How to Remote Wipe your Android Phone When It Is Stolen

remote-wipe-android-lost-phoneTell me if you can relate to this scenario. You're out for the night with some friends. You've had a couple of drinks, and you're having a good time. You send a few messages to people, but you're generally being social with the people who you're there with. When you finish a conversation with a friend, you reach into your purse to get your Android.

Oh no! It's gone!!

You can't remember where you used your Android last or where you could have set it down. You're sure you put it in your purse like you always do. The first thing you do is use a friend's phone to call it hoping to hear it or that someone will answer it.

Nope. Now what? There isn't any way to retrieve the information on the phone, and you sure as heck don't want someone to have access to your email and private information, so it's time to remote wipe your Android. Here are a few ways to make sure, wherever your phone is, your information isn't on it.

1. Where's My Droid


Where's My Droid is a commonly talked about Android security application. Many times it's referred to in articles talking about how to recover your device. In many cases, the option to remote wipe your Android is only briefly mentioned. However, if your device is truly lost or stolen, wiping the information is something you really want to do. The stuff on your phone may be synced with web applications like Google or many times your SD card has sensitive information on it such as pictures or items downloaded. Where's My Droid gives the option to wipe the information from the SD card.

Using Where's My Droid to remote wipe your Android is pretty easy. You actually have two options, with the first one being to send a text message. The second is using the online Commander. Because Where's My Droid is a common application, it's a good idea to change the secret code you need to send to your device to wipe it. This way there won't be any accidental deletion of your information.

Where's My Droid

2. Lookout Mobile


Lookout Mobile is another security application that offers remote deletion as an option in the Pro version. What's nice about Lookout Mobile is that they offer a backup and restore feature. Using the backup can give you the peace of mind knowing your basic information is safe. You have the choice to download your information to your computer or restore it to a new device.

Lookout Mobile

3. Avast


The third application on the list is Avast. Again, Avast is a security app for Android offering the option of remote-wiping information. Avast lets you erase the memory of the phone. Depending on the Android OS version on your phone, Avast can also delete the contents of your SD card. When wiping the information, there are two different ways. There's a standard wipe which is the quickest method and a thorough wipe. The thorough wipe takes a lot longer, upwards of 10 minutes, but will make the previous information unrecoverable.


Final thoughts

No method of security is foolproof. The point of any of these applications and the option to remote wipe your information is more about trying to protect your personal information above anything else. Losing a device or having it stolen is an inconvenience, but having someone being able to access your email, phone list and other accounts can change from inconvenience to a real nightmare.

What is the first thing you do when you lose your phone?

Image credit: Lost cellphone

Trevor Dobrygoski

Trevor is a freelance writer covering topics ranging from the Android OS to free web and desktop applications. When he is not writing about mobile productivity, He is coaching and playing the world's greatest game... Soccer.

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