How to Track and Secure Your Lost or Stolen Phone, No Matter Who Made It
Under the voluntary commitment, companies including Apple, AT&T, Samsung, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless have all pledged to include free “kill switch” tools on every smartphone sold in the United States after July 2015. The kill switch will let owners shut down their phones from afar after they’ve been taken from them.
That’s a step in the right direction. But you don’t have to wait until next summer to enable security tools on your beloved smartphone. Manufacturers have provided device-tracking apps for years now, and there are a variety of services that will help wipe a smartphone’s data or prevent reactivation if a phone is lost or stolen.
Here’s a brief guide to ensure that your phone — and all the data on it — is as safe as can be.
Phones running Google’s Android operating system come with their own location-tracking technology. Here’s how to enable it:
1. Tap the Apps icon.
2. Find and open Google Settings.
3. Select Location.
4. Check the box under the header Access location. If you haven’t synced your Google account with your phone, you’ll have to do that.