Home > Gear > Tech

You’re already in a soup if you’ve lost your smartphone. What’s more to be worrying is it falling into the wrong hands.

Safe to say that smartphones play a vital role in our lives. Be it in terms of connectivity, entertainment, investments or creative indulgences, it’s an all-in-one accessory that’s perhaps the dearest to us. However, there can come an unfortunate day where it’s left behind, forgotten or even stolen. Leaving all your precious data exposed and perhaps in dangerous hands. Fortunately, this situation has been well thought of by your smartphone maker. There’s a way of locating it and erasing your information, keeping it away from creeps.

So if you’ve lost your smartphone, be it Android or iPhone, here’s how you can take care of this problem.

Lost your smartphone: How to locate it and keep your data safe

lost your smartphone

Let’s begin with Android devices.

First things first, you need to need to be prepared with one key step. The ‘Find my device’ feature on your Android smartphone must be activated in advance. Usually this feature is activated as a default setting but it’s always better to double check this. Head over to Settings > Security > Find My Device and there you go.

Once that’s set, the second thing you need to be sure of if you’ve lost your smartphone is whether it’s switched on or off. For this to work, it’s important for the device to be connected to mobile data or a wireless network. As soon as you realize you’ve lost your smartphone, waste no time and head over to www.android.com/find and login into your Google account. Also yes, this needs to be a Google account which is signed into your device. As you log in, you’ll see every device linked with your Google id.

As you click ‘Accept’, it begins contacting the device and giving you an approximate location. Once Google has located your smartphone, it presents you with two options: First to play a loud ringer and second, to secure and erase you phone. The latter option allows you to lock your smartphone and even present a message on the screen to anyone who finds the device. Perhaps an alternate mobile number or address to contact? Whatever suits you. The final option is to erase your data. Note, once this is done, there’s no going back. Your device is locked, signed out of your account and cleared.

lost your smartphone

iPhones on the other hand follow similar steps.

You need to stay connected to a network and have your ‘Find My iPhone’ enabled. You can check this at Settings > Apple ID > Find My > Enable Find My iOS device. Interestingly, there’s also a ‘Find My Network’, which allows you to see your iPhone’s last network location, incase it’s been switched off.

First step, head over to www.icloud.com/find on an alternate smartphone or computer. You’ll then be required to log into your Apple ID. The first option you’ll see will let you see an approximate location of your iPhone. This way, you can try to track your device. The next option is ‘Lost Mode’ which completely secures your device and can only be accessed using the right passcode. Just like Android, you can set a display message. Once you’re in close proximity of your phone, you can play a ring which starts off soft at first and then gets really loud. If you think it’s a lost cause, there’s the ‘Erase iPhone’ button, you already know what happens after you tap that button.

All images: Courtesy Getty Images

Mikhail Gomes
Senior Features Writer
A watch aficionado, Gomes also enjoys learning about fine whiskies, and one day hopes to establish his own menswear label. At Lifestyle Asia India, he writes on watches, menswear, auto and tech.
Sign up for our newsletters to have the latest stories delivered straight to your inbox every week.

Yes, I agree to the Privacy Policy