Although technical solutions to deter thieves may work, thieves are tricky and can easily disable these solutions if they know what they’re doing. It doesn’t hurt to install a few apps to help deter theft though. Here are a few of my favorites:
Prey is a free open source tool that can be installed on Android smartphones, iPhones, PCs and MACs. Prey is installed as a hidden app on your phone or device. Once you set up an account on the Prey website and configure it, you can mark your phone as lost. Once marked lost, Prey jumps to action. It can send you reports noting its GPS location. It can also take pictures with your camera and even screenshots of what the thief is doing on your phone. Prey is available at preyproject.com.
For Android users who have lost their phone but didn’t install any tracking apps ahead of time you can try Plan B from Lookout Security – available in the Google Play store. Once you lose your phone, you go to the Play Store and tell Google to install the app to your phone. If everything works as planned, the app is sent to your phone and it will start using GPS and Wi-Fi networks to triangulate the location. As location is determined, Plan B will send you emails alerting you of the location.
For Apple device users you can use Find My iPhone to locate lost devices. Find My iPhone was developed by Apple for newer devices. Not only will it tell you where it thinks the device is, it can also put your device in a locked mode so a thief wouldn’t be able to view any data on your device.
The main downside to these apps is that they require your device to be powered on. Unless you have a super battery installed you’ll be lucky if you get more than 24 hours from a fully charged device.
Although a flip phone may not be the most attractive option to you, it is less likely to be stolen.