Keeping your data safe on your phone

Unfortunately my son was mugged a few weeks ago. Thankfully he wasn’t hurt. During the brief interaction with the muggers, amongst other things, they took his iPhone and PIN code. Within a few minutes, I had logged onto the FindMyFriends app with my parent settings and marked his phone as LOST. The LOST function renders the phone unusable until you enter your iCloud password. A big sigh of relief as they could no longer use his phone … or so we thought. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and they continued to use the phone for the next two days including using his ApplePay and having access to his bank account.

What have been the lessons that we learnt:

  1. Marking your phone as Lost on Find my Friends does block the phone. However, the muggers have technology that reactivates the phone.
  2. When erasing your phone on Find My Friends, do not leave the app until it confirms that the erase was successful. Again, the muggers were able to override the erase the request.
  3. Do not listen to Apple’s advice that the Lost function cannot be overridden. Once the phone is marked as Lost, erase it immediately.
  4. Set up alternative contact numbers on your iCloud account so that you can access your iCloud from other devices. Otherwise, it sends a PIN number to the phone which the muggers have in their possession.
  5. When contacting your phone provider to inform them that the phone has been stolen, do not trust the online BOT who confirms that the SIM has been blocked. Phone and speak to someone and ask them to confirm that the SIM has been blocked.
  6. Marking your credit/debit card as lost on your banking app does NOT deactivate Apple Pay. You must phone and speak to all banking institutions.
  7. When you do speak to your bank, you MUST request that they deactivate Apple Pay. Otherwise, they will simply cancel your card (even after you’ve told them of the ordeal).
  8. When your new credit/debit card is reissued and activated, check the transactions for the next week or so because companies, such as UBER, can obtain payment against the new card for transactions made on the old card details.
  9. Provide the police with the IMEI number of your iPhone and Air Pods so that they cannot be sold and used by someone else
  10. Once the phone has been erased, change your passwords for everything.
  11. Ensure that your banking app PINs are NOT the same as your iPhone PIN.

I am sharing this to emphasise how it’s important to take safety measures to protect your personal data in case of phone loss or theft. If you find yourself in this situation, take immediate action by marking the phone as lost and erasing its data.

Additionally, it’s important to be aware that these measures may not be fool proof, and it’s necessary to take steps to ensure your data remains safe.

This includes contacting your phone provider and banking institutions, checking your transactions, and changing your passwords.

By taking these steps, you can reduce the risk of sensitive information falling into the wrong hands. And even with all these precautions, we hope you never have to experience what we did!