Tips to Do When Your Smartphone Is Stolen

According to results collected for the year ending in March 2020, the CSEW (The Crime Survey for England and Wales) estimates that around 325,000 individuals in the UK reported their phone stolen– proving this situation is too common.

Several serious risks come with smartphone theft, all of which can be avoided by thinking clearly and acting quickly should you become a victim of crime. We’ll take you through the process step-by-step, so you should know better what to do if your smartphone is stolen.

What can happen when your smartphone is stolen?

So, what are the dangers of your smartphone getting into the wrong hands? If you’re not careful, you could face a variety of long-term consequences:

Access to sensitive files

Protect yourself from data theft by keeping your smartphone safe and secure. If they manage to access your personal information, identity fraud becomes possible. With potential access to your bank accounts, social accounts, home address, passwords and email addresses, you could face a whole host of dangers.

Holding accounts ransom 

Hackers can find a way to access your social media accounts upon stealing your smartphone, occasionally holding an account ransom until requesting that the owner send them an unreasonable amount of money.


Photos, text messages or emails discovered on your smartphone could be used for blackmailing, an extremely stressful situation where no one wants to end up.


Your smartphone is a valuable technology which can be used to a thief’s advantage. It’s possible for them to swap out the phone’s original SIM card and reprogram it to then be resold.

What are the best ways to prevent smartphone theft?

Enable PIN and biometric access

In the unfortunate event that your smartphone is stolen, don’t make the hacking process any easier. Setting up a PIN – one that isn’t easy to guess and enabling biometric access, which could be in the form of a fingerprint scanner or facial recognition, automatically makes it much harder for someone to access your smartphone.

Set up smartphone tracking

Setting up smartphone tracking is an efficient way to keep tabs on the devices you believe have been stolen, which, in turn, should make it easier to find. Your device may have been left at a friend or family member’s home instead. There’s no point wasting time and effort on a device that hasn’t been stolen.

Keep your valuables out of sight

When at home, you shouldn’t leave your smartphone, or any of your valuables, in a place easily visible to passersby. Instead, keeping your device with you or locking it up in a secure, shielded location is better.

Lock up

If you’re planning on leaving your smartphone in the house if you pop out or for the day, try locking the house up before heading out. Providing a thief with easy access to your home opens up a variety of security threats, so staying extra vigilant will protect you, your family and your valuables in the long run.

What should you do if your smartphone is stolen?

Has it definitely been stolen?

First things first, try not to panic. Calmly check tracking software, such Find My iPhone, to confirm whether your smartphone has been stolen before completing the following steps. This could save valuable time and effort.

Report the crime to the police

If you believe your smartphone has been stolen, you can report the crime to the police. You can report the crime online, dial 101, or head to the police station. Provide as much detail as possible to make solving the crime easier and quicker. If the situation is serious – such as assault or burglary – call 999 for immediate help.

Lock and wipe your smartphone 

Locking and wiping your device remotely will reduce the chances of personal data and sensitive files from being accessed, so the quicker you do this, the better. This process will depend on whether you have an IOS, Android or Windows Phone, but it should be straightforward.

Contact your network provider 

Prevent a thief from driving up your phone bill – either through copious calls, sending out numerous texts or using up your data – by calling your network provider as soon as possible to suspend your contract. This will prevent costly charges down the line.

Change your passwords 

Now that a thief has your smartphone, it’s much easier for them to try and access your social media accounts. To ensure that your personal information remains protected, change your passwords. This is particularly important if you’ve autosaved any.

Contact your bank 

If you can access your bank account or credit card via your smartphone, it’s vital that you contact your bank to prevent financial crime. By informing them that your device has been stolen, they may insist that you cancel your card and order a new one to protect your details. You should also keep an eye on bank statements to see whether there has been any new activity. If any transactions appear suspicious, let your bank know straight away.


For those who have their phone insured, you might be able to retrieve some of the cost for your device. The final step will be to contact your insurance company if you think your phone has been stolen.