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These Android Anti-Theft Apps Are Guaranteed to Stop Thieves in Their Tracks

These Android Anti-Theft Apps Are Guaranteed to Stop Thieves in Their Tracks

We know you take good care of your phone. Of course you do. Who wouldn’t be careful with a device that probably cost you several hundred of dollars? But the fact of the matter is, unless you’re leaving your phone in a locked safe in your bedroom, there’s always the chance that it could get stolen. Over 2 million mobiles are stolen every year in the US[1] and subscriber fraud costs mobile phone companies more than 100 million every year. So statistically there’s a fair chance that one day that mobile could be yours. Which is why we’re taking a look at anti-theft apps. If you’ve got an Android, here are the best apps for protection.

Why Install an App at All?

Other than being careful, there’s not a lot that you can do to prevent your phone being stolen. What you can do is protect your data and possibly even find your phone. A solid, anti-theft app should allow you to lock down or even erase your personal data (such as banking apps, Facebook passwords, and contacts) and allow you to track the phone as well (just in case you happened to leave it somewhere or so that the police can track it down in some circumstances).

Installing such apps isn’t a requirement. But the consequences of not doing so can be severe. Got that Amazon app on your phone? Then your thief is free to purchase things on your account as long as it’s logged in. Got a banking app? Then things are even worse if it allows the thief to transfer funds. Trust us, you want to protect your data in the best way possible, and that means being prepared for the worst.

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The Default Option

Android users do have a built-in option for anti-theft precautions, and it’s pretty simple to set up (no downloads or payment necessary, so there’s no excuse not to do this one). Head into your Settings menu, scroll down to the section titled “Permission,” and then hit “Security.” Then simply check the box next to “Android Device Manager.” You can now access your phone remotely from your regular Google account (through Gmail is the easiest way). This default option allows you to remotely lock, track, or wipe data. The upsides are that it’s free and easy; the downsides are that these functions are pretty basic. This means that you might want to opt for a better, third party option, such as one of the below.

Prey

Prey is a very inclusive app that allows you to track not only your phone, but also tablets, laptops, and any other electronic device that you may have. Register your device into the app, and should it go missing head to the Prey website and mark it as lost. You will then be able to track or lock your device. Simple. But you can also send a message that will display on your phone’s lockscreen (we imagine something like “Give back my phone”…), make the phone sound a loud alarm, or even take photos with the phone that are then displayed on your PC (giving you a look at the criminal if nothing else).

You can also set up Prey with a “Control Zone” (ideally around your home or workplace), and you’ll receive a notification if your device leaves that zone. Prey is free, but a premium option allows you to add more Control Zones and devices.

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Lookout

Lookout is a great app, but it doesn’t top our list simply because the free version is very limited. Using the free version of Lookout lets you track your device and scan apps you download to see if they’re safe, which isn’t especially impressive.

However, if you’re willing to pay for the premium version you get some awesome features. Premium Lookout lets you limit app permissions, as well as monitoring websites to make sure they’re not stealing any info from you. You can also remotely lock and wipe your phone, and there’s the possibility to back up your call logs and photos at the same time. Finally, you’ll get theft alerts if anything strange happens on/to your devices, and breach reports if any of the services you use are hacked.

Cerberus

Cerberus gives you tons of features. Not only does it let you lock or wipe your phone online (as well as making the phone ring to sound an alarm), but it will also let you do the same thing via SMS (which is great since your stolen phone might not necessarily have an internet connection). You can be alerted if your SIM card is changed; you can also remotely take video or photos, both of which are pretty cool. But the coolest function is something called AutoTask, which lets you set up “if X, then Y” situations. For example, you can set up a task that says “if the wrong password is entered, set off the alarm.”

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Cerberus is free for a week, after which you have to buy a yearly subscription (but it’s cheaper than most apps). However, the downside to Cerberus is that it’s pretty complicated to use and isn’t particularly intuitive. If you’re tech minded, Cerberus is the best anti-theft choice out there, but the less device savvy might want to move on to our final option.

Where’s My Droid

Our pick for best anti-theft app right now is probably Where’s My Droid, simply because it offers many of the same features as Cerberus, and yet is much more user friendly. The free version will let you set a passcode on your phone remotely, locate your device, make the device ring, or send an alert if the SIM card is changed (important so you know that the phone number no longer works). All of that is pretty good, but there’s more.

Upgrade to Where’s My Droid premium (for a small, one-time payment) and you get rid of the ads that run along the bottom of your screen. You also add the ability to remotely lock and wipe your phone (as well as hiding the app icon for Where’s My Droid, so no one can delete it), and to remotely take pictures with your device. Upgrade even more to the Elite version (for a yearly subscription) and you can see location history for the device, stats, and can set up control zones (like with Prey).

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Protecting your phone is obviously important, and the above are your best bets for anti-theft apps, with some being better than others. Be prepared: download your apps now; you might be glad you did if someone ever gets their hands on your phone.

Reference

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Stephanie Caudle

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Published on September 20, 2018

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

Minimizing Tabs

Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

Incognito Mode

Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

Save Webpages as PDF Files

Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

Open Recently-closed Tabs

Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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Solve Mathematical Problems

Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

Play Media Files

Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

Stay Focus(e)d

Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

Grammarly for Editing

Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

Loom

There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

Chrome Calendar Extension

No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

Final Thoughts

Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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