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How to delete data from your lost or stolen device

There’s only one thing worse than losing your Android phone, and that’s losing your phone when you have a lot of personal stuff on it. If the thought of somebody else accessing your apps, email or secret plans for world domination scares you silly, we have the solution.If you make sure you take all of these steps, you can have peace of mind when your phone goes missing. Here are the steps necessary to protect your data remotely.Jump to:While you still have your phone, do thisIf you want the ability to remotely wipe your phone, you need to install the Find My Device app and check your settings. It should be enabled by default, but check to make sure: * First of all, go to the Play Store and download Find My DeviceFind My Device * Go to  Google Settings > Security > Find My Device * Ensure Find My Device is enabled * Allow your device's location to be accessed by the appYou should install Find My Device on your smartphone. / © AndroidPIT If you have an older device you might also need to take these steps with the old version of Find My Device (Android Device Manager): * Look for Allow remote lock and erase  and make sure it’s switched on. * Enable the second toggle in Device Manager: Remotely Locate This Device * Double check that both settings are enabled.Find My Device works for tablets as well, but if you have multiple user accounts, only the person set as tablet owner can set these features.Google's own video explains how to use Find My Device in the event of a lost phone:It’s also a good idea to take a few other precautions too: don’t store anything sensitive on microSD cards (remote wiping can’t erase them), make sure you have a decent lock code or pattern, and consider investing in an app such as AirDroid or Lookout. Both apps offer remote wipe features, but they can also transfer crucial data before pulling the plug.How to find your Android phoneOh no! Your phone’s gone! It’s time for action, and by action we mean Find My Device. You can access Find My Device in two ways: via the Find My Device app on another Android device, or via the website here.Once you’ve logged in, Find My Device will attempt to locate your missing device. If it’s on and can get a signal, you’ll see the location on a map. You’ll also see three options: ring it, lock it or remotely wipe it. If the device isn’t on or can't get a signal, Find My Device will report its location when it switches on and connects to a Wi-Fi or cellular network.You can find your phone from any web browser and begin to take action. / © AndroidPIT At that point, you can erase all the data from your phone, but we’d strongly recommend trying the less-serious options in before you go nuclear and delete everything. Try them in this order:Before you do anything, make sure it isn't just lostLost phones are often mislaid rather than permanently missing or stolen. You can use the Find My Device to make the phone ring loudly for a five full minutes. This enables you to find your phone if it’ ...Read more

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