Mugging and stealing phones are a common occurrence. Most phones cost a fortune, so their theft always leaves you depressed. However, more than the monetary loss, it is the loss of contacts and the apprehension of all your information getting into the wrong hands that make you panic. In such situations, all you can think about is how to find a way that would enable you to prevent someone from acquiring access to your personal pictures and information and how to get your phone back. This is where tracking the IMEI number would provide you with the assistance you require.
The concept behind IMEI tracking
Once your device gets stolen, tracking the IMEI number can ensure you avail a prompt response and take a step towards its recovery. However, the problem is that none of us tend to think much about the incidence of our phone getting stolen. Despite the fact that it is common, people are unprepared for it. For IMEI tracking, it is important that you remember the number, which is not done by many. We are going to discuss how to track IMEI if you do not have your phone with you. Various steps can be taken for the purpose, some of which we are going to discuss shortly.
What is IMEI?
Before we talk more about IMEI tracking, we feel it’s prudent to first shed some light on what the IMEI number is and how it can be of help if your phone gets stolen. IMEI is an abbreviation for International Mobile Equipment Identity. It is a 15-digit code that is different for every mobile device. The number is not restricted to phones alone. Gadgets such as laptops and tablets are also provided with an IMEI number if wireless cards are installed in them.
Irrespective of the device, the IMEI number is built into its hardware. Thus, you cannot bring about a change in it with ease.
This IMEI number serves as an identifier of a mobile phone. The information is received by mobile operators when the phone is connected to their networks. Hence, when we talk about IMEI tracking, the first option that you have is to acquire the assistance of a mobile operator. They can make use of cell tower triangulation to find the phone, with the accuracy of the results being somewhere between 100m and 1km. Even if they fail in the task of tracking the IMEI number, they can block it, which ensures that the phone does not work on their network. Therefore, it is apparent that knowing your IMEI number can ensure that you do not have to worry about your personal details getting into wrong hands if your phone gets stolen.
The approach to be taken when you lose your phone
The first thing that you should do is keep a cool head. It will not prove to be of any use if you end up panicking over the situation. Think rationally so that you would be in a better position to understand the options you have. A systematic approach should be taken.
- Report the theft to the police
- Provide them with the IMEI number if you have it
- Provide proof of the ownership of the phone
Once you carry out this process, the police will be able to contact the mobile operator and track down the location of the phone within a short span, thereby increasing the chances of your phone getting back to you.
The benefits of knowing the IMEI number apart of IMEI tracking
You need to keep in mind that tracking IMEI number is not a foolproof method of finding the location of your phone since the number can be changed in smartphones, albeit with great difficulty. However, various other benefits can be attained if you have the IMEI number:
- Your mobile phone provider will be able to block your phone, thereby ensuring that no one acquires access to everything in your phone
- The number can be used for warranty
- You might contemplate selling your phone in the future, in which case the buyer can verify with the police if your phone is registered as stolen by means of the IMEI number
How to track IMEI?
Now that importance of IMEI tracking is established, the next question that comes to mind is how to track the IMEI number if the phone is stolen. The law for this is different in different countries. In some countries, IMEI tracking cannot be done by an individual and the assistance of police needs to be acquired. Things are indeed easier if you remember the IMEI number or if you have your phone with you. The tricky situation is when you do not have your phone yet need the IMEI number for any reason.
Using the packaging
The first option that you have is to make use of the original packaging of your phone. The packaging of the smartphones is equipped with a sticker that states the IMEI number. It might not be out on display, so you might have to look hard to find it. Look closely for any sticker that features a 15-digit code.
Documentation of the phone contract
The problem is that many people tend to throw away the packaging of their phone. This is particularly true for those who have had the phone for a long time. As we mentioned before, not many people think about the possibility of their phone being stolen and do not take any precautionary measures. If you do not have any packaging of your phone, the next thing that you should look for is the original contract that you signed with the phone company since the IMEI number is featured on that as well.
For Android users
If none of these steps prove to be of help to you and you have an Android phone, there is another option that you have to track down the IMEI number.
The first step is to sign into your Google account. You should then open the Android Device Manager.
Here, you will find the IMEI number displayed with your registered Android device. Once you get this information, it will become a whole lot easier for the authorities to track down your phone.
For iPhone users
If you have an iPhone and have synced it with iTunes, you will be able to find the IMEI number on the iTunes settings.
To find this, you should go to iTunes, click on the Preferences tab if you are using a Mac to access it or on Edit if you are using a PC for the purpose. Click on the option of Devices and opt for the Summary tab. You will then have to click on your phone number twice, following which you will be able to see your IMEI number.
Contact the police
If you end up having your phone stolen, the first thing that you should do is block the SIM card so that your SIM is not used for any illegal activities which can land you in trouble. The next step is to notify the police of the same. Many people tend to skip this step as they think it would get them entangled in a prolonged hassle that they do not want to be a part of. However, you need to understand that by contacting the police, you are paving the way for your phone to get back to you. Even if you do not get your phone back, there are high chances that the police would be able to block the phone by tracking the IMEI number and as a result, your personal information, photographs, and numbers will be protected.
It is quite natural to feel stressed and panic when you lose your smartphone. These days, we have become so dependent on our phones and use it for so many purposes that losing it can open doors to a lot of problems. However, the thing that you need to keep in mind is panicking would not bring your phone back. It is possible to track the IMEI code by taking the right approach, which you can then pass onto the phone company and police, thereby leading to your device being located.
Therefore, if you lose your phone, keep calm and take the required measures. The sooner you do so, the higher the chances of you getting your phone back. Tracking the IMEI number of your stolen phone is something that you should do at the earliest if you lose possession of your phone. While it might seem like a difficult task to make an effort to track the IMEI number, in the end, you will find it worth the hard work. By tracking IMEI, you can make it certain that your private information is well protected and cannot be used by anyone with devious intentions.