You just stepped out of that cab, watched it drive away, and 10 minutes later, reached into your pocket and realised your cell phone is gone—forever. I learned firsthand this weekend that losing your mobile phone is a huge pain in the buttocks, especially if you've set up easy access to your email and other services on it. In addition to photos I'd taken with it, text messages, and contacts, my Nokia had both Gmail apps installed, with "Remember me" checked, so that anyone who picked up the phone could've logged into my email. Not good.
So, as soon as I realised the phone was lost and had no luck calling it or tracking down the cab that drove away with it, I went about the business of changing my Google Account passwords. Luckily I'd synced contacts to my computer, and recently offloaded photos and text messages to my hard drive, so things weren't too bad. While I'm pretty sure the phone was just lost and not stolen, I wanted to make sure no one would start calling Timbuktu on it or using insane amounts of data. Happily you can easily suspend your mobile phone service without turning it off completely; at least with Cingular/AT&T, simply log into your account on the web site and report your phone as lost or stolen and suspend service. This means no one can make or receive calls or get online with it, but your account still exists (you're still paying for it). This way you can give your phone a chance to turn up—if it does eventually wind up at the lost & found. Even though I'm usually pretty security-minded, I didn't have a password on my phone before, but that lesson has been learned. You ever have a phone lost or stolen? How'd you deal with the aftermath? Let us know in the comments.