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How to shield our cell phone to protect it in case of loss or theft?

The terrible murder of Flavio Durand Hernandez, a 23-year-old young man who was shot in the head for resisting the theft of his cell phone, shows, once again, that crime in Peru increases with the passing of days. By containing so much information about a user, not only of a personal nature, but also financial, such as bank apps and the like, thugs have set their sights even more on smartphones and, unfortunately, they will not skimp on hurting those who oppose theft. of this technological equipment.

That is why in this article, we will teach you the functions that you should take into account if you want to protect the data on your mobile phone in case of theft, loss or other similar factor. It is important to note that, beyond the value of the device or the information it contains, confronting criminals on our cell phone will never be the best option since they will not hesitate to harm us or even end our lives for them. This guide has the objective of instructing people to properly shield their smartphones but always remembering that human life is much more important and valuable than technological equipment.

GPS always active

One of the features that the smartphone era has brought closer to the general public is GPS. The Global Positioning System allows the device to be geolocated anywhere in the world and its implementation on smartphones has generated services such as Google Maps and even video games such as Pokémon GO. It is important that we make sure that we have this function activated at all times since, in this way, we can easily locate it not only in cases of theft, but also of loss.

To make sure that your GPS is activated on your Android device, you just have to:

Although it is true that the default GPS only works with the cell phone on and an active Internet connection, and many thieves usually turn off the equipment after committing their misdeeds, it is important that this option is kept active at all times since it will allow us to use functions that we will detail later.

How to avoid turning off my cell phone?

As we detailed before, criminals often turn off stolen smartphones so they don’t call or geolocate them with GPS. However, there is an option on devices with Android 11.0 onwards that prevents the device from turning off or disabling its WiFi, roaming, location or mobile data functions. To do so, just follow the steps below:

With these options enabled, the device will ask you to enter the PIN or pattern that you created in order to power off. Otherwise, you will not be able to do so. Furthermore, Wi-Fi or mobile data functions cannot be disabled without the aforementioned code. In this way, your cell phone can continue to work. What if they remove the battery? Since the trend in this industry is to manufacture smartphones with the battery sealed inside, without a cover compared to years ago, it will be much more difficult for the thug to remove it.

Locking systems to consider

One of the most basic and important security methods for a cell phone is the locking system. If it remains deactivated, anyone who presses the unlock button located on the side of the device will be able to access all our apps and information without any effort. Therefore, it is important that you know and configure the one that best suits your personal tastes and needs.

On Android devices, we have 3 basic ones:

There are others depending on the equipment, the operating system and the personalization layer of the phone such as facial recognition unlocking and the fingerprint reader, which offer even more security. If you have the option of using them, the recommendation is that you take advantage of them since you can get out of more than one trouble.

Some ways to lock your Android screen.  (Photo: Andro4All)

Google account always at hand

Android device users need a Google account to set up their devices and start downloading apps through the Play Store. Practically, the entire operating system has been developed to work with this profile as the main axis, so we must know our credentials perfectly. In case of theft, we can always access our Google accounts through other means such as a PC or another cell phone, so the username and password must always be present in mind.

The Google account even offers us the option to locate our linked device as long as it is turned on and has an available Internet connection. To do so, we must follow the following steps.

Google offers several options for people who use its operating system so this information can help you when you proceed to make a formal complaint with the Police.

Google allows us to locate our equipment, block it and even erase all our information remotely.  (Photo: Google)

How do I know where my cell phone has been?

To many people it may seem fatal but it is a fact that Google and several other companies have access to all the information of their users, including their location. On this occasion, we are going to put aside the debate of why this is good or bad and we will focus on its functionality since, thanks to the “location history” function offered by Google Maps, one can consult the places in the that has been your cell phone easily.

To do this, you just have to do the following:

Here, you will be able to see the places where your cell phone was in the last days, which can serve as some form of tracking to obtain relevant information about its whereabouts after the theft.

