Lost, tracked and found – thanks to F-Secure Mobile Security

Security & Privacy

This is a true customer case. To protect the identity of the author, we will not publish the author’s name.

I thought I would never lose my smartphone. I was wrong. I lost my phone, but I was lucky enough to get it back. And believe it or not, I followed it real-time as it traveled across Europe for 24 hours. How was that possible?

Last week I traveled from Helsinki, Finland to Munich, Germany. As we landed at Munich Airport, I switched my phone on as usual. But when leaving the baggage claim area I realized my phone wasn’t with me anymore. My mind began to race. Had it been stolen or was it just waiting to be found in the plane? I visited the lost and found desk. They contacted the airport cleaners to see if my phone had been found. No such luck. So there I was, abroad, feeling totally stranded without my precious phone, its contacts and content.

Now for the good news. Lucky me, I had installed F-Secure Mobile Security, which includes an Anti-Theft feature to locate your device if lost or stolen. It was as easy as it sounds. I just borrowed my friend’s phone and sent the following SMS to my phone: #locate#.  I instantly received a link to Google Maps and  was able to locate my phone. It was still at Munich Airport in the aircraft area.

Manchester location mapNow I knew where my phone was, and