Both Android and iOS feature very useful tools that allow you to quickly locate your smartphone if it gets lost or stolen. Even if you are unable to recover the phone, you can still remotely lock it and wipe all your data.
The first step is to make sure that your device can be located. In Android, go into Google Settings, then Security, and activate the option "Remotely locate this device", if it is not already turned on.
Then you only have to connect to android.com/find with any Internet browser, whether on a computer or mobile device, to access real-time information on the location of your smartphone. Other options allow you to have the phone ring to alert you of its location, or remotely lock it and erase all your information.
Some brands offer their own solutions, like Samsung with its "Find my mobile" function, which allows you to synchronize your smartphone with your Samsung account, and activate remote control and tracking.
In iOS, open "Settings", then iCloud, and activate "Find my iPhone". Then make sure that “Location Services” is turned on in your “Privacy” settings. Once this is done, in the event that your iPhone is lost or stolen, you can connect to icloud.com/find and sign in to your Apple account to see exactly where your phone is. You can also do this using the "Find My iPhone" app using any other iOS device, once you have signed in with your Apple ID. You can then remotely lock your phone, have it play a sound, display a message, or erase all the data on it.
It goes without saying that these solutions will only work if your smartphone is turned on and connected (via a cellphone network or wifi). They also work for any other device that is connected to an Apple or Google account.