The great thing about smartphones, in a business sense, is how portable they are - you can literally be productive almost anywhere. Unfortunately, this also means that they can be lost almost anywhere. Luckily, there just so happens to be a feature built into Android that can help you find yours.
The Stakes Are High
A lost smartphone is something that needs to be taken seriously nowadays. Not only is it an expensive device to replace, its contents could be considered priceless. Anything you’ve accessed via that phone (potentially including your finances and social media) is then at risk. If this device was used for business purposes, your data could be at stake if your device was stolen - and, if you used it as a part of a two-factor authentication measure, there goes your access to your network.
Clearly, this wouldn’t be a good thing.
This is precisely why Android includes a feature to help you find a device, should it ever be lost.
On your Android device, you need to work proactively and enable a few settings.
In your Settings, you should be able to find a Find My Device option. Make sure this is turned on. Your Location should be set to High accuracy. Finally, you will want to enable Google to Use Location History. While this will diminish your privacy from the eyes of Google, it will make your phone that much easier to find.
To locate your device, you’ll then need to access the same Google account that is used on the device in question from a web browser. Google is able to give you a general idea of where the device was last located on a map, and even what Wi-Fi networks it is connected to. The Find My Device application can do the same thing if you have access to a second device.
Find My Device also allows you to remotely lock your device and display a message to help anyone who might find it get it back to you. Once you’re in the vicinity of your device, you can also command your device to ring. This command will override the volume settings, increasing the chances of it being heard.
If you truly believe that your device has been stolen, there is also the nuclear option: remotely wiping the device via Find My Device.
Keep in mind, in order for these features to work, you absolutely have to enable them on your phone first. Otherwise, you’ll be out of luck if the device ever goes missing.
It is also important to remember that these features will only work as long as the phone is on. Sure, you could still check for its last known location in Find My Device, but there’s no guarantee that it will still be there.
Finally, if you truly believe that your device was stolen, contact the proper authorities and give them everything you know.
With any luck, you’ll be able to find your lost phone lickety-split. While you’re here, take a look at some of our other blogs, where you can find other handy tricks and useful information, courtesy of Mavericks.