This past week I was reading an article about a gentleman that had his phone stolen. When he called the police to report the crime they took his statement, filed a report, but didn’t take him seriously at all. It is only a cell phone. You can get one for next to nothing at any cell shop. Unfortunately, it isn’t just a cell phone any more as this poor chap found out. On his cell phone he accessed his bank info, his credit card info, his email, and some other personal information. Now the criminal had access to all that info. This crime just turned into identity theft. Luckily the guy who had his phone stolen realized this and changed all his login info so the thief couldn’t access it.

We tend to forget we get a special price for a cell phone when we sign another two year contract. My phone was only $100 but to buy it again since I am still in contract it would be $550. Which is a hefty price to pay for just a cell phone. Something I would rather not have to do. But fear not there are things you can do to protect yourself and possibly get your phone back.

There are apps you can install on you phone to track where your phone is at, lock your phone, reset you phone, capture video, capture audio, make your phone ring and more. This can all be done by logging in to a site or by using another phone. So if your phone is stolen or lost, you can get on a website or text your phone and it can return gps locations, make it ring, take pictures, etc.

For the gentleman who had his phone stolen, he was lucky enough to have such an app on his phone. He was able to take a picture of the thief. But he had turned GPS off so he didn’t know where the guy was at. However he was able to capture everything the thief was doing with his phone. Which included text messages with info about where he was meeting up with friends. All of this info went to the police and they were waiting for him at the local bar where he was meeting his friends. He was catch with the phone, arrested, his apartment search for other stolen goods, and now he has a court date. The phone was returned to the rightful owner. A happy ending all because of one little app.

For Android there are all sorts of free and paid apps like Where’s My Droid , Find My Phone, Cell Tracker, etc. There are similar apps for the iPhone, Windows Phone, and Blackberry. They are all free or rather cheap compared to buying a new phone. They are easy to setup and use. And in the end can save you a lot of time and money.