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How to remotely wipe or lock your Android phone

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If your Android smart phone or tablet were lost or stolen, would confidential personal or business information fall into the hands of others? Think of the emails, text messages, notes in apps such as Evernote and photos stored both on the device and in cloud storage such as Dropbox.

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Fortunately, Google has come up with a way of remotely locking or erasing your Android device. However, you must set it up ahead of time, with the tablet or phone in your possession. Here's how to do it.

  1. Visit this Web site: https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager
  2. Login with your Google username and password.
  3. Make sure that the correct device is selected. If not, click the little triangle to select it.
  4. Choose Setup Lock & Erase. You'll be prompted to send a message to your device. Respond with Send Now.
  5. If you open the message on your device, it'll take care of enabling the appropriate checkbox for Android Device Manager under Security. You can escape back to the home screen.
  6. Go back to your Internet browser and refresh the Web site (https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager). You should now have the options to ring, erase or lock your device. You would return to this site to choose one of these options in the unfortunate event that your Android device becomes lost or stolen.

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