The more data your phone carries, the more its value shifts from being a fancy piece of technology to becoming a storehouse of knowledge about you.
Thanks to the magic of Apple and other smartphone producers, today we get to walk around with entire libraries in our pockets and purses. Even more: every month our phones obsoletes the chunks of plastic and paper – credit cards, airline tickets, prescriptions – we used to have to carry just to get through our daily lives.
It’s all extraordinarily convenient but with convenience comes tradeoffs. If you’re like most people, your phone has become the desk drawer that holds your personal information. While this makes things easy for you, it also makes your phone more valuable for criminals. Lose your phone or have it stolen, and you’re at risk for identity theft and credit card fraud, in addition to the hassle of recovering all of the personal information you’ve assumed would be safe.
What is one to do? A lot. While we may be powerless (individually, at least) to prevent data breaches at external companies (like the 2017 breach at Equifax, or the 2013 breach at Yahoo!), what happens after an iPhone is lost or stolen does is often up to you. Here’s how.
Before your phone is lost
Keep your iOS up to date.
Digital security is an arms race between vendors and hackers. Each new iOS update puts more security patches in place, making it harder for someone who breaks into your phone to do anything useful with it.
Set up “Find my iPhone.”
Included in iCloud, Find My iPhone is an app that lets you log onto a browser and instantly see where your phone is. It’s a great resource if you’re not sure whether you left your iPhone at the restaurant or in the car. If you suspect your phone is stolen, find my iPhone also gives you the option of remotely locking the device’s screen, or erasing all data on it.
After your phone is lost or stolen:
Remove credit cards from Apple Pay.
Another great feature in iCloud: the power to go into any browser and remove credit cards from Apple Pay. If you get your phone back, you can easily add them again.
Wipe your data.
If you’re sure your phone is stolen, you might consider erasing it entirely, so that thieves lose access to your personal information. You can do this through Find My iPhone.
Retrieve the data you’ve wiped.
Here’s the great part: even if you’ve wiped the phone clean, there’s an app that lets you recover your data. It’s called iMyFone iPhone data recovery.
Using it, you can recover data from iCloud, iTunes, or even the device itself. If you’ve lost your phone, damaged it, or even if you’ve forgotten your passcode, iMyFone iPhone data recovery can restore all of your valuable data. The app supports more than 20 data types, making it likely that you’ll recover not only your photos, contacts, and notes, but also your WhatsApp chats, voice memos, and call history.