- 3.23.10 - 5:00PM
- - by
- Drew Grant
Urlesque Public Service Announcement - Where's Your Cellphone?
We've all had that problem: after a late night of partying, you wake up, go through your belongings (wallet: check, iPod: check, unused condoms that have been sitting in the back pocket of your jeans for the last 3 months: check) when you suddenly realize...your cellphone isn't anywhere. And you don't have a land line to call it from, because who has one of those anymore?
Luckily, the Internet has your back with a website designed to call your phone for you, provided you haven't lost your laptop as well during your night of debauchery. But is it safe?
WheresMyCellPhone.com is a free site that allows you to enter your number and have the web ring it up for you. And though the site promises not to give your number out ("I have a hard enough time keeping track of my own things, let alone yours. Don't worry, your cell number is safe here" reads the site's credo), how can you be sure that it's not being sold to a vast list of telemarketers?
We're here to ease your mind: Where's My Cell Phone is a totally safe service. With just your number and IP address provided (and that's assuming you're using your own computer), there's not much web thieves can do to steal your credit card info or anything. Plus, the only thing that happens when you use the site is that your cell phone rings and, if you pick up, there is an automatic ad service on the other end. So that's how they make their money. (What the service can't do, however, is talk to whoever may have found your cell phone. For that you're going to need to find a pay phone, dial up your number, and pray someone answers.) And it's not the only game in town: Google provides two services with their Click-to-Call feature and Google Voice's Call button, both of which seem way more safe than giving your number out to just a random website, but do require you to have a Smartphone of some sort.
But let's address the bigger issue at hand: in this era of convenience, where finding your stuff is just a click away, is there any non-tech service you can use to locate your missing phone? As this xkcd comic once proved, there are at least 50 ways to try to get into your apartment without your keys and manage not to ring the doorbell. So before you start getting all techno-savvy, why don't you see if you can borrow a friend's phone to call your own, or even better yet, try looking under the couch cushions (remember the eternal thwart: if you phone is turned off, no amount of modern gadgetry will find it for you).
Worst case scenario? That's why God invented phone insurance...call up your provider to make sure no one has been making calls to China while you were blacked out and get a new phone within 48 hours. Yeah, it's a pain in the butt, but that's why you should take better care of those electronic gadgets you depend on for your daily existence.
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