The Federal Communications Commission provides suggestions for consumers to protect data contained on a wireless device in the event of its theft or loss (“Stolen and Lost Wireless Devices,” available at http://transition.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/lostwirelessdevices.pdf).
The agency suggests consumers review warranty/service agreements in advance of purchase to determine what will happen if your phone is lost or stolen. Consider if any further device insurance is necessary.
Make a record of the device’s identifying numbers (make, model number, and unique device identification number, e.g., IMEI or MEID).
You should password restrict access to the device and maintain anti-theft software. Various apps are available, the FCC notes, to help you locate a device, lock/restrict access, remove sensitive data, and allow a device to emit a loud sound to help the police locate it.
The agency suggests you provide on the lock screen display some contact information, e.g., an e-mail address, where you can be contacted if a lost phone is found and someone attempts to get it back to you. Remember to use non-sensitive information (e.g., not a home address or other information that could put you at any risk).
Report the loss or theft to your carrier (ask for “written confirmation” of the report) and to the police, if stolen, right away. The identifying device data are helpful in these instances.