"Its not just a phone, its You", so says Priyanka Chopra in an ad for a mobile company. Couldn't have been a more apt description of what the cell phone has become to our lives. And as with all good things, you only realize its importance when it goes missing. And I had the first hand experience over the past 24 hour period.
Yester evening, climbed on to the public bus to take me home. After some time checked my pockets to realise that my cell phone is no longer there. So asked around, then borrowed a fellow traveler's phone to dial my number and heard the following words, "आपण डायल कियेला नंबर बंद आहे" (The number you called is switched off). Definetely hadn't switched it off myself. So the obvious conclusion someone had nicked it and switched it off. On any given day losing something is bad. But having lost a newly bought smartphone was pretty devastating. Reached home, used the world wide web to ask a few friends to keep trying my number. All of them reported the same "switched off" message. Pretty much confirming that it had not been misplaced but stolen.
While sitting at home, realised that no one could call me up if they wanted to. I was pretty much untraceable. Now this was a thought which was at the same instance very liberating and very scary. What if somebody was trying to call me. What would they be thinking? (And someone actually was and was getting very worried). Amongst the random thoughts which came in during this period was how was I going to order pizza? (Ok some misplaced priorities here). Thoughts also went to the amount of personal info I had on my phone that could be accessed. Pretty scary.
Now for things to do in case of losing a phone.
- File an FIR with the police. But be sure you go to correct police station. I went into 3 different ones before being able to file the report. Learning - The police have very well defined jurisdiction areas and they follow it very strictly. You cant, just CANT, file a report anywhere else. The closest station from the incident need NOT be the correct one as I found out today morning.
- Next step. Get the SIM blocked. No thief will have the phone ON after taking it. But it needs to be done to get your old number activated on the new one. A process which may take a day or two.
- Register your phone IMEI number. Would not help in getting your phone back but still is a good idea.
- If you are accessing mails, twitter, social networking by your phone, CHANGE your passwords immediately.
- And most importantly. Inform your loved ones immediately. Lack of access in these heavily connected days is very unnerving.
P.S. And forget about the handset. Very unlikely you are ever going to see it again. Probably the ideal time to move on to the next one.