An IMEI number is a 15-digit code that is unique to each individual handset. It can be used to identify your phone and ‘block’ it from a network – handy for disabling your phone if it is lost or stolen.
Knowing your IMEI number is unlikely to help get your phone back, but it can at least render the device useless for the thief.
On older phones, you can find the IMEI number underneath the battery on a label with several barcodes (the 15 digit number is your IMEI).
For newer devices, you can find the IMEI by looking in your phone’s general settings or by dialling *#06# – the IMEI will appear on your screen.
The IMEI number will only block the handset, not the SIM card inside it.
You may be able to get your network operator to block the SIM card in addition to your handset, but an easier way to protect your SIM is with a SIM PIN code, which can be activated in your phone’s settings.