If your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad has been lost or stolen, it's not necessarily gone for good. If you set up Find My iPhone before it was lost or stolen, you may be able to get it back (or at least keep the person who has it now from accessing your data). But it's crucial that you enable Find My iPhone before your device goes missing. After it's already gone, it's too late.
(What about the Find My iPhone app? How does that factor in? Read this to find out.)
Find My iPhone is a great tool for finding lost or stolen iPhones. It not only uses the built-in GPS or location services of the device it's running on to locate it on a map, it also allows users to remotely lock or delete all data from their device to prevent a thief from accessing it.
Find My iPhone is a free part of iCloud's features. As long as you have an iCloud account and a supported device, you can use Find My iPhone. As a result, it's available to running iOS 5 or higher on an iPhone 3GS or newer, a third-generation iPod touch or newer, or an iPad.
Since it's free and can potentially help you get out of a bad situation if your device goes missing, there's no reason not to set up Find My iPhone today. Here's what you need to do.
To start, you'll need an iCloud account. Your iCloud account probably uses the same username and password as your iTunes account. If you're not sure that you've got an iCloud account, or aren't signed in:
- Tap the Settings app on the home screen
- Tap iCloud
- Tap Account and sign in