Android owners with Avast Mobile Security can now use remote controls to find lost or stolen phones, and even get a picture of the thief in the process.
At least 2 million smartphones are stolen every year in the US alone. Meaning that chances are, you or someone you know will have to deal with this in 2017. And that’s not even counting the number of people who lose phones. Admit it — you’ve misplaced your phone in the last month, haven’t you?
So the vital service any smartphone owner needs, stands to reason, is a way to find your phone quickly and easily. And to keep it and its contents secure while it’s out of your hands.
Step number one: Lock it down!
The second you discover your phone’s gone you need to be able to ensure whoever has it can’t get at your contacts, your social media, your bank account. You’ll want to use another device – essentially a remote control, in the form of your laptop or another phone – to lock your missing phone, so it can only be unlocked with your password, making it more or less worthless to a thief.
Now, maybe it wasn’t stolen, but you just left it at the Starbucks counter. It happens. In that case, you can remotely activate a siren sound from your phone, so if you’re still relatively close you can be reunited within seconds.
But if it has been stolen, not only will that siren probably freak out the thief, but if they try to turn it down, your phone volume will automatically max out, making your phone-napper the center of lots of unwanted attention. And while the thief is trying to unlock and silence your phone, you can actually snap a photo, aka a “Theftie.”
At this point, your thief has probably dropped or ditched the more-trouble-than-it’s-worth phone. Now you can use GPS, Wi-Fi, or a mobile network to find it. And even if we’re talking about a persistent thief, one who’s pocketed your phone and is on the run, you can still continuously track its location on a map, at which point you should get law enforcement involved, rather than confronting the thief yourself. And for yet more clues, you can even command your phone to secretly call you and listen to the surroundings. Music, traffic, voices all could guide you to a phone’s whereabouts, all without the thief’s knowledge, because the screen stays black.
Even in a worst-case scenario, we have you covered
In spite of all the above measures, sometimes a reunion between you and your phone just isn’t meant to be. But that doesn’t mean you need to be separated from your data. The Anti-Theft feature lets you remotely trigger a full, permanent data wipe, completely removing your contact list, call log, SMS/MMS, browser history, apps, and email accounts (all of which you can retrieve first, via the my.avast.com portal). Just because someone gets away with your device doesn’t mean they should get away with your identity, too.
What’s the difference between new Avast Anti-Theft and previous versions?
Avast Anti-Theft, which used to be a free standalone app, is now a feature included in Avast Mobile Security Pro, available for any Android device in Google Play. While you can continue to use Avast Anti-Theft if you already have it, this standalone version will no longer get bug fixes or security updates, so your best bet is to take the opportunity to give yourself an upgrade.
By bringing Anti-Theft into our mobile security suite, we’ve been able not only to enhance the value of Avast Mobile Security and Avast Mobile Security Pro, but also to pave the way to making feature and performance upgrades to Anti-Theft more quickly and more securely. This means any Pro user can now, using Avast Anti-Theft:
- capture a photo of a thief when incorrect PIN is entered,
- lock their device when the SIM card is changed, and
- record their phone’s surroundings, secretly, at any time.
If you have more questions, please visit our website for a complete list of FAQs.