Today’s smartphones offer all sorts of ways to guard against having your personal information compromised if your device is lost or stolen. Here are several steps you can easily take to preserve your “smartphone peace of mind.”
First, add a screen lock to make sure that only you can get to your phone’s home screen and access your contacts, photos, files, and apps. If you haven’t already done so, follow the steps in your user manual to learn how to add a PIN code or swipe pattern, or in newer phones, setup a fingerprint or even facial recognition. Remember, you can always find your user manual here.
Second, protect all of your passwords. The more difficult you make a password, the less chance a thief has of figuring it out! In addition, to help keep track of your passwords, download a password manager app, like LastPass, which works for both Android and iPhones. Many of these are free of charge, and store your passwords securely so you don’t forget them.
Even with screen lock protection and impenetrable passwords, we all know a phone can still go missing. To be prepared for this, both Android and iPhones allow you to setup tracking features that will help locate your device. You can activate these in just a few quick steps.
For Android smartphones:
- Open the Settings app on your phone; then tap Security.
- Under “Android Device Manager”, switch “Remotely locate this device” and “Allow remote lock and erase” to the “On” position.
Then, if your phone is misplaced,
- On a computer or another phone, go to Google.com and search “Find my phone.”
- Use the Android Device Manager option in your browser.
- Log in using your Gmail account (the same one you use on your device).
- Click the lost device to see its current location on a map.
- Open the Setting app on your iPhone; then tap iCloud.
- Tap Find my iPhone, then tap the switch so it is in the “on” position.
If your device is missing,
- Go to the “Find My iPhone” app on your iPad or another iPhone.
- Log in using your Apple ID (you’ll need to have set this up previously).
- In the main menu, select “Find iPhone.”
- Select “All Devices”, and then find the iPhone that is missing. You’ll see its current location on a map.
With both of these, once you’ve located your phone, you’ll have the option to remotely erase all of its sensitive information if necessary. In most cases, you’ll probably find it’s simply fallen under a couch cushion or your car seat, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry!