Many of us use our smartphones for photos more often than our favorite cameras because it’s much more convenient. There’s nothing wrong with that, but what if you lose or misplace your phone while you’re out? What if you have a medical emergency? If you have an Android phone, chances are you have a setting to display text on the lock screen. This text can be set to say anything you want, whether you want to insult someone trying to pry into your phone or give useful information to strangers that might find your phone. Two of the best uses of this are to put a contact in case of emergency or how to get a hold of you if the phone is found by a stranger.
Let’s pretend you’re in an accident and unconscious. Let’s also consider you probably have some sort of lock setup on your phone – a pin number, password, pattern, etc. A helping bystander may call 911 for help, but what if he or she take initiative to also try to find a loved one to reach out to for you as well. He or she may look to your phone first, but the lock won’t let him or her get in. If you have an emergency contact displaying on the lock screen, those responding to the accident will be able to contact the person you specify. The same feature can be used to let others know whether you’re diabetic or have some other medical condition to assist in ways to respond if something were to happen.
Similarly, the same feature can be set to tell strangers that find your phone how to return it. Realistically, we would assume someone would keep the phone for themselves. But don’t forget there are some honest people still around that would be willing to return your phone. If this person doesn’t know how to reach you, he or she can’t return it.
What I have set up is a message instructing someone who finds my phone to call my wife in case of emergency and displaying her phone number. Following that, it displays a message to email me if my phone has been found, listing my email address. Please don’t list your phone number as a return contact if your phone is lost and then found, use an alternative phone number or method of contact. I’ve seen too many social media posts saying “lost my phone, text me your number” to have confidence that this is common sense.
So how do you set this up? Here’s how:
- Access your Phone’s Settings
- Tap on Security
- Tap on Owner Info
- Enter the text you want to display on your lock screen and make sure “Show owner info on lock screen” is checked
- Press Back – the text is saved automatically
Please keep in mind that, although this is a standard feature of Android, some manufacturers might choose to remove this feature or change where it is located. If you cannot find this feature, you may need to check with your manufacturer if it is available for your phone.