Smartphones have never been more important in your life. They are a medium for you to access hundreds of services which also include various critical information. Phones themselves aren’t particularly cheap either and losing them can become the biggest distress you have ever encountered. Tracking phones AFTER they get lost or stolen can turn out to be futile if the thief is smart enough to cut access to the SIM and/or the Internet before resetting the device. Fortunately, there is a range of anti-theft apps which can make sure you can handle such situations. In this article, we discuss the best of them for iOS and Android.
What are Anti-Theft apps?
Anti-theft apps are not perfect and won’t always be helpful. For starters, you need have the location and internet turned on for them to work seamlessly. Additionally, the more advanced ones can cost you a subscription fee as well. Location tracking is also only accurate to some level unless you’ve activated the “high accuracy” mode on your phone. Okay, since we have cleared those out of the way, let’s take a look at our top picks.
Cerberus is the swiss army knife of anti-theft applications available exclusively for Android.
Cerberus comes with a ton of features you can employ. There are three primary ways to control your phone – web app, SMS, and automatic alerts. As you would expect, the web app, once you have logged in and granted all the necessary permissions, lets you send all sorts of commands to your phone – such as lock (doesn’t work on 7.0 or above), display messages, retrieve logs, wipe the device, take a picture, location and just about anything you can think of.
However, its core strength lies in its ability to interact with text messages. You can configure someone else’s number and utilize that for transmitting commands. Everything works fairly well and quick enough. Auto alerts, as the name suggests, send you periodic notifications about your device’s whereabouts and even alerts you whenever someone removes the SIM.
But then, Cerberus isn’t free and costs 5€/year for one device after the 7-day trial expires. Hence, if you’re looking something really comprehensive which includes phone tracking, this is it.
Find My Device (Android)
“Find My Device” is Google’s own solution for protecting your phone. The app recently received a major facelift and comes a barebones set of remote actions including location tracking, reset, and lock. However, it requires a constant internet connection and location access. In addition to that, it doesn’t feature any SMS integrations like Cerberus. It’s free, though, and can be used to keep a tab on multiple Android devices.
Prey (Android, iOS)
Prey is yet another anti-theft platform. However, this one is cross-platform and works even for computers. For starters, the app supports all the usual tricks and utilities you’d expect from it. However, there’s one feature, in particular, I think everyone else should add – control zones. With this, you can configure a geofence which can be used by Prey to notify you when any one of your selected devices leaves or enter a particular area. There is a free version available. However, it doesn’t support any data protection abilities such as wipe or file retrieval. Otherwise, you’ll have to opt for the $5/month package.
Find My iPhone (iOS)
As the name suggests, “Find My iPhone” is Apple’s version of the “Find My Device” app we just discussed. It’s limited to Apple’s line of products such as the iPad, Mac, and sports the usual bevy of anti-theft features such as remote lock, location tracking and more. The app is, of course, completely free of cost and comes built in your phone or whatever else you wish to monitor. Easily, one of the best iPhone tracking apps out there.
The popular antivirus mobile app – Bitdefender also has an anti-theft feature you can employ. Because it’s not primarily an anti-theft application, Bitdefender comes with a ton of security features as well. The part because of which you’re reading this article, contains the ability to lock, geo-locate, sound an alarm, listen to the microphone, SMS commands, and even wipe your Android. It seems like a perfect package even if you’re looking for a complete solution. However, Bitdefender is free only for the first fourteen days. Post that; you’ll have to buy a subscription worth Rs 499 for a year which seems quite reasonable.
That was it for this article, do let us know in the comments section if we missed any good anti-theft apps.