Don’t Lose It!
Losing your phone or tablet can mean extreme inconvenience and breach of privacy. But fret not, these apps and features can track your device and secure it, too.
A lost mobile phone is not just a loss of money. Any misuse of our personal and professional data stored on devices could mean real and virtual mayhem. While we can be extra careful to not leave devices anywhere unattended, being prepared for the worst case scenario can be helpful.
This includes activating important settings and features built in the device and downloading apps to track the device on the map, enabling a loud alarm and even remote-wiping the device if it cannot be recovered. It is paramount that you create a cloud back-up of all the data. If backed up using automatic cloud backup, you can fetch your data on the new device with a single login into the cloud service. Leading players including Apple, Google and Microsoft offer these features either through built-in services or apps. You can also avail of third-party apps.
APPLE’S FIND MY IPHONE:
Apple has built a robust tool in iOS that not only keeps your data safe, but also makes the device unusable if you end up losing it. If you are using any of Apple’s devices – iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch or Mac – this service can be a boon. The app, if set up and activated, can locate lost devices, disable them and even fully erase data using the iOS app or through iCloud on a computer. With iOS 7, Apple added an Activation Lock that makes the iPhone unusable without the owner’s Apple ID or password. So, if the phone is stolen, the iPhone remains tied to your Apple ID and can’t be used with any other account. Even when the iP- hone is completely wiped, it will be locked down, rendering it useless. You can activate it under Settings, by scrolling down to iCloud and tapping on ‘Find my iPhone’ and turning the toggle on (in green). Turning on ‘send last location’ sends the last location of the iPhone to Apple when the phone is low on battery. The two-factor authentication process adds an extra layer of protection. But, for ‘Find my iPhone’ to work, your phone must be on and connected to a cellular network or WiFi. Then by logging in to the iOS app or iCloud on the web and selecting the ‘Find iPhone’ option locates the approximate location of the iPhone. You can also Play Sound to locate it, select lost mode that locks the device and even erase the iPhone. This feature also shows the battery level on the phone. When setting up the new device, you can rest assured about your data. Backing up data on iCloud lets you retrieve photos, mails, contacts, calendars, reminders, Safari, notes, wallet, etc, with a single tap.
ANDROID DEVICE MANAGER:
Google, too, offers a one-stop solution for a large number of Android devices. The Android Device Manager app, which can be installed from the Google Play Store, helps locate and remote-wipe a lost or stolen phone. To set it up, you need a Google account. The tracking and wiping can be done by logging in to www.google.co.in/android/devicemanager from the web using the same Google account. This service can track your device’s location on Google Maps, sound an alarm on the phone, lock and erase provided the phone is turned on and connected to the internet. Location services, too, need to be turned on. For data back-up, Google Drive offers 15 GB of free storage with support for different types of files including photos, contacts, docu-
ments, excel sheets, etc.
MICROSOFT’S FIND MY PHONE:
Microsoft has the ‘Find My Phone’ service for its Windows smartphones. For Windows laptops and tablets, Microsoft has a similar service but it only helps in locating the device, not wiping it. The user needs to turn on the master location setting, log in to his/ her Microsoft account and even switch on the ‘Find My Device’ setting. In case of loss or theft, visiting account.microsoft.com/devices and logging in using the same Microsoft account can help in tracking the location of the device. A user can set up ‘Find My Device’ to save the device’s location every few hours, so it becomes easier to locate it. The device’s location is saved to OneDrive, which is Windows’ cloud back-up service, from time to time. However, Microsoft Intune for enterprises provides mobile device management, mobile application management and PC management capabilities from the cloud. Using this service, organisations can provide their employees with access to corporate applications, data and resources from virtually anywhere on almost any device, while helping to keep corporate information secure. With Intune, administrators and users can protect corporate information through selective wipe of managed apps and related data when a device is unenrolled, no longer compliant, lost, stolen or retired from use.
There are other popular independent applications (listed on the right) such as Dropbox that are commonly used for data back-up on the cloud. For security and remote wipe, services such as F-Secure, Avast and Norton can be used to protect the device against viruses. These also provide remote wipe option, in case there is no way to recover the device.