Security software: how to track your devices on iOS without it

Security software: how to track your devices on iOS without it

Security software: how to track your devices on iOS without it

I hate to ask this, but, did you lose one of your iOS devices and forgot to install a security software with tracking?

Don’t worry, there are still some options that can help you recover an iPhone, iPad, or iPod without having proper security software. We hope that next time you’re way more prepared with an app like Prey.

Today, mobile devices have packed their own tracking software letting users know where the device is, thanks to integrated GPS. However, there are third party apps that deliver more features and better results. But Apple’s basic integrated solution provides a simple yet effective geolocation.

The main option is to use iCloud and its “Find my iPhone” app to know where the lost device is. This is included in every iOS device with iCloud capabilities, and even has a remote interface to locate and follow the phone’s movements.

One of these new options is to completely block the device and send a message to whoever found it, in case they’re willing to return it. What’s more, it can remotely wipe the entire memory to protect the user’s privacy.

It is worth noting that, for all these features to work, you must always have an active Internet connection. If not, Find my iPhone won’t be able to access these services.

One of the bonuses of this service over its Android counterpart, the Google Android Device Manager, is that if the MacBook or iPhone is turned on but, with its location services are off, iCloud can turn them on remotely, thus ensuring a safe, accurate tracking.

There were other alternatives back in the day, like installing third party apps remotely. Unfortunately, Apple’s privacy policies don’t allow this course of action anymore. It would be amazing to install a better security software remotely, but now it’s a matter of prevention. This leaves you with no choice but the basic app, if dealing with unprotected devices.

Creative Options

Like we mentioned, finding a device when there’s no Internet available is impossible. This doesn’t mean there aren’t creative options around. Trendblog.net thought outside the box and came up with two alternative approaches to find your lost device.

One of these options is to use Google’s own “Timeline” option as a stealthy spy that will display key places where the device has been. While it won’t pinpoint the exact location, Timeline will recognize public places such as restaurants, cafes, and parks. It works even when the phone is off, since it collects data from the phone’s network and public Wi-Fi until the very last moment.

By using Timeline, you might be able to recognize patterns, or see where your device is usually used, increasing your chances to recover it. Although this requires planning, and it’s not as certain as other softwares.

Another last resort option is to use Dropbox to keep a registry of all the photos being taken with the device. You just need a Dropbox account to turn on the feature that saves all photos in the cloud, allowing you to discover who is using your lost iOS device by looking at his pictures.

We truly hope you’re able to recover your device! As soon as you do, we recommend you install a security software like Prey, avoiding improvised solutions with standard features. It will allow you to start a more detailed tracking, take pictures with the camera, create reports for the police, and even determine control zones and geofencing with alerts. And since you control it through its web interface, you can access the device manager suite from any computer, making the process easier and increasing the recovery rates.

Did you have a positive outcome in your Quest? Leave us a comment with your story!

Nicolas Poggi

Nicolas Poggi

Nicolas Poggi is the head of mobile research at Prey, Inc., provider of the open source Prey Anti-Theft software protecting eight million mobile devices. Nic’s work explores technology innovations within the mobile marketplace, and their impact upon security. Nic also serves as Prey’s communications manager, overseeing the company’s brand and content creation. Nic is a technology and contemporary culture journalist and author, and before joining Prey held positions as head of indie coverage at TheGameFanatics, and as FM radio host and interviewer at IndieAir.