Did you know that our cell phones are always within arm’s reach, and 68% of people even have them within that distance while they sleep? Text messages are read within 3 minutes of receiving them and are physically in our hands up to 16 hours per day. This pretty much means our phones are our best friends. They are super important to our everyday lives, especially when it comes to our productivity and connecting with family and friends - there are 7 billion people on Earth and 6.8 billion cell phone subscriptions.Needless to say, the whereabouts of our cell phones are always known, since we feel pretty weird walking around without them these days. How many times have you ever left your cell phone at home, work or in the car? It’s probably pretty rare. How many times have you forgotten your phone before heading to an important event, or home from work? Probably never. However, accidents do happen. It might fall out of your pocket or bag, accidentally left behind somewhere or worse - it could even get stolen. With so much sensitive information in our cell phones, it’s important to have a system in place for when you need to track your lost or stolen device.
How To Track Android Phone
It is incredibly important to have your phone ready in case anything were to happen to it. With so much sensitive data running through it every day, it’s important to get it all set up right when you first receive your phone. If you’re ready to protect your Android and all your sensitive information, check out our step-by-step how-to below!
Set Up The Find My Device App
If you have a newer Android phone, you can quickly navigate to Find My Device in your Settings app. However, you will still need to download the app from the Google Play App store. The app works with Google’s software to find your phone, and will even show you it’s current - or last known - location on a map. Here’s how to get it up and running:
- Open your Settings
- Tap Security & Lock Screen
- Tap Device Administrators
- Tap Find My Device so that it is checked off, if it isn’t already
- Tap the back button enough times to return to the main Settings menu.
- Tap Location
- Tap the switch beside Location to put it in On mode
- Tap Mode
- Tap High Accuracy and fill in the circle
- Tap the back button
- Tap Google Location History
- Tap the switch beneath Location History to put it in On mode
- Tap the switch beside your device to put it in On mode
Locate Android Phone Using Google
Once you have Find My Device set up, you can search for your phone using Google on another device. This can be another phone, a tablet or your desktop. All you need is a browser!
- Launch a web browser such as Google Chrome
- Go to android.com/find
- Enter your email address and password just as though you were checking your email.
- Open Find My Device
- Your phone will now receive a notification to help track its whereabouts
- Choose one of the three options:
- Play a sound. This will force your phone to make noise. This feature is super helpful if you know your phone is in a specific area but is just on silent. Ever turn your living room upside down trying to find your phone? Then this option is for you.
- Secure your device. If for some reason your phone doesn't have a passcode or finger sensor (which you should always have!), this will lock it up. While this won’t help you if your phone has already been opened, it will be locked up for the next time the phone is left idle and tries to be opened.
- Erase your phone. Only use this option if you’re certain that it has been stolen, or that you will absolutely never retrieve it again. It will wipe absolutely everything, rendering it useless to steal anything off of (other than to sell the cell phone itself).
How To Protect Your Data
No matter how careful we might be with our cell phones, accidents happen. They often end up getting lost or stolen, and there is always that moment of helplessness when we realize it. Luckily, there are ways to protect your cell phone and your sensitive information so that you can find comfort if your phone were ever to turn up lost or stolen.
- Secure it. Make sure you always have a passcode to protect your phone. This might seem like a given, but there are plenty of people who do not secure their device. While there are ways to bypass these security measures, you can at least buy yourself a little bit of time to remotely erase your sensitive data.
- Keep it up-to-date. Making sure you always have the most up-to-date software on your phone will help keep it more secure. Cell phone operating systems are constantly updating all their different aspects, and this includes security measures.
- Use unprotected wifi networks sparingly. It is best to avoid free wifi networks whenever possible since it can be very easy to monitor activity on free networks. If you do happen to use a free network, do not perform anything that includes your sensitive information, such as banking or entering passwords.
- Use tracking. Make sure to have Find My Device set-up on your phone once you get it, so that you are able to perform the steps above to track it.
- Lock your apps. There are ways you can lock individual apps in your phone, adding an extra layer of security when opening them. You can choose to do this for banking apps, email inboxes or other apps that contain your sensitive data.
Let Us Know!
Has your Android device ever been lost or stolen? Were you able to retrieve it using Find My Device? How do you protect your sensitive data? Let us know in the comments below!