Controlling a lost or stolen Android device remotely using Anti-Theft in Avast Mobile Security

The Anti-Theft feature of Avast Mobile Security needs to be enabled to allow remote control of your device. You also can upgrade Avast Mobile Security to the Pro version to use additional Anti-Theft options, such as capturing a photo of the thief when an incorrect PIN is entered, locking your device when the SIM card is changed, or secretly recording an audio file of the phone's surroundings at any time.

You can control your device remotely using the following resources:

  • Avast Account: an account created through the my.avast.com website. To use this method, the Anti-Theft feature must be connected to your Avast Account. Your lost device must also be running and connected to the internet.
  • SMS Remote Control: a built-in option of Anti-Theft. To use this method, Avast Mobile Security Pro needs to be installed on two mobile devices, a target device and a device to be used for remote control.
  • SMS commands: commands that you can send to the lost device from any other mobile device. If you use this method, the possible thief can see that you are trying to control your phone remotely, as all commands are in the incoming messages folder.

This article describes the most frequently used commands: LOCATE, LOST, and WIPE. However, Anti-Theft offers several other commands that may be used if you want to locate your lost phone, secure your data, or identify the possible thief.

Instructions

To follow these steps you need your Avast PIN, which was set during the initial Anti-Theft setup on your mobile. If you forgot your Avast PIN and need to restore it, refer to the following article:

Navigate the Anti-Theft interface

  1. Tap the Avast Mobile Security icon on your device.
  2. Tap the menu icon in the top-left corner.
  3. Select Anti-Theft.
  4. Type your Avast PIN code set for Anti-Theft. If you forget your PIN, you can reset it.
  5. Scroll down and tap SMS Remote Control.
  6. Select a command from the command list.

Send LOST command

The LOST command initiates the same actions as a SIM card change, depending on your protection behavior settings.

  1. Select LOST from the command list.
  2. Type the phone number and Avast PIN of the target device. Tap Send SMS.

By default, the following features are enabled and activate when you mark your device as LOST:

  • Lock device: makes your device inaccessible to intruders.
  • Sound siren: activates the siren on your device to alert you or others to its location
  • Camera trap: captures a photo of the thief and records a 1-minute audio file to help you identify the intruder. To review the photo and audio file in your Avast Account, select your device and go to InfoNotifications.
You can change these settings in:
  • Avast Mobile Security: go to MenuAnti-Theft and scroll down to the When device is marked as LOST section
  • Avast Account: select your device and go to SettingsAnti-TheftProtection Behavior.

If you have chosen to disable any of these features, you can activate them individualy by sending commands from your Avast Account or from another device.

To disable the LOST command, enter your PIN code on your found device, or send the FOUND command by following the steps above.

Send LOCATE command

The LOCATE command is the simplest and quickest way to locate your device.

  1. Select LOCATE from the command list.
  2. Type the phone number and Avast PIN of the target device. Tap Send SMS.
  3. Once the mobile is located, you can view the map with the mobile device's location in your Avast Account:
    • Select your device, go to the InfoCommands section. Click the pinpoint icon in the panel with the sent status to view the map.
    • Your mobile phone is located in the green circle. Click the table icon to open the GPS coordinates, where you can review your mobile's location, latitude, longitude and accuracy information.

You can provide this information to the police if necessary. Please note that location accuracy varies depending on signal strength and if the device is within range of a GPS signal.

Send WIPE command

The WIPE command erases all data on your device and initiates a factory reset.

There is no possibility to undo this action once the command is sent.
  1. Select WIPE from the command list.
  2. Type the phone number and Avast PIN of the target device. Tap Send SMS. Once sent, your device will reboot.
To follow these steps you need your Avast PIN, which was set during the initial Anti-Theft setup on your mobile. If you forget your Avast PIN and need to restore it, refer to the following article:

Send LOST command

The LOST command initiates the same actions as a SIM card change, depending on your protection behavior settings.

  1. Send an SMS message from a friend's mobile device to the number of the stolen device. The SMS LOST command should look like this:
    • 1234 lost, where 1234 indicates your Avast PIN and lost indicates the command.

By default, the following features are enabled and activate when you mark your device as LOST:

  • Lock device: makes your device inaccessible to intruders.
  • Sound siren: activates the siren on your device to alert you or others to its location
  • Camera trap: captures a photo of the thief and records a 1-minute audio file to help you identify the intruder. To review the photo and audio file in your Avast Account, select your device and go to InfoNotifications.
You can change these settings in:
  • Avast Mobile Security: go to MenuAnti-Theft and scroll down to the When device is marked as LOST section
  • Avast Account: select your device and go to SettingsAnti-TheftProtection Behavior.

If you have chosen to disable any of these features, you can activate them individualy by sending commands from your Avast Account or from another device.

To disable the LOST command, enter your PIN code on your found device, or send the FOUND command by following the steps above.

Send LOCATE command

The LOCATE command is the simplest and quickest way to locate the device.

  1. Send an SMS message from a friend's mobile device to the number of the stolen device. The SMS locate command should look like this:
    • 1234 locate, where 1234 indicates your Avast PIN and locate indicates the command.
  2. Once the mobile is located, you can view the map with the mobile's location in your Avast Account:
    • Select your device, go to the InfoCommands section. Click the pinpoint icon in the panel with the sent status to view the map.
    • Your mobile phone is located in the green circle. Click the table icon to open GPS coordinates, where you can review your mobile's location, latitude, longitude and accuracy information.

You can provide this information to the police if necessary. Please note that accuracy varies depending on signal strength and if the device is in range of a GPS signal.

Send WIPE command

The WIPE command erases all data on your device and initiates a factory reset.

There is no possibility to undo this action once the command is sent.
  1. Send an SMS message from a friend's mobile device to the number of the stolen device. The SMS WIPE command should look like this:
    • 1234 wipe, where 1234 indicates your Avast PIN and wipe indicates the command. After this command is sent, your device will reboot.
  • Avast Anti-Theft for Android
  • Avast Mobile Security 6.x
  • Google Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean, API 16) or higher

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