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Before you head out tonight, take a moment to improve your phone's security

If you end up losing it, you want to make sure you’ve taken some precautions.

Image: Maurizio Pesce/Flickr

IT HAPPENS TO the best of us. Sometimes, for whatever reason, you end up misplacing or losing your phone while you’re out and you have no idea how it happened.

Even if you’re careful with your device, it’s good to take some quick precautions so that if it does happen, things will be a little bit better.

Set a lock screen code

Honestly, this is something you should already have in place and if you don’t, do it now. Whether you use a PIN, password, fingerprint scanner or pattern code, just make sure you have something to protect it so your info isn’t open to anyone who gets their hands on it.

Also, the more complex the password, the better.

Smartphone Durability Source: AP Photo/Andy Wong

Get your IMEI number

This is found by entering in *#06# on your phone. This brings up your International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number which you will need if you contact your service provider and want to deactivate your phone. Take a note of it, and store it somewhere safe so when you do need it, it’s there.

Activate Find my Phone

Another feature you should activate anyway, Find my Phone not only allows you to locate a missing device (or failing that, its last known location in the last 24 hours) but also remotely wipe it clean or make it ring out.

If it’s stolen, getting it back is a bit of a grey area, but if you misplaced or lost your phone, then it’s more useful.

If you want to go a step further, installing an app like Prey or Lookout could help matters.

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device-manager-android-621x500 Source: Android Device Manager/Google Play

Backup important data

Contacts, messages, photos, you name it, if you feel it’s important, then back it up online. While backing up SMS and messages differs from app to app, contacts can be saved on iCloud, Gmail or OneDrive.

In the case of photos and videos, you don’t have to backup every single one otherwise it will take a while, but selecting the best ones and saving them might be more efficient.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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