If your phone gets stolen you may feel sad, angry, and even violated knowing a thief now has your whole life in the palm of their hand. You need to get that phone back and fast before they fence it on eBay.

Warning: You should never go looking for your phone if it was stolen without help. Once you have been able to confirm a location of the device contact the police and ask them to escort you.

Now, let’s track down that phone and get your life back. First, did you have a tracking app like Where’s My Droid installed? If not that’s OK, there is still hope. We are going to talk about using Where’s My Droid here and if you don’t have that installed you can read this post for some other options.

Using Where’s My Droid

Where’s My Droid has many security features to prevent a thief from getting your personal information and aid in you getting your phone back. Below we will talk about the steps you should take.

Lock it down

The first thing you should do is lock your device. By locking the device it will engage a screen lock that will prevent the thief from viewing your personal information as well as making sure they can’t remove Where’s My Droid or alter its settings. Lock your device with a text by sending your lock attention word followed by a 4-6 digit PIN. For example, with the default attention word “wmd lock 1234”. From Commander, click the Lock tab and enter a 4-6 digit PIN and click the “Lock” button.

PhoneLockScreenshot

 

Track it

Start a location update. Getting the device’s GPS location is the absolute best way to track it down. By texting you will send your GPS attention word, which by default is “wmd gps”. From Commander click the Location tab and either quick or accurate location buttons. Once you get the first location update you may want to request it a couple of more times to see if the device is moving. If it is, keep requesting updates until you’re sure it has stopped at a location long enough for you, and an officer, to go and get it.

CommanderScreenShot

 

Find it

When you get near the device, request its location again to be sure it hasn’t moved. When you get as close as you can you may use the ring feature to try and listen for it. The default ring attention word is “wmd ring”. If you think the device may be inside someone’s house don’t approach it alone. You should be with an officer and they can go with you to ask about your phone. This is also a good time to use the camera feature to “see” what the device sees. Text your front or back camera attention words which by default are “wmd camera front” and “wmd camera back”. It might help you see the person that has it, or the place it’s in.

CommanderCameraScreenshot

 

Wipe it

If all else fails and you can’t get your device back you can attempt to wipe the device. This will delete personal information like pictures, documents, and apps from your phone so the thief at least won’t have access to your life. By texting you would send “wmd wipe” to start the wipe process. The app will text back asking you to confirm the wipe. From Commander you can click the Wipe tab and then select either the SD card or device. Wiping the SD card deletes pictures and documents. Wiping the device will perform a factory reset removing all apps and their data. This includes Where’s My Droid so this really is a last resort.

PhoneWipeScreenshot