If your iPhone is lost or stolen in the UK…

1. Call O2 on 0870 600 3009 and put a bar on your number. That will stop anyone else making expensive calls on your account

2. If you haven’t protected your phone with a Passcode lock, you need to change the passwords for your email accounts. That will stop people sending mail using your account.

3. If any of the applications on your iPhone store password information for access to web services, change those passwords. I changed my blog admin password (because the iPhone WordPress application can modify anything on this blog using the password stored within). I also changed my Twitter password – so that anyone finding/stealing my phone can’t tweet using my account. I didn’t change my iTunes (App) Store password as you have to enter it each time you download paid music and applications.

4. After 40 hours O2 will be able to report on specific phone calls on your phone between when you last used the phone and when you arranged the bar to stop outgoing and incoming calls. This will give you an idea whether you’re likely to get your phone back. In my case I knew that the person who stole/found the phone won’t be handing it back after they spent as much time as they could making calls until the phone was barred.

5. If you don’t have insurance (and you want to replace your iPhone with another iPhone), you’ll need to buy a Pay-As-You-Go iPhone from your local Apple, Carphone Warehouse or O2 store. If you don’t, and you got your iPhone on a monthly contract, O2 will still charge you your full monthly fee until the end of your contract – even if you have no iPhone to use.

6. Your replacement iPhone will cost you to £352.50/£401.45 for 8/16GB. Those prices are £10 more than the list price. To buy an iPhone that is unsubsidised by O2, you have to add a minimum of £10 to the SIM that comes with the phone.

7. If you have a monthly contract, you’ll need a SIM card that can tells your replacement iPhone to use your old telephone number. You can get this for free from an O2 shop, or you they’ll post you one in 3-5 days.

8. As the iPhone gets backed up when you sync using iTunes, you won’t lose much information. Insert the SIM associated with your old number into you new phone. Connect it to the iTunes you synced your lost iPhone with. iTunes will offer to restore the backup from your old phone to the new one. If the new phone hasn’t been updated with the same firmware your old phone had, you won’t be able to use your backup immediately. You’ll need to let iTunes upgrade the firmware. Once the firmware has been updated, on the Summary tab, choose Restore to choose your old backup to restore your iPhone (The note next to this option isn’t accurate – it says ‘you can restore its original settings by clicking Restore’ – in this case you’ll be recovering an old backup and applying it to an iPhone with the new firmware).

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4 comments
  1. Shah said:

    Great article. I just got an iPhone, but still contemplating whether to get insurance or not (I have 28 days to consider it with o2).

    Good advice for iPhone owners (or ‘ex-owners’) to refer to in their moment of panic when they realise their beloved gadget has been lost/nicked.

  2. Jay Butt said:

    Hi,
    I was wondering if you could help me!!!
    I had an iphon 3g for literally a year, and it got stolen off of me in broad daylight on the 2nd of July. However through insurance (thank god), I recieved a new phone and sim the following day… now the problems start…
    I synced the phone to itunes 8.2 and it said the iphone could not restore back up, as the software is too old (my old phone was 3.0 and the new one obviously 2.2.1).
    It then said I needed to set the phone up as a new iphone, which I did. However, after doing this and choosing to restore back up, it only gives me the option of restoring iphone to “Jahangeer’s iphone” and one restoring date, 10th april 09! How can that be when I only last synched and backed up my old iphone 3g a week before it was stolen?!
    I’m pulling my hair out trying to figure out how to solve the problem. Any ideas/help would extremely be appreciated!!!

    And to Shah, trust me, get insurance, it is worth your while!

    Jay

  3. Nicky said:

    Thanks for this step by step guide. Recently lost my iphone and this saved me, in my hungover state, from totally freaking out 😉 Very comforting ( and useful ) – thank you!

  4. Simon said:

    I just realised I had left my 3G in the back of a taxi from last night and you will be surprised how often this happens to people

    Luckily enough I had the pass-code enabled so access to the phone is limited , I had the SIM barred and also changed all my passwords to my email accounts.

    For those of you who use your Iphone for everything and store everything on there its important to implement security as soon as you purchase it , I mean enable the pass-phrase key lock to auto and set a password.

    With MobileMe subscription you can trace your lost or stolen phone on-line but only if its turned on and there is a monthly service fee for this feature.

    There are quite a few applications that have a GPS trackers but the application will need to be running which is highly un-likely.

    If your planning on having a few drinks leave your expensive phone at home and take a cheap alternative out with you. e.g Nokia 8210 worth about £5

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