Congratulations, You finally have found the smartphone of your dreams. And finally, have enough cash to actually buy it rather than drooling over it on the web. But wouldn’t it be a bummer if you somehow lost it, or some dreaded fool stole it away. Well, fear not; as Wonderful Engineering will guide you with four fundamental steps you must take in order to be able to track down your device as soon as possible.
1. Obviously Install a tracking app!
Come on, you knew this right? Simply finding the best tracking/anti-theft app on the Play Store or iTunes and installing it on your precious smartphone greatly increases the chances of tracking it down in case you lost it. There are plenty of tracking apps out there but our recommendation would be “Find My iPhone” for iOS users. You’ll first have to update your iPhone to iOS 5 and set up iCloud over at iCloud.com to use it. Once done, you can login with your Apple ID username and password and simply click on “Find my iPhone”. This website will then try and locate your Apple device and provide great options such as playing a sound, sending a message from the device or locking and wiping all the contents of the device while only using the website.
For android devices, an app called “Plan B” is a great solution. The great thing about “Plan B” is that it can actually be installed after your phone has been lost via Google Play. It will automatically start after being installed and will email the approximate location of your phone to your email address. You can then text “locate” to your mobile number from a friend’s phone and it will keep sending back the locations of your phone. While limited in its uses, Plan B is a great application for missing phones when you are out of options.
2. Activate Android Device Manager (ADM) and Location History
Always make sure that you have activated both ADM and Location History on your cell. Both tools can be useful if and when you unfortunately lose your device. With the help of ADM, you can track down your device, make it ring and erase its data. Location history will help you display the last recorded locations on a map, thus can come in handy in case for example, someone steals your device, then this could help in tracking down the thief’s home address and location.
To activate both services, go to “Google Settings” and select Security. Then make sure both options below “Android Device Manager” are enabled. Now, press back and select “Location”. Click “Google Location History” button and turn it on. And voila, now you are able to use ADM to track down your device and the Location History option to see your last recorded locations.
3. Set a lock screen pattern or password
A lot of people already utilize this feature to keep their nosy family and friends from accessing private files like images, texts or videos. Although unlocking a phone countless times a day can get a bit quite annoying, but it is worth the trouble when you count its benefits. Besides keeping the unwanted people away, it can also stop a thief from changing your mobile settings such as disabling your mobile data or disconnecting your phone from your Google account. This will allow you some time to track down your phone and stop the thief from isolating your phone.
4. Install Dropbox and enable Camera Upload
Using Dropbox in order to get back your phone is a long shot. However, if it increases the odds of finding your phone it’s worth the trouble!
In order for this to work, you need to ensure the following conditions:
- Your device has access to the internet at all times
- You have activated “Camera Upload” in your Dropbox app
- Someone takes pictures with your lost deviceUsing Dropbox should be the last resort in case all other approaches fail. This is how it works, every time the thief takes a picture from your camera, it automatically gets uploaded to your Dropbox folder. So, if the thief takes a nice picture you might be able to identify the person and the location, and eventually locate your phone.
Have you ever lost your smart device? Did you get it back, and how? Share your experience with us in the comments!