Anti-theft Apps

Having your smartphone stolen can leave you feeling pretty vulnerable these days. Although we still use the word ‘phone’ to describe our devices they are now so much more. Address book, calendar, maps, Satnav, email, social media, internet browser and much more… when a ‘phone’ goes missing it can be a big loss both personally and financially. Here, we take a look at some apps on the market to help you recover those devices that go walkies.

Cerberus

Designed for android based devices the Cerberus app is regarded as one of the best on the market. It comes with a free trial week after which the licence to use the app is just £2.99. Aside from the usual tracking and location services it enables you to remote wipe your phone and SD card, check if someone is using an unauthorised SIM on the device, sound loud alarms, set pass codes, recover call lists and much more.

Find My iPhone

As an Apple made piece of software you may have heard of Find My iPhone. If your device is lost or stolen the app allows you to locate it on a map, lock the device remotely or even remote wipe the device clean. It’s all really simple to operate through your iCloud account over the web. The best bit… the app is free!

Prey Anti Theft

If you really want to stick it to those pesky robbers then this one could be for you. It’s a step up from the free Find My iPhone app from Apple. It can take photos with the front and rear cameras which potentially could capture the face of the thief as they use your device. The app tracks your iPhone via GPS and Wi-Fi which means it can gather information about the network the device is connected to. Combined with photo evidence this information would be more than enough to identify a thief! Unfortunately whilst many features are free you will need to pay £20.99 a year to take advantage of the more advanced feature set.

Hidden Anti Theft

Although not quite as expensive (£14.99/ year) as Prey the Hidden Anti Theft app is arguably more intuitive. It does all the same tracking using GPS and Wi-Fi triangulation as well as taking remote pictures of any potential thieves but it is a little more crafty about it. In order to get a decent shot of the thief the app will trigger a fake alarm clock message which needs to be viewed to be dismissed, once the thief taps the dismiss button a photo is taken… hopefully lined up to perfection

iGuard

iGuard tackles security from a slightly different angle, ie. Stopping the thief taking the phone in the first place. It does this by using the motion sensors in the phone to detect movement. You can activate the app if you are out at lunch and your phone is sitting idle on a table or in a bag. If the phone is then suddenly swiped iGuard sends out an ear piercing siren and begins to flash. These functions can only be turned off by the user entering a four digit pin number. It’s pretty cheap at £0.69 too!

NotMyPhone

NotMyPhone app combines both theft prevention and theft recovery functions. Like iGuard the app can detect unwanted movements and sound an alarm if it is moved from your possession. It also uses a proximity detector, the bit that turns off the screen when you hold it to your face to make calls. You can simply engage the sensor by turning your phone upside down and when it is moved by a thief, or your mates having a laugh, it will send out alerts. The app also sends out emails with the iPhone’s location and pictures of any thieves it manages to capture. Amazingly this is all free too!

Disclaimer: When using one of these apps to locate a stolen device Comms Business does not advocate confronting thieves directly… unless you happen to have the biceps of Dwayne Johnson or have a van full of mates with you.

 

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine