Cell phone theft is certainly one of the most common problems in the main capitals of the country. Although it happens more frequently in large cities, electronic device theft also occurs in other regions and has become a national public security problem.
According to a survey by the Brazilian Public Security Forum, in 2021, every hour, 97 cell phones were stolen or stolen in Brazil. This means that 2,321 devices were taken daily from the victims, giving a total of 847,313 cell phones stolen. Compared to 2020, there were 21,390 more stolen cell phones.
These numbers are worrying because the cell phone has increasingly become an extension of who we are. In it we put our bank applications, email, social networks, contact lists, photos of family and friends…
But what to do if your cell phone is stolen? We talked to experts and listed the main actions to take in case of theft or theft of a cell phone.
What to do if your cell phone is stolen?
1 – BO and blocks
Among the first measures indicated by the specialists is to make a police report. From there it will be possible to have documented what happened. In the bulletin, which can be done online, the user must inform his personal data, details of where and how the occurrence took place, in addition to the greatest possible number of technical information about the device (brand, model, IMEI, etc.).
Soon after, the ideal is to call the banks requesting the temporary blocking of the account to avoid unwanted movements, such as purchases, transfers and withdrawals. It is also indicated that the cards are also blocked because when gaining access to your device, the attacker can capture your card information through digital wallets such as Samsung Pay and Apple Pay.
In more advanced situations, an analysis of all sites saved in your browsers can be performed – some of them may contain your registered credit card, which can be used.
If any amount leaves your bank account, you must file the police report again and ask the bank to refund the amount. It is important to check if the bank account has some type of insurance, if not, it is possible that you will need to file a lawsuit against the bank.
Then, the indication is to call the operator asking for the blocking of the chip and the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identification), that is, the global and unique identification for each cell phone. It is important to ask for the line to be blocked and not cancelled, so that the operator will enable the same number in the future.
2 – Erase data and change passwords
It is also important to change passwords for accessing services such as email, social networks and financial applications, in addition to terminating previously established sessions.
Changing social media passwords can prevent the thief from applying social engineering scams to people using your image. When you change your password on another device, the connected devices are automatically logged out, and it is not necessary to actually delete the application. Facebook, Instagram and other social media passwords, and email passwords can be changed from the computer.
Soon after the theft/theft, share what happened in your networks, so that if there is an attempted scam, your acquaintances are already aware.
3 – iPhone: cell phone search and blocking
On iOS devices, there is a security mechanism called search to block the cell phone and find it, which is vital for the user to leave activated.
To find your device, log in to iCloud.com/find and mark your device as lost – it will be remotely locked with a passcode, keeping your information safe. This option also disables Apple Pay on the lost device.
It is still possible, through the iOS system, if you have never written it down, to find the serial number (IMEI) of the device and share it with the authorities, and erase the device remotely.
4 – Android: Cell phone search and lock
To find, lock, or wipe an Android device that has been stolen or stolen, it must be: turned on, signed in to a Google Account, mobile data turned on, or connected to Wi-Fi, visible on Google Play, as well as location and the “find my device” service activated.
The way to find these two options can change from device to device, but they will always be in the settings section.
The functions described above can be performed by accessing the website, where you will need to login to your Google Account. If you have more than one smartphone, click on the lost one at the top of the screen. If your phone has more than one user profile, sign in with a Google Account that is in the main profile. After that, the smartphone will receive a notification and on the map you will see where it is in an approximate location, not an exact one.
If you can’t find him, his last known location will appear. After that, when you click on enable blocking and cleaning, you will be able to choose between:
- play sound: where the device will play a sound, for five minutes, even if it is in silent or vibrate mode.
- protect device: Lock your smartphone with your PIN, pattern or password. If you don’t have a lock, you can set one up.
- Clean the device: Permanently deletes all data on your smartphone but does not delete data from SD cards.
If you choose to clear, the Find My Device function will stop working. If you find your device after cleaning, you will need your Google Account password to use your device again.
How to prevent before the theft?
If your cell phone has never been stolen or stolen, and you want to be on the safe side, Douglas Galiazzo, law professor at Estácio, recommends always double-checking your communication apps. It is a form of security, in addition to the password, to ensure that only you have access to that account.
Denis Riviello, Head of Cybersecurity at Compugraf, recommends that the user have a security application even before authenticating in the bank application, that is, another layer of authentication. For greater protection, it indicates that bank applications are not on your daily use device, but on another device and in a safe place, such as your home.
Julio Cesar Fort, partner at Blaze Information Security, gives the tip to always back up your cell phone, so that work information or personal images are in other places. This backup will also help you when buying another device, so you can recover all your data quickly. Also save the passwords for any apps you use somewhere else safe, like a paper organizer.