Google added remote device locking capability to its Android Device Manager, allowing users to lock their phone if it’s stolen or lost. The new functionality can be enabled from the management interface where you’ll also be prompted to type the password used for device recovery (when it’s found).
The capability will obviously override the built-in pattern, PIN code, face unlock or password-based security, making sure your data doesn’t fall into wrong hands. And if the phone is in the Airplane mode, remote locking will kick-in as soon as the device is back online.
Finally, once you find the missing gadget – you’ll have to type-in the password previously defined in the Android Device Manager to get it back to the “regular” state… and continue using it like nothing has happened.
Aside from this Google’s solution, some OEMs are offering their own services that accomplish the same thing.