost phone. If your phone is protected with a passcode or other security measure – and you don’t display a “lost” message on your lockscreen – it’s nearly impossible for someone who finds your phone to open it and get it back to you. But lost phones that show a contact number on their lock screen are three times more likely to be returned to their owners.

Contact your carrier and police

Report your phone lost, and your carrier can lock the phone out of its network. From that point forward, your phone can’t be used on your carrier’s network or any other major network. 

Contacting the police may not ensure you’ll get your phone back, but you’ll most likely need a police report if you have insurance on your phone and you want to file a claim. If you don’t have phone insurance, a lost phone may be covered by renter or homeowner’s insurance.

Change your passwords

Even if you lock your device and erase your data, you should also change the passwords on all your accounts, including online banking, email, social media and shopping.

We wish you years of happiness and productivity with your current phone. And, when you decide to replace it, we invite you to check out the great phone deals we have at If you’re not already a CREDO Mobile member , consider switching today. You’ll join America’s only progressive mobile phone company, get the nation’s largest, most reliable network and help fund progressive causes and activism you care about – all just by using your phone every day.