With the ability to perform nearly all computing tasks on portable devices, the amount of sensitive data on devices like tablets is always increasing. Many of us tend to shop, bank, pay bills, and access sensitive work documents on-the-go. But due to the highly portable nature of tablets and the risk of data loss due to incorrect firmware updates or faulty app installations, you could lose vital data, or worse, have it fall into the wrong hands. It’s not very difficult to break into these devices. There are apps and utilities designed to extract data quite easily.

So when you know for certain that your missing device cannot be retrieved, it’s a good idea to backup your data so you can restore it on any device in the future, or be able to wipe your data remotely should you lose your tablet. While there are several paid tools available for the popular Android tablets, we will look at a few of these that help you to keep your device clean of malware, help backup and restore contacts and messages, locate your device when lost and in dire circumstances, wipe out critical data remotely.

Lookout Mobile Security
Lookout is an app that helps you scan apps that are downloaded on your device in real-time. The paid premium version also lets you track your phone, and if it cannot be located, it helps you lock your device or even wipe out your data like messages, contacts, pictures apps and related details remotely and permanently. A unique feature of the app is the Privacy Advisory that tells you which apps can access your critical data. These include location trackers, apps that can read your identity details and apps that can access messages. You can also check what apps appear in each of the lists.

Lookoout, simple and neat

Lookout, simple and neat

Once installed, upgrade the app to the premium version, which activates the Privacy Advisor. Click the option to scan your Android device and click the Scan button to complete the process. Once done, you can go through the track location, read identity info and access messages lists to see which apps are accessing these details.

This app from MacAfee helps you secure not just your Android-powered devices, but also Blackberry smartphones and phones running on the Symbian OS. After installing the app and creating a pin, set two additional notification numbers so that your phone can be returned. Visit ‘https://www.wavesecure.com’ and sign in with either your cell number or email id and selected pin. Go to the Lock section and click the lock button to enable locking of your device.

– Tracking Your Device
Tracking your device can get tricky if it has been stolen and the original SIM card has been discarded. In this case, go to the Track section and click ‘Not your mobile number? Refresh’ link. To ascertain the location of your device after you have identified the SIM card in the device, go to the Location section and click the appropriate links to find the location of the device.

If your SIM-powered device is locked, you can unlock it remotely  from the Lock section of the WaveSecure website.

If your SIM-powered device is locked, you can unlock it remotely from the Lock section of the WaveSecure website.

– Remote Wiping
If your device is deemed unrecoverable, it is advisable to wipe out critical data off your device. Before doing that, back up all your data. Start with the backup section, check the data you wish to back up and click the ‘Backup My Data’ button. However, do take periodic updates from your phone directly. Once done, go to the Wipeout section. Check the details that you want to delete from your device and click the ‘Wipeout Now’ button. After you have moved to a new device, install the WaveSecure app and restore the backed up data.

If you cannot trace your device, you can wipe out all critical data,  including media files, remotely through the WaveSecure website.

If you cannot trace your device, you can wipe out all critical data, including media files, remotely through the WaveSecure website.

Titanium Backup Pro
You don’t really need to lose your device to lose your data; an incorrect OS or firmware update can be just as destructive. While most of the data like media files, contacts and settings can be easily backed up, your game scores and levels achieved will take a beating. That is when a powerful app like Titanium Backup Pro can come to your rescue.

 – Prerequisites
The first thing you need to sort on your Android device is get superuser rights. Once you’ve rooted your Android device you can grant root access to the app. Start the app and back up the data. The app also backs up and restores apps, data, and market links. You can also schedule backups and back up data via cloud tools like Dropbox.

Lookoout, simple and neat

Lookoout, simple and neat

– Setting Preferences
Click the menu button to set the preferences. Here you can sync your Dropbox app, market links, even back up protected apps. Then proceed to Backup/Restore and back up all the data on your device. Then you can proceed to upgrade your device’s OS. Once you have upgraded your firmware, re-root your device, reinstall the Titanium Backup Pro and restore the data.

Backing up your data is a necessary process in today’s day and age of data and identity theft, hacking and so on. Why take the risk? Some of these apps, irrespective of the price, are just things that you should have if you’re a mobile/tablet user. It’s just the safe thing to do.

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