Smartphones are great in that you are always connected to the internet and only a few taps away from a quick Google search or looking up directions. The constant connection also means that it is susceptible to hackers who try to break into your system to get personal information. The high prices and demand of new smartphones also make it a prime target for thieves – this latter is a more immediate and prevalent problem for the regular person.
That said, both iOS and Android have taken steps and measures to make sure that even if your phone is stolen, you have a chance to recover it with location tracking services or have the option to remotely wipe the device to that the thieves do not get any sensitive data.
Apple dealt a blow to thieves with Find my iPhone and iCloud Activation Lock. Find my iPhone is a security feature built into all newer iPhones, iPads and Macs. It lets the user track their device’s location using the Find my iPhone App or portal. It also gives the user the option to leave a message on the home screen, play a loud sound, or wipe the device remotely.
iCloud Activation Lock was designed to prevent Find my iPhone being turned off on your iDevice. It also works AFTER the device is wiped, requiring the original Apple ID and password before the device will work again.
Android has a similar feature in Android Device Manager. However, the effectiveness of Android Device Manager depends on the permissions you give it in Google Settings. Overall, it gives you much the same features as Find my iPhone in that it lets you remotely track your devices, play sounds, change the lock code and completely wipe your device. Android lacked a feature similar to iCloud Activation Lock, but that has changed with Android 5.0 Lollipop, users are prompted to encrypt their data from the very first startup.
If your device has not yet been updated to Android Lollipop, the Lookout Mobile Security is a free app offers a host of features, including a find my phone option, the ability to remotely track and/or wipe your device (although the latter is a paid feature). Lookout also includes safe browsing and an antivirus. It is available for both iOS and Android and allows you to backup contacts. The paid version also serves as a backup option for all your photos, videos and call logs.
Do you have other apps or features that you use? Let us know in the comments!