What to do if you lose/break your phone

Losing phones during holidays is a phenomenon that frequent travellers are well aware of. Even though some get wiser with time, the risk still remains for those who like going to new places but aren't aware of how to get around risks like damaging or losing phones which work as their only connecting gadgets to folks back home.

All major network operators in the UK offer helpful advice on what to do if you lose or manage to break your phone. No matter how careful you are during your travels, there's a chance that your phone may get damaged or stolen by professional pilferers. To ensure that you do not feel helpless if such unfortunate situations arise, reading up solutions before embarking on your travels would do you a world of good.

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If you are an EE customer and lose your phone while you are in the country, either call 150 from an EE handset or if you don't have one, call 07953 966 250. However, if you are abroad, you need to call EE on +44 7953 966 250. Once you inform them, EE will block your lost device so that the person who stole it will not be able to use it on the network. At the same time, EE will send you a new SIM card at your registered address. You can also claim a replacement for your damaged or lost device if you have Full Cover or Damage protection from EE.

For Vodafone users, the process is similarly quick and simple. If you've lost your phone, you'll need to call 191 from any handset with Vodafone Mobile or call 03333040191 from any other phone or +447836191191 if you're abroad. If Vodafone is conviced that the phone has been stolen, the network will not only block your device, but will also blacklist it to ensure that the thief will not be able to use the phone on any network. This way, you will be able to get your phone blocked instantly and won't be liable to pay for any calls made or data used in the first 24 hours after your phone is stolen.

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If your phone is particularly expensive and you are desperate to get it back, make sure that you inform the police and register it on immobilise.com using which the police will contact you if your phone is found. To know what your phone's IMEI number is, simply dial *#06#.

If you are a Three customer, you can report the loss of your handset to Three by calling 333 from another Three phone or 0333 300 3333 from any other phone. If you're abroad, you can dial +44 7782 333 333 to report the issue. However, unlike Vodafone, Three will take a maximum of 24 hours to block your SIM and blacklist your phone to ensure that it is not used by someone else. You can also use the Three Rescue App to back up all the important files, pictures, music and other details stored in your lost phone.

Given that you might decide to travel abroad during the upcoming summer holidays, you can also call other operators and MVNOs from anywhere in case you happen to lose your phone. To inform O2, you will need to dial +44 844 809 0200 and similarly dial +44 8453 01 4 455 to reach Tesco Mobile or +44 7953 967 967 to reach Virgin Mobile.

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A great way to find your lost iPhone instantly is to use the Find My iPhone app. The app will show the location of your iPhone with great accuracy and if the thief switches off the iPhone, you will be able to view its last known location before it was shut down. Also, if you own an Android device belonging to your company, you can either use Remote Wipe to erase all data on the device and to do a factory reset or use Wipe Account to delete a particular work-related profile from a lost phone without interfering with non-professional profiles.

Given that prevention is always better than cure, if there is any, do ensure that you keep contact numbers of your network operator as well as the IMEI number of your phone handy to prepare for any unforeseen contingencies. Your phone must also have multiple authentication procedures in place like numeric passcodes and activated fingerprint sensor to ensure your device cannot be used by any third person without your consent. Last but not the least, do not save passworks of bank accounts, e-mail addresses or other services in your phone as such details may end up in the wrong hands if you phone is compromised.

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