I lost my cellphone yesterday.
Panicking experience–I was on my way to visit my grandparents, and I was running an hour early. I only had a couple of minutes to catch the next train north though, and I dashed from the shuttle to the train, only to have the doors close while I was buying my ticket. Now I was only running half an hour early, and somehow between being on the shuttle and being on the CalTrain platform my cellphone had disappeared. No way to call them and let them know I was early. No way to distract myself staring at an elegantly-animated CalTrain schedule. Or respond to the email I’d just gotten about the draft of the press release I’d been working on.
I’m pretty sure that I just failed at putting the phone into my pocket while I hopped off the train and that I’ll be able to get it from Caltrain next week when the administrative office is open again.
But still, in the last twenty-four hours I’ve really had it driven home exactly what a security risk I’ve been running by having my G1 not password-protected. I act like my email is sacrosanct and safe, but anyone who picked up my phone would have immediate access to it, my bank statement emails (I got two emails from mint.com in the 12 hours after losing my phone, each with detailed information about my checking, savings and credit card balances). All that information was available for the taking and I have done NOTHING to keep it secure.
On the other hand, living with my data in the cloud as much as I do means that I’m freed from most of the hassles that regularly attend losing a phone. My phone contacts and GMail contacts are one, so I do not have to be one of those losers with an “I lost my cellphone. Please list your number here” Facebook groups. My phone body was free, so I’m not actually stressed about losing it, and I know enough people who aren’t using their G1s that I’m optimistic about being able to barter a phone for something (hand-knitted gloves or something? I make great gloves.)
One thing I have to say, though, TMobile was fabulous about it. The last time I lost a cellphone (in spring of 2004) I remember AT&T being sort of mean and condescending about it. But Michael at TMobile was great. He deactivated my SIM and gave me a free accessory along with the new one I bought. I use TMobile primarily because they’re across the street, so I was just able to walk across the street and talk to a rep in person. Michael’s also the one who sold me my phone, so he has an investment in my being happy. But the service I’ve gotten from him, both now and when I bought my phone (I got TMobile a week before my AT&T contract ended, and he called AT&T on the day it ended to transfer my number over. I had to do no work) have made me thrilled to be a TMobile customer.