Tip of the week: Erase files from a lost device with remote wipe

Dropbox remote wipe

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and here at Dropbox, helping you safeguard your digital life is our top priority. So we’re dedicating the first installment of our new tip of the week series to a common security nightmare — lost devices — and how Dropbox for Business can help.

If your smartphone, tablet, or laptop has ever gone missing, you probably remember the heart-stopping moment when you realized it was lost — and the frantic stream of thoughts that ran through your mind immediately after: Is my passcode secure enough? Could someone access my email or confidential company information?

You probably also remember the painful process of notifying IT, trying to remember what kind of data was on your device, and waiting to find out if it could be secured. Fortunately, with a feature called remote wipe, you have one less thing to worry about.

Dropbox for Business (and Dropbox Pro) users can easily delete data on a lost device — be it a computer, smartphone, or tablet — in a matter of minutes, without needing help from tech support. But don’t worry: Even after your files are deleted from a lost device, they’re still safely backed up to Dropbox and waiting for you on your other devices. IT admins, you can also use remote wipe to delete sensitive data when an employee loses a device or leaves the team.

Just sign in to the Dropbox website, and you can unlink the lost device with a few clicks. Syncing will stop immediately, no matter what kind of device it is. On tablets and phones, the Dropbox folder will be deleted automatically, and so will any files you’ve downloaded onto your phone via favoriting. For computers, you can choose whether or not you want the Dropbox folder to be deleted from the device the next time it connects to the Internet.

For more information on what to do if you ever lose a device, visit the remote wipe section on our User Guide.