“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” “Brush your teeth to prevent cavities.” “Watch your step to ensure you don’t fall.” We’re often reminded throughout our life that it is best to do everything in our power to avoid sticky situations, thus doing away with the need for remedies in the first place. The same is true for making sure you don’t lose your smartphone.
There aren’t many things you can do to prevent actually losing your smartphone — use common sense, keep your phone in your pocket, and make sure you always have it on you before moving from place to place — but there are some things you can use (mainly in the form of apps) to make sure you aren’t totally before the moment you lose it.
Enable a lock-screen pattern
First thing — enable a lock-screen pattern or password. This won’t do anything to help you find your phone in the event that it gets lost, but if you lose your phone then you can at least breath easily knowing your information and privacy are protected.
Some folks might find it frustrating to constantly unlock a device each time they need to use it. For that reason, some devices allow you to set a time limit before the device’s password is put into effect. If you really can’t stand using a lock pattern or password day-to-day, then you’ll want to read on to find out how you can enable a password from a remote location.
Options for setting a lock-screen pattern are typically located under the Settings > Security or Settings > Display > Lock Screen menus on your phone. If you can’t find it, consult your phone’s manual.
Your primary option for making sure you’ll be able to locate your phone is to make sure your device is properly registered and accessible via the Android Device Manager. This is a handy little tool that Google released back in 2013, and they have used the advent of Google Play Services to make sure nearly every modern Android device is equipped with it. Many devices come with the feature enabled out of the box, but you will want to double check and make sure that yours is squared away before you set foot into the dangerous world.
For starters, you will have to make sure that the Android Device Manager is enabled as a device administrator by going to Settings > Security and Screen Lock > Device Administrators on your Android device. The exact location and name of the menus might differ from phone to phone, so poke around or consult your user manual for your specific device if you can’t find it. From here, simply check the box that says “Android Device Manager.”
You can also use this interface to start a loud ring that will help you locate the phone if you suspect it’s in a nearby area. You also get options for remotely locking and remotely wiping the device in case you are handling sensitive documents and files on your mobile device.
Remotely wiping your device should be a last-ditch move in the event that you know your phone is not recoverable, because once you perform this action your device will no longer be tied to your Google account (thus rendering the Android Device Manager useless). Finally, be sure to download the Android Device Manager app from the Google Play Store if you ever need to use the service from another Android device.