Tips & Advice

How to protect your phone from being lost or stolen

Malea Lamb-Hall, 27 February 2020

Take these simple precautions to avoid disaster so you can enjoy the season of celebration.

With only one month of winter left, our thoughts turn to spring...and all the world festivals and partying that accompanies this time of year. Whether you’re gearing up for Rio’s Carnival, Louisiana’s Mardi Gras, or a tequila-drenched Spring Break in Cabo, one thing is for sure – you’ll want to make sure that amidst all the revelry, your phone stays safe and secure. There is no bigger travel buzzkill than the shock of learning that your device has been lost or stolen. Fortunately, before the festivities begin, you can take some simple precautions that will stamp out the worry and let you focus on the merry.

One of the most common pitfalls of traveling is mistakenly leaving your phone in a rideshare vehicle. If it occurs during a ride that someone else had ordered, that person can alert the rideshare service immediately – both Uber and Lyft have “report lost item” features within their apps. However, if you ordered the ride, and that ride takes off with your device forgotten on its back seat, you just need to get to an internet connection so you can report the lost device directly to the company. Uber asks you to fill out an online form, and Lyft instructs you to contact support

Rideshare mishaps aside, Androids and iPhones alike have native anti-theft features built right into the software, which you can easily activate. 

For Android users

The Google anti-theft technology gives you remote control to locate the device, sound an alarm, lock the device, and wipe its data. To enable these functions, the missing device must be connected to the internet, have its location turned on, and have Google Find My Device activated.

Android users can also install a third-party antivirus solution equipped with more robust anti-theft features, such as Avast Mobile Security, which allows you to do the following:

  • View, monitor, and track your device’s location 
  • Lock the device remotely
  • Set the device to lock when it detects a SIM card change
  • Set the device to lock after 8 failed PIN attempts in a row
  • Set off a siren to sound from the device
  • Record audio and take photos remotely
  • Export your contact list to your Avast account
  • Remotely wipe the device, removing all data and initiating a factory reset

For iPhone users

Apple’s iCloud service Find My iPhone keeps track of the device so you can always find its location. It also gives you remote control to play sound or wipe its data. In addition, you can mark the device as “lost,” which triggers the phone to lock up, suspend the Apple Pay function, and display a message.

Taking the time to set up these safety precautions is the perfect way to pregame your partying. Celebrate with a smile and the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re covered.  


Avast is a global leader in cybersecurity, protecting hundreds of millions of users around the world. Protect all your devices with our award-winning free antivirus