Protecting My Mobile Phone

This week I heard about F-Secure’s Anti-Theft for Mobile product being released for free.  It’s available for Android, Symbian, and Windows Mobile platforms. Unfortunately they do not currently have a version available for Blackberries.

The video below shows off some of the main features which I found to be pretty slick.  The premise of being able to locate your lost/stolen phone, protect your personal information, and to have a bit of a jump on a would-be thief is something I instantly craved for my Blackberry.  I use my Blackberry for work, so it has the potential to have confidential information as well as alot of personal contacts/pictures/information that would be accessible.  Not to mention the access to my Gmail, Twitter, and Facebook accounts.  After seeing this video, I went on a quest for finding something similar on the Blackberry.

I started doing some typical online research and reading reviews at various Blackberry websites; and I’ve found that there are several different offerings.  The main and most popular seem to be RobLock, WaveSecure, and SmrtGuard.  Of these three, SmrtGuard had by far the best review/ratings score on Blackberry Appworld.  Not to mention, it was free compared to the others requiring a paid annual subscription.  With some negative reviews regarding the support and stability of the other two; I quickly made my decision on trying out SmrtGuard.

It’s awesome.  Plain and simple.

The impressive list of features in the free version include:

  • Remote locking
  • Remote data wipe
  • Remote listening
  • Tracking/locating via GPS
  • Email/SMS notifcation of SIM card change

Here’s a screenshot of the web dashboard for my phone.  You can see the map where I’ve played with the tracking and following.

SmrtGuard Dashboard

It’s fairly comforting to know that if my phone does ever get lost or stolen, I have a few options and things I can try to recover it.  Part of me even WANTS it to happen…  To have an upper hand on a would-be thief, setting off audio alarms, reporting his new SIM card information to authorities/cell companies, using remote listen to spy on him… etc etc etc.  The list goes on and on.

I’ve been using the app a few days now, and I’ve really found it to be pretty impressive for a free offering.  It’s lightweight, simple to configure, and having a web dashboard that integrates with the phone side is pretty impressive.  Clicking a button from the web dashboard results in near immediate execution on the phone.  The tracking and location functions work based off the GPS if signal is avialable, and otherwise seem to use some sort of cellular triangulation.  I found that you did have to have a security password set in order for the phone lock function to work, but that’s understandable.  The paid version adds anti-spam and anti-virus capabilities, as well as an over-the-air backup and restore feature.  But really the most important thing I was looking for was the anti-theft and security features.  So I see myself staying with the free version.

Highly recommended.  This SmrtGuard application for mobile security is available on Blackberry, Android, and Symbian devices.  I see myself using it for as long as I own a smart phone.

If you use a Blackberry, Android phone, or Symbian device – check them out:  http://www.smrtguard.com