If your iPad is lost or stolen, Apple offers its powerful Find My iPad feature via iCloud, which enables you to pinpoint the tablet’s exact location on a map as long as it’s turned on and able to connect to the Internet. If the tablet is turned off, you can set the Find My iPad feature to keep trying to locate the iPad until it is later turned on.
To utilize Find My iPad, you must set up your device in advance (before it is lost or stolen). To do this on an iPad running iOS 6, access the Home screen and tap the Settings icon. Next, select iCloud menu option and either create a free iCloud account (using your Apple ID) or access your existing iCloud account. If you’re creating a new iCloud account, it must be verified before the Find My iPad service can work.
From the iCloud account screen, scroll down and turn on the Find My iPad feature by tapping the virtual On/Off switch associated with it so that the switch is in the On position. This enables Apple to locate your iPad whenever it’s turned on (and not in Airplane mode).
After you have activated Find My iPad, if you misplace your iPad or the tablet is stolen, access the iCloud website (www.icloud.com/#find) from any computer or wireless Internet device and have the Find My iPad service quickly pinpoint the exact location of your device.
If you’re also an iPhone user, download the free Find My iPhone app from the App Store. It enables you to locate your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or MacBook using this free service. Or, you can install the Find My iPhone app on your iPad to locate your various other Apple devices from your tablet.
Using the Find My iPad feature (as long as the tablet is connected to the Internet using a Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G connection), you can remotely type a message that displays on your tablet’s screen (asking for the iPad to be returned), or you can force the device to emit a sound (so you can more easily find it if it’s lost in the same location where you are, such as if it’s under the sofa cushion).
You can also remotely lock the device using a password or wipe out and delete the contents of your iPad, which ensures that your sensitive data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. When you retrieve the tablet, restore your data from an iTunes or iCloud backup.
Although this is a useful tool for securing your iPad, it’s not foolproof. If the iPad is not turned on or is on Airplane Mode, for example, the Find My iPad features won’t work. However, when you use this tool with the tablet’s Passcode feature, it does provide an added level of security that helps to keep your data safe if your iPad gets lost or stolen.