Your phone is an extremely important item, as you use it for hours every single day. This also means that you carry it around in public and it is at risk of theft. Having your phone stolen is incredibly upsetting.
You should be covered financially. With insurance that covers lost and stolen phones, you can replace your phone without having to stress about finding the money in your budget. However, that is not necessarily the end of the debacle for you. You may have important data that the thief may be able to access. Furthermore, if you can recover your phone, you absolutely should.
As such, there are a number of anti-theft apps available for your phone. That is, if you own an Android. iPhone users will not be able to find most of these apps, as Apple restricts apps that can track your phone.
Before we go into the best anti-theft apps for your phone, we need to discuss whether they are advisable.
Are anti-theft apps safe?
Apple tends to be overly restrictive with its App Store – a major reason many people choose Android phones instead. However, in this case, they may have a point. Installing a third-party app and giving it permission to track your phone could have terrible privacy implications. Is it really worth the risk?
This will depend on how you feel about digital privacy in general. Some people keep location tracking off most of the time in order to protect their privacy even from the manufacturer of their phone. They will never choose to install an anti-theft app.
Most of us are more lax with our privacy. We have location services on, give apps permission to use that data, and don’t even hide our IP addresses. Giving an anti-theft app similar permissions is not much of a leap. If the developer of the app is trustworthy, the app is no more risky than any other app on your phone.
With this in mind, let’s discuss the best anti-theft apps you can get.
Find My (iPhone)
Apple introduced what was then known as Find My iPhone back in 2010. Other phone manufacturers soon followed suit. Nowadays, every phone comes with a native Find My app available. These apps are generally the most trustworthy and provide services third-party apps cannot.
One of the most important services they offer is the option to remotely erase the data on your phone. If you are worried about your data being stolen, this can be a huge relief. You should use this feature as soon as possible to avoid potential identity theft.
While the Find My app does a great job, there are features that are not offered. This is why the following apps are popular.
Anti-Theft Alarm is a simple app that attempts to prevent theft rather than retrieve your phone after the fact. The app will sound a loud alarm if someone takes your phone from its charger or from the table at which you’re sitting. If you’re on the move, however, the app will not help.
McAfee Mobile Security
McAfee is one of the most well-known names in the cybersecurity realm (even if its founder is now more infamous than famous). The McAfee Mobile Security app has some great features you won’t find on your native app. It will take a photo from the front camera if someone enters the wrong PIN three times. You can also set off an alarm remotely from one of your other devices.
While this is a really useful app, there is a subscription cost to access all the features.
Perhaps the best-known third-party anti-theft app, Prey has excellent features, especially if you purchase its premium plan. You can send a message to the lock screen of your phone, sound an alarm, track its location, and wipe your data remotely. However, it may not be the best idea to give a third-party app such extensive permissions.
The above apps are the best anti-theft apps available. Ultimately, it is difficult to get a phone back, especially if the thief turns it off immediately. The most effective way of preventing a thief from getting your data is creating a strong PIN, rather than relying on an app to protect you after the fact.