Did You Know?CTIA - The Wireless Association―the representative body of the international wireless telecommunications industry―has compiled a unified database containing details of all stolen phones in the USA. Phones registered with this network are blacklisted and cannot be reactivated anywhere in the world.
These days, phones are available in every size and shape to suit the needs of one and all. They also vary in price, with some available at a throw away price, while others cost top dollar. Irrespective of the price point, one thing is certain, our smartphones are no longer just another gadget. They have, in fact, become an integral part of our lives in many ways. They contain our personal information, fond memories, important data, and are very much our source of entertainment as well.
Needless to say then, smartphones are equally prone to being stolen just like your other personal belongings, and are, in fact, a lot more valuable to most people than their other possessions. Fear not, though, a handy anti-theft app could very well save the day, and strike fear in the hearts of all miscreants lurking the streets. Here's a look at the very best of these security apps for Android―the most popular smartphone platform.
You might want to keep in mind though, that these apps won't kung fu a thief into submission and keep them away for good, instead they are extremely useful to track your stolen phone back, and/or make sure your personal data doesn't fall into wrong hands.
AVG Antivirus for Android
AVG has been a trusted name in the antivirus arena for quite a while now. Apart from security from viruses and spam, the PRO version of this app also has a very useful anti-theft feature on board. The app lets you remotely access your stolen device from its website and wipe out all your personal data from it. You can even track the location of your GPS-enabled phone using the company's tracking website. Apart from this, you can also send certain preset text messages from any other phone and trigger an alarm, delete the data, or receive an SMS about the changed SIM details, depending on the message sent. It also features a very useful Camera Trap option, which takes a photograph of the person holding the phone when the wrong password is entered three times to unlock the device. This image is then stealthily sent across to the email address registered with the app.
Kaspersky Internet Security for Android
Another multipurpose app to safeguard your device from all possible threat is the Kaspersky Internet Security for Android. This app has a very effective anti-theft function to go with its antivirus features. The app has a Mugshot feature which, if enabled, stealthily takes a photograph of the person using your device, and saves it onto its server. This image can then be retrieved by logging in to your Kaspersky account. Using this web-portal, you can also remotely lock, sound the alarm, hide or wipe off the data, and know of SIM details of the new card installed on your phone.
This is probably one of the most feature-rich anti-theft apps available in the market today. Apart from tracking the location of the stolen phone, it also lets users remotely erase data, activate an alarm on the phone, and lock the device. The app can also operate in Stealth mode, wherein it is not displayed in the app list, and hence, cannot be disabled or uninstalled by anyone else. You can also set a perimeter for the phone, which once crossed, triggers the phone to stealthily send an SMS notification to a preset number about its location and the SIM installed. You might want to remember though, that most of the advanced features mentioned here, like setting a virtual perimeter (Geofencing) and taking a photograph of the would-be thief, are available only on the paid version of the app.
Unlike most other apps in our list, Lookout is more of a dedicated anti-theft app with anti-virus functions. The app has some simple, yet effective features like Locate and Scream (maps the location of the stolen device and activates an alarm on it), Signal Flare (automatically saves the location of your phone when its battery is low), and Lock Cam (sends across a mail to a registered email address with the location and photograph of anyone who gets the phone's password wrong 5 times). You also have the option to remotely lock your device and delete all personal information from it.
TrustGo Mobile Security
A lite and effective app, TrustGo Mobile Security goes about its business of protecting your phone without making a big deal of it. This steal is further used to track your lost/stolen phone remotely by logging on to the TrustGo
website. From here, you can locate the position of your device, lock it, wipe out all data, or trigger your phone to sound an alarm to help locate it. The latest update of the app also brings in the Candid Camera feature, which sends across a photograph and location of anyone who tries to unlock the phone after it has been remotely locked.
Armed with one of these amazing apps, you can walk down the street without having to fear about mobile theft, safe in knowledge that the bad guys don't stand a chance against your trusty vigilante. Cheers.