After writing the article about Locate PC, a utility that sends information like the IP address on a daily basis I was wondering what the state of the art of the anti-theft software for mobile phones would look like. I'm just guessing but it's probably true that mobile phones get stolen more often than notebooks, probably due to sheer numbers but also because they are smaller and easier to steal.
I was surprised that a very effective way of dealing with mobile phone theft was already available. All of the applications that I took a look at support sending a SMS whenever the SIM card of the mobile gets changed. The SMS will contain information about the new phone number and, depending on the software and phone, other relevant information like GPS coordinates.
This makes it very easy to track down your mobile phone with the help of law enforcement agencies who simply contact the phone company asking them to reveal name and address of the person behind the new phone number.
Most anti-theft software is not free unfortunately and I was only able to find two free ones that unfortunately work only on selected mobile phones:
mGuard is a anti-theft software for Sony Ericsson phones and provides a way to send an SMS to another mobile phone whenever the SIM card gets changed. It operates silently in the background and it should be very hard to spot. Even if the thief spots the application the SMS has already been send out.
Guardian is a advanced anti-theft software for Symbian S60 devices. It starts automatically when the mobile phone is turned on and checks the SIM card in the process. A SMS will be send containing information about the new phone number, GSM cell ID, country ID and current network). The current user will not be notified about the SMS and it will not appear in the logs or send SMS folders.
Guardian will automatically switch to invisible mode when a SIM card is entered that is not authorized which makes it impossible to access the application. It also comes with a hard reset protection that protects the application when the user performs a hard reset which basically means a return to the default phone settings. (works 90% of the time according to the developers)
Users who donate money to the project, from €3 to €500 get a few extra features. The remote control plugins sound very interesting. Once an unauthorized SIM card has been placed in the phone it is possible to send remote commands to the phone to
This version can also store up to ten different SIM cards that are authorized which is great if you happen to change SIM cards every now and then.
Guardian is a pretty sophisticated tool and I would definitely recommend to donate to get the additional features.
Now of any other free tools for mobile phones that add anti-theft protections to them ? Let me know about them please.Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.