#FridayHacks: How To Remotely Lock Your Android Phone If Stolen

If you have not lost your phone since the interception of mobile device around 2009 up to now, then consider yourself lucky. Losing your smartphone is not the main problem, but the heartache lies with the data and information getting into wrong hands. In Harare, we have seen the birth of ZIMEX Mall, a site in the city center where illegal phone dealers led the market sales on all smartphone devices. But its common knowledge that most of those smartphones were stolen properties being traded without the consent of the rightful owner.  

By Cisco Eng. Shingie Lev Muringi

A smartphone today houses same computing power as a laptop; it holds your credit card information, photos, notes, contacts, social network, emails and host of other important information which you don’t want to lose. Smartphones today carry more information than your traditional laptops or desktops, with the cloud storage on the go offering the possibilities has only increased. Now you understand what is at stake when your phone is lost. Your Smartphone doubles up as a wallet as well with the likes of Ecocash and other mobile banking platforms; with their validity going as far as bill payments, and e-commerce transactions. So definitely you cannot afford to lose your smartphone when in actual fact these devices have become the center of almost everyone’s life. 

Smartphone industry off late (starting 2014) has come together to deal with the Smartphone getting lost or stolen problem, Smartphone equipped with GPS and data connectivity offers smart options to deal with this “getting lose” problem. Google has equipped all android phones running Android version 2.2 and above with app called “Android Device Manager” which can save your information and also reveal your lost phone’s current location.


Before you start reaping in the benefits you need to: 

.Install Android Device Manger on your Android Smartphone, if not already installed (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.adm&hl=en)
.Go to settings on your device and touch “Security”
.Under “Android Device Manager, toggle (on) switch to “Allow remote lock and factory reset” and “Remotely locate this device”.
.Make sure you use a frequently used Google Account
.Open setting menu
.Under “Personal” menu touch “Location”, toggle the switch to “On”
.Just to be sure, login into web using the same Google account, check if you’re able to view your device’s location (https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager )
And2How to lock android phone remotely?

With the above steps now you have a working Android Device Manager
.Go to web interface https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager
.After successful Google Account login, you’ll see your phone’s current location in the map and three options namely “Ring”, “Lock” and “Erase”.
.Clicking on “Lock”, it will bring a dialog box that will ask you to enter a new password/PIN, it doesn’t matters if you don’t have the password/PIN security enabled on your Android Smartphone
.Choose a lengthy and strong password, Google recommends not use the same Google Account password which you used while login into Android Device Manager
.Click “Lock” on the dialogue box
.Within seconds you’ll notice screen on your selected phone will turn off and when turning it on the device will ask for the password/PIN.
.If you strongly suspect that your phone was stolen then consider “Erase”, this option will remotely wipe your device including any SD card, it will also shoot you an email where and when the device was wiped.

.Google recently starting April 2015 has included your phone’s location as a search output when you Google “Find my phone”, you should be logged in using the same Google account which was used to setup Android device manager on your android phone. Good luck!

The battle for relevance continues…follow Shingie Levison Muringi our Technology Research Specialist and Deputy Editor on Twitter @ShingieMuringi1, Email [email protected] or direct Cell: 0775 380 652

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