On losing your phone

On losing your phone
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So last night I lost my android phone (losing it sucks, and it’s hard to get productive while constantly thinking about it (and I probably won’t get it back)). I’ve revoked access to my apps (Twitter, Slack, etc.) and signed out my Google account. Since there’s no hope of getting it back (we tried calling it and the guy who got my phone and answered was rude and probably happy that he found himself a phone), I went ahead and hit Erase Device on my Google account.

I don’t think the guy who got it will be able to unlock my phone (maybe in a month’s time or so if he tried brute-forcing it (much longer if I’m lucky), which I doubt he has the patience/willpower to do). I can’t locate my phone using Android Device Manager (should my phone at least be connected to the internet?). I tried using AndroidLast, but I think my phone has to connect to the internet first.

There isn’t much data stored in my phone (just some pictures of my cats in crazy poses, some music, and a bunch of math/programming/CS PDFs, plus I encrypted the thing). The contacts in the sim card is worrisome, but I think the guy already disposed of the sim card (we tried calling it again this morning but couldn’t reach it (either the sim card’s been disposed of or the phone’s just turned off)).

I don’t really use my phone to call or text people. However I do use my phone to authenticate my logins. Now I have to settle with using backup codes. It’s a good thing I prepared backup codes!

Because of this incident, I thought of something: Suppose I used another device to log in to Google and use its services. If I went to the Play Store and uninstalled my apps there, would it also uninstall the apps in the original device?

In the meantime, my phone’s probably turned off, or just sitting there locked (hopefully!) and collecting dust or hand grease or just getting stared at. Or maybe the guy who got it already sold it for some quick cash. It’ll probably take a long time to connect to the internet and receive the Erase Device signal I sent (which better work!).

So there. Be extra careful of your devices. I never lost a phone before. I thought I was careful enough.


I just remembered about this


That was interesting. I wish I prepared for the time when my phone would get lost/stolen. But then maybe I’ll just get a dumbphone next time.


Why don’t you call the police? Each phone has IMEI number by which it can always be identified and it’s location can be found quite easily if it’s used.

I remember one old man who lost his phone during the robbery and some months later his phone was found in the local jail and given back to him. It had photos of inmate’s family and was logged into inmate’s facebook, twitter and instagramm.


I considered reporting a lost phone, but red tape is incredible in my country. My family says it’s not worth it.