Learning the hard way

I have been on Spring Break this week. I’ve had a pretty good week – did some spring cleaning, painted some table tops at school with IDEA PAINT (yay!), went to Charlotte with dad, and spent time with the dogs and Marty. Something bad did happen though…

On Tuesday, I lost my beloved iPhone. Now, this was totally my fault and I can just hear my mom telling me to “always know what’s going on around you,” “pick up your phone NOW so that you don’t lose it,” and “put down that iphone, anyway!” Here’s what happened (along with some helpful tips, in case it happens to you!) –

On Tuesday, I was at Target. I had my phone out because I was texting people while I shop (not a good idea in the first place). I remember my phone falling into the cart part of the buggie from the seat part. I left it there. THAT was my big mistake, because of course, when it came time to check out, I ended up leaving it there. I went to another store across the street and as I was driving home, I realized I no longer had my phone. And that’s when I remembered it falling into the cart. SO, back I go to Target. Looked in carts – not there. Asked Customer Service and the cashiers if they had seen it – no luck. Borrowed a phone from Target and walked around the store calling my cell – nope. Went to AT&T (thankfully, right across the street) and started crying (there were pictures and voice mails from mom on that phone and the case was HER case 😦 ). They were super nice (I guess crying does that to people) and one of the employees was able to help me remote lock my phone with the Find my iPhone app on his phone. There wasn’t much more to do at that point, but wait and see if the phone showed up. So…

TIP 1– lock your iPhone with a passcode. Another dumb mistake on my part. I had removed it because I’ve been using it in my library centers and I wanted kids to be able to just turn it on and go. NOT GOOD! (I hear Toni yelling at me for this too). Luckily, you can remotely lock it, but still – it should have had one on there to begin with. Also lock any important apps with passcodes – if you use Mint, for example, lock that baby! And, I must say that I am SO GLAD I removed my credit card information from iTunes and now only purchase apps and music with iTunes gift cards. I suggest you do the same.

TIP 2 – Put the Find my iPhone app on your phone. I did not have it on my phone.

I go home, very sad. We have called the phone a number of times and no one picks up. We have texted it a million times, no one calls us (we were texting Marty’s number to it). Marty remembers that we both put the Find my Friends app on our phones and he tracks my phone to Chick-fil-a (down the street from Target). We first call the police, but they say all we can do is go to Chick-fil-a and see if we can find the phone. So, off we go. Marty spends the next 2 hours there with the manager and one employee (who are AWESOME) searching garbage cans, calling the phone, pinging it with the Find my iPhone app – all to no avail. We head back to AT&T and get a new phone. It is clear that my phone is never going to be found and that it has actually been stolen.

Tip 3 – Install the Find my Friends app (and have a best friend or parent or partner or wife or husband do it too)

As we are setting up my new iPhone, we remotely wipe out all of the information on my old iPhone with the Find my iPhone app (see why you need it?!). One thing that is still frustrating me about this, however, is that I should get an email when my old phone  has been wiped. I never did. I’m not sure if AT&T did that to me when they switched the data plan or what, but now I’m not sure if all my stuff is really gone or not and AT&T claims that it doesn’t matter anyway because we put the passcode on it and they say they can’t do anything to wipe it on their end (even in light of the news that came out, ironically enough on TUESDAY that phone companies CAN wipe out info for you on their end…without the help of any fancy apps and make the stolen phone unusable). Whatever…home we go with my new phone. I have to call Apple to switch over some AppleCare stuff and find out it would have been helpful for me to know serial number and the IMEI code on my old phone. OF COURSE I DON’T KNOW THAT. So, guess where I have to go BACK to because they can’t give it to you over the phone? AT&T.

Tip 4 – Put your serial number and IMEI codes in a safe place. You might need them one day.

Finally, I get back home, ready to put everything on my new phone that was on my old phone. Luckily, I’m in the iCLOUD and it has been fairly easy to set up my phone the way I need it without re-buying anything or trying to remember what was on it. I even got back some of the pictures of mom that I thought I had lost. I am NOT good about backing up my phone though, so there were some things I just don’t have anymore. But, those are just things and for the most part, since life is so social now (my life, anyway), lots of my stuff is also on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram.

Tip 5 – Get in the iCloud! NOW! (and, back it up sometimes)

So, there you have it. Don’t let it happen to you. It was a waste of a perfectly good Spring Break day, but a HUGE learning experience!



About Valerie Byrd Fort

I live in South Carolina. I am passionate about libraries, books, and reading. I am also a mom. This is my blog about those things.
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