10 Easy Steps to Track, Lock and Wipe Data From Your Android Devices

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Director of the Entrepreneur Partner Studio
3 min read

With the number of mobile device-related robberies on the rise, it's important to know what you can do if your precious Android-powered smartphone or tablet has been stolen, or if your overworked mind just can't remember where you left it. The good news is that Google has a solution.

This summer, the tech giant released a tool called the Android Device Manager that it updated again this fall. The online tool enables Android device owners to track and lock their misplaced phones and tablets. If the device has for sure been stolen, or is hopelessly lost, the Device Manager also lets users wipe all of their personal data from the phone, essentially forcing it to reset to its original factory settings.

That's a pretty important feature, especially for business owners and other professionals who use their mobile devices for company use. Having sensitive company information land in the wrong hands can be a serious security risk.

Related: How to Avoid Getting Hacked (Infographic)

If you haven't already synced your smartphone or tablet up with the Android Device Manager, follow these 10 easy steps. The Android Device Manager is compatible with devices running Android 2.2 and up.

1. Go to the Google Settings app on your phone or tablet and click on "Android Device Manager" at the bottom.
2. Select the box for "Allow remote lock and factory reset."
3. The "Remotely locate this device" button should already be clicked. If not, click on it.
4. Also check the box to "Allow remote lock and factory reset." A screen will pop up asking for permission to wipe your device. Grant it permission.
5. Sign into your Google account online and go to the Android Device Manager.
6. On your device, go to go back into Settings, then Security, then Phone Administrators and make sure you have "Android Device Manager" checked.
7. In the Android Device Manager online, select the device you want to sync from the list of devices associated with your account.
8. From there you should see a map showing the location of your device. You should also see options to "ring," "lock" and "erase" the device.
9. If you choose to lock your device, the Device Manager will ask you to set a new password, essentially locking out the previous password you had saved.
10. If you choose erase, a warning window pops up. If you agree, the device will power down and erase the data you have stored on it. Only use this option if your smartphone or tablet has been stolen or lost for good.

Related: Should You Be Worried About Apple Having Your Fingerprints?

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