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What to Do When Your iPhone is Stolen or Lost

What to Do When Your iPhone is Stolen or Lost

There has been an increase in iOS thefts recently, targeting owners who are simply walking down the street, causing many individuals to fear that their iOS device may be next to disappear. Personal computers are also not out of the woods from this increase in theft; even when you keep your devices at home, the threat of misplacing them is also present. What should we do to ensure that our Mac or iOS device makes it back into our hands? The step-by-step guide we have below is made for new Apple purchasers, current users, and victims of theft who are looking for options.

Ensuring your information is adequately backed up

Whether you just bought your iPhone or Mac, or if you have been a long time user, it is never too early or too late to get yourself prepared for a possible lost or stolen device. The main aspects of preparation includes ensuring that you have adequate tracking, and that your information is adequately backed up. We will cover how to do both in the steps below:

1. You just bought your Mac or iOS device—congratulations! Now it’s time to protect it with AppleCare. Despite not protecting against theft or loss, it can work in your favor in the event that your recovered device turns out to be damaged. For iOS devices, AppleCare+ protects against two damage incidents with a fee. Below is info on how to purchase it.

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    • For iPhone Users: Click Here – For iPad Users: Click Here.
    • When purchasing AppleCare+, you are required to have a device checkup to ensure you are not purchasing AppleCare+ for a device that’s already broken.
    • Keep all information handy and in a safe place (i.e. receipts of the device and AppleCare+ purchase).
    • Found your lost iOS device or stolen device and it’s broken? Go to your local Apple Store and pay $49 for a repair.

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      2. Next step, ensure that you are fully signed up for iCloud. The cloud service allows you to have your contacts, calendar events, recent photos, music, apps, and more backed up. Targeted for increased productivity and easier device upgrading, iCloud is very useful for lost or stolen devices. You still have needed information readily available, and as we will show in the next step, it can even help you find your device. Here’s how to sign up for iCloud:

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      survivinglostiphone_icloudonMac
        Backing Up Your Data On Mac

        • Ensure that your Mac has the latest update by first clicking the Apple symbol at the top, and then “Software Update”.
        • Click “System Preferences”, then “iCloud”.
        • When asked, enter your Apple credentials. If you’re not asked, you’re done!
        • Check the boxes for the services you want to have iCloud backup.
        • Whenever you sign in to iCloud on any iOS or Mac device, your information is applied if you choose it to be.

        survivinglostiphone_icloudoniPhone
          On iOS Devices

          • Go to “Settings”
          • Click on “iCloud”
          • Sign into your Apple ID.
          • Once signed in, select which services you’d like to back up.
          • “Storage and Backup” allows you to view your storage totals.

          3. Now that iCloud is activated, it’s time to activate Find My Apple Device. No, it’s not exactly called that—for iOS users it is known as “Find My iPhone“, and for Mac users it’s “Find My Mac”. To activate Find My iPhone on your iOS device, simply download the app from the App Store, and login.

          Using the Find My iPhone for iOS app is simple. The first page you are presented with is “My Devices”. Here, you are able to view the current status of all the devices connected to your iCloud account. When the device is on, you will notice a green light activated.

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            When you visit the app, you’ll be able to see the devices under “My Devices”. “All Devices” loads a map showing the relative location of your devices with Find My iPhone active.

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              When clicking a specific device, you are able to click the green car to have driving directions to your lost or stolen device. For Mac users, it’s a bit of a different story; Find My Mac is technically already “downloaded” on all Macs with iCloud, so simply ensure that the box is checked in the iCloud settings in System Preferences.

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              But what happens when you don’t have either device near you to monitor their current location? No problem—simply go to iCloud.com, sign in, and go to Find My iPhone. You can activate an alarm, lock, or activate a remote wipe of your Mac or iOS device.

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                Bonus Tip: If you’re looking for more features in recovery of your Mac, or even your Android device, Prey is a great free service that lets you cover up to three devices.

                Your Data: At Risk

                The options above aren’t necessarily surefire ways to allow you to become reunited with your iPhone. For example, iCloud features including Find My iPhone are only helpful if your device is on and connected to a cellular/Internet connection. Also, if you don’t have a device discovery service active, it’s nearly impossible to recover your iPhone.

                The only option in these situations is to cut off cellular service on the device in question and to purchase a new one. This doesn’t mean that your data isn’t at risk until then: for many users, their iPhone is their life. This means that services like Facebook and emails are connected to the device and easily accessible. Here are a couple of tips on what to do next:

                • Change Your Passwords Immediately

                One of the best precautions you can make is to change the passwords of the services connected to your iPhone. This includes email addresses, social media accounts, and in some cases your Apple ID. This can prevent the possibility of compromising information to be posted on your accounts, and even more importantly, to prevent personal information from being stolen.

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                • Monitor Account Activity

                In the days after your iPhone is officially deemed lost, you should still monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity. Financial accounts are top priority if you made use of apps like Mint or your personal bank’s app. This will allow you to catch unwanted access, allowing you to contact your bank and bring the attention to them.

                • Prepare for the Future

                This is also a great opportunity for you to safeguard your accounts from future attacks. If you are a Google user, for example, you may want to look into two-factor login: this works by requiring the individual to bypass two steps of information before gaining access. In return, this tricks systematic hacks and deters individual hackers.

                Current Find My iPhone Users

                If you are lucky enough to be a Find My iPhone user, the stressful situation of a lost or stolen iPhone is alleviated just a bit. At least while it is connected to an Internet connection, you are able to see the current status of your device. If you are near a computer, follow the following steps below to protect your information:

                survivinglostiphone_icloud.com
                  1. Go to iCloud.com
                  2. Sign in with your Apple ID.
                  3. Click on “Find My iPhone”
                  4. At the top left, click on “Devices”
                  5. After clicking on the device in question, on the far right you can do three things: play a sound, Lock, or Remote Wipe. Below, we have a short summary of which route is best for you:
                  • Play a Sound: Perfect for a simple misplacement around you.
                  • Lock: A simple misplacement when you see that your iPhone isn’t in your immediate vicinity.
                  • Remote Wipe: A prolonged misplacement, a verified theft, or a misplacement in a compromising location (theme park, concert, etc).

                  Activating remote wipe when you just lost your iPhone or Mac under your bed can result in a huge headache, so be careful with that one.

                  Other Tips

                  For individuals who didn’t activate Find My iPhone, you still have options. First, call your service provider and inform them of your misplaced or stolen iPhone, which will allow your service provider to be informed in the event of high charges. They can also deactivate your iPhone. Informing the authorities can also be helpful in the event of a theft of any device.

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                  Life After the Theft

                  Chances are, if you had your iPhone stolen, you will be even more determined to purchase a second iPhone this time around. You shouldn’t allow a theft to prevent you from being an iPhone user, and when you get a new iPhone, Apple makes it seamless to apply your old information onto your new device.

                  During the setup of your new iPhone, you are then asked if you’d like to Restore from iCloud Backup or Restore from iTunes Backup. When going with the iTunes route, all you have to do is simply connect your iPhone to the Mac that backed up your last iPhone. You can then click the iTunes backup under the options in “Restore from the Backup of: …” From there, click “continue”.

                  When going down the iCloud route, you can select the latest backup on the “Choose Backup” page. From there, click “Restore” and allow your iPhone to restart on its own.

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                  Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                  7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                  7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                  Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                  Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                  Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                  So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                  Joe’s Goals

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                    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                    Daytum

                      Daytum

                      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                      Excel or Numbers

                        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                        Evernote

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                          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                          Access or Bento

                            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                            Conclusion

                            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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