Our Smartphones Have Become a 5th Appendage: Privacy & Peace of Mind

Our Smartphones Have Become a 5th Appendage: Privacy & Peace of Mind

Smartphone technology is arguably amongst the best in recent inventions. Besides being a connection to our family and friends, smartphones have provided a gateway to a whole new world of music, literature materials, fitness, and amateur photography just to mention a few.

We’re willing to bet that you don’t know what your phone is truly capable of.  Get the most out of your phone by tapping into these surprising privacy features provided by Consumer Reports (CR).

In most cases, there’s no need to download an extra app—and when we do recommend an app it’s one made by Apple or Google. There’s just one wrinkle for Android users: Instructions and capabilities vary from brand to brand and model to model. But our instructions should work for most recent smartphones.

Privacy & Peace of Mind With Your Smartphone

Lock Down and Erase a Lost or Stolen Phone

If your phone goes missing, you can secure the data on it with a passcode and post a request for help on the screen to assist in the rescue effort. You can also erase the device remotely to further safeguard your personal data. Fire up your computer, visit the following web pages, and follow the directions.

  • On an iPhone: Go to
  • On an Android phone: Go to

Keep Tabs on a Child or an Elderly Parent

If you have a 10-year-old who walks to school or a parent with Alzheimer’s disease, you can use the location-tracking technology embedded in their smartphone to monitor their travels.

  • On an iPhone: Go to Settings > [Your Name] > Set Up Family Sharing > Get Started and follow the instructions for Location Sharing. This will allow you to create an account for the child and invite other family members to share their location data.
  • On an Android phone: Download and open the free Google Family Link app and follow the instructions for setup.


Explore other tips like health and safety smartphone features.

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