Keeping Your Cell Phone Safe

If you are anything like me, you have lost your phone at least once and if you are really likemilk carton me, you have lost (misplaced) it more than once.

It can be a little scary thinking about not getting it back. It is not like I keep State Secrets on it or nude photos and I know everything on it is replaceable. By using the cloud, I can even preload all my information onto my new phone and be up and running in not time, but let’s face it, someone now has a few hundred dollars’ worth of your electronics.

I have a bad habit when traveling of using my phone when I eat out. I get to catch up on the news, read my Flipboard and emails all while eating dinner. Unfortunately, all it takes is leaving it on the table when I pay my bill and not noticing until I am 40 miles down the road and bingo, lost phone.

Now I don’t even have a phone to call the restaurant to see if they found it. Even knowing I am going to do the 80 mile round trip to see if it is still there, it might not be. Why? Because it is valuable. I should have kept better care of my property but it happens.

So, what is the best way to protect your phone from staying lost, besides the obvious statement, don’t lose it?

I think I have the answer for that. After the last time I lost my phone and luckily found it again I decided to so something about it.

Example of My Phone

Example of My Phone

It has been two years but I lost my phone last week and the security center at the casino, where I obviously dropped it out of my pocket, called to let me know what happened. The funny thing was his comment that in all the phones they have ever found, and he stated they find a lot, he said that this is the first time he as ever found the message I now keep on mine. Let me explain.

We all know how to lock a phone but a locked phone is hard to return to the owner. The person that finds the phone can’t even find a number to call to return it.

I have however, found a feature on my phone that lets me not only keep it locked but let’s me display a message indicating the number to call if this phone is found.

I have a Samsung Galaxy 3 and know that all the Galaxy phones have this feature. I don’t know about every phone but I believe they will all have similar features. It is very easy to do and now I know it works.

On the Galaxy 3

samsung lock

  1. Choose Settings
  2. Select “My Device”
  3. Select “Lock Screen”
  4. Select” Screen Lock” In this area select the type of lock you wish. This is the function you will use to unlock your phone. The most secure features are a Password or Pin with the Pin being a little less secure. The Galaxy 3 also has options to use swipe Patterns or by Facial and/or voice recognition.
  5. Select “Secured Lock Time” Regardless of the type of lock you select, you will now have to choose how fast the phone will lock. Your choices are from Instantly, by using the power key, or you may choose anywhere from 15 seconds to one hour.
  6. Select “Lock Screen Widgets” There are a few options you may choose in this area but the one we are interested in is “Owner Information”. Enter the information you wish to have displayed on the lock screen. For example, mine shows my wife’s phone number and states “Please call xxx-xxx-xxxx if found” Ensure that the “Show owner info on lock screen” box is checked.


That is it, I know this is probably not earth shattering news to a lot of people but once the security person told me he has never seen it before I thought it was worth sharing.



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About the Author

Jim Canfield

My interest in computers was a natural transition from all things electronics. I was hooked after building my first Heathkit computer around 1976, which evolved into a TSR80 and a long list of Windows computers. My first full blown program was a graphics program which started my career path in graphic design and IT work for 40 years. I now run a small computer repair and service company focused on helping veterans and retirees in our area with computer and software training classes.

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