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How many accounts do you have on your Android device? There will be at least one email account, but many people use multiple accounts, not to mention social networking apps likr Facebook, Twitter, etc. And your browser and shopping apps have your entire history of searches, and financial information like saved cards.
What if you misplaced your phone or tablet? Or worse, what if the device was stolen. What then? You could try using the Find my device option, but this is unlikely to work if your phone had its GPS feature disabled before you lost the device.
So, you are not only losing your expensive phone, but also the data on it. A thief with tech skills could possibly break in to the phone and steal your data, or the much more dangerous one, your identity. This is a serious problem, so how do you deal with it?
Relax, all you need is to use a more reliable way, such as the one which Absolute Data Protect Mobile can provide. The app works on Android phones and tablets, and allows you to remotely locate your device from your web browser.
That’s right, you can use the Customer Center, with the dashboard to remotely control the device, from any web browser, from anywhere in the world. Once you login to the Customer Center and on the app which you installed on the phone, your device will be added to your Absolute account.
When you have installed the app on the phone, you will be asked to disable a security setting, which allows you to install apps from other sources (outside the Play Store). This is required for the Absolute client for the phone, called the Computrace agent app, to be installed on the phone.
The reason why this is needed, is because it is the app which enables the remote functionality to work. Also, it will survive uninstalls. This means, if a thief uninstalls the app, and thinks it is safe to use the phone. He is so wrong.
The app will reinstall itself again and again, no matter what the user does. This is the essential app which enables you to track the phone using Absolute’s website. The only way to permanently uninstall this app from the phone (in case you are selling it, or moving to a different phone), is from the online dashboard. Once it is authorized to be uninstalled, your phone will not re-install the app again.
Now, let’s go back to the dashboard and see what we can do with the controls here. The main screen allows you to add devices to your account, and also lists the devices which currently have the app installed on them. Click on the device’s name which you want to track and you will see the management screen for the same.
On this screen, you can see additional information such as the device’s name, the device model number, the IMEI of the phone, the status of the device (if it can be reached or not), the license status, and the date when the license will expire.
There are three tabs on this screen: Locate, Lock and Delete.
This tab has a map, which is powered by the popular Google Maps. It has a pin which marks the exact position where your device was tracked by the app. Absolute uses GPS, Wi-Fi, and the IP address it was connected to. You can zoom in and out of this map to see the street name, where the pin is displayed. A small tab on the map screen, reports when the device was tracked by the app.
You can use the information on this tab, to file a report with the police and they can help in recovering your lost or stolen Android phone or tablet back.
Locating the device is merely the first step. The more important thing is to block unknown people from accessing the data on your phone. While your password or PIN can prevent access to the phone’s OS, there are ways which hackers can use to bypass the security measures. So, how do we block these?
That is what the lock tab in Absolute’s website does. This essentially locks down the phone, and prevents whoever finds the device, from looking at your photos, videos, or steal your data. This tab can also be used to display a message on the lock screen, which can read something like “Please return this phone to John Doe. Contact me at the following email address or phone number”. So, that’s pretty much a ray of hope.
Now, you will want to ensure that your data is yours, and yours alone. And for this you need to delete all of the content on the phone. The Delete tab can be used for this. Here, you can select which data you want to wipe, either all of the following or just the ones which you select.
- Email and text messages
- Phone logs
- Data from removable storage (microSD card)
- Non-removable storage (internal)
You can also request a factory data reset, which will erase all of the data at once. To prevent accidental deletion when you are viewing the dashboard, there is a security measure in place, aka the PIN. This is the same password, which you set up when you installed the app.
This remote kill switch can be handy, in case it becomes clear that the phone cannot be recovered.
We used the app on our phones and it works brilliantly, pin pointing the test location. And the app and the dashboard are user friendly, which is an added bonus. And here is what impressed us the most, in our tests, the app works perfectly even with devices running on Android 8.0 Oreo.
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