Use AVG AntiVirus App to Locate, Lock, Unlock, or Wipe Your Android Device Remotely
AVG AntiVirus is a free and popular antivirus application that people have been using on their desktop computers for years to protect their desktop operating system, such as Windows XP or Windows 7. Download the Free AVG antivirus for your desktop PC or visit AVG Download Center to download Free AVG Antivirus for Mac or other paid products from AVG.
Did you know that AVG also has an Anti-Theft Service for Android devices? Here’s how it works.
- Download and install the AVG AntiVirus software from the Play Store on your Android device.
- Once you have configured the software for protection, performance and privacy, click on the Anti-Theft icon to activate the service.
- You will receive an e-mail from AVG that your service is activated, along with the instructions on how to use this service.
- Go to any computer and visit AVG’s Anti-Theft Web page at http://www.avgmobilation.com/anti-theft.
- Login with your Google account. Select the appropriate option, such as Shout, Locate, Lock, Unlock, Wipe, or Scan.
- You can use the Shout option to make the device sound an alarm. Essentially, this will play a ringtone on the device. This can come handy if you can’t find your smart phone in your house and there is no other phone in the house to dial your number.
- When you use the Locate option, it can take several minutes to locate the phone and will give you its proximity in a Google map.
- The Lock option can be used to lock the device remotely so others can’t use it. This will require someone to enter the password that you will enter. This password is a temporary password and has nothing to do with any other password on your device or Gmail account.
- You can use the Unlock option to send the unlock command to the device but it can’t actually unlock your device remotely. You must enter the password you provided when you used the Lock option to unlock the device
- Using the Wipe option will wipe your Android device remotely. Needless to say, I didn’t try this feature and will have to trust AVG that it works.
- If you select the Scan option from a desktop computer, within seconds your Android device will start scanning your computer for security threats. This is the same action that you can take from the AVG mobile application on your Android device.
Does the Service Work?
So what about security and does this Anti-Theft service really work? In my tests, I found that the application works for the most part and can be useful to lock a stolen device remotely (and potentially wipe out the device, which I didn’t try). The features work, except that the first time I used the Locate feature, it didn’t even come close to the actual location of the device. While my smart phone was in my had, it showed that my device was located in a different zip code about 10 miles away from me. After a while it did show the exact location, so decide for yourself if this is good, bad, or ugly.
Another weak point that I discovered is that the application itself doesn’t use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) to encrypt the pages on the Web site. This surprised me. A company that makes AntiVirus software should be securing pages where customers are entering passwords and working on Anti-Theft software. In other words, you are using AVG’s unsecured page to secure your Android device. Really? This makes no sense.
Not only the Web site is unsecured, the password that you provide to lock the device can only be 4-6 English letters and/or numbers. In other words, the password you provide is going to be very weak. While this may be good enough to keep an average “Joe” out, it won’t be good enough to keep a serious hacker out.
Hopefully, over time AVG will improve this application. It’s a good start but in my opinion the application appears to be more for fun and games than to offer a serious anti-theft service……mainly due to the quality of service and the fact that AVG doesn’t offer encryption to use a security software on their Web site. As I mentioned already, it does seem to get the job done for the most part so I am not ruling it out as a totally useless application. I believe it needs work to offer better reliability for locating the device and also needs some security improvements. After all it is a security application.
Getting Help from AVG
If you need support from AVG for your mobile or tablet app then visit http://www.avg.com/us-en/mobile-support. You can search their knowledgebase for in-depth answers to your questions, access the AVG Community forum to get answers, or contact the AVG tech support.
Before you contact AVG, make sure that the password you are using to unlock is no more than 6 characters. As I mentioned earlier, the password that you provide to lock the device can only be 4-6 English letters and/or numbers.
If you need assistance, you can visit Official AVG Support on the Web, or contact them on the phone at 1-844-234-6038.
Copyright ©2013 Zubair Alexander. All rights reserved.