Aug 03, 2017 at 10:50

Ever been in that horrible, gut-wrenching situation when you suddenly realize that you do not have your phone on you, and it has been stolen. Our cyber expert Amit Dubey on how to deal with such a scenario.

I am frequently asked by my friends as to how can they locate their stolen or missing phones. There are thousands of people who lose their mobile phone every day and few thousands more whose mobile phones are stolen every day. Sometimes my friends even request me that if the phone cannot be traced, at least they should be able to erase their data from the phone remotely because their phone contains lots of private information and pictures.

There are a handful of phone recovery or anti-theft apps on the Google Play Store which can be a lifesaver in case you lose your phone or, even worse, it gets stolen. But many people might only realize that there are such apps after it has been lost or stolen. Then, it usually is too late and you have to face the ugly truth that the phone is gone for good. But don’t burst out in tears just yet. There’s still hope for your phone to find its way back to you! There are a few ways to remote control and track your phone even if you haven’t installed a recovery app before it vanished. Here, I will focus on Android devices first due to large market coverage and usage of Android Phones. However, we will learn about Apple iOS devices in the following articles.

There are normally two ways to find your lost Android phone. The first method is to locate your phone with the help of tracking app and second method is to find your android phone without tracking app. I am going to show you both ways as to how can you do it for yourself. When you setup your device for the first time, it asks for Google account id and password. In case you skipped it and never signed back manually then it’s going to be harder to get your Android phone back but if you have a google (gmail) account and you have configured your gmail on your phone that itself gives you enough ways to track your phone.

Google’s Android Device Manager is the official tool from Google to track your android phones and tablets by signing in to Android Device Manager website. Once you log in using your Google account Id which you used to setup your device, you will be able to track and locate it. You need to choose among the devices on the website if there are many. Once you choose it, then it will show you the location on the map and you can perform some other functions as well.

However, the lost/stolen Android mobile must be connected to the Google Account and it should have internet access.

You can go to Android Device Manager. (You can simply search Android Device Manager on Google link too)

Once logged in, you will be directly able to see all your active devices. Click on your lost android phone and you will be able to see its location however Google also says location given on map is close to the accurate location. The device must be nearby somewhere. You can perform 3 actions from this website: Ring and lock your phone remotely and erase its data. (Lock and erase must be allowed for Android Device Manager via Google app settings. It’s turned off by default.). Once found and if your device is stolen then you can contact concerned authorities to retrieve it back. If you lost it somewhere in your house, office then you can see the location in the map and you will be able to figure it out or simply ring it.

ADM offers less features as compared to iPhone tracking website iCloud. In iPhone, you can get step by step direction to reach your iPhone. You can track the Android tablet the same way. Simply Login and you will be able to do all the above listed things.

Here, I recommend some tracking apps which you can use proactively to ensure safety of your phone. These apps will enable you to do many more things remotely and it will surely be fun to try some of these interesting features.

Lookout is one of the oldest anti-theft app available on the app store. While many features are free but you have to pay fee for some advanced features. Here are some important functions being performed by the application. You will receive email when phone is turned off or when SIM is changed. It can take pics from camera remotely and email you.

Bitdefender Anti-Theft Mobile anti-theft app is quite high rated apps available in the market. It functions just like Android Device manager app but does few more things. Whenever SIM card is changed, you will be notified about it on your another given number. You can force phone to call you via SMS feature or force your phone to pick up your next call. You can lock and erase all phone data with a single click.

Cerberus is a cool anti-theft app which gives you many interesting features beyond location tracking like, you can retrieve list of calls made from the phone, Microphone can be turned on to hear the voice of another person and You can also hide the apps icon so that thief will never realize that it’s installed.

Some time, you realize that there are lots of documents and pictures on your stolen phone and you don’t have a backup. You may lose important documents and pics. In that case, AirDroid offers some interesting features through which you can upload your important documents and images on the web from your AirDroid account before you wipe your phone. The thief will never know that something is going on. You can click real time pics from camera. You can initiate both front and rear camera to see where is it and who’s using it. You can click pictures and can save it in your pc. Screenshot functionality is present in AirDroid so that you can try to catch thief by writing something which can help you in identifying him.

There are number of other software and apps which help you find your android phone using phone’s GPS on a computer. However, not every one of them is reliable and that’s why I have not listed them here.

If you are not unable to find your location or see messages like “Location Unavailable” then probably internet is not available or it has been turned off by the thief. In such cases, you will have to wait till the internet is turned on by the person having your phone. Your misplaced cell can only be tracked if internet is available in it. There is no way without it. We also suggest you to notify authorities in case your phone is stolen and if you found it using any one of the methods above.


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