How to find a lost mobile phone 30/04/2014
Anti-theft apps for smartphones greatly increase your chances of finding a lost or stolen phone. Here's what's out there and what to do if you lose your phone.
How to find a lost mobile phone

About 200,000 Australians know the sinking feeling you get when your phone is nowhere to be found and you’re racking your brain to retrace steps and find a lead on wherAbout 200,000 Australians know the sinking feeling you get when your phone is nowhere to be found and you’re racking your brain to retrace steps and find a lead on where else to look.

Now, thanks to some clever apps and a bit of forward thinking, you have a better chance of finding your smartphone, securing what’s on it, or, if it’s really time to say goodbye, erasing everything.

Find my iPhone

Find My iPhone was the first tracking service for iOS devices and it remains the number one iOS tracking software with numerous upgrades since its release. Find My iPhone is a free app that lets you locate your iPhone, iPad, iPad touch or Mac using any other iOS device. Using Find My iPhone you can locate your device on a map, lock it, play a sound, display a message or erase your data. The important thing to know about this app is that it needs to be enabled in the iCloud settings on your device before your lose it!

Android Device Manager

Android Device Manager (ADM) is the Android equivalent of Find My iPhone, allowing you to locate any android device on your Google account, reset your pin and erase all data from a web browser. ADM can ping your phone even if it’s on silent and the tracking feature is accurate to within 22 metres of the phone’s location.

Bitdefender for Android

Bitdefender Anti-Theft allows you to protect your Android phone as well as your laptops and tablets. Bitdefender does what Find My iPhone and ADM do, but if the idea of completely erasing all your data is too much to contemplate, Bitdefender gives you another alternative; you can wipe out sensitive information and remotely lock your device from your online account. From there it gets interesting if your phone has actually been stolen - you can force the phone to answer the next call and even be advised of the new phone number if the SIM is changed so you can still contact the thief and give them a piece of your mind!


GadgetTrak is a sophisticated security service that uses a combination of GPS, wi-fi positioning and triangulation to locate your phone. Once found, you can make your device frighten the life out of a thief by sounding a piercing alarm, even if it’s set to silent. Handy if you’ve just lost your phone down the back of the sofa too. GadgetTrak lets you wipe your data and also lock your phone until you get it back.

Like Bitdefender, GadgetTrak will also notify you if the phone SIM is changed and send you the new number so you can continue to annoy the person who stole your phone to your hearts’ content. GadgetTrak is $19.95 and can be used with Android, iOS and Blackberry mobile devices.


Plan B

Plan B could be your best bet if you lose your Android phone before installing any apps to find your phone. By logging into Google Play, you can remotely install Plan B. After 10 minutes, you can use another phone to text “locate” to your number and Plan B will triangulate your phone and email you with its location. If your phone is on the move, you’ll receive changing location information over a 10 minute period and by continuing to SMS “locate” you can eventually track it down if the battery holds out.


Android users have a lot to choose from when it comes to anti-theft and anti-virus software. Lookout offers an all-in-one option that also comes with data backup. As you’d expect, Lookout lets you locate your device on a map, lock it, post a custom message and erase your phone remotely.

What to do if your phone is lost or stolen

According to Telstra, nearly 550 phones are lost or stolen every day. You can try using anti-theft applications like the ones in this article to locate your phone, secure your data or even erase it if your phone has fallen into the wrong hands.

But if your phone IS keeping the wrong company and there’s a good chance you won’t ever see it again, it’s important to immediately notify your carrier and block the handset to ensure call and data usage is immediately stopped as well.

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (ATMA) runs a free service that blocks your handset using an electronic serial number known as the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity). Once the handset is blocked across all Australian networks, it’s useless to anyone.

How to take better care of your phone and data

With so much personal and sensitive data on our phones today, security is essential. We suggest you take some to look at some of the apps that can help you find your phone as well as read over these 10 bad things you’re doing with your smartphone you might be surprised at the risks you’re running with your phone and data!

Sprout protects your phone in a different way because as well as being lost or stolen, too many smartphones meet their maker because they’re dropped, sat on or dropped into water (these are some of the 5 most popular ways to break a phone)! Protecting your phone is about both data protection and hardware protection so while you’re preparing your lost phone strategy, take a minute to make sure your phone case is up to the task as well! At Sprout, you’ll find iPhone cases and Android cases to suit your style and stand up to the even the roughest treatment. 

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