A person leaning onto a bridge and using a smartphone.

How to protect yourself when your phone is lost or stolen

Are you going through that gut-wrenching experience of your phone getting stolen, and you’re wondering what to do? Find out the 5 things you need to do to protect yourself.

5 min read

Are you going through that gut-wrenching experience of your phone getting stolen, and you’re wondering what to do? Whether you’ve lost your phone or someone’s stolen it, find out the 5 things you need to do to protect yourself.

1. Block the SIM card on the phone that’s been lost or stolen

What’s the first thing to do if your smartphone is lost or stolen? Block your phone’s SIM card to stop your contract. This is essential to prevent your contract from being misused by a third party. To do this, you need to contact your mobile operator, either via your account online or by calling their emergency number. 

Remember, you’ll foot the bill for any use of your misplaced smartphone if you haven’t canceled your contract and blocked your number! So, it’s best to act as soon as possible, especially if you suspect your phone was stolen.

2. Lock your lost or stolen phone

Your phone holds a ton of confidential information—like access to your social media accounts, bank account, e-mail addresses, photos…the list goes on. So when your phone is lost or stolen, your personal data is at risk. Also, some of your passwords might be automatically saved in your phone, giving whoever has it a free pass to your sensitive information. To avoid having your social media accounts hacked (add Facebook article link), falling victim to online scams, or dealing with credit card fraud—you should lock your phone remotely

How to lock your phone remotely on Android

Note that this option will only work if the location services on your smartphone are activated.

  • Go to https://www.google.com/android/find.
  • Log in to the Google account connected to your smartphone.
  • If you’ve lost your phone, choose ‘Secure Device.’. This allows you to lock your phone, sign out of your Google account, and even display a message or phone number on your lock screen.
  • If your phone has been stolen, choose the ‘Erase Device’ option. This will delete all of your data. Be aware that erasing your device will remove your ability to access your phone’s location.

How to lock your phone remotely on Apple

  • Go to https://www.icloud.com/find.
  • Click ‘All Devices’ and select the lost or stolen iPhone.
  • Next, click ‘Lost Mode’ or ‘Lock’ and follow the instructions.

Like with an Android, you can also set a message or phone number to appear on the lock screen—so that if your phone is lost, you can be contacted.

To locate a lost or stolen phone, also go to www.google.com/android/find or www.icloud.com/find.

3. Change your passwords

To avoid any risk of online fraud or identity theft, you should also change the passwords for all the apps you use. As soon as you can, change your password on social media accounts, financial and banking apps, email accounts, and other apps. These days, losing your phone or having it stolen can leave you at risk of fraud or scams.

Security at N26

Your security is our priority. Arm yourself with our tips to protect yourself online.
Check N26 Guide to Secure Online Banking
illustration showing a green shield as a sign of security and protection.

4. File a report for your stolen phone

If your phone has been stolen, you’ll want to file a complaint at your local police station, or with the gendarmerie in France. You should do this within 48 hours of the theft. Filing a report will make it possible to completely block the use of your smartphone in France across all phone providers.

To file a report, you’ll need to provide the authorities your IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identifier) ​​number. This is a unique number used to identify your device. You can find it on the box your phone came in, on your purchase invoice, or by contacting your mobile provider.

Once you’ve filed your report, the police, or gendarmerie, will send a copy of the document to your phone provider and your phone will be completely blocked throughout France within 4 days. Your provider is also responsible for sharing this information with other mobile operators, so if a thief tries to use your stolen phone with a new SIM card they can be identified.

Getting a copy of your report is also important if you want to file a claim for insurance coverage. 

5. Inform your mobile insurance provider

If you’ve taken out mobile insurance, then you’ll want to file a report with your insurance company as soon as possible, so you can claim any compensation. If your phone was stolen, don’t forget to include a copy of your police report. Your compensation will depend on the type of insurance you’ve taken out, as well as the nature of the theft or loss. For example, some insurers only cover robbery.

How to protect your new smartphone

You can limit the risks from losing your phone or having your phone stolen with a few good habits. Here are some tips to protect your precious device:

  • Change the default PIN code
  • Use a password to lock your home screen
  • Activate fingerprint authentication for enhanced protection
  • Regularly backup your phone data—in the cloud, for example
  • Make note of your IMEI number—if you don’t know your IMEI number, call *#06# to get it
  • Activate your device location services
  • Invest in a phone case with a strap so you can keep it close. This is especially practical if you’re a bit of a space cadet and tend to leave your phone all over the place!

The bank account that gives you more control

Spend and save with confidence, and discover a better way to manage your money
Get bank account (new tab)
Smart Hero (ALL EU) Text/Media Intro.

Manage your finances securely with N26

With N26 online banking, you can securely access your bank account from your smartphone using biometric authentication. Our mobile app allows you to receive instant notifications as soon as a transaction takes place on your account, so you can keep tabs on your finances 24/7. Our Customer Support team is also available 7 days a week by chat on our mobile app or website. You can even access your account from your preferred browser on a desktop or laptop. 

And you can get comprehensive travel and lifestyle insurance coverage, including mobile insurance, through our N26 Metal premium account.

Find similar stories

By N26

Love your bank

Related posts

These might also interest you

How N26 will contact you — and how we won’t

Scammers and fraudsters may pose as representatives of N26 to try to steal customer data. Here, we dive into how N26 will and won’t contact you, so that you can spot the scams.

Woman does yoga in the woods.

Our top financial security resolutions for a safer 2023

Simple and effective new year’s resolutions can safeguard your money and data in 2023 and beyond. Read on for our tips to help kickstart your new financial security habits.

N26 logo against a pink background.

CEO blog: Make the most of opportunities by going digital

CEO Valentin Stalf talks about the future of banking and how we can make the most of the opportunities offered by digitalization.