Someone steals your device – grrr, right!? But what do you do next? For starters, make sure your laptop or phone was “actually” stolen. If you can’t find your mobile phone or computer, the first thing to do is try to trace it. Call your phone from another phone, use “Find My,” or activate anti-theft software-enabled GPS on another device. It’s possible that you just misplaced the device or left it somewhere by accident.
So, what happens after taking the above steps and you find you weren’t so lucky? Acting quickly can help prevent bad actors from engaging in identity theft and other fraudulent activity. Below are a few tips.
Lock it and change your password.
Remotely lock your phone or computer and change the password to get into your device. If you have an Apple product, change your Apple ID immediately. If you have trouble locking your phone, contact your mobile carrier because they can discontinue or suspend your service so no one else can get into your phone.
If you use automatic cloud backup, your data should already be backed up. In that case, use the remote functionality on your phone to remove the data on it immediately.
Disable browser synch.
If your browser synch is on, any changes you make to passwords on your new computer will automatically synch to the stolen computer. Best to turn that off before you make changes.
Delete your other passwords.
Computers and phones often store your passwords for easy access. That means you’ll want to change any passwords for any accounts that you accessed on your computer or phone – including banks, social media, email, and retail accounts.
Cancel your credit card and call your bank.
Like passwords, you can store credit cards on your phone or computer for easy access when you want to purchase something. Same with passwords to your bank account. Call your credit card companies and bank to secure your accounts and make sure no one else can access or use them.
Contact your mobile carrier
Even if you can lock and wipe your phone on your own, you’ll still need to contact your mobile carrier to let them know that your phone has been stolen and to get a new one to replace it.
Notify your insurance company.
Your insurance company may have resources that can help you find your stolen phone or computer – or at least pay for another one to replace it.
Call the police.
While the police may not be able to help you get your phone or computer back, having a police report on file will help you dispute any fraudulent charges made with your device.
Being a victim of laptop or phone theft can be a traumatic event and big hassle at best. Pay attention when out and about with your device, educate yourself and always take proactive measures to ensure the best outcome in a bad situation.
Chubb is the marketing name used to refer to subsidiaries of Chubb Limited providing insurance and related services. For a list of these subsidiaries, please visit our website at www.chubb.com. Insurance provided by ACE American Insurance Company and its U.S. based Chubb underwriting company affiliates. This document is advisory in nature and is offered for informational purposes only as a resource to be used together with your professional insurance advisors in maintaining a loss prevention program. The information contained in this document is not intended as a substitute for legal, technical, or other professional advice, nor is it intended to supplant any duty to provide a safe workspace, operation, product, or premises. No liabilities or warranties are assumed or provided by the information contained in this document. Chubb, 202 Hall's Mill Road, Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889-1600.