Phone lost or stolen? You don't need to cancel your SIM - just yet. Here's what you can do to save your pics and messages... and how Three Rescue can help in your time of need.
Stolen phone? Sure, your handset is everything to you. But what about that tiny little card that turns your phone from a glorified web browser to the incredible piece of tech that it really is?
It’s a precious piece of kit. But occasionally you might need to get a new one – change can be good – whether it’s a new Pay Monthly deal, you’ve decided to upgrade to the new Samsung S8 or your phone is stolen.
These are things you’ll need to know to do if your phone gets taken under nefarious circumstances, you upgrade your phone or simply before you swap your SIM.
Worried about losing your phone? Who isn’t? And who hasn’t gotten a message on their Facebook feed in the past week from a friend saying “Phone lost, numbers gone. HELP! Please message me your deets or I’ll never be able to speak to anyone ever again because I haven’t memorised a single phone number since 2000?”
Not to worry, there’s tons you can do to ensure all hope isn’t lost when your smartphone is, from physical back-ups to knowing how to wipe your handset.
Prevention is the best cure they say, especially when it comes to your dearly beloved phone. Whether you’re as forgetful as a straight-to-DVD Disney sequel or some cretin has stolen your handset, you should take advantage of apps like Find My iPhone, obviously only for iPhone.
Not to worry diehard Android fans, Android Device Manager does the same thing from finding your phone to remotely ringing, locking and erasing your phone in case it falls into less caring hands than your own. You can do all of this from the desktop as long as these settings are enabled on your phone and you use the same Google account.
Use these apps to find your phone when it’s no longer in your pocket and panic sets in (it’s OK, we’ll just hold you tight and never let you go). If all is lost and you don’t want anyone else getting their hands on your private stuff, you can remotely lock and wipe your phone, too.
What did we do before the invention of the Cloud? Not those clouds, those have been around for a while. Making sure your precious messages and pictures are synced up to iCloud, your Google account and WhatsApp ensures you never lose that ’08 Zante photo of you and the lads (or girls).
Also turning on that two-step verification process (where you sign in with something you know like a password and a second layer, like a code sent to your phone) as well will help with that extra security protection. Penultimately, it’s also worth checking whether your mobile phone is covered by your home insurance.
You should also go a bit low tech and write down (with a pen and paper, cave drawing, whatever) all those important numbers of family, friends and insurance for immediate use.
Stolen Phone? What to do next
Firstly, you need to look after yourself. Get somewhere safe and report the incident to your local police station.
Make sure you get a crime or loss reference number because you’ll need this to make an insurance claim. Even on Three Rescue.
Contact us as soon as possible. We’ll stop someone messing with your account, help sort a replacement for you and get you in working order ASAP. Our lost and stolen line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your benefit. Once that’s done we’ll stop anyone accessing billing information, buying anything using your phone and ordering anything on your account. We can also blacklist the handset so the cretin can’t benefit from it anymore. Take that!
For lost or stolen phones call 333, from a Three phone, or 03333 381 001 from any other phone.*
For Mobile Broadband call 500, from a Three phone, or 03333 381 003 from any phone.*
If your device has been lost or stolen while travelling abroad, call +44 7782 333 333.
We’ll freeze your account and block your SIM instantly, so nobody will be able to use or sell your device. We don’t just block your Three SIM, we also block your phone from use on the Three network within 24 hours, and on all other networks within 48 hours.
It’s important to remember that even with all that phone security you should change your passwords on apps and accounts you had on your phone to be extra careful.
Cancelling your SIM
If you’ve applied all those preventative measures, then cancelling your SIM or having your phone stolen – while still a super-annoying thing to go through – isn’t the daunting task it seems. All your precious photos, contacts, messages and data should be backed up and ready for you to use. If you have insurance your phone should get replaced, and obtaining a new SIM from Three over the phone or in store is a doddle.
Also – just remember to check where all your stuff is being saved. Phones don’t typically save everything to your SIM anymore. Checking to make sure all your crucial pics and contacts are being synced to the Cloud and not just internal storage is a good plan. If your phone does get lost or stolen, use the Wipe Phone function on both iPhone and Android so no one can get access to your passwords, photos or accounts.
When you boot up your new SIM on your phone, you can re-sync your favourite apps, contacts, bookmarks and messages by logging back into your Google account and re-downloading WhatsApp. If that fails, you should always have a hard back-up on your computer. You could also take this as an opportunity to refresh and get rid of those photos you don’t care for and clear that inbox!
Know we’ve got your damaged, lost or stolen phone, tablet/dongle covered in a tight spot.
Main image: Getty via Antonio Guillem