Saturday night, my world stopped. I lost my phone and honestly, it kind of scared the hell out of me. My harrowing (don’t laugh!) experience has now inspired me to ask the question, what should you do if you lose your phone?
The UK is rapidly becoming a smartphone society. Figures from Ofcom, the UK’s telecoms industry regulator, show that 93% of UK adults, almost every person over the age of 18 in this county, now owns a mobile. Furthermore, 66% of UK adults own a smartphone, as of the first quarter of 2015.
These devices may be small, but they’re a huge part of modern British life. I figured out last year that I use my smartphone way more than I should. What’s the first thing I do when I wake up? Check my phone. I use it to listen to music on the way to work, I check it regularly at work and then I use it to jam to some bangin’ tunes on the way back from work. It doesn’t stop there; I read news stories on my smartphone while I’m making tea, check it through the evening and even use it as my alarm clock when I go to bed.
World goes still
So last Saturday, my world came to a standstill. Let me set the scene. Last Saturday I hit Leeds city centre with some mates and we had the kind of night out that memories are made of. Of course, the evening started off with drinking games. We stopped by Queen’s Court, a local gay club, for a few more and then ended up at Revolucion de Cuba. I couldn’t help but dance up a storm on the floor of Leeds’ best (and probably only) Latin-themed bar!
Eventually, I had no choice but to drag myself away from the floor and stumble out of Revolucion de Cuba. However, I reached into my pocket to grab my phone (so I could use Uber, which is a god-send by the way, to order a taxi), only to find it wasn’t there. Suddenly I was helpless; my whole life was practically stored on that device, so how was I going to get home without it?
Luckily, there were a few taxis nearby and I managed to wrangle one. I got in touch with my mum (my phone’s on her contract) and got my mobile cancelled. I did have to pay £100 for a new one (every time I think about that I shudder) but everything’s OK now. Yet, I walked away from that horrible incident knowing what you should do if you ever lose your phone.
Now it’s time to share my pearls of wisdom with you, the reader (once again, don’t laugh)! First, the minute – no the very second – you find out your phone’s missing, ring your provider to get the SIM card blocked so no-one else can use it. The longer you leave it, the more time someone’ll have after they’ve yanked your phone away from you to use it and run up your bill.
Second, if you have reason to believe your mobile was stolen, report it to the police so they can find the culprit. They’ll give you a crime number, and you might need that code to secure a replacement phone on your insurance (I didn’t have insurance, hence why I paid £100 for a new one, so for the the love of god make sure you insure your smartphone). Obviously, then you should get a new phone as soon as possible and if you’re lucky, like I was, you’ll be able to get a new SIM which has all your contacts on.
Third, once you’ve set up your new phone, log out of any apps e.g. mobile banking, Uber, email, dating sites etc. Do this, and whoever took your phone won’t be able to use your apps, so it’s really important you take this step if you execute personal financial transactions via your handset. Lastly, protect your phone with a PIN code/password so if you lose it again and someone steals it, they won’t actually be able to access the device. Click here for more advice on what you should do if you lose your phone.
So, after experiencing one of the weirdest Sundays of my life ( I spent half the day getting a new phone, and the other half setting it up), I’ve learned my lesson. Learn from my mistakes so you’re not doomed to repeat them. Insure and protect your phone after you’ve finished reading this very paragraph. Then if you lose it, deal with the problem as soon as possible to ensure your world keeps on turning!