Apps to Assist With a Stolen iPhone

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The iPhone’s small size and high value on the black market have made it a popular target for thieves.  Phones have been stolen from houses, handbags and pockets; some daring thieves have even taken to accosting iPhone owners on the street.  While warranties and insurance can offer some financial protection after a phone is stolen, many victims of theft want to do more to protect their phones.  An iPhone may contain saved passwords, personal photographs, work-related files and other information that should not fall into a thief’s hands.  Fortunately, a multitude of apps exist to ease the pain of a stolen iPhone.
Tap into Your Stolen Phone’s GPS
Apple has an app called Find My iPhone that will use the phone’s GPS to pinpoint the location of a stolen phone.  The app comes free with Apple’s iOS 4.2 and is included in the iCloud of iOS 5.  Find My iPhone allows users to send a message to the phone, hopefully prompting guilty thieves to return the device.  If the phone has been sold or dropped, a Good Samaritan might be able to return the device.  This app also allows users to force the missing phone to play a sound for two minutes.  This might annoy the thief and draw attention to the stolen phone.
Shame a Thief with Photographs
The iGotYa app lets users take pictures remotely from a stolen phone.  This allows users to find out who’s using their phone and bring extra evidence to the police.  Once the phone is reported stolen, the app will take pictures of anyone who attempts to unlock and use the device.  In one recent incident in America, police circulated a crystal-clear photograph of a hapless thief.
Delete Sensitive Information from a Stolen Phone
The iLocalis app requires some technical skill on the user’s part.  Because the app accesses some security features of the iPhone, it must be installed on a “jailbroken” device. While users should be careful not to void the phone’s warranty, this app may be worth it for anyone who keeps sensitive personal information on an iPhone.  The iLocalis app allows users to command their phones remotely. In addition to tapping into the phone’s GPS, iLocalis allows users to delete data, record audio and lock the phone against intruders.
Some iPhone owners hope that several well-publicized cases of crime victims tracking stolen phones will dissuade potential thieves.  The simplicity of tracking a stolen phone makes it easy for police to apprehend thieves.
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