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Old October 2nd, 2012, 05:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Best anti-theft app

I'm trying to select the best anti-theft app for my new Galaxy Nexus. I have evaluated several. My requirements are:
  1. Accepts commands via SMS
  2. Issues reports via email with picture and location
  3. Senses number of failed logins
  4. Issues emails on every failed login after x failed logins
  5. Clears lock screen after y failed logins
  6. Issues emails when screen opened once lock screen cleared
  7. Issue email with new phone number if SIM card is swapped
where x and y are set by user. The above criteria may not be clear, but the gist is that the app can sense failed logins and respond accordingly. Once a user-settable number of failed logins have occurred it should clear lock screen and allow the thief access This is to encourage continued use and allow owner to obtain picture of thief and his location. Of course, the reason for x is to avoid the issuance of emails during authorized usage. My requirements have been generated by a recent evaluation of GotYa. The concept behind the app is excellent IMO, but the implementation seems confusing. I would really like to evaluate other apps that follow the same overall functionality.

As an aside, GotYa does not require a server; it is totally standalone which is nice from a reliability and privacy standpoint. I like not having to depend on a 3rd party server. Another interesting feature is the ability to set minimum gps accuracy with a timeout. I set it to 7 meters with a 60 second timeout. I would like to hear about other apps that follow a similar functionality.
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 05:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Pete!

I use Avast which has some nice features (anti theft as well as anti malwear).

It could be worth investing in Tasker... I am pretty sure that you can create all of the features you are after and more. I am not any good with it, having only played about a little bit, but am sure that you would find Tasker - Android Forums a useful place... the members in there would be able to help you get anything you wanted sorted... there is already a task that takes a picture and emails it to a specified email address when there have been too many incorrect pattern lock entries ([Profile] [front Camera] Photo/email image of device intruder)
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 06:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D-U-R-X View Post
Hi Pete!

I use Avast which has some nice features (anti theft as well as anti malwear).

It could be worth investing in Tasker... I am pretty sure that you can create all of the features you are after and more. I am not any good with it, having only played about a little bit, but am sure that you would find Tasker - Android Forums a useful place... the members in there would be able to help you get anything you wanted sorted... there is already a task that takes a picture and emails it to a specified email address when there have been too many incorrect pattern lock entries ([Profile] [front Camera] Photo/email image of device intruder)
Thanks; that Tasker and example given are pretty impressive! One very important requirement I didn't mention is the sending of an email if SIM card is changed with new phone number (I updated my original posting). While very interesting I think the Tasker approach is a little advance for me at the moment. I'd rather find a turn-key solution like GotYa, but maybe a bit more refined
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 06:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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No problem Pete... I believe Avast may offer something like that. I know that it has some advanced security settings (especially if you have root access) which mean that, even if a factory reset is performed on the phone, it doesn't get rid of Avast
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 07:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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One of my friend have used an app for almost the same requirements. I will ask her if she can tell me. She is out of country and will be back in few days. I will definitely send you the link or all the information regarding that software/app.
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 07:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Lookout is cooking up something new to be announced soon -

Twitter / Lookout: "It's new, fresh and sleek. ...
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 09:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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No problem Pete... I believe Avast may offer something like that. I know that it has some advanced security settings (especially if you have root access) which mean that, even if a factory reset is performed on the phone, it doesn't get rid of Avast
Thanks. I think Avast is similar to Cerberus which I evaluated. It uses a server. I prefer something like GotYa which uses failed logins as the trigger to act without the need for a 3rd party server. It's totally standalone. Reports are issued via email and include both picture and location. Basically, it's a minimalist approach which I like. The only problem is that I get many more email reports than I expected based upon the settings I chose. At this point I'd like to consider any other similar apps before I make a final decision. In the meantime, I have tried to communicate with the GotYa developer without luck.

