Saturday, 19 July 2014

Insecure Android Security?

I know it’s not best practice, but as I use my Android 4 phone all the time, I don’t have a screen lock pin or password - I just unlock it by swiping it. I don’t tend to lose or misplace my stuff and haven’t been pickpocketed so far, but still think it would be safer if I had some means to remotely disable the phone, should it get stolen or lost. Any suggestions?

As you already mentioned you realize you’re not using the most secure approach, I’ll skip the sermon ;)

You could use the free and built-in (in Android that is) Android Device Manager, which can also be used for Android tablets. You need to have the Google Settings app installed on your device, which, should you not already have it, is available on Google Play. Notice that ‘Google Settings’ is not the same as Android’s ‘Settings’!

Log into Android Device Manager with your Google credentials (the ones that are used on the device) and you’ll be able to
  • find the present location of your device (hopefully near you :)
  • ring it (just to let it make noise, not to engage in chit chat or negotiations with a miscreant)
  • remotely lock it
  • and even remotely erase it
To lock or erase your gadget, you’ll have to start the Google Settings app, then tap ‘Android Device Manager’ and check the box for the option ‘Allow remote lock and erase’. To enable finding the device, check the box for option ‘Remotely locate this device’.

Once you’ve done that, you can login to Android Device Manager from any device that has an Internet connection and a browser, and find out where your gadget is, let it ring, lock it, or erase it.

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