Through the location history of Google Maps, we can detect the places through which our team has passed in the last hours.  (Photo: Hypertext / Diffusion)

Change Google credentials

As we mentioned before, the username and password of our Google account is extremely important since much of our information, both from our computer and from the cell phone, is synchronized with it. However, how should we proceed if our equipment has been stolen? Well, the most recommended thing is that we change our access credentials immediately since this will allow us to close our session on the device that is no longer with us.

To do this, just follow these simple steps:

Of course, Google has methods so that not anyone with your account password can change it. However, these must be configured before, so make sure you have reviewed the “security and privacy” section of your profile as this can protect our private information.

Knowing our Google account and the ways to change your credentials is vital.  (Photo: Andro4All)

Know your IMEI

The IMEI -International Mobile Equipment Identity for its acronym in English- is a unique 15-digit code that absolutely all Android cell phones have. Thanks to it, its user can carry out a series of actions in case the cell phone is lost or stolen. Either locate it, block it remotely or process a guarantee through the official technical service of a manufacturer. For this reason, having access to the code will be necessary in various scenarios.

To discover your IMEI in case you no longer have the box where your equipment came, you can check it in two ways. The first and simplest is achieved by dialing the combination * # 06 # in our app to make calls. If we have done it correctly, a window will appear that shows us the cell phone code. The second can be done from the phone settings, we go to “about phone” and look for the “status” section, where we can find the IMEI. If our device has a dual SIM slot, we can see both on this screen.

We emphasize: the IMEI is a unique code and two Android devices cannot have the same one. Therefore, it is important that we know our IMEI or have it written down somewhere since with it we can achieve feats such as locating our cell phone even when it is off or without an Internet connection (using a paid app that allows us to geolocate it, of course) and block it so that it is totally unusable in the territories that collaborate with Device Check.

If you want to know your IMEI, just dial * # 06 # in your calling app.  (Photo: Nobbot / Broadcast)

How do I get my files back?

If we had very valuable information on our stolen cell phone, there are some ways we can recover what was lost. The simplest is by using a Google backup. To generate it, we must follow these steps:

It is important that this process be carried out from time to time since the files that we have saved on our computer after creating the backup will not be recovered when the process is carried out. It is best to do one a week or one a month. Better to be safe than sorry.

Taking a backup should be a constant practice to be prevented in case of theft.  (Photo: Xataka Android)

Requirements for the complaint

If our cell phone has been stolen, it is important that we contact our operator to report it and that they proceed to block our equipment. Then, with all the options explained, we will have the necessary information to make the police report of the theft of our cell phone. To do this, we must approach the corresponding police station and deliver all the information requested by the present cash. We can then request a copy of the complaint for free for the first time, additional copies have a cost.

If the agents fail to provide you with the proper attention, you can report this fact through the service of the Central Single Office of Complaints (CUD) of the Ministry of the Interior. You can do it by filling out the online form that is provided in this link. To do this, you must select “corruption, mistreatment and improper functional conduct”, detail what happened, the place where it happened and the names and positions of the officers. In addition, you have the option of attaching information that supports the report and choosing whether to do it anonymously or not.

It is important to know that for a care to qualify as undue, the policeman in question:

Even if you find out the whereabouts of your computer and the criminals who have it in their possession thanks to the functions that we explain, go to the corresponding authorities and do not expose your physical integrity trying to confront them or seek to recover your cell phone by your own means. . Remember that your life is worth much more than a smartphone.

It is important to report the theft of our cell phone and not try to take action exposing our lives.  (Photo: Pixabay)


It is evident that the moment our country is going through in terms of citizen security is not the best and it is evidenced by the alarming numbers of robberies that occur in different parts of Peru on a daily basis. Added to this situation, the fact that cybercrime has also been on the rise since the COVID-19 pandemic began only makes it worse.

Therefore, now that we know the ways in which we can increase the security of our mobile equipment, it is necessary to take into account the recommendations of an expert to protect ourselves from the constant attacks of thugs in cyberspace. About this, Diego Oviedo -Leader of Security services in IBM Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia– it gave us certain scopes that we will detail below:

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