Cell phone theft is the fastest growing crime in the country. There are two reasons you need to consider adding an security app to your smartphone, lost and theft. In order, Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Sacramento, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay are the top areas for cell phone theft and loss. Over half of Miami citizens, about 52%, have lost their phone or have had it stolen. It’s estimated that 54% of all smartphone users do not password protect their device. In the event that your cell phone is lost or stolen, whoever gets their hands on it may have access to your private information.
I strongly recommend you password protect your phone from cell phone theft, and utilize a mobile security app which will allow you to track down a phone or you can remotely lock or even fully wipe the device using a computer or somebody else’s smartphone. Consider adding the following app to protect your cell phone from theft or loss.
- Prey, which uses the cell phone’s GPS and using Internet access. When you notify Prey the cell phone is missing, the phone determines its location and notifies the Prey website with a time stamp and even have your webcam take photo also. You can have the smartphone sound an alarm plus you can send a text message to the smartphone that states the smartphone is lost or stolen or even operate in the stealth mode.
Prey will work on iOS, Blackberry or Android (It covers Macs and PCs as well). You have to create a Prey account, but it’s free to open an account and covers three smartphones and stores the last 10 location reports. There is an upgrade to Pro version, $5/month plan for three smartphones or $15/month for 10 phones both gives you continuous tracking. The free version covers three devices and will store the last 10 location reports (you can get as many as you want, but the older ones are deleted as new ones come in). You can upgrade to a pro account, which provides continuous tracking, saves 100 location reports per device and generates reports more quickly when you report a device missing. There’s a $5 per month plan for three devices and a $15 per month plan for 10 devices.
- Google Latitude for Android devices is another good app. On the phone, you’ll find it as a feature of Google Maps. Within the app, you select the Google Maps icon and then select Latitude. You have to “Enable Location Sharing” and “Reporting from this device” for the phone to be seen by Google Latitude. You then go to www.google.com/latitude to see a map with your location.
- Lookout Security & Antivirus (free in Google Play) is also a good app. In addition to providing protection against malware, it has a few lost phone features. Login to the lookout.com website, where you can see your phone’s location on a map, sound an alarm on your phone, even if it’s set to silent mode, lock your phone or wipe it. One unique feature is Signal Flare, which will automatically turn on GPS and send your phone’s location to your Lookout account every time your phone shows you a low-battery warning (usually at 10% and 5% life) to help you find your phone even when it’s dead.
Bottom line keep your cell phone close. Password protect it, record your serial number , and download an app that will help you find cell phone and keep your personal information safe from theft.