These days, our smartphones are the window into our increasingly large digital lives, there's not a lot that we don't do online anymore. All of your personal data is in there, and for most people all of your online accounts are linked to this one device. Having your smartphone lost or stolen is far worse than having it break. All of your personal data and links to your account suddenly fall out of your control and that's an awful feeling to have. With the Anti-Theft application from International vendor Bitdefender Antivirus you can take back that control, minimize the damage and even get your phone back. Read on to find out more.
Description: Bitdefender's Anti-Theft app is one of the most sophisticated way to take control of your Android smartphone when it falls out of your frip. You can locate the phone over the web, send an alert to the phone, send commands to the phone from a trusted phone number, get updates on just what's happening with your phone and more. Not only that but, you can wipe your phone if you believe it stolen to make sure that the thief has no access to all of your personal accounts and data. There's a free trial for 30 days, to see if it works and if it's something you might need.
How it Works: Set-up is a little more involved than other helps, but it's not going to take too long at all. Firs thing's first, you need to head over to the Play Store and download the app. After that, you'll have to sign-up for an account, you can do this through Bitdefender or you can connect with Google.
Once you've got an account, you'll have to set-up some features of the app. For instance, you'll have to give the app "Administrator privileges" to give it advanced control of your smartphone, thankfully it details the process for you:
After that you'll have to create a 4 to 8-digit PIN, which will make sure that if your phone is stolen, the settings of Anti-Theft can't be altered. It's another added security step and it's something that gives a little more peace of mind.
You'll want to select a trusted phone number as well, this is for the use of SMS commands, if you lose your phone or you believe it stolen, it'll accept commands from this phone number only. It's a good idea to choose someone you know well, or spend a lot of time with, so you know you'll be able to use their phone to send a quick message to your own lost or stolen phone.
There are two sides to the app, the SMS command side of things is relatively simple and straightforward, there are a list of commands that you can use to get information relayed back to you. The app details these commands for you:
Where the app can really offer some serious help is through the website. You just go and visit the website – https://my.bitdefender.com/ – and then pick the product you're looking to use, in this case it's Anti-Theft and you'll see the options. You can use the website to locate your device for instance, using Google Maps:
It's really quite accurate, having said that, if you're device doesn't get a good GPS lock indoors, then this won't either. Anti-Theft can only do as good a job as your phone can. You'll notice a row of actions to the left of the clipboard. You can locate your phone, wipe it, lock the device or send an alert. Sending an alert can be useful if you believe you left it at the coffee shop or somewhere else, you can simply send a little message like this:
Your phone will display the message onscreen and blare out until the message is read, which is handy if you really have lost it. If you believe it stolen however, you could send a more stern message or warning. The message appears like this:
There's a lot of options to the app and there's a lot you can do to ensure your data doesn't get into the hands of others. For me, the ability to quickly and easily find your phone as quick as that is brilliant. Also, the use of SMS commands will be really good in a pinch. It might be best to create an account direct with Bitdefender instead of connecting with Google but, I know I feel safer with this app installed on my phone.
Opinion: Now, I'm not one to lose my phone, I rarely find myself in a position where I don't know where my phone is. Having said that, accidents happen and it could slip out of your bag or worse, someone takes from you. In those situations my immediate thoughts are with the data on the device, and not the value of my smartphone. I can live without a phone for a little bit but, what if someone gets access to my social networks, my e-mail? There all things that have become big parts of my life and I'd not like anyone else but me to have access to them. With Bitdefender's Anti-Theft I can see why the phone is, reach out to who has it and if I think I'm not getting it back, I can remotely wipe it to keep my digital life say and avoid a massive headache.
- Speed (4/5) – For an app that's quite advanced, there were no issues with speed and it worked well in my testing.
- Features (5/5) – There's everything you could want in this app to make sure your personal data doesn't fall into the wrong hands and it works very well.
- Theme (4/5) – A simple and clean look is used and it doesn't get in your way, it's quick and easy to use.
- Overall (5/5) – I've tried a few of these apps over the years, and this is by far the simplest, quickest and most effective of them out there. If you're prone to losing things, you need this app.
- Quick and easy to use interface makes setting the app up painless.
- Great website to go with the app makes the complete package usable and effective.
- SMS commands are useful if you have no internet access or are away from a computer.
- Location really works and is pretty accurate.
- Lots of options is something does go wrong.
- Once set-up, options are a little limited in the Android app.
- License-fee not well explained, but it is only $3.95.
Conclusion: The more and more we use our smartphones, the more valuable they become to us. Which makes the data in these phones almost essential. There's a lot of our personal effects in these devices now and smartphones are well sought after, with a booming second-hand market out there, they're an easy target for would-be thieves and an easy sell. All of our online accounts are synced with our smartphones, for some people – like myself – it's how we make a living and your personal photos, messages etc are all on that phone. Pattern locks and password will only get you so far, if your phone is lost or stolen, this is your best bet of maybe recovering it or making sure your data doesn't get out there by wiping it remotely.