You’ve boarded the plane, you’re asked to turn off your electronic devices, you throw your cell phone into the seat pocket, you land, you’re in a hurry to get off the plane and you forget your phone. You’re not alone. According to Asurion, a major cell phone insurer, thirty million cell phones go missing each year. Fortunately, there are as many ways to recover a lost cell phone as there are ways of losing them.
Lookout.com, developer of mobile security apps, tells us that your chance of recovery if you leave your cell phone on a plane is 0%-15% and 0%-50% if left in a taxi. If you live in Miami, New York, or Los Angeles, you are more likely to lose your phone than any other city. The most likely time you will lose your phone is between 9pm and 2am and the most likely places would be a coffee shop, bar, or a restaurant, although airplanes and airports are in the top ten. The most difficult place to recover a lost phone is in a foreign city, and while the easiest recovery is from a swimming pool, this scenario rarely has a happy ending.
So what can you do to increase the chances of being reunited with your lost mobile device and, more importantly, with your precious personal/business data? Here are some suggestions:
Lookout is a free downloadable app that can locate your phone by GPS and show it’s location on a map. By logging into the Lookout website when your mobile device is lost, you can make your phone scream even it is on silent, lock your phone and if need be, wipe out the stored data.
Okoban is the only property registration system linked to the airline industry’s World Tracer system, used by more than 400 airlines and 2200 airports. Even the TSA uses Okoban. The system is based on the Japanese tradition of respecting people’s property and reuniting lost property with its rightful owner. You purchase ID tags, attach them to your items, register online and when an item is lost, the finder logs in with the ID # of your property. The story of Okoban is fascinating and can be found on the Okoban web site.
Find my iPhone is a tool you can set up before you lose your iPhone. It tracks the phone via its internal GPS and allows you to view your phone’s location on a map, send a message to your phone, lock it, or wipe out the data. Instructions for setting it up can be found here. Be sure to keep your login and password in another location so you can access the web site if your phone is lost.
Plan B is an app for Anroid you can download to your phone after it is lost. You can download the app via the Google Play store and hopefully find your phone. Instructions can be found here.
Once again, a little prevention can go a long way in increasing the chances of recovering your mobile device.
Have you lost a cell phone and recovered it using an app or tagging system?
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49