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What to do if you lose your phone while traveling?

Don't panic (try not to).

· 3 min read

Modern phones today are a very integral part of our lives. They contain so much personal and sensitive information, and anyone who gets hold of your phone can almost get to know all about your life and even get access to your credit cards and bank accounts. Losing your phone can be an extremely stressful experience. And all the more so if you lose your phone while abroad, especially if you are relying on it to help you get around and communicate in a foreign land.

If you ever experience the unfortunate event of losing your phone while abroad, here are some things that you should do to minimise your loss.


1. Try to track down your phone

The first thing you should do when you realise you have lost your phone is to try to find it. If you had some tracking apps installed and linked to your friends' accounts, you can check the location of your phone in real-time to see where you might have left it.

If you are using an iPhone, you can also log in to your iCloud account and locate your device using the Find My function. Samsung also has a similar Find My Phone function which you can access using your Samsung account.

You can also try calling your own number to see if someone might have picked it up. If you are lucky, someone nice might have picked it up and you can arrange to get it back from them. However, if your device appears to have been stolen, or if it is turned off, then there are a few other steps you should take.

2. Back up, and wipe all your data remotely

Modern devices have features that allow you to back up your data from your device and wipe your data remotely.

Whether you are on an iPhone or Android device, you can log in to your cloud account and trigger a back up and data deletion remotely. This will require that you get access to the internet first - so you could borrow a friend's device if you are travelling with your friend, or head back to your hotel and use the PC at the business center.

Once you trigger the data wipe, all the data - including your payment details stored in your eWallet - will be deleted.

This will ensure that even if your phone is in bad hands, they wouldn't be able to access your personal and financial information.

3. Call your service provider and banks

Contact your service provider as soon as possible and inform them of your lost device. When they are informed of your device, they will suspend your line and deactivate your SIM card. This will minimise the risk of identity theft, where the person who took your phone can pretend to be you and contact your friends using your phone number.

If you had your credit cards stored in your eWallets, you might also want to give your banks a call, even if you might have already deleted the data from your device remotely. Inform your bank of your lost device, and get them to cancel your card or freeze your account. But before you cancel all your payment methods, make sure that you have got sufficient cash or a spare card with you for the rest of your trip.

4. Inform your contacts

It is also recommended for you to inform your contacts to let them know about your missing phone. A good way to do this would be via your social media accounts.

Informing your contacts will give your friends and family a peace of mind in case they were trying to contact you on your phone, but was unable to reach you.

If your phone falls into the wrong hands, notifying your contacts can prevent potential misuse of your personal information. Your contacts will also be able more cautious when someone is contacting them by pretending to be you, and they will be careful not to engage or interact with such conversations.

5. Notify authorities

It is also recommended to make a police report about your lost device.

While the police is unlikely to be able to help you retrieve your device during your trip, getting a statement and record of the police report will be important in helping you process and make any insurance claims.

6. Get a spare phone

Depending on how much of your trip you have left, and whether or not you are traveling alone, consider getting a spare phone. You can get a temporary phone from a local store for use through the rest of your trip.

Consider getting a local SIM card or a travel eSIM so that you can stay connected. This will help you to access the internet and get in touch with your friends and families back home as you get along with your trip, or even after you return home!

Take necessary precautions and minimise the risk of device loss when traveling

Take the necessary precautions to help minimise the risk of device lost while traveling!

  1. Be aware of your surroundings.
  2. Try not to use your phone while walking, as it could make you an easy target for snatch thieves.
  3. Don't leave your devices and personal belongings unattended.
  4. Keep your personal belongings safe.
  5. Use anti-theft backpacks and travel bags. (They might be ugly, but they are very useful in keeping your items safe!)