Let’s start by being Captain Obvious. If you take your iPhone® everywhere, there’s always that chance you could leave it anywhere. Already have, you say?

Find My iPhone is an app that helps you find not only your iPhone, but your misplaced iPad®, iPod touch®, Apple Watch®, AirPods® or even your Mac®. The feature does what it says. If you lose your iPhone, you can identify its last known location by checking the Find My iPhone app or accessing the iCloud® website. The app will play a sound on your device to pinpoint the location, while iCloud will let you view your iPhone’s location on a map. Mystery solved.

But let’s bring back Captain Obvious for a sec. Find My iPhone only works if the feature is enabled. And it only works if the feature is enabled before your device goes missing.

To enable the app in iOS, tap Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Find My iPhone. On that same screen, turn on Send Last Location. Then return to the main level of Settings, tap Privacy > Location Services and make sure Location Services is turned on.

It’s best to test drive the feature once enabled. Practice viewing where your device is located and playing the sounds you’ve selected so you’ll know how to react when your iPhone goes missing. Apple® has additionally enabled your iOS device to mark its location when its battery is critically low, to help you find it even if it runs out of power.

Misplacing your iPhone is very different than having it stolen. Apple is ahead of the curve on that possibility, as well.

LOST MODE. If your device goes missing, put it in Lost Mode to lock it immediately and start tracking its location. Find My iPhone will show you where it’s been over the last 24 hours. When invoking Lost Mode in iOS, you’ll be asked to display a message with a contact number so you can be reached without the caller accessing the rest of your iPhone’s information. Anyone who tries to use the device will see your message along with a place to enter the device’s passcode. If you do get your iPhone back, you can enter the passcode to dismiss the message and return to normal operation.

ERASE. Even if you’ve protected your iPhone with an excellent passcode or password, you are still vulnerable to data theft. Fortunately, you can remotely erase your device, but with that move comes good news and bad news. The good news is that all your content and settings will be erased. The bad news is that an erased iPhone can not be located or tracked. That stated, should you retrieve your device, you can restore your content and settings from your iCloud backup.

ACTIVATION LOCK. This feature is designed to prevent anyone from using or selling your device. The moment you turn on Find My iPhone, you also enable Activation Lock, and your Apple ID and password will be required before anyone can turn off Find My iPhone, erase your data or set it up for a new user. Activation Lock is a failsafe security measure that makes stealing an iPhone, other iOS device or even Apple Watch a highly frustrating experience.

With the cost of iPhone devices today, Find My iPhone is a valuable feature. It even works with Family Sharing to locate devices owned by anyone in your family, a bonus for any parent with phone-toting kids. And even if you are unable to retrieve your lost iPhone, you can prevent others from accessing your device and hijacking your data.

As you know, CranstonIT also puts a premium on data security. To learn more about how we can help you protect your mobile devices, desktop computers, servers and networks from malware, phishing, password hackers and several other security breaches, contact CranstonIT at 888-813-5558 or support@cranstonit.com