Apparently this is a common occurrence at several households: I phone. It just rings. I send a message and no reply. I call again and it just rings. I wait a while and then she calls back.
For some reason this is the routine that happens whenever I try to get a hold of my wife when she is out and about. The reason for this ring/call back is a combination of phone-lost-somewhere-deep-inside-handbag and I-did-not-hear-it-ring.
During the December holidays, my wife and kids were out and I realised that I have run out of an important substance: coffee. I tried to call my wife but of course she didn’t answer and so I followed the phone-then messages-then phone again routine and waited for the call back. It didn’t come. Several more unanswered calls later, I started to worry.
Before the mild panic kicked in, I calmly realised that I could turn to a technological assistance: The Phone Tracking.
Phone Tracking is a system that, amongst other features, has the ability to locate your phone in the event that it has been misplaced. It is typically set up on the first day when you set up your phone and then forgotten about but most mobile devices have this facility.
BlackBerry – BlackBerry Protect:
My wife has a BlackBerry Q10 which has been enabled with BlackBerry Protect (http://protect.blackberry.com). I logged onto the BlackBerry Protect website and clicked on View Location. This option identifies the location of the phone and displays it on a map. As soon as I did that, I noticed that the phone was inside a well-known shopping centre. I then clicked on Play Sound which sends an alarm to the phone regardless it is on silent or not. I soon received a call back saying all was ok.
Samsung – Find My Mobile:
Samsung uses Find My Mobile (https://findmymobile.samsung.com) which works in conjunction with the Samsung Account. On the Samsung device, you need to enable Remote Control which is located under Security Settings. Once this is done, then you can log into the website and enter the username and password. You can then trace the location of your Samsung device.
iPhone/ iPad – iCloud:
iPhone users would use the iCloud system once it had been set up on the iPhone. In the event that you would like to trace your phone, you log into the iCloud (https://www.icloud.com/#find) and click on Find My Phone. The system would then geo-locate the position of your iPhone.
Locate via Apps:
There are lots of third party apps that would trace the location of your devices too. Some of the anti-virus companies have these facilities as part of their software packages too.
So in summary:
I would suggest finding a service that not only can locate the phone, but also has the ability to remotely erase the phone in the event that it has been stolen. Our phones contain our personal information including a calendar marking our activities to the family vacation photos. So while some might see these tools as “invasive”, I see these tools as critical to ensure that my loved ones are safe and secure. And besides, I shudder at the thought that some criminal has access to my family’s photos to do who knows-what-with.