Apple Smartphone User Activation Lock, as in previous years, you can bypass this password for customer support purposes, but it’s a good idea to do this before going to buy the phone.
Apple Find My iPhone
The most reliable way to get the phone back. This is where it can be turned off if you need to. When they set it up, they usually put the phone on “offline,” even if it’s in use. So you’ll be able to connect it again after it’s been turned off. Might be you will be interested to check the best Apple iPads for Gaming.
(Note that you can always purchase a new phone and lose all of your data if you didn’t want to do the above steps. The new phone will be a stolen device, with no way to turn it back on.)
The Next Steps
After you get your phone back, do the following:
- If you made it through the setup process (only 5% fail), enable Find My iPhone, and make sure it’s turned on. If you haven’t enabled it yet, enable it now.
- Don’t have it set up? Re-do your account and disable Find My iPhone.
- Re-install the iOS recovery partition on your phone and re-install the system.
- Re-add a backup from before the stolen device activation.
- Make sure the original SIM is in your phone, instead of one that you bought on eBay.
- Install the latest version of iTunes, which should include the remote tracking app.
- Open the new remote tracking app to start the tracking.
While you’re tracking it, you should also sign up for a new email account for the phone with the new name you give it, and set up a temporary email address.
While you’re tracking, see if you can discover where the thief is (shuts off the tracker automatically). If it’s in a different country, you may be able to access a website in your country (such as Google Maps) that gives you a rough idea of the thief’s location.
The rationale for Taking the Next Steps
In this section, I outline three rational reasons why you might want to take action.
1) It could cost more than just a bunch of money
There are different scenarios you could take, but this is a typical way they work.
You don’t have the data back yet. You pay to use services they offer (leverage). The hacker abandons the phone. You take it back to the carrier, then find out that you’re going to have to pay a $25 fee, which would double or triple if the damage is more severe (logging out of your account to activate the phone would cost you $50). Pay the carrier to activate the phone and start the tracking. You go to an Apple Store or an AT&T store and receive the phone, which is now a stolen device, and start the tracking and any recovery steps.
In some of the following scenarios, this is actually happening to real people right now. The steps described below may not be necessary, but they might be necessary to prove that you took the steps. The first one, where the phone is re-activated, is where they get most of the money.
Apple or AT&T offers the protection, but they usually only pay for one lost or stolen phone, or they don’t offer it. It’s worth the trade-off for two devices, especially if they never get lost.
You can keep doing things wrong and paying through the nose, or you can take the next step and start moving towards the solution. Further, do you know you can use iMovie for Windows?
2) Some scenarios might have a worse consequence than just paying a fee
Apple Smartphone User Activation Lock, in some cases, you might lose your data or some of your information. The worst case is a phone taken to an illegal step (where it’s a stolen device). In that case, the tracking app won’t work, but your carrier will still come after you for the fees.
My next-door neighbor’s iPhone was stolen last week and they lost all of their information, even the credits for their credit cards that were sitting in their Apple ID account.
- Let’s say that they don’t pay the $25 fee.
- They will have to get the credit card information for a new Apple ID.
- They will have to register the phone for a new one.
- Their carrier will suspend the old phone, then send out the new one.
- Apple will suspend their Apple ID because they were using it to unlock the phone.
- Because of these steps, they will have to re-verify their account for several things, including updating their phone.
- Then, they’ll have to get a new phone.
- They’ll need to turn off the tracking and cancel the original SIM, which they bought on eBay.
- Then they’ll have to go back to the store where they bought the original SIM to get a replacement.
- After they get the SIM, they’ll have to activate the phone and find a retailer to activate it for them.
- They’ll have to send the SIM back to Apple and wait for a new one to arrive.
- In short, the process to get the phone back has them starting over and starting over and starting over.
But maybe, in another scenario, they did pay for the $25 fee, and the tracking app did work. They found their phone, got the data back. They submitted an online claim. And their carrier worked on getting the phone unlocked.
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