November 20th, 2020
Triple the odds of your lost phone being returned with this one simple step
If you’ve ever lost something important to you, you know that not-so-great feeling of not knowing where it is or if you’ll ever see it again. We’re a team of people who take pride in providing all of your tech care needs—so we lost our phones so you don’t have to.
In a recent experiment, Asurion purposefully “lost” smartphones in three major cities across the U.S. to test the likelihood of them being returned. Jeff Rossen, a Today show investigative reporter, recently recreated our experiment for a segment on the morning show.
We discovered that while it’s great that so many lock their phones for security (71%, in fact), this makes it more difficult for someone to return your phone. In our study, we saw that displaying alternate contact info on the lock screen meant that your phone was 3x more likely to be returned by a good Samaritan; however, fewer than 1 in 4 actually add this extra layer of protection.
How to add alternate contact information to your phone’s home screen
The simplest way to do this is to place a text label on any photo in your device’s gallery using the photo edit features and include an alternate phone number or email address (you can also use a photo editing app like Snapseed). Then, set that image as the wallpaper on your lock screen.
- In iOS, choose the image from your gallery. Tap the Up arrow, select “Use as wallpaper” and then choose lock screen.
- In Android, pick the photo from your gallery. Click the three dots in the top right corner of the image and select “Set as wallpaper” and choose lock screen.
Alternately, Android also has a built-in feature for adding a lock screen message.
How to add a lock screen message on Android:
- Go to Settings.
- Choose Lock Screen.
- Select Contact Information.
- Enter desired alternate contact info, such as a phone number or email address. Then, click Done.
Other ways to help your phone find its way home
Enable Find My iPhone or similar service
Many people assume this is automatically activated with every phone, but it needs to be manually turned on in your phone settings.
- Go to Settings > [Your Name] > Find My > Find My iPhone
- Tap the switch to turn it on or off.
- To see your device even when it's offline, turn on Find My network by tapping the switch.
On Samsung Galaxy:
- Open Settings.
- Tap Biometrics & Security.
- Tap Find My Device, then slide the switch to on.
On Google Pixel:
- Open Settings.
- Tap Security > Find My Device.
- Switch the option on.
Don’t assume the worst
Many people don’t call the establishment where they accidentally lost or left their phones, thinking there’s little chance of getting them back. During Asurion’s experiment, we heard from many organizations that had drawers full of lost phones waiting for owners to reclaim them.
Protect your phone
For more than 25 years, Asurion has helped 300 million customers protect, connect, and enjoy the tech they love most. And smartphones are no exception. Your life is on your device, make sure it’s protected. Learn more about Asurion phone insurance plans today.
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