Nobody wants to think about stealing your phone, but the truth is that it can happen to anyone. As such, it is always a good idea to have some type of anti-theft application on your device.
Google offers an integrated option called Find my device that may be missing from a phone, but there are also some excellent external providers. available options Let's take a look.
1. Find My Device
Find My Device is the native anti-theft application of Google and part of all Android phones. It allows you to remotely lock your phone, log out of your device and erase its contents. You can also see the location of your phone on a map and call it through the application that accompanies it.
If you lock your phone remotely, you can type a lock screen message that your device will display permanently until you disable it.
The Find My Device feature is enabled by default, but it is a good idea to verify that you have not turned it off accidentally. To check the status of Find my device, go to Settings> Google> Security and tap Find my device . Slide the lever at the top of the window to the position in if the function is not active.
There are two ways to access the functions Search for my device: through the web application Search for my device or the smartphone application.
Download: Find My Device (Free)
Cerberus is well established as the third-party anti-theft application for Android. It has a rich set of characteristics that its competitors struggle to meet.
The three main ways in which Cerberus protects your device are remote control through the web portal, remote control through text messages and automatic alerts.
The application can locate and track your phone, lock your device, start an alarm on your phone, load call records and erase both the internal and external memory.
Cerberus will also help ensure that anyone who steals your phone ends up in trouble with the law. You can take pictures and record videos secretly from anyone with your device, then upload them to the cloud for viewing. You can even record audio from your phone's microphone.
The application also supports automatic actions. For example, you can make the phone lock only if you change the SIM card, or instantly receive a picture if someone enters the wrong PIN.
You can enjoy a free seven-day trial. After that, you must register for the pro version of $ 5 per year.
Download: Cerberus (free trial version, subscription required)
3. Anti-theft alarm
At the other end of the complexity scale is the anti-theft alarm. It is a deterrent to theft; It does not have post-theft features such as phone location and remote cleanup.
As the name suggests, the application will sound a loud alarm in certain circumstances. For example, you can turn it off if someone unplugs your phone while it is charging, if someone moves your phone from where you left it, if you drop your phone or if someone changes your SIM card. You can also activate the alarm remotely if you notice someone has stolen it.
The alarm may sound even if your device is silent. Once activated, the noise will not stop without a password; changing the battery or the SIM card will have no effect.
Download: Anti-theft alarm (free)
4. Avast Mobile Security
Avast Mobile Security is one of the best security suites for Android. We have recommended it in the past.
However, here we are only interested in the Avast Anti-Theft function. It used to be an independent application, but Avast has included it in a comprehensive security package. The application has the usual range of alarms, maps and remote controls, but there are a couple of features that deserve special mention.
The first is remote listening. You can have your stolen device call another number and listen to your surroundings. The screen of your phone will remain black, so the thief has no idea that there is an active call.
Second, you may receive a low battery notification. This notification has two purposes: it will give you a clue as to whether someone is charging and using your device. And it allows you to reduce the amount of alarms, sirens and photos you request so you can save energy as long as possible.
While Avast's Android application is free, you must subscribe to get access to all anti-theft devices.
Download: Avast Mobile Security (Free, subscription available)
AppLock is another basic application. It allows you to password protect any application on your phone. It will not help you recover your phone if someone steals it, but at least the application will keep it safe knowing that your data is safe if the worst happens.
AppLock can also hide videos and images and restrict calls. It means that a thief will not be able to see your private life or accumulate massive bills in your account. The application supports advertising.
Download: AppLock (Free, subscription available)
Prey is a cross-platform solution that can track phones, laptops, tablets and all kinds of devices.
There is a free version and a premium version. The free version allows you to set up geo-fencing areas (and receive an alert when the perimeter is broken), view the GPS location of your phone, take pictures of the thieves and activate the remote lock. This limits it to three devices per account.
The premium version, which costs $ 10, offers unlimited devices and adds remote data erasure and remote file recovery.
We look at Prey in more detail when we look at easy ways to recover a stolen Android device.
Download: Dam (free version, premium available)
7. Where & # 39; s My Droid
Where's My Droid offers a free version along with two payment plans. In the free version, you can locate the device, ring it, set an access code and send an alert when someone changes the SIM.
The Pro plan adds more features, such as taking pictures, blocking and deleting the device and hiding the application icon It costs a one-time payment of $ 4.
Finally, the Elite version ($ 1 per month or $ 9 per year) includes geofencing, location history, device statistics and more.
Download: Where's My Droid (free subscription version, available)
Bonus: Carrier and Manufacturer Applications
Most network operators offer an anti-theft application . In the USA UU., Verizon, AT & T, T-Mobile and Sprint have their own version.
The major drawback of provider applications is that you will usually see a small additional charge on your bill each month. In addition, you can call your operator and force them to help you in case a criminal steals your device.
Several manufacturers also offer an equivalent anti-theft application. They are often built in OEM skins; Samsung and HTC devices have the feature. Unlike the operator versions, the manufacturer's versions are free to use.
Other ways to protect your Android device
Anti-theft apps are just one part of keeping your Android device safe.
For more information on how to stay protected, review the Android applications that protect your privacy and how to make sure your Android phone is up to date.
Explore more about: Android apps, Identity theft, Location data, Smartphone security.