If you are the type that is addicted to your phone, and practically have a great part of you stored there through your online and offline engagements, you will understand it better. Losing your Smartphone creates a weird feeling, like you have lost a dear one, except the dear one is a huge part of you – the digital you I will say. It’s even worse if it happens within a period in which you have no extra-money to replace it or track it down. In my own case, it was the first – both times it happened, that is.
I lost my phone at Owerri in August 2019 and January 2021 in Lagos. The one at Owerri happened just days away from my birthday. It was devastating to say the least, but it was the circumstances that they got lost that made it more disheartening for me. I hope you can learn one or two things from this.
1] Its Very Easy To Lose Your Phone.
You may think this is not true, but never truly believe that it is not, it is. The most common way this can happen is when you have something very important in your mind before leaving your house.
Your mind could be so much focused on where you are headed and you forget about your phone, only to probably remember to check it after leaving the bus or car or tricycle; by which time, the tricycle must have zoomed off. If it’s a costly Smartphone, some good Samaritans may pick it and decide their maker just made their day. Some may even notice when the phone fell off your pocket and pretend they didn’t. Since there’s a possibility of you remembering your phone while in the vehicle, of course they won’t touch it, but serious prayers are going on.
You could be walking in a crowded area and someone will target you, track you and quack you as they walk pass you. You will be thinking it’s a normal thing in a crowded area, but you may not know that your phone has gone with the quack. In some places, you may see someone you don’t know from Adam give you a resounding wonderful hug, adding ‘bros bros, you no remember me again?’ By the time you realize what is happening, your phone and wallet are gone.
Most times, being too careful is not enough. You could also be in your house and robbers will come. You could be engaged with your phone at night, sleep off only to wake up and realize that robbers broke in from the window and stole your phone. You could be charging your phone outside your house, and the moment you lower your guard, the phone is gone. You could be returning home after a hard day at work and those fine gentlemen under Ajah Bridge will waylay you at dusk and ask you to choose between losing your phone or your life.
Because it is so easy to lose your lose your phone, this brings us to the next point.
2] Have You Heard About ‘Online Cloud Storage?’
If you haven’t heard about it before, you do know about it now. A friendly advice, if you haven’t started using the free cloud based storage services that come with your email address, please start doing so now. This is something you are not going to regret.
Just like you do on your phone, create an online storage for your files through this free service. Google Drive is one of the most popular ones around, and each Gmail is automatically assigned about 13GB of free storage. You can also upgrade the storage with paid plans.
Secondly, if you are a writer, ensure that you have Note App with cloud based synchronization storage system. This way, you can never lose your notes and documents. Alternatively, you can use such powerful tools like MS-Word, Google Docs, Evernote, Color Note, etc. and sync them directly.
If you don’t ever want to lose your important works – have online cloud storage for your files. I don’t know what I could have done if I didn’t have one. So, even if you lose your phone, all your important files will always be safe; you would only be losing the device itself, but not the content.
3] Phone Theft Is Underreported.
Truth is, the frequency of phone robbery is too much and under reported. After the Federal Government stopped registration of new lines, the NIN issue also affected the retrieving of new lines. This gave a lot of thief’s leeway into phone robbery full time because they realized what it meant.
If you tried retrieving your lost line from November to February, you would have seen how difficult it was to retrieve a line. The number of persons whose reasons for retrieving their line bothered on phone theft was alarming.
I think a special structure will have to be put on ground by the government to make sure that there is a database of phone technicians. Since most of this phones are locked, the robbers will take it to be flashed or jailbreak it for IOS. Every phone that is brought for such services should be accompanied with an ID and proof of ownership. The phone technicians will be mandated to update their database whenever such services are rendered. I don’t know how possible this is, but there should be a system on ground that makes it foolish to steal Smartphone’s, especially if you don’t know how you are going to unlock it. Of course the system should also incorporate those who sell used phones.
One of the person’s who came to retrieve his line said they used his number to wipe off his bank account after they got access to his pin somehow. Some will simply use Airtime transfer to wipe off the money in the account number linked to the line. You see, at this point, your bank doesn’t know who is doing the transactions, which brings me to the next point.
WHAT TO DO IMMEDIATELY AFTER LOSING YOUR PHONE
The first thing to do after losing a phone is to instantly call your service provider and report the theft immediately. They will ask you some questions to verify you are the owner of the line. All of the questions are details you already supplied during registration. The major aim is to block the line from functioning and block any form of access to it on the thief’s part. It doesn’t matter if you activated the phone pin feature.
Secondly, visit your bank and report the theft too. After doing these two things, you can then go about how to retrieve the line or track the phone down through the police. Once you have retrieved the line, go back to your bank and they will do the needful.