If you haven't had your phone stolen yet, you're part of a shrinking statistic. About 3.1 million Americans had their phones stolen in 2013, which is twice the number in 2012, according to a Consumer Reports survey.
The details of our lives are now stored in these pocket-sized devices. Traditionally, all that has stood in the way of thieves getting their hands on that information has been a four-digit PIN. But new methods of security are being created from the ingenuity of phone thieves.
Lookout is among the latest additions to the growing antitheft industry, and the app features some smart ways of helping you get one step ahead of thieves.
A smartphone's front-facing camera is often regarded as merely a portal to endless selfie photographs. But Lookout puts the camera to good use by capturing a photo of you — or of any would-be thief — when someone fails to correctly input your phone's password three times. That photo, which The Wall Street Journal has dubbed a “theftie,” is instantly emailed to the phone's owner, along with the device's approximate location.
The anti-theft app is free to download, but this handy photo feature is not available on iPhones due to Apple restrictions and comes with an annual charge of $30.
Lookout's team has been adding new features to the app’s alerts based on the methods thieves use to steal phones undetected. The app also will send emails to its owner if anyone attempts to remove the phone's SIM card, enables Airplane mode or turns off the device. From that point, the owner can choose to lock or wipe the phone remotely.
How do you secure your phone against theft? Let us know in the comments section.