iPhones and iPads are mighty useful devices, but they’re not cheap. Unfortunately, this makes them a prime target for thieves. Nobody wants to be the victim of theft, but if you act wisely you can mitigate the damage.

Andrew Orr from the Mac Observer penned a piece on best practices for dealing with theft. He rightly suggests that preventative measures will go a long way to making things easier to deal with if and when the unthinkable happens, and his most useful piece of advice is decidedly low-tech:

“When you report your device to the local authorities, they might ask you for the phone’s serial number. You can find this in Settings > General > About. Write this down and keep it in a safe place, or store it in a password manager that you can access on another device.”

Beyond that, the most important thing you can do is to ensure Find my iPhone (or Find my iPad) is configured on your device. This can help you track your device if it goes missing, and also allows you to remotely wipe your personal data or send a message to the thief. We highly recommend you read our full guide on how to use this feature.

Visit iCloud.com/find on any computer to track your stolen device

On a related note, if you’re in the market for a second-hand iPhone or iPad, make sure you follow our advice to avoid inadvertently buying stolen goods. There are a lot of risks involved with stolen devices, and you don’t want to waste good money on something that won’t work as intended.