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One essential security setting for every Android device you need to turn on now

One essential security setting for every Android device you need to turn on now
© Sergey Toropov | Dreamstime

This is critically important. You must turn on this feature on all your smartphones and tablets.

It's so vital that we're encouraging you to share this information with your family, friends and coworkers. The good news is, this simple-to-do fix will ensure you don't lose important documents, credit card numbers and your most treasured photos and videos.

If you're using one of the 2 billion (or so) Android smartphones or tablets around the world, keep reading for straightforward, step-by-step instructions to make sure you can find it. This will turn on a feature that can remotely locate your devices.

Just think about all the valuable information you have on your smartphones and tablets. For starters, how many people are in your contacts?

Do you have dozens of names, telephone numbers, email addresses and street addresses? Or do you have hundreds or thousands of contacts?

Think about the photos and videos you have of your children, grandchildren and friends. Which documents do you have saved on your Android? Do you have credit card numbers stored there?

If you're like most people, you have saved huge chunks of your life, virtually, on your Android smartphone or tablet. What happens if you lose it?

Well, at the very least, it's a hassle. At worst, you'll put your ID at risk of theft.

You'll possibly give criminals your home address. You might lose precious photographs that you'll never get back.

That's why being able to remotely locate your Android smartphone or tablet is so critically important. Fortunately, losing a smartphone or tablet these days isn't like it used to be.

If you lost a smartphone years ago, you know the panic and dread that immediately set in. For instance, if you were at a busy airport with thousands of people coming off flights and getting on flights, you know it's chaotic.

In the past, you'd ask a friend or stranger to call your telephone number over and over. You'd retrace your steps from the airport lounge to Starbucks, then to the check-in area.

If you heard your phone ringing over the racket, it was a miracle! More likely than not, though, you boarded your plane and arrived at your destination without a phone. That's annoying and, worse, potentially dangerous.

We've got two ways for you to ensure that you can locate your Android. First, make sure that Find My Device is turned on.

Here's what you must do

Do not skip these important steps. To use the Find My Device feature, your Android must be turned on.

It must be signed into your Google account. It must be connected to Wi-Fi or mobile data. Plus, follow these steps so you can remotely locate your Android if you lose it.

1. Make sure Find My Device is turned on

Apps >> Settings >> Security & Location (alternatively, Google >> Security) >> Find My Device >> turn on Remotely Locate this Device >> Allow Remote Lock and Erase.

Note: These steps may vary, but should be similar, depending on the manufacturer of your Android smartphone or tablet.

2. Make sure Location is turned on

Apps >> Settings >> Security & Location (or Location) >> turn it on.

3. Make sure it's visible on Google Play

If your Android smartphone or tablet isn't visible on Google Play, Find My Device won't work. To turn it on:

Go to play.google.com/settings >> select your device (it may be under Visibility).

4. Make sure you can find your Android

Open android.com/find >> select your lost Android device.

Bonus: 3 reasons why you should use IDrive for your cloud backup

Find My Device App

If you've lost your Android smartphone or tablet, you can find it via another Android device. Here's how:

Open the Find My Device app >> sign into your Google account and tap Continue. If it's not your Android, choose Sign In as Guest >> have the Android device's owner sign in. Follow the instructions to find your Android.

Find your lost iPhone or iPad

If you don't use an Android smartphone or tablet, you almost certainly have an Apple iPhone or iPad. If you lose them, the good news is it's fairly easy to remotely locate them.

Click here to find out how to find your iPhone or iPad.

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