If you are like most of us, your entire life is wrapped up in your mobile phone. When it disappears, you lose more than a phone; you lose your photos, videos, text messages, social media, email, music, and proof that you beat level 31 on Color Switch. It can be difficult to know where to start.
Tips to Protect Your Bank Info When Your Phone is Lost or Stolen
Let’s go through the steps you can take to recover from this tragic loss:
1. Call and Text Yourself
By sending a text that reads, “Please return this phone to…” a good Samaritan who finds your phone can return it to you. It might not seem likely, but it’s certainly not impossible.
2. Activate Your “Find my Phone” App
If, by chance, you installed an app that will help you locate and disable your phone, activate it as soon as possible. If not, don’t despair: Many manufacturers and service providers have similar features built in. Google is your friend.
3. Contact Your Service Provider
It is important to prevent anyone from using your phone or accessing the information you have stored on it. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published How to Report a Lost or Stolen Smart Device, which provides the contact information and hours of operation for major cell phone providers. At a minimum, they can suspend your service, and they may be able to erase all of the data from your phone remotely.
4. Take an Inventory
Sit down and make a list of all of the information that is stored on your phone. Be sure to cover all of your financial, purchase-driven, social media, and email accounts. Use the list to check off each item as you address it.
5. Notify Financial Institutions
If you have any payment, purchase, or banking apps on your phone, contact those organizations immediately. You can call your local branch of Mercer Savings Bank at 1-877-672-4543.
6. Change Your Passwords
Now you will appreciate having that inventory list. It is important to have a safe place to keep track of all your passwords. This list of important contacts will help you maintain heightened security moving forward.
7. Call the Police
If your phone was stolen, report the theft to the police by contacting the non-emergency desk at your local precinct.
8. Look for Back-Ups
Everything is backed up on the cloud today. Even if you don’t sync your phone with your computer every day, it is very likely that Microsoft, Samsung, Google, or Apple is doing it for you. Go to the website of your phone manufacturer and see what you can find out.
Losing a device that has so much personal information can be quite traumatic. The friendly staff at your local Mercer Savings Bank are available to provide advice on how to keep your accounts safe. A trusted mutual bank, we have served Mercer and Darke counties for more than 125 years. How can we help you? Call us at 877-672-4543 or contact us online.