If your phone is lost or stolen and you are afraid that a criminal might get access into your data, you may be left with no choice than to wipe the data remotely.
As long as your Android is connected to your Google account and the internet, you may stand a good chance of making your data useless to the criminal.
So, to avoid someone else accessing your messages, media files and apps when your phone is lost, learn how to erase your Android phone remotely and what to do to protect your device in advance.
Use Find My Device
If the thought of losing your phone stresses you out, make sure you prepare for such an event in advance and have a means of locating your Android phone or wiping it in case it is gone for good. One option is installing an app called Google Find My Device.
Find My Device is a free app that helps you protect the data on your smartphone remotely. Aside from that, it can help you locate your phone if you misplace it, as well as give you a chance to contact the person who finds it.
How to use Find My Device
Once you download the app and sync it with your Android device, make sure to open it and go through all of the permissions to allow Find My Device use your smartphone’s location to track it.
After that, if your phone gets lost or stolen you will at least have the following options of retrieving it and protecting your data.
Locate your phone
You can locate your lost phone by either using the Google Find My Device app on another Android smartphone or online, through the web version of the app.
When you log in, Find My Device will give your smartphone’s current location on the map or the last location registered when your phone had a signal. If your smartphone is off, Find My Device will inform you of its location as soon as it’s switched on and has a signal.
If the phone is somewhere within your reach but you still can’t find it, Find My Device has a handy Play Sound option. Your phone will ring for 5 minutes even if it is set on silent, allowing you to locate it faster.
Secure your phone
If you are so sure you didn’t just misplace your phone and you are worried about a random person getting into it, you can use Find My Device to secure your personal information. There’s an option to lock your phone, sign out of your Google account, as well as display a message with your contact information on your lock screen. This could be very helpful for the person who finds your device.
Erase your phone
Finally, you can use Google Find My Device to erase your Android phone remotely. It will delete all the content from your device.
Note that once you perform this, you won’t be able to use Find My Device to locate your smartphone, as this is basically a factory reset. You also won’t be able to restore your personal data, so make sure you have a backup of everything important in advance.
Use Android Lost
Android Lost is a third-party app not affiliated with Google that you can use to erase your phone remotely. All you need is to download and install the app on your phone to register your device.
In the event of your phone being lost or stolen, you can use another Android phone or the Android Lost website to control and track your smartphone.
How to use Android Lost to control your phone
To set up Android Lost, take your smartphone and follow these steps: Download and install the Lost Android app from Google Play; then give the app access to your phone’s location, contacts and your media files. In the app, click Request Administrator rights to be able to control your phone remotely. That’s about all you need to set up Android Lost on your smartphone.
Other things you can do if your phone is lost or stolen?
Both Google Find My Device and Android Lost are very useful apps that allow remote access to your smartphone. Find My Device is a little bit more superior though, as it can be used even if you don’t have the app installed on your phone – through the web version of the app or by using the app on someone else’s Android phone.
If you fail to track your phone that way, you can try to locate it using your Google Maps location history. At the very least, you will be able to determine where you lost your phone or where it was before the battery died or before it was switched off.
Another common way of wiping phone’s data is using the Android Device Manager. It’s a built-in function inside every Android phone that lets you wipe your personal data from the device.
To use this feature, you have to sync your Android device (smartphone or tablet) with the Android Device Manager. It is compatible with Android 2.2 and above. Follow these steps to sync your device:
- Go to your phone’s ‘Settings’ and click ‘Android Device Manager’
- Select ‘Allow Remote Lock and Factory Reset’
- Make sure the ‘Remotely Locate This Device’ button is clicked. If not, the click on it.
- Now check the ‘Allow Remote Lock and Factory Reset’ box. Once you do that, a screen will pop up asking your permission to wipe the data from your device.
- Go to Android Device Manager online by entering you Google account and select the device that you want to sync.
Once your device is synced, follow these steps to wipe the phone’s data:
- 1. From your computer, visit https://www.google.com/android/find and enter your Google account credentials.
- 2. Once you have logged in, the Device Manager will attempt to locate your phone. You should see a map showing the location of your device
- 3. You can either ‘Ring’ your device, ‘Lock’ it or ‘Erase’ it.
- 4. If you choose Erase, you will be asked to enter a new password. Then a window will pop-up, issuing you a warning. If you agree, the entire data on your phone will be erased.
Note: Only use this option if your device is lost for good.
Are there any limitations?
Yes, there are limitations to using Android Device Manager. Such as:
- 1. It will only work if your device is connected to the internet.
- 2. If you have signed out of your Google account, Android Device Manager will be of no use to you. If your phone is stolen, this is the first thing they will do because everyone knows Android Device Manager can be used to locate, lock or erase data from the device.
- 3. If you haven’t enabled Android Device Manager on your phone, it won’t be able to load your device.
Wipe the phone’s data with Xnspy
XNSPY is one of the best Android monitoring app. Xnspy can be used as a tool to remotely control your phone and wipe data by sending one command. To use this feature, your device must have Xnspy installed beforehand. Just follow these steps to wipe data from the phone:
Xnspy is an easier and more reliable way of wiping data from a phone because all you have to do is make sure the target device has Xnspy installed and it is connected to the internet. There are no other complications. Plus, since Xnspy works invisibly, the thief probably won’t figure it’s installed on your device. You will be able to wipe all important data from your Android device safe and soundly. Also, if Xnspy is installed on your phone, you can also track your phone’s location.