So you lost your Android. Maybe it got stolen, or maybe you’re just forgetful. Whatever the reason may be, you need to find your Android as soon as possible. Today, we’re going to show you exactly how to do that:
Step 1) Use Android Device Manager
Google recently revealed a feature called the Android Device Manager that locates the exact geographic location of your phone and allows you to ring your device or even remotely erase it. Android Device Manager has similar features to other Android security apps, but it’s ridiculously easy to use.
How easy is it to use? Just go to this web page and log into your Google account. Google will begin looking for your device and give you the location of the device with frightening accuracy. You can also ring your device, which is great if it’s lost in the couch.
If your phone is lost in the couch, then Android Device Manager will help you safely find it. Unfortunately, if you see your phone moving around the city or from location to location, then it looks like somebody else has found it. It’s time to take matters into your own hands.
Step 2) Consider calling your phone
If you live in a friendly city or lost your phone at a party/gathering of friends, then the person may simply be holding onto your phone in the hopes of returning it to you. Try calling your phone yourself and see if the good Samaritan picks up. If it’s a bad Samaritan who doesn’t pick up or holds your phone hostage, it’s time to get more serious.
This step is really important to try at least twice before moving onto the more drastic steps. Why? Well, if a Good Samaritan picks up your phone and tries to give it back, they may text your contacts, put out a Facebook status, and try to contact you in other ways. If you start deleting data from your phone or deactivating it from the network, it becomes really tough to contact you. If the person doesn’t pick up the first time you call them, wait a bit then try again.
Step 3) Call your service provider and deactivate your device from the network
Your phone thief may rack up hundreds of dollars in smartphone charges and change your Facebook ‘interested in’ section to something it shouldn’t be. To prevent that from happening, call your service provider and deactivate your device from the network. This will instantly prevent the phone from working and, more importantly, it will also prevent the thief from slipping in another SIM card.
Step 4) Change personal account passwords on your computer
While you’re waiting on hold with your network provider, go to your email, Facebook, Twitter, and other accounts and change/reset your passwords.
Step 5) File a police report
I don’t know how many phones get stolen every day in an average city, but I imagine it’s quite a few. For that reason, filing a police report will likely be ineffective and pointless, but it’s not a bad idea. File a police report or, if you’re feeling risky, head to the geographic location of your Android device as listed on Android Device Manager and see if you can take matters into your own hands. Pro tip: if you don’t want to barge into someone’s home, wait until your phone is on the move before you start tracking it. It’s way easier to confront your phone thief in a Starbucks than in a crowded apartment building.