A stitch in timeThe very first measure you can take to be safe with your data is to enable the remote data wiping feature on your phone while you still have it as it is always good to stay prepared for anything. However, it's also pretty important making sure that this feature is not enabled by default. In order to do this:
Visit the Google settings in your device.
Head for the security option and tap.
This will take you to the Android Device Manager. Permit “remote lock and erase” and ensure that it is switched on.
A second form of tinkering needs to be done too. It is found on the screen of the Android Device Manager. This is the 'Remotely Locate This Device option'. While activating it, it should be turned on or else you will not manage to track your device.
While you are even taking measures to help you save your important data from falling into wrong hands, it's also wise not to store any sensitive information on microSD cards because they cannot be remote-wiped. Adding to this, it's also of utmost importance to have a decent locking pattern or code and also think of investing in trustworthy apps like Lookout or AirDroid, which offer features for remote wiping. They can also be used to transfer important data before the plug is pulled out.
When the enemy strikes
The other point of taking action comes after the unexpected has happened and your phone is gone. This involves the use of Android Device Manager, which can be accessed in two ways. One is via the app for Android Device Manager on another device. Two is via the website for the Android Device Manager.
After launching the app or logging into the website, the Android Device Manager will attempt to track down your device. If it's still switched on and can give a signal, it will help you see its location on a map, where you'll also see three options: lock it, ring it or wipe it remotely. If the device is switched off or in a place where it can't give signals, Android Device Manager will tell you of its location the moment it comes online and connects to a cellular network or Wi-Fi.
Its advised that one should restrain from going for the weightier option first, because you may end up wiping out everything only to realize the device had not been stolen but had just been misplaced. The wiser option that should come first is to let your phone ring loudly for about 5 minutes as your trace it around you.
A second option to ringing the phone is changing the lock screen after which your phone will then read your message “GIVE ME MY PHONE BACK” upon the next time it is switched on. This might not really work as much. A better trick would be to send a “please call me” message that's accompanied by a reward.
When you feel compelled to go for the 'erase' red button as the only choice, you can wipe your device remotely just like how a full factory reset is done, wiping all your apps, photos, music and all settings. However, the SD card will not be affected by this. Remote wiping can also be an option when you've tried lockig your device but you find it off.
While at this option, it's also important to include revoking access for the missing device as well as changing passwords for online services.
When Android Device Manager can't connect the location of your missing device, Google Maps can offer a helping hand as long as you still have it activated in your Google account. You can track all the locations that your phone has been at by visiting the page for History Location and looking at the timestamps. It will only tell you where your phone has been but not necessarily where it is at the moment.
Another option is to go for Android Lost which works better in older devices. The device needs to be online in order to be tracked by this app.