More ways to protect your smartphone

Last Monday I suggested ways to prevent thieves from getting in to your phone if it is stolen, Today I’ll talk about some more tricks you can use to keep your life private.

If you have an iPhone you can find it, and remotely wipe it (that is, remove all user-installed data). Formerly you needed to install an app called Find My Phone, but now you go to Settings, then tap iCloud. (Note that these instructions apply also to iPads) Here are the rest of the instructions from Apple’s site:

  1. If you’re asked to sign in, enter your Apple ID, or if you don’t have one, tap Get a Free Apple ID, then follow the instructions.
  2. Tap to turn on Find My iPhone (or Find My iPad or Find My iPod), and when asked to confirm, tap Allow.

Once you’ve got it set up, you can go to Apple’s Find website and then sign in with your AppleID. If the phone is turned on (and not in Airplane mode) a green dot will appear on the map (here’s what mine looks like as I write this:

Find my phone

 

If you want to erase it, instructions are on this web page. Note that if you click on My Devices and then on the relevant phone (or iPad, for that matter) you can make it play a sound (in case it’s in your house and you’ve lost it) or erase it, but once you do that it won’t have Find my phone on it either.

Finally, be sure you have the latest version of the operating system on your phone: 7.0.3. If you don’t have at least 7.0.2 someone could turn off Find my phone without getting past the lock screen (which, you’ll recall, you set after reading my last blog 🙂 )

Remember, these instructions work for iPads as well, because they use the same operating system.

The instructions for Androids are somewhat more complex (due, in part, to the fact that there is no uniform implementation of the Droid operating system–please no brickbats..), and instructions on remote wiping of those devices will have to wait for a later blog.

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