How to protect your phone from theft?
Many of us these days have expensive smart phones in our possession, phones that tend to attract attention of the basters-crowd who'd like nothing more than to get it off your hands. I'd always like to believe in the goodness of people - who, when finding your lost phone, will track you down to return it; or who, after stealing your phone, get a conscience (or a really bad mother who IS their conscience) and still decide to return the phone to its rightful owner.
However, unfortunately the reality is that while there's a lot of good people around, there are also many people who could use a lot of punches in their head. People who steal your phone and who would deserve a nice beating. Before your phone ends up in their hands, you should learn to protect your phone, make it easy to find once it's stolen. Catch the thief and make them look sad and stupid.
For iPhone you can always use the app Find my iPhone, you can read more about it from one of our earlier articles Find your iPhone easily with Find my iPhone.
In case of other phones you have various different options as well, including Prey Project, Plan B and Where's my Droid.
Prey lets you keep track of your phone or laptop at all times, and will help you find it if it ever gets lost or stolen. It's lightweight, open source software, and free for anyone to use. And it just works. I recently read an article about from Life Hacker, read it here - http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2011/09/how-i-got-my-stolen-laptop-back-within-24-hours-using-prey/. And visit the Prey Project website here.
Plan B is THE 'find my phone' application that you download AFTER you lose your phone. So if you didn't have any protective software installed before, you might still be able to track down your phone. This is currently the only 'find my phone' app that you download AFTER you've already lost your phone. Check it out here.
Where's my Droid
Another app for androids. Text your phone a custom attention word the app turns the ringer volume up and makes your phone ring. It is also possible to get the GPS location of your phone in latitude and longitude and a link to Google maps. You can download the app here.
Mobile Defense is an application that can help you to locate and then lock down your missing or stolen phone. It helps you find your lost phone, but also allows you to lock your phone down so the information on it can't be used by anyone else either. They are currently suspended for new sign ups, but I think they'll return soon. Check them out here.
So be sure to protect your phone BEFORE you lose it or it gets stolen.
Couple of more thoughts about mobile security
If we think about how the phones function and that they can use the alarm functions even when they are turned off, then based on logic's, it should be theoretically possible also to recover your phone when it's turned off. However, so far I have been unable to find such information. Obviously, in case of couple of phone brands and models government security agencies should be able to do that somehow. How it actually works, is of course another story.