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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.

          icloudfindmyiphone

            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.

            survivinglostiphone_icloudfindmyiphonemap

              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.

              survivinglostiphone_preyformac

                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 November 5, 2019

                  5 Best Language Learning Apps to Master a New Language

                  5 Best Language Learning Apps to Master a New Language

                  Learning a new language is no easy feat. While a language instructor is irreplaceable, language learning apps have come to revolutionize a lot of things and it has made language learning much easier. Compared to language learning websites, apps offer a more interactive experience to learn a new language.

                  The following language learning apps are the top recommended apps for your language learning needs:

                  1. Duolingo

                    Duolingo is a very successful app that merged gamification and language learning. According to Expanded Ramblings, the app now counts with 300 million users.

                    Duolingo offers a unique concept, an easy-to-use app and is a great app to accompany your language acquisition journey. The courses are created by native speakers, so this is not data or algorithm-based.

                    The app is free and has the upgrade options with Duolingo Plus for $9.99, which are add free lessons. The mobile app offers 25 languages and is popular for English-speaking learners learning other languages.

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                    Download the app

                    2. HelloTalk

                      HelloTalk aims to facilitate speaking practice and eliminate the stresses of a real-time and life conversation. The app allows users to connect to native speakers and has a WhatsApp like chat that imitates its interface.

                      There is a perk to this app. The same native speakers available also want to make an even exchange and learn your target language, so engagement is the name of the game.

                      What’s more, the app has integrated translation function that bypasses the difficulties of sending a message with a missing word and instead fills in the gap.

                      Download the app

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                      3. Mindsnacks

                        Remember that Duolingo has integrated gamification in language learning? Well, Mindsnacks takes the concept to another level. There is an extensive list of languages available within the app comes with eight to nine games designed to learn grammar, vocabulary listening.

                        You will also be able to visualize your progress since the app integrates monitoring capabilities. The layout and interface is nothing short of enjoyable, cheerful and charming.

                        Download the app

                        4. Busuu

                          Bussu is a social language learning app. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS. It currently supports 12 languages and is free.

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                          The functionality allows users to learn words, simple dialogues and questions related to the conversations. In addition, the dialogues are recorded by native speakers, which brings you close to the language learning experience.

                          When you upgrade, you unlock important features including course materials. The subscription is $17 a month.

                          Download the app

                          5. Babbel

                            Babbel is a subscription-based service founded in 2008. According to LinguaLift, it is a paid cousing of Duolingo. The free version comes with 40 classes, and does not require you to invest any money.

                            Each of the classes starts with with a sequential teaching of vocabulary with the help of pictures. The courses are tailor made and adapted to the students’ level, allowing the learning to be adjusted accordingly.

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                            If you started learning a language and stopped, Babbel will help you pick up where you started.

                            Download the app

                            Takeaways

                            All the apps recommended are tailored for different needs, whether you’re beginning to learn a language or trying to pick back up one. All of them are designed by real-life native speakers and so provide you with a more concrete learning experience.

                            Since these apps are designed to adapt to different kinds of learning styles, do check out which one is the most suitable for you.

                            More About Language Learning

                            Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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