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How to Wipe Your Phone or Computer If It Is Lost or Stolen?

If you've lost your phone or laptop, the first step is to keep your data from falling into the wrong hands. Learn how to protect or delete your data.

by Akansha_B Updated: 24 May, 2022, 17:38 IST
1 853

Important data, such as office papers, personal documents, and other facts, are stored on your mobile phone, laptop, and other devices. If you lose your phone, tablet, or computer, you should lock or destroy the data as soon as possible to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.

Consider what your phone knows today. It's no surprise that you get that sinking feeling when you can't find it. Even if the battery is dead, you can still locate a missing phone. You must be logged into your Google account to secure your data. Follow these steps to help safeguard your Apple or Android phone, tablet, or laptop if it is lost or stolen. 

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Things to setup now on your device

Imagine you're on vacation and your phone or computer is missing. If your passcode is simple to guess — or worse, if you don't have one at all — you're potentially giving over everything from your bank account to your social media accounts to anybody you want.

It's quite convenient to be able to clean your gadgets remotely. However, you must set up the capacity in advance. It's too late if you wait till you require this feature. Take some time right now to set it up using the instructions below.

Wipe your Android

You can locate, lock, or delete your Android phone remotely if you misplace it. Before you can use these services, you must first enable Find My Device. Here's how.

  • Open up the Settings application.

  • Click Security > Find my device.

  • If you don’t see Security, click Security and location or Google> Security.

  • Make sure Find My Device is included ON.

Follow these steps to remotely erase your phone
  • Sign in to your Google Account at android.com/find. If you have several phones, press the "Lost Phone" button at the top of the screen. If your phone has numerous user accounts, sign in to the main profile with your Google Account.

  • The lost phone will receive a notification and you will see its approximate location on the map. If you can’t find your phone, you’ll see its last known location.

  • Choose Turn on the lock and erase if necessary.

  • Choose Erase the device in delete all data on the device forever.

  • Note: After following this step, Find My Device will not work on this phone.

Delete data from your iPhone, Mac, or iPad

You could remotely wipe data from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac using Apple's Find My app. As with Android, make sure Find My is turned on before you start.

How to Turn On Find My for iPhone and iPad –

  • Open up the Settings application. Click on your own name then press Find mine.

  • Click Find mine [device]then turn on Find mine [device].

  • To see the device, even if it is offline, turn it on Find my network.

  • To have the location of your device sent to Apple when the battery is low, turn it on and Submit the last location.

To enable Find My for your Mac –
  • Press the button Apple menu > System settings > Security and privacy. Press the button Privacy way. If the lock in the lower-left corner is locked, click on it and enter the password.

  • Choose Location services then select the Turn on location services check box. Make sure the check box is next to it Find mine chosen.

  • Click Done then return to the main system settings window.

  • Click Apple ID > iCloud. Check the box next to Find my Mac.

  • To make sure you can find your Mac if it’s ever lost or stolen, click Options. Check it out Find My Mac is enabled and Find My Network is on. Click Done.

Remotely Erasing your Data

Let's assume your iPhone, iPad or Mac is missing. Here's how to remotely wipe it clean of all info.

  • Go to icloud.com and log in to your account.

  • Click Find my iPhone then All devices.

  • Select the device you want to erase and press Erase [device].

  • Do one of the following, depending on what you want to delete: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch

  • iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch: enter your Apple ID password. If you don’t use a trusted browser, answer secret questions or enter a verification code sent to your other devices.

  • If you don’t use a trusted browser, answer secret questions or enter a verification code sent to your other devices. Enter the password to lock the Mac. You will need to use a password to unlock it.

  • If the device is lost and you are asked to enter a phone number or message, indicate that the device is lost, or how to contact you if you wish. The number and message will appear on the device lock screen.

  • If your device is online, remote erasure will start after following the on-screen instructions. If your device is offline, remote erasure will start the next time it is online.

Windows

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You may also wipe your Windows laptop remotely. Before this happens, make sure the Find my device function is turned on –

  • Log in to your Microsoft account.

  • In Windows 10, go to Settings > Update and security > Find my device and make sure the feature is thereon.

  • In Windows 11, go to Settings > Privacy and security > Find my device and make sure the feature is thereon.

The next step is to register your computer with Microsoft Intune, a cloud service that lets you control devices and programmers remotely. Log in to the company's portal website or download the app from the Microsoft Store.

Now that your laptop is gone, you can remotely erase it.

  • Go to portal.azure.com/#home and enter.

  • Choose All services and filter Intune.

  • Choose Microsoft Intune and select Devices.

  • Select the device you want to delete remotely.

  • Click Wipe and then Yes.

  • The next time you turn on the laptop, all your data will be deleted within 15 minutes.

Did you find the above information helpful, let us know in the comments if you would like more topics like this.

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Deal Cadet Deal Cadet

One of the most ignorant thing we do with our gadgets.

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