What to do and what not to do if you find a lost smartphone

It may happen to find a lost or stolen smartphone, here are the actions to take to track down the rightful owner without invading his privacy

We have already seen the actions to take in case of loss or theft of a smartphone. But what should we do if we are the ones who find another person's cell phone? Here is a series of tips on how to behave in case we find a smartphone that is not ours.

The first operation to help the user who has lost his device is to contact some person from the contact list, better if someone very close like Mom, Dad or siblings. The problem in this case is the unlocking. If the user has used a PIN or a biometric system to secure his smartphone we won't be able to access it. In this case we wait for the person who is looking for the phone to try to call it. When this happens we respond to the user and agree to return the lost device.

Charge the device and activate Internet

First of all, if the phone is compatible with some charger we have at home, we can charge it. In this way we will give the possibility to the person to contact us even after some hours or days avoiding that the phone turns off. If we have access to the device we activate the Wi-Fi or data connection, it is possible that the person who has lost the device is trying to contact us via some messaging application. In this way we will also be able to contact the person's friends and colleagues on apps and social and notify them that the phone has been found. Finally, with the connection active, the person who has lost the phone, if he has registered the Find My Smartphone function, can know the location of the phone directly from his PC. Obviously, if the smartphone is locked, we can't activate the Internet, but we can always charge it.

Leave the smartphone at the lost and found

If we happen to find the phone in a large public space, such as shopping malls, stations or airports, the advice is to take the device to the lost and found office. This will avoid us problems in the future. We won't have to contact the person who lost the phone and we won't have to arrange to meet the owner.

Attention to privacy

If we find an open device we avoid to "hack" too much. We look for contacts and that's it. Let's forget about private information like social networks, photos, videos and documents. We are going to violate the privacy of the person concerned. And if it happens to us we would like others to do the same.