Losing or misplacing your phone can cause a surge of panic once the realization has been made. In order to avoid such anxiety there are a number of preventative measures you can take just in case you are unlucky enough to misplace your phone or have it stolen.

Make sure Find my Iphone and Android Device manager are up and running

If you do not have Find my iPhone or the Android equivalent, Android Device Manager installed on your devices, we suggest you do so immediately.

Both of these applications can pinpoint your missing gadgets, lock them remotely, set off their ringers and wipe all of their data. In order for you to be able to do this though, you must first ensure the apps are properly enabled.

For Android: Open a browser, sign into Google (make sure you use the same login as you used to set up your phone or tablet), then visit the Android Device Manager page.

Once there, your device’s location will either pop up on screen, or you will be prompted to send a notification to your phone or tablet. Finally, grant permission to Android Device Manager to track your device.

For iOS: Go into Settings>iCloud>Find My iPhone (or iPad), and make sure the Find My iPhone setting is enabled. Once you have, sign into iCloud.com on a desktop web browser, click the Find My iPhone icon, and see for yourself whether your devices pop up on the map.

Set up your device so that it requires a passcode

Putting a passcode onto your smartphone or tablet is another way you can prevent others from accessing your information.

Once you set up a passcode or touch ID you have the option of setting a time frame for which the phone can be used without a passcode after it has been recently unlocked.

With time ranging from immediately to 30 minutes, users are able to select a time which is both convenient and secure.

For Android: Tap Settings > Security > Automatically lock

For iOS: Tap Settings > Passcode > Require Passcode.

Block access to Control Centre (iOS only)

One very handy feature which both iPhones and iPad process is the Control Centre. The Control Centre allows users to access a slide up menu without having to enter in a passcode or touch ID.

While the Control Centre is great for setting alarms, taking photos and utilising the calculator and torch functions, it also allows users to control “Do Not Disturb” and Flight Mode.

If your phone happened to get into the wrong hands, the control centre’s features could render Find My iPhone useless.

In order to prevent this problem, you can disable the Control Centre by going into settings>control centre and “access on lock screen”

Encrypt your data (Android)

New Android phones and tablets which have Lollipop pre-installed (the latest version of Android), encrypts data, rendering it indecipherable until it is unlocked with your passcode.

Users with older Android phones and tablets do not have encryption turned on by default. Switching it on is only a matter of a few taps, but could take anywhere from half an hour to several hours before all of the data is fully encrypted.

In order to encrypt your data tap Settings > Security > Encrypt phone, then tap the final confirmation button.

Before you do this, you should be aware that your phone or tablet needs to be charging during the entire process and that you will not be able to use your device until the encryption has been completed. Finally, Google warns that you could lose “some or all” of your data if you abort the encryption process before it is complete, so be careful.

Turn on Activation Lock (iOS)

Activation Lock is a new iOS 8 feature which will prevent anyone without the proper passcode from reactivating a lost iPhone or tablet, which basically renders the device useless to anyone other than the owner.

Activation Lock only works if “Find my iPhone” is installed and enabled on your device, so if you haven’t already downloaded it, we suggest you do so immediately.

Put your name and contact information on the lock screen (Android)

Add a message to your device’s lock screen with your name, phone number, email address, or another reliable means of contact.

By doing so, a Good Samaritan will be able to get reach you, if they find your phone.

In order to do so, just tap Settings > Security > Owner info, and enter the text of the message.

Remote device wipe

If you have not installed Find My iPhone or Android Device Manager, and have a Microsoft Exchange Account, Remote Device Wipe is the next best thing.

Exchange Server 2013 provides a remote device wipe feature where you can issue a remote device wipe command from the Exchange Management Shell or the Exchange Administration Center (EAC). Users can issue their own remote device wipe commands from the Microsoft Outlook Web App user interface.

A remote device wipe can reset a mobile phone to the factory default condition. Even though the remote device wipe protocol as implemented in Exchange 2013 only requires the deletion of personal corporate data, all current mobile device manufacturers interpret the command as one that wipes all data on the phone.

Information sourced from: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2881182/9-ways-to-lock-down-your-iphone-or-android-device-before-it-goes-missing.html

Hayden McMaster