Losing or misplacing your phone can cause a surge of panic once the realization has been made. In order to avoid such anxiety there are a number of preventative measures you can take just in case you are unlucky enough to misplace your phone or have it stolen.

1. Passcode

It’s always best to start in the most obvious place.

If you haven’t already done so, set up a passcode to make sure you have at least one barrier between your data and would-be thieves.

2. Find my iPhone and Android Device Manager

I mentioned these briefly earlier. Both of these programmes can pinpoint your missing device, lock it remotely, set off ringers and wipe all their data, so make sure you activate them.

For Android it can be done by going to your browser and whilst signed into your Google account, visit the Android Device Manager page. For iOS, tap iCloud, Find my iPhone and enable the setting.

3. Set your iPhone to “ping” to Apple just before its battery dies

If your missing iPhone is about to run out of juice, leaving it unable to send a “ping” to Find My iPhone, go to Settings –  iCloud – Find my iPhone and switch on the Send Last Location setting.

Your phone will then send out a final ping complete with location data to Apple’s servers, so at least you’ll know where your iPhone was before it died.

4. Block access to control centre (iOS)

This is the slide up window on your iPhone and iPad that gives you easy access to things like Wi-Fi, alarms, camera etc..

The problem with this that it also makes it easy for anyone to mess with your phone. In fact, a thief can use it to put your phone in airplane mode rendering the Find my iPhone app useless.

To block access to it, go to Settings – Control Centre and switch off the “Access on Lock Screen” setting.

5. Better PIN or password

Upping the anti with a longer and stronger password or PIN is an obvious way to increase your phone’s security.

On Android go to Settings – Security – Screen Lock and then tap either PIN or Password and follow the steps.

For iPhone, tap Settings – Passcode, then disable simple passcode option. Once that’s done you’ll be prompted to create and verify a new passcode.

6. Encrypt your data (Android)

If you have Lollipop pre-installed you data is already encrypted.

If yours is older (or has been updated to Lollipop) the encryption isn’t turned on by default.

To set encryption go to Settings – Security – Encrypt phone and tap the final confirmation button. Be warned though, depending on how much data you have it can take several hours before the process is complete and you’ll need to keep your phone plugged into its charger for the whole process.

7. Activation lock (iOS)

Activation Lock is a new iOS 8 feature which will prevent anyone without the proper passcode from reactivating a lost iPhone or tablet, which basically renders the device useless to anyone other than the owner.

Activation Lock only works if “Find my iPhone” is installed and enabled on your device, so if you haven’t already downloaded it, we suggest you do so immediately.

8. Put your name and contact information on the lock screen (Android)

Add a message to your device’s lock screen with your name, phone number, email address, or another reliable means of contact.

By doing so, a Good Samaritan will be able to get reach you, if they find your phone.

In order to do so, just tap Settings > Security > Owner info, and enter the text of the message.

You can follow Syncios on Twitter, Facebook for more tips and tricks.

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