Update: I've managed to communicate with developer here:
http://forums.androidcentral.com/android-applications/100461-tool-gotya-identify-your-thief-face-locate.html#post2206875

Perhaps I can resolve the outstanding issues now
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 10:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doinacharls View Post
One of my friend have used an app for almost the same requirements. I will ask her if she can tell me. She is out of country and will be back in few days. I will definitely send you the link or all the information regarding that software/app.
Thanks. I'll look forward to hearing back
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 08:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
I'm trying to select the best anti-theft app
I mean no disrespect to you or the developers of security apps, but I believe the best security for your droid is a front pocket for it alone.

Just like a rear pocket for your wallet, tap them when you get up. And if you have to use one, keep it in your hand until it goes back in its pocket.

Caveat: I do have Where's My Droid installed, but I donít expect any better results from losing a droid than a wallet. With either, either it falls into helpful hands or I never see it again.
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 08:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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That its of course assuming that everybody had front pockets at all time. And that phones don't fall out of pockets, and that you never have to take them out.

But i actually do agree with you that keeping positive control of the phone whenever possible beats the hell out of any app or service.
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 09:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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That its of course assuming that everybody had front pockets at all time.
That would be true in my and most peopleís case, but if others donít prepare for meeting the world with even that, best of luck to them.
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 10:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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That would be true in my and most people’s case, but if others don’t prepare for meeting the world with even that, best of luck to them.
You must not know any women then, since unless I'm mistaken most women's outfits don't have front pockets (almost certainly not big enough to hold a phone in). You also probably don't go running, since even if they have good sized pocket, you wouldn't want your cellphone flopping around in the front pocket. Or go swimming. Or any other situations where you'd want you're phone but can't carry it in your front pocket.

Besides, even if somehow "having a front pocket" was sage advice on the level of "always bring a towel with you", people don't always have the choice of what they wear, or what they can carry in their pockets.

Oh, and you apparently have never heard of "pickpockets". Depending on the jacket, your actually safer having the phone (and wallet) in the inside pocket of your jacket. It's also less likely to fall out.
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Old October 4th, 2012, 06:25 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefboyardee View Post
I mean no disrespect to you or the developers of security apps, but I believe the best security for your droid is a front pocket for it alone.

Just like a rear pocket for your wallet, tap them when you get up. And if you have to use one, keep it in your hand until it goes back in its pocket.

Caveat: I do have Where's My Droid installed, but I donít expect any better results from losing a droid than a wallet. With either, either it falls into helpful hands or I never see it again.
Thanks. I do agree that keeping close tabs on your phone is the best protection, however, my philosophy is a bit different. While there are no certainties in anti-theft apps or life for that matter, one can do things to improves the odds. The thing I like most about the GotYa app is that it does just a few things, but it does them extremely well. I suggest you take a serious look at GotYa for the fun of it. I definitely believe you will increase the odds of recovery to a higher probability than a lost or stolen wallet
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Old October 4th, 2012, 08:06 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Has anyone tried this app by TrustGo?

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.trustgo.security&hl=en

It claims:
Quote:
TrustGo's FREE app offers more features than Lookout, AVG, NetQin, Norton, Avast, Kaspersky and other antivirus apps. Try them all and see how TrustGo finds what others miss!
Not sure if it Accepts commands via SMS.
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Old October 4th, 2012, 08:54 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Has anyone tried this app by TrustGo?

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.trustgo.security&hl=en

It claims:

Not sure if it Accepts commands via SMS.
Thanks. Looks like the anti-theft features are very limited, but it may have other uses. As near as I can determine, the totally standalone capability of GotYa is pretty unique. I haven't found a single app with comparable functionality.
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Old October 5th, 2012, 05:33 AM   #16 (permalink)
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After evaluating GotYa for several days, I have discovered some features I wish were included:
  1. SMS message to turn on gps
  2. Icon and sign on screen that disguises itself as game
  3. Ability (on rooted phone) to survive a reset
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Old October 10th, 2012, 05:19 PM   #17 (permalink)
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i love Lookout.

