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How to remotely track, lock, and erase data on a stolen or lost phone

ByinTips & Guides | November 20, 2019

Find My Device allows its users to track, lock and erase data on a stolen or lost smartphoneOne of the biggest nightmares you face when losing your smartphone is the consciousness that our data can fall in the wrong hands. Knowing how stressful it can be to know that third-party people can have access to our personal data Google released Find My Device. The app allows you to track, lock and erase data on your stolen or lost phone.

Find My Device is a security app

Find My Device allows its users to track, lock and erase data on a stolen or lost smartphone. All you have to do to benefit from extra security feature delivered by the service is to download the app and sign in.

Find My Device is simply a rebranded version of the Android Device Manager and is a part of Google Play Protect, a package of services created to save your phone form malicious content. One of the most popular apps of this suite of services is the Verify App enabling you to scan and verify apps installed on your phone. Known since the Jelly Bean epoch, the Verify App is just one of many apps designed to help you protect your phone from unwanted third-party invasion. Another, even more innovative one is Find My Device, which recently underwent a much-needed visual transformation.

In case you haven’t heard of Find My Device, it is a security app that allows you to remotely track your stolen or lost smartphone and delete stored data. Furthermore, it also lets you check the remaining battery life and the Wi-Fi network it is sync with. Here’s everything you know about the app.

Can I install Find My Device on my phone

Before we tell you how to start installation process, it’s important to check whether your device will work with it. The basic requirement of the installation is that your phone has to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or later. Only then you will be able to install Find My Device. Meeting this requirement shouldn’t impose any problems, since over 99 percent of active Android devices work on Android 4.0 version or higher, that translates to over two billion handset worldwide.

Installation of Find My Device

If your handset operates on the required version of the Android OS, you can install the app. The process is easy as a piece of cake. Simply open Play Store from your home screen or app drawer, search for Find My Device and download the app.

Find My Device allows you to remotely track your lost smartphone

Signing in to Find My Device

When the installation is completed, you will be asked to sign in to Find My Device from your Google account. If you’re signed into more than one account on your device, you will get a drop-down menu allowing you to choose which account you want to associate with the phone. After choosing the account, you need to enter your password and tap “Sign In” button. The only thing that have left is to give location access to the service.

How to check if your phone is discoverable by Find My Device

Signed in to the app, you will be able to see a map with your current location,  model of your phone and two options: Play Sound and Enable Lock and Erase. Choosing the latter option enables using the Lock and Erase functions. In case, you’re using more than just one phone, you can select the right device by searching through the list displayed at the top of the screen. If your phone remains undiscoverable or unavailable for the app, it means that the location services are disabled. Since Find My Device bases on GPS to track your phone, it’s is particularly important to enable location service.

How to find your phone over the internet

Moving on to the apps’ key feature, you can remotely locate your stolen or lost phone over the Internet by hitting the Find My Device website, where you need to sign in to the Google account you used to set up the app. That’s all, after entering the password you will be able to track your phone. As you see, the whole process is really easy and takes just a few seconds. Another option you can make us of to locate your handset  is to do a Google search for “find my phone”.

Sound Play option

Once you sign in to Find My Device and locate your phone, you can use the Play Sound option. The function will make your device play a loud tone continuously at full volume for something round five minutes, even if the ringer is turned off. When you find your phone, you can press the power button to stop the ringing.

Lock option allowing you to set a new password to unlock the phone

Lock option

Except for play sound option, the app is equipped with a Lock option allowing you to set a new password to unlock the phone. Furthermore, it also lets you display a message over the lock screen along with a special button to call back you number. It’s an extremely useful feature the value of which you appreciate in the case of losing your phone as anyone who finds your phone can easily contact you.

Erase data option

If you’re sure that your phone was stolen and you’re afraid of that right now anyone can have access to your personal data, Find My Device has one more ace up its sleeve. There’s an option enabling you to erase the data remotely. If you select that option you, will delete all the data on your phone and an inserted SD card. As for the SD cards, sadly not all cards allow for that, everything here depends on the manufacturer and the Android OS version.

The Erase option works even if your phone is switched off. The reset process will start as soon as the phone goes online, you just need to send the data delete command.

We are never prepared for losing our phone. But with Find My Device we can at least protect our data from falling into the wrong hands. The biggest advantage of the app, except for the Erase data option, is that is easily accessible. If you need to track your stolen or lost handset, you just have to head the app-dedicated website or log in to the service using another phone.

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