We all misplace our mobile devices from time to time. It's inevitable, but you're not without options.
Here's what you can do to find your phone, and keep your information safe, if you ever lose it.
If you have an Android device and a Gmail address, you can make your phone ring at full volume from any internet browser. Go to the Google Play store and select "settings" (the cog in the top right), then "Android device manager," and click "ring." Your phone will ring at it's highest volume setting for 2 minutes, even if it's set to silent.
If your phone is ever stolen, as a last case scenario, you can lock it up. By setting up the "lock and erase" function, the device can be rendered worthless to thieves and all the data on the phone formatted.
Apple devices have their own factory-installed theft protection and monitoring software. If you've lost your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, sign in to icloud.com/find on a Mac or PC, or use the Find My iPhone app on another mobile Apple device. Open Find My iPhone, and select a device to view its location on a map. If the device is nearby, you can have it play a sound to help you or someone nearby find it. Using "Lost Mode," you can remotely lock your device with a four-digit passcode, display a custom message with your phone number on your missing device's lock screen, and keep track of your device's location. If you added credit or debit cards to Apple Pay, the ability to make payments using Apple Pay on the device will be suspended when you put your device in Lost Mode.
Third party apps, many that are free and some as much as $100/year, are available for download on the Apple or Google Play Stores. Cerebrus, for instance, can be set to take a geo-tagged front-facing picture with failed log-in attempts or other suspicious activity. iHound, in the Apple store, does much the same thing, for the price of $3.99/month.
Whatever your budget, knowing what to do when you can't find your phone is your most valuable asset.