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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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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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