My husband and I were walking along the beach in Costa Rica, when a cell phone, in a waterproof case, washed up on the sand. I picked it up and looked around hoping to see someone who looked frantic, but no one appeared to be searching for a phone. My next thought was to look in contacts to see if there was an ICE (In case of emergency) contact, but unfortunately, the phone was password protected. I figured, I’d keep the phone on me and the person who lost the phone would surely call it – even locked, I’d be able to answer a call. Then I noticed it was on airplane mode, which meant it would not ring.
We were back at our beach chairs and my plan was to turn the phone over to the police. In the meantime, I googled, “how to find the owner of a locked cell phone” and bingo, there it was, with a big IF. IF the person has created a medical ID on their phone, then you can get their information even if the phone is locked. This was news to me, I didn’t have this on my phone but you can bet I put it on that same day.
Fortunately, the phone we found did have the medical ID info on it and within seconds we had the husband’s and children’s phone numbers and were in contact with them. We met up with them and returned their phone and they were gratefully wondering what they could do to repay us. We simply said, pay it forward.
But as I thought about it, they already did, by teaching me about the medical ID tip. Now I know that if my phone is lost, people can easily contact me. So, I’m paying it forward, if your phone is password protected, which it should be, you need to create the medical ID for it. It only takes a minute of your time.
Here’s how to do it on your own phone:
On an iPhone –> go to settings –> health –> medical ID –> create medical ID –> enter info, including emergency contact numbers (spouse, kids, parents, etc) –> make sure “show when locked” is on (green) –> done
If you want to confirm –> go to locked screen –> emergency (at bottom of screen) –> medical ID (at bottom of screen) –> all your info should be there.
On an Android phone –> go to the Personal Safety app, –> tap the cog icon in the upper left corner of the screen, –> and set up your emergency contacts.
While I hope none of you ever have to go through the painful experience of losing your phone, at least you can feel confident, if a good Samaritan finds it, they can get it back to you.
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