We rely more on our smartphones today than ever before. The pocket sized supercomputer that travels with you contains a wealth of information about who you are, what you do, how much you earn not to mention all of the memories that can be lost with photos that haven’t been backed up.

Which is why losing your smartphone, or having it stolen, is a nightmare. But the modern smartphone has one very important feature that become useful at times like these: it knows where it is, and if you set it up right, it’ll share that information with you and, should you need it to, law enforcement agencies too.

Using the exact same GPS hardware as when you have Waze open to avoid traffic jams in the morning, your smartphone is able to keep track of where it is for as long as it hasn’t been switched off. So in the event that your smartphone is stolen, you can tell the authorities exactly where it is and give them a leg up on the perpetrators.

As far as we know – having spoken to several people who’ve unfortunately gone through the experience – South African law enforcement is by and large receptive to the help offered by these apps and have even been known to ask if you can track your phone to help them out. Just bear in mind that vigilantism is frowned upon by them so rather wait for them before you jump in the car to track down your phone.

Whether it’s an iPhone, a Samsung Galaxy, a Nokia Lumia or a BlackBerry, each of them has their own service that will not only let you track down your phone but also do so much more.

Of course, none of them will do this perfectly unless you set the feature up correctly, so we bring you our comprehensive guides to setting up phone tracking software on all of the major platforms. Just click on the link below to go to your guide of choice:

Apple: Find my iPhone/iPad/Mac

BlackBerry: BlackBerry Protect

Android: Android Device Manager

Windows Phone: Find my Phone

[Image – Shutterstock]