Well, I have done so 3 times this year. For some reason it keeps coming back to me. My Sony Sola is a boomerang phone… No doubt about that! I am guessing native australians would find it particularly usefull as a hunting tool…
This is all good and fine, but what you do with it when you reaquire your phone may not be so fine!
First of all, it has been out of your hands. Who has had it in their hands, what did they do with it? Did they install spyware?
Whenever you recover your phone, do NOT connect it to your regular PC straight away and do not sync it.
What I would do, and what I always do in such situations is the following:
-I do NOT connect it to my laptop with USB cable. (Threats on the phone could get to more of your important data)
-Connect it to a temporary windows installation, or Linux (preferred) copy the data out that you REALLY need. (stop malware from spreading)
-NOT synch it with google, facebook, twitter, drop box and whatever else. (Your private data could be at risk)
-Hard reset the phone with disregard to lost contact information/data. If you cloud synched your contacts, they will return.
-Never store anything important on the phone that is not in duplicate form someplace else.
Now your phone may work faster, your battery may last long, your privacy is (more) secure and you got those important pictures from your last holiday on a USB stick or a temporary OS installation.
If you need elaboration on the topics presented above, please read more here for a quick breakdown: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_virus