What to Do If You’ve Lost Your iPhone

iStock/MartenBG
iStock/MartenBG

For many people, losing a smartphone can be more devastating than losing a wallet. Our phones contain valuable personal data, sentimental photos and recordings, and a lifeline to the online world. And unless you have a standalone device like a YubiKey, your phone probably also serves as part of the two-factor authentication that you need to get into services like your email, your bank accounts, Venmo, and iMessage. Needless to say, if your iPhone has disappeared, you’re probably pretty desperate to get it back.

Though you may not be able to snatch your phone back from the hands of a thief, there are ways to track it down if it’s gone missing. According to Popular Mechanics, the main key comes in the form of Find My iPhone. If you don’t have that enabled (go to Settings > Your Name > iCloud to do so), your chances of locating your missing phone are very, very slim.

If you do have it enabled, you’re in luck. It can help you find your device even if it’s just wedged under a couch cushion in your apartment. To begin your search, go to icloud.com/find on your computer or another Apple device and log in to your account. You should be able to see your phone’s current location, marked with a green dot, on the map.

Think it’s lost somewhere in the couch? Click on that green dot and hit Play Sound. It will force the device to ring, even if it’s on silent, hopefully allowing you to track it down.

If you left your phone in a public place (like, say, the bar from last night), you can activate Lost Mode, which will lock down your device and enable several features that make it easier for a stranger to return. It lets you set a passcode to lock your device and will enable location services even if you’ve previously turned them off. It will also display a custom message with a phone number where someone can contact you if they find the phone. Plus, it will lock your Apple Pay account, so nefarious types can’t use your phone to make purchases. Then, once you are reunited with your phone, you can enter your passcode on the device to disable Lost Mode.

Even if you know your phone was stolen and you have no hope of seeing it again, Find My iPhone can still help. It allows you to remotely wipe your device, erasing your data from it. All you need to do is click the Erase iPhone button from the Find My Phone dashboard. Needless to say, you shouldn't track down your thief's location on Find My iPhone and march up to them to demand that they return it—let the police handle that.

Say you didn’t enable Find My iPhone before it went missing. (Bummer.) You’ll want to change your Apple ID password as soon as possible to lock down your account and prevent anyone from making purchases or accessing your data. As annoying as it might be, you’ll also want to change the passwords for other services you were logged into on your phone, like Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and Instagram. Then, report the device lost or stolen to the police and to your wireless carrier. Your carrier will be able to disable your account, blocking the phone from accessing cell or data services.

There is one trick that might help you locate your phone without Find My iPhone, though. The magazine iPhone Life suggests looking at your Google Maps history. If you have Google’s Location History feature enabled, you can go to Location History on Google Maps on your desktop, search for the day you lost your phone, and check the last location it registered.

Best of luck in your search.

[h/t Popular Mechanics]

This Smart Accessory Converts Your Instant Pot Into an Air Fryer

Amazon
Amazon

If you can make a recipe in a slow cooker, Dutch oven, or rice cooker, you can likely adapt it for an Instant Pot. Now, this all-in-one cooker can be converted into an air fryer with one handy accessory.

This Instant Pot air fryer lid—currently available on Amazon for $80—adds six new cooking functions to your 6-quart Instant Pot. You can select the air fry setting to get food hot and crispy fast, using as little as 2 tablespoons of oil. Other options include roast, bake, broil, dehydrate, and reheat.

Many dishes you would prepare in the oven or on the stovetop can be made in your Instant Pot when you switch out the lids. Chicken wings, French fries, and onion rings are just a few of the possibilities mentioned in the product description. And if you're used to frying being a hot, arduous process, this lid works without consuming a ton of energy or heating up your kitchen.

The lid comes with a multi-level air fry basket, a broiling and dehydrating tray, and a protective pad and storage cover. Check it out on Amazon.

For more clever ways to use your Instant Pot, take a look at these recipes.

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

7 Online Tech Course Programs That Will Help You Build New Career Skills

dusanpetkovic/iStock via Getty Images Plus
dusanpetkovic/iStock via Getty Images Plus

It's always a good time to build new career skills, and with these tech-related courses, you can learn anything from the basics of Python to the ins and outs of G Suite. These courses will boost your knowledge of the digital world and help you put some valuable new bullet points on your resume. Many of these courses allow you to read through the materials for free, but if you want to take advantage of graded coursework and earn a certificate of completion to include on your LinkedIn profile or resume at the end, there will be a fee of anywhere from $39 to $49.

1. UI/UX Design Specialization

In this four-class specialization on UI/UX design, you’ll discover how to design digital experiences that users can navigate with ease. Over about four months, you’ll learn the basics of visual communication and you’ll be able to practice gathering user feedback to build intuitive, attractive websites and interfaces.

Sign up on Coursera to take all four courses in this specialization for $49 a month.

2. Python for Everybody

Python is quickly gaining ground as one of the most in-demand programming languages for employers. Plus, its fans say it’s highly readable and approachable for new programmers just starting to learn a coding language. If you want to understand the basics of Python, from 101 principles to more advanced database design, these courses will get you started.

Sign up on Coursera to take all five courses in this specialization for $49 a month.

3. Data Science Professional Certificate

Data science is one of the fastest growing professions in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In this nine-course professional certificate program, you’ll start by learning basic data science methodology before moving into how to use Python and SQL to analyze and visualize data to forecast future trends. IBM estimates that you’ll complete the entire certificate in about 10 months if you commit four hours per week, but the timing is flexible enough to suit any schedule.

Sign up on Coursera to take all nine courses in this specialization for $39 a month.

4. Computer Architecture

This course, taught by an electrical engineering professor at Princeton, teaches students how to design computer hardware that supports powerful software. But be forewarned: This is an advanced class intended for students with extensive knowledge in computer science. If you’re looking for a beginner-level course, this class—also from Princeton—may be a better fit.

Sign up on Coursera for free.

5. AI for Everyone

If you’re worried that artificial intelligence will drive you out of the workforce, this course will help. Over the course of four weeks, you’ll learn the basics of what is and isn’t possible through AI—and you may even gain some ideas for how to use AI to augment your own career.

Sign up on Coursera for $49.

6. G Suite Administration Specialization

Become a Google Cloud expert with this series of courses put together by Google itself. Over about two months, you’ll learn management tactics and security guidelines for using Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, and Calendar. This specialization prepares participants to become G Suite administrators at their respective companies and organizations.

Sign up on Coursera to take all five courses in this specialization for $49 a month.

7. Introduction to Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is near the top of the list of skills employers are looking for, according to LinkedIn. In this introductory course, you’ll gain a basic understanding of cloud-based networks and get some practice working with IBM Cloud.

Sign up on Coursera for $49.

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.