Today, your smartphone is your personality. It is your digital fingerprint encased in a sleek device and it is in need of as much security as your home. Your private images, bank details, text messages, are all safe in your hands; but the moment they fall into the wrong hands, your world can turn upside down. Therefore, we bring you today, a comprehensive list of things you can do to remotely locate your Android smartphone, in the unfortunate circumstance that it gets stolen or lost.
In 2013, Google introduced the Android Device Manager, a brilliant little tool that helps you find your lost device quickly and easily. To make this work, your device must remain connected to your Google account when lost or stolen and location services should be active. Also, the Android Device Manager needs to be activated beforehand. Here’s how you can activate Android Device Manager:
Go to Google Settings in your Android phone > Security > Tick both ‘Remotely locate this device’ and ‘Allow remote lock and erase’.
Voila! You’re done. Now in the unfortunate circumstance that your device is stolen, simply find a computer or laptop connected to the internet, go to the Android Device Manager login page (click here) and login using your Google credentials (the same as those on your phone). Google immediately displays a map of your phones location along with the option to remotely lock your device, erase all data and make the phone ring. In case you are in the vicinity of the location, you can hit ‘ring’ and pinpoint your device. Even if you cannot find a laptop or computer, you can use another Android device and use the Android Device Manager app to locate your device.
Lookout has been at the forefront of smartphone security for a while now. It works in the same way the Android Device Manager does, though. Just install the app and you can then locate your phone by logging into the Lookout website. The downside is that you have to pay a premium to use all features like remote wipe and lock. It is a good alternative nevertheless.
Another nifty little app is the AirDroid app. Android users can locate, remote wipe, remote lock their device using this app. Users can even remotely capture photos using the device camera to nab the culprit. AirDroid also offers an option to transfer important files from your device and send text messages.
You can also use your Android Device’s location history to pinpoint the location of your device. Google Maps saves the device’s location from time to time on its servers and this can be used to locate your device. It is required that your phone be connected to your Google account. Go to the Google maps location history via a computer and select the current day. Hit ‘Show Timestamps’ and look for the device’s last location.
If all of the above doesn’t work, an unorthodox way is to use the Dropbox app. To make this work, ‘Camera Uploads’ must be activated within Dropbox. Once this is activated, the app syncs all photos clicked by the camera to your online ‘Camera Uploads’ folder. So every time the thief clicks a photo, you will be able to view it online. If you are really lucky, the thief may turn out to be a selfie freak and you can view their mug shots and nab them. Other times, you have to bring out the Sherlock in you and try to identify the locations the photos were clicked at.
Also if you are a Windows Phone user, this article certainly will make you frown. So why should only the Android guys have the fun? Here’s an article that lists simple steps on How To Find A Lost Windows Phone.