If you are reading this, you are either looking to make sure you can recover your device if it gets stolen, or are desperately trying to find a device that is already stolen. In today’s world, we are so heavily dependent on our smartphones for communicating, surfing the web, paying bills, shopping and taking pictures, that losing it becomes a nightmare of sorts. Well, worry not and read on to make your device theft proof or even recover it in case it has been stolen.
Like they say, prevention is better than cure, so here’s what you can do to protect your Android phone against theft.
- Set a screen lock
Would you ever willingly hand over all your personal data to a stranger? Obviously not! So, set a difficult password to protect it. I understand that it might seem like a chore having to unlock your handset every time you get a notification, but a minor habit adjustment will go a long way in protecting your device.
To set a screen lock, go to Settings>Security>Screen lock, then choose one option out of Pattern lock, Pin lock and Password lock.
- Keep your phone’s GPS on
Smartphones are called smart for a reason, and one of those reasons is that they can provide time and location information through satellite based global positioning system (GPS). If you have been making the mistake of disabling GPS to save your phone’s battery like I did, it will become very difficult for you to locate your device if it is lost.
You can enable your phone’s GPS by going to Settings>Location>Location on>High accuracy
- Never turn off mobile data
Avoid turning off your phone’s data so that your phone can stay connected to the internet even when you are away from a Wi-Fi network. Your device needs an internet connection in order to report its location to Android Device Manager as well as various other tracking apps.
To turn on your mobile’s data, go to Settings>Wireless and Networks>Mobile Data>Turn on
- Turn on Android Device Manager
Before you can use Android Device Manager, you have to enable it on your device and associate your device with your Google account. If more than one person uses a tablet, only the tablet owner can turn on Android Device Manager.
To enable Android Device Manager go to Google Settings>Security>Android Device Manager and turn on Remotely locate this device
- Install an anti-theft app from Google Play
You never know when a thief is going to target your phone. It is better to install a reliable anti-theft app from Google Play such as Avast Anti-Theft or Lookout Security so that you can locate, remotely operate and recover your device if it gets stolen.
Here is how to recover your stolen Android phone
- Android Device Manager
It is Google’s official mobile device recovery tool that you can easily access by logging in to Android Device Manager from your computer. By simply entering your Google account credentials, you can track your phone’s location, make it ring loudly, remotely lock and wipe data within 30 seconds of being connected to the internet.
- Plan B
If you had not installed any tracking app before losing it, you can try locating your phone through Plan B. Just download it from Google Play on any other Android phone and you are good to go.
- Go to cops
If all the above methods have failed to yield any results, you should go to the nearest police station and lodge a complaint. You will require your phone’s IMEI number and if you don’t already have it, check your lost phone’s box. Make sure that you report the theft quickly and once you do so get a copy of it.
- Call your service operator
While police officers may or may not help in finding your mobile device since they are not obligated to do so, you can call your cellular network’s customer support for further assistance. Once you provide them with the copy of your police complaint, they will be able to locate your phone through IMEI number. You should also get your SIM card blocked to make sure that your mobile number is not used in criminal activities.