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Remote wiping a mobile phone through the Office 365 Admin Console

The Office 365, remote wipe is a powerful feature to prevent sensitive or confidential data on mobile phones from falling into the wrong hands. The remote wipe feature is available to all users and is especially useful to users who might have lost or had their phone stolen. So what if the scenario was slightly different, and a user discovers their phone had gone missing, but the user has no access to the Internet and needed to initiate the remote wipe immediately?

In this scenario, the user can call their office and ask for an administrator to execute the remote wipe on the missing mobile phone. The steps below show how an Office 365 administrator can remote wipe the phone.

1. Sign into the Office 365 Admin Console

2. Drill down to Microsoft Office 365:Exchange and click Manage

3. In the Navigation Pane, click Users and Groups

4. In the middle panel, click the Mailboxes icon if not already selected

5. A list of users will appear in the lower panel. Select the user with the lost or stolen mobile phone

6. Click the Details button - a list of options will appear.

7. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and Click Phone & Voice Features

8. Select Exchange ActiveSync and click Edit - A list of the user's managed mobile phones will appear

9. Select the phone that needs to be wiped

10. Click on the Wipe device button

Diagram 1 (above): Administrator Remote Wipe

Diagram 2 (below): Exchange ActiveSync Options

Diagram 3: Exchange ActiveSync Wipe Device

The administrative protection of all corporate mobile phones is useful not just for users who have lost their phones but also for creating policies that attack the mobile phones across the corporation.

Remember that a remote device wipe also deletes any data on any storage card that's inserted in the mobile phone. So any testing of a remote device wipe, on a mobile phone in your possession, should have all storage cards removed before the wipe command is issued.