What does the IMEI number of my Phone serves for?
There is not a single Smartphone user who have not heard the phrase IMEI number, however not many people know what actually this means. The IMEI number of your mobile phone has the role as a unique ID which serves to identify the device. Every mobile phone has IMEI code and it will remain the same until the device is in use.
Recently the importance of the IMEI number is increasing steadily because as much as the smartphones are becoming the number one target of theft around the world, the number which can identify the device plays a vital role in recovering the phone. In this article we will take a look on why it is important for the cell phones to have a unique IMEI number and what should you do in case your device becomes compromised.
What does IMEI means?
IMEI is acronym for International Mobile Equipment Identity. As you can see by the complete name it serves as an ID of the device. Once you purchase your cell phone you should notice that the IMEI code is written on the box or sometimes even in the invoice. And in case you take your device to a service shop for repair it is most likely that the IMEI code will be written in the warranty.
By default the IMEI number consists of 14 digit number and sometimes it is accompanied by an extra check number as well as an IMEI/SV (SV means Software Version) which comprises of 16 digits, even though the latter applies only for newer devices. The function of the IMEI number is not only to identify the device but also to serve as a defensive mechanism and to block devices from accessing certain cellular networks. In case your device gets stolen or lost you can notify your current mobile operator and they will block the device from their network and they can also block it in some regions and other networks as well. The police often keep record of stolen or lost devices and use the IMEI code to identify them.
Since 2004 the standard format for the IMEI code is AA-BBBBBB-CCCCCC-D. The initial two portions called A and B are known as the type allocation code or TAC, and they are related to the manufacturer as well as the model of the device. For instance, the Samsung Galaxy S2 uses 35-853704 while the iPhone 5’s TAC is 01-332700. The portion of the number called C is a serial number which is unique to the handset and is defined solely by the manufacturer. The final number is a checksum which is used to verify the entire string.
The IMEI number is unique only for the device and has no connection with the SIM card. In case your device is stolen and factory reset is performed and the SIM card is replaced, the IMEI number will still not change. If you want to block a stolen device using the IMEI code make sure that you ask your current carrier to block the device on other networks as well. And if that is not possible you can try to contact other major networks to ask if they can block the device. In many countries it is illegal to change the IMEI number without a good reason.
However, even though it is illegal to use IMEI Changer of a cell phone, still this happens a lot. A lot of thieves try to use non-blacklisted numbers and apply them to a stolen device in order to render the device usable again. Because of this it is very important that you do not share the IMEI number of your device with nobody because there is a good change for your device to be cloned. And in several circumstances in interest of ongoing investigations the IMEI number can be used when a wiretapping of device is performed too.
How to discover your cell phone’s IMEI
Most of the cell phones will show their IMEI number by dialing *#06#. This is the standard method used to find the IMEI code on older devices, even though there are other methods to verify the number:
- If you own an iOS device you can go to SettingsàGeneral—About and scroll down
- Android users: Go to Settings and the section About Phone
- Users who have older Sony or Sony Ericsson models type ““* Right * Left Left * Left *” on your dial pad
- Blackberry and newer Sony Ericson owners go to “Options” menu right under “Status”
You can also check what the IMEI number of your Phone says about your device under IMEI.info.
Your cell phone’s IMEI code is very important and you should know it at all times. In case something happens to your device you can use the IMEI code to block the device and eventually you may be able to track it down and retrieve it back. What are your thoughts about this matter? Feel free to share your comments bellow.