One afternoon a friend named Cindy called me to tell me she had lost her iPhone and she thought it was at our church. I met her there, unlocked the building, and helped her search. No luck.
Keep reading to find out what happened and what you can do now to find your phone if it gets lost or stolen.
No matter what type of phone you have, there are steps you can take now that will make your device easier to find and protect should it be lost in the future. The procedures for both Apple and Android phones are simple and worth the time to give some peace of mind.
The first step to protecting your iPhone is to set a pin number or password for your device. There are multiple reasons to have your phone secured by a passcode; this simple precaution could save you from many busy hands, from the 4 year old who wants to take pictures and then delete all of yours, to the stinky fingered thief who would try to access personal or financial information. Once your code has been set, make sure that Find My is turned on; this should be enabled by default.
To locate the Find My app:
- Go to Settings
- Scroll down to Find My. Tap it.
The options here vary depending on the software version on your device. Make sure that the Find My iPhone switch is in the on position.
Similarly, Find My Device is on by default as soon as you log into an Android device with a Google account. You can double check that this setting is activated with a couple of quick steps.
- Go to Settings
- Security ( Android 10 users) OR Security & Location ( Android 9 users)
- Find My Device
It will be readily apparent whether this is on or not.
Cindy Had Prepared
Cindy and I were able to access her iCloud account via my laptop, and she was able to place her iPhone in Lost Mode. Lost Mode locked her phone so that no one could access her personal data, and left a message on the screen asking whoever found it to give my phone a call. Then, with nothing else to be done, she went home to wait. That night about 9pm, I received a call from a group of teens who had found Cindy’s phone. I headed to pick up the phone and I found three teens hanging out in a farmhouse with a colored party light strobing innocuously in the kitchen.
It turned out that Cindy had been chatting with someone at her car after church and had set her phone down on the roof of the car. The phone then rode on her roof all the way through Deer Park and out on Highway 395. At that point the phone fell off, and was later found by the teens.
Cindy was relieved to have her phone back, amazingly still in perfect condition after its harrowing adventure, and the young people who found it felt like heroes.