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Losing your smartphone exposes you to the danger of someone else accessing the personal information it stores—from your private photographs and emails to your online banking profile and social media accounts. But as an Android user, you don’t need to panic when your smartphone goes missing since you can remotely wipe your data from the device as soon as it connects to the Internet.

Here are some tips from Alcatel about safeguarding your information when your Android smartphone gets lost or is stolen:

Take steps before you lose your phone

Make sure you’re ready to take action should your smartphone go missing by installing Find My Device – the improved Android Device Manager app. Find My Device helps you easily locate a lost Android device, and keeps your information safe while you look for it. Follow these steps to make sure it is enabled:

·         Go to Google Settings > Security > Find My Device.

·         Ensure Find My Device is enabled.

·         Make sure the app has permission to access your location data and enable Remotely Locate This Device.

·         Enable remote lock and erase in Device Manager.

Further precautions to safeguard your data

To be sure your data will be safe should someone get hold of your phone without permission:

·         Don’t keep anything private on a microSD card in your phone since remote wiping can’t erase this data.

·         Lock your phone behind fingerprint authentication, a code only you know or a pattern lock.

·         Back up your critical data to the Google Drive app so that you can recover your videos, photos and documents from the cloud if your device is lost.

·         To backup your device and account settings: open your device’s Settings app tap System > Backup. Turn on your backup service. When you get a new Android smartphone, you can easily recover your Google Contacts data, Google Calendar events and settings, Wi-Fi networks and passwords, Wallpapers, Gmail settings and more.

When your phone is lost, start with Find My Device

So, your phone is gone? Before you erase everything on it, use Find My Device on another Android device or the website to track it down. Perhaps your child dropped it under your car seat, or maybe it’s waiting for you at the coffee shop you visited in the morning.

If the smartphone is switched on and connected to a network, you’ll see its location on a map. You’ll have the option to ring it, lock it or remotely wipe it. If you can’t see it on the map, it’s probably switched off or can’t get a signal. Find My Device will report its location when it’s turned on and connected to the Internet.

Use Find My Device to ring it loudly for up to five minutes to locate it if you have simply misplaced it at home or in the office. Or you could change the lock screen message to provide your phone number and perhaps the offer of a small reward to a person who happens to have picked up your phone.

Nuke your data as a last resort

If you’re sure your smartphone is gone forever–perhaps it was stolen in a smash-and-grab—erase your data by choosing the relevant option on the Find My Device app or website. Once you erase the data, you will no longer be able to locate your phone and any files, settings or media on your device will be permanently deleted. To be doubly safe, revoke your missing phone’s access to your Google Account and change passwords to the online services you were using on your device.

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