Set up Parental Controls for the iPhone or IPad | Find Your Phone – Part 3

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This is one in a series of blog posts I have put together describing how to set parental controls for an iPhone, iPad, or iTouch.  If  you find this material helpful, you may want to download the Kindle version of my Book.  It contains even more information to guide you through the steps to ensure your child’s iPhone is secure.

Find your Phone or Remote Wipe

If you do lose your phone how can you get it back?  In the “olden days” you would have to remember or retrace your steps.  This is especially difficult when you factor in a child.

Today’s phones can “show you” where they are.  All modern day cellphones come with GPS (Global Positioning System).  In order for this to work, however, you need to set up the location service before you lose the phone.

Find iPhoneIf you lose your phone, you can use the phone’s built-in GPS device to attempt to locate it.  The GPS isn’t so sensitive that it can triangulate its position to underneath the couch cushion, but it can narrow down its location to a house or building.  Many phones have been recovered from thieves this way!

If you don’t have any luck finding your phone, then you should wipe your phone’s data to keep any sensitive data and login information out of unwanted hands.   Both the locator and remote wipe services are available for the iPhone™ and Android.  In both cases you should activate these services before you lose the phone, but in the case of the Android, you can activate some of these services afterwards.

Please keep in mind that in order for these strategies to work, your phone must have power, and must be able to access the internet through your cellular data plan or a Wi-Fi network.

As a last resort, contact your service provider.  They may not be able to locate or wipe your phone, but they may have other means to hamper your thief.  At the very least, they can cancel your service so you don’t incur unnecessary charges.

The Find My iPhone™ Application is used to:

  • Locate Your Device – You can find the general location of your iPhone™.  This is handy if you misplaced your phone.  You can even turn on a sound so you can hear it.  This is useful if you lose your phone in your house.
  • Lock and Track – If you have really lost your phone, I would first recommend using the Lock and Track feature.  This remotely locks the phone so no one can use it; however, the phone continues to report its location to you.
  • Erase – If you’re unsuccessful in locating your phone, your safest bet is to erase it.  Erasing the phone removes all data.  Important:  If you erase your phone, you won’t be able to locate it or lock and track it, as all data, including programs, such as Find My iPhone™ are gone.

Setting up location services is pretty simple.  First, open up the phone’s Settings screen.  If you don’t know where it is, you can search for “Settings.”  Once you’re viewing the settings screen you can:

  1. Tap iCloud
  2. Tap Account and sign in
  3. Move to the Find My iPhone setting and tap to turn ON.
  4. Press the Home button to finish.Your phone is now set with location services.

To Locate Your Device

  1. Open your computer browser and go to  https://www.icloud.com/#find
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID and Password.
  3. Locate the Find My iPhone app and click it.
  4. After a few moments a map is displayed and your phone, if powered on, shows up in the map. Locate Your Phone

In the upper left had side of the screen are some features that may interest you (See Items 1 and 2 above).  If you have more than one iPhone or iPad, you can use the Devices button (item 1) to select with ones to locate.  By default, the app attempts to locate all of your items.

Below that (item 2) are buttons you can use to Center, Zoom In, and Zoom Out the screen respectively.

To Lock and Track Your Device

First open the Find My iPhone app as described above.  Once the map is displayed, click on the Devices button.  Then from the list of phones, select the one which is lost.  Once you have done this, a window will pop-up on the screen offering you important information and several options.

Above is an example of one my found phones.  Key information such as the battery life (upper left), and the name and last time the phone was located are shown.  Remember, the phone must be on to be located.  If you just lost your phone in the home or car, click the Play Sound button to listen for it.

If the phone is lost and out of your hands, then use the Lost Mode to lock your phone, so no one else can use it.

Once you click Lost Mode, you’ll be asked to enter a code to lock your phone.  You’ll then confirm it, to make sure you didn’t make a typo.  After that is done, enter a phone number where you can be reached.  This number will be displayed on the phone.  You can then enter a message to alert anyone who finds the phone.  Shown below is the message shown on your phone.

No one will be able to use the phone until the unlock code is entered.

To Erase Your Phone (remote wipe)

If your phone is lost and you are doubtful that you’ll get it back, then you may want to erase your phone.  This will erase all information on the phone which means you’ll no longer be able to use the Find My iPhone app to locate it.

To start this process, click on the Erase iPhone button.  Then, when prompted, enter your Apple ID password, and press the Erase button.

Keep in mind this app does have its limitations.  First, if the phone is wiped the application won’t work.  Because of this, make sure the Wipe phone after 10 unsuccessful attempts is turned off in Passcode Lock settings area.  Second, if the battery runs out, the phone can’t be located; however, if you turned on Lost Mode, it will take effect if power is ever restored.   Third, smart crooks know to immediately wipe your phone, so don’t count on catching any thieves.  Instead, rely on this app to find lost, not stolen, phones.

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If  you find this material helpful, you may want to download the Kindle version of my Book.  It contains even more information to guide you through the steps to ensure your child’s iPhone is secure.

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