1. it can find your phone if it's lost or stolen - even if your battery dies.
2. it's lightweight - it uses very little battery and resources.
3. the malware detector works. i tested it by purposely installing "SMS Replicator" and it caught it on my phone after a scan.
4. i trust them - they are a reputable AMERICAN company based in the U.S. it's not about patriotism. it's that i trust an American company more than i trust a foreign company (like one located in the Czech Republic or Russia) with my data security.
5. it's FREE.

IMO - install it.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 05:49 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
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i love Lookout.

1. it can find your phone if it's lost or stolen - even if your battery dies.
2. it's lightweight - it uses very little battery and resources.
3. the malware detector works. i tested it by purposely installing "SMS Replicator" and it caught it on my phone after a scan.
4. i trust them - they are a reputable AMERICAN company based in the U.S. it's not about patriotism. it's that i trust an American company more than i trust a foreign company (like one located in the Czech Republic or Russia) with my data security.
5. it's FREE.

IMO - install it.
Thanks. Have you evaluated Cerberus? I'm back to Cerberus after disqualifying GotYa. GotYa has promise, but it was just missing a few important features.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 02:23 PM   #19 (permalink)
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nope.

Registered through: GoDaddy.com, LLC
Domain Name: CERBERUSAPP.COM
Created on: 16-Mar-11
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Old October 11th, 2012, 02:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
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4. i trust them - they are a reputable AMERICAN company based in the U.S. it's not about patriotism. it's that i trust an American company more than i trust a foreign company (like one located in the Czech Republic or Russia) with my data security.
You do realize that the fact that they are a US company means it's MORE likely to be able to profit off your information and thus have more motivation to steal it from you?
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Old October 11th, 2012, 02:42 PM   #21 (permalink)
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You do realize that the fact that they are a US company means it's MORE likely to be able to profit off your information and thus have more motivation to steal it from you?
nonsense. and i'll stick with an American company subject to American laws, justice, and scrutiny when it comes to the security of my data.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 02:53 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gekko View Post
nonsense. and i'll stick with an American company subject to American laws, justice, and scrutiny when it comes to the security of my data.

The EU had stricter laws about data security and the us had next to no federal enforcement for information crimes. But wherever makes you feel better.
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Old October 16th, 2012, 07:57 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doinacharls View Post
One of my friend have used an app for almost the same requirements. I will ask her if she can tell me. She is out of country and will be back in few days. I will definitely send you the link or all the information regarding that software/app.
Did your friend ever return?
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Old January 20th, 2013, 01:20 PM   #24 (permalink)
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A few months ago I got my HTC Inspire stolen. I had Wheres my droid installed, but when I tried to track it, it seemed that the thief had already turned off or removed the battery. Same happened to a friends iPhone a week ago, he didn't had any unlock password so the thief probably turned it off very easily.

Now I own a Nexus 4, which has a non-removable battery. I also have an unlock password. But I know there can be ways for a thief to force a turn off and avoid any GPS tracking.

This are my requirements for a stolen phone tracker app:
Activate "phone was stolen" or something like that via SMS (easier to lock the phone from a borrowed phone than having to get home to enter a website and lock it).
Once "phone was stolen" mode is activated, disable all physical buttons (power and volume) and notifications. I believe I would need to root my phone for that, but I don't care.
Once physical buttons are disable, take a picture with the front facing camera the next time the power button is pressed and send it via e-mail.
Bonus: once "phone was stone" mode is activated, change the unlock password for a secundary code previously defined.


I may sound paranoical, but I live in a very unsafe city and I've had 4 phones stolen before (Sony Ericsson T610, Motorola V3, Nokia E63 and HTC Inspire). If you know of any app like this, doesn't matter if its not free, please let me know.
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Old January 21st, 2013, 06:03 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Version 2 of AirDroid is in beta now and lets you activate the camera and take pictures or just watch. You can find your phone via gps, do a remote wipe and lots of other goodies. You just login to the website from any computer.
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Old January 21st, 2013, 06:21 PM   #26 (permalink)
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One word to match all your needs and then some: Cerberus

Be wary of applications that turn-off data services (Juice Defender etc.) as you need to be able to contact your device from any web browser as needed to take pictures, video, display messages, etc.. But even if data is turned off, you can remote-control the phone via SM text messages.

You can track your phone and notify police of its whereabouts, look at SMS messages that have been sent/received, view the phone log, "wipe" the device, etc. Removing it from the app drawer (via the web page) and manually deleting the icon from the desktop, while maintaining the app even after the wipe, ...

Well, that was more than one word and I haven't even begun to describe the security capabilities of the app.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 09:58 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
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One word to match all your needs and then some: Cerberus

Be wary of applications that turn-off data services (Juice Defender etc.) as you need to be able to contact your device from any web browser as needed to take pictures, video, display messages, etc.. But even if data is turned off, you can remote-control the phone via SM text messages.

You can track your phone and notify police of its whereabouts, look at SMS messages that have been sent/received, view the phone log, "wipe" the device, etc. Removing it from the app drawer (via the web page) and manually deleting the icon from the desktop, while maintaining the app even after the wipe, ...

Well, that was more than one word and I haven't even begun to describe the security capabilities of the app.
Thanks, it's seems pretty good and has good comments, but my main requirement is to disable power button so thief can't turn it off.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 04:56 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Thanks, it's seems pretty good and has good comments, but my main requirement is to disable power button so thief can't turn it off.
Well, that's an interesting requirement; might it cause a complete battery drawdown unless the thief has a suitable charger?

My intention in the event of theft is to minimally enable "emergency mode" and "start tracking" so that information can be collected whenever the phone is turned on, and then optionally view the SMS and call logs and perhaps take a picture from either lens.

I use a pattern screen lock that is engaged after 15 minutes of inactivity or when the phone is powered on, and using the wrong pattern sends a picture to whatever email address I configured. Sometimes I get a picture of myself when my hands are cold and I'm fumbling.
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Old February 3rd, 2013, 09:01 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefboyardee View Post
I mean no disrespect to you or the developers of security apps, but I believe the best security for your droid is a front pocket for it alone.

Just like a rear pocket for your wallet, tap them when you get up. And if you have to use one, keep it in your hand until it goes back in its pocket.

Caveat: I do have Where's My Droid installed, but I donít expect any better results from losing a droid than a wallet. With either, either it falls into helpful hands or I never see it again.
Yeah great concept (not really), doesn't that idea go without saying?...sh*t happens and I want to be protected if it happens to me. I have a lot of sensitive info on my GS2 and would want it back or at least know that I can wipe it remotely should it get lost/stolen.
Using WMD right now but just downloaded Cerberus to try out as the YouTube preview vid looked decent.
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Old February 3rd, 2013, 04:32 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best anti-theft app

Have a read of this: http://phandroid.com/2013/02/01/epic-story-involving-smartphone-thief-and-the-android-user-who-got-his-galaxy-note-back/

I had a play with Cerberus based on that article and bought it an hour later. I rarely have my phone/tab out of sight, but its handy to know I have something that powerful installed just in case someone does get their hands on one of my devices.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 04:33 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Presidente View Post
Have a read of this: Epic story involving smartphone thief and the Android user who got his Galaxy Note back

I had a play with Cerberus based on that article and bought it an hour later. I rarely have my phone/tab out of sight, but its handy to know I have something that powerful installed just in case someone does get their hands on one of my devices.
I've been using Cerberus for almost a year on 5 phones, and the one time I used it to locate a phone, it was my son's phone, and it was still in our own house.

For my phone, it's also rarely out of my sight, but I did use Cerberus for it once. I was using Secure Settings along with Tasker to lock my phone under certain conditions, and after an update I was unable to unlock my phone - it wouldn't accept the unlock code. After a few minutes of head scratching I remembered that I could unlock it remotely using Cerberus. Problem solved!
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