Reaching into your pocket, bag, purse, or car and coming up empty can immediately lead to a panic if the thing that you are missing is your iPad or iPhone. These days people put their entire personal and work life on their mobile devices, so losing a device can be like losing the key to your entire life. Even more so if you do not have your device backed up, and you have truly lost all of your information and data. It can happen in a second, and everyone reacts differently, but once you get over the surreal realization that your phone is gone it is time to get serious and take note of these following instructions of what not to do if your iPad or iPhone is stolen.

Resist the Urge to Change Passwords

It is only reasonable that the first thing you may want to do is head home and change your passwords. After all, if your home is robbed the first thing you will do is activate a home security system so that they cannot get back in. However, before you quickly change your passwords you might want to take a step back and think about how beneficial it can be to allow the criminal to get into your apps.

IP Tracking

iphone security
iCloud – Helps in the fight against iPhone theft, but Gmail & Facebook may give a more accurate location of your device.

iCloud can track where an iPad is being used, but it can only offer an approximate location and does not track via IP addresses. Therefore, while your iCloud can give you an idea of where the stolen item is, it cannot give you a close enough location to help you or the cops.

On the other hand, many of your apps do record IP addresses and by not changing your passwords you invite thieves to actually give away their location to you. For instance, Gmail and Facebook apps both record IP addresses and you can access the address.

Don’t Use a Password on the Lockscreen

Another thing you may be tempted to do is use a password on the lockscreen to protect your device from being accessed. This will work if you are trying to protect your data, but it certainly is not going to help you get your device back. When amateur thieves cannot get into the device they will just sell it to someone that can format it, or they will format it themselves.

At the end of the day, this means that you cannot track the device at all and will have lost it forever. Allowing a thief a few minutes to get into a device is worth it if you want them brought to justice.

Learn Patience

It can be hard to wait, and no doubt you will want to do something right away, but be patient and wait for the thief to go online. Even once they go online do not change passwords or cancel a thing, because the police are going to need to see the IP addresses themselves. If you can be patient for a bit the end result is that you will get keep your information and your device and that is the best possible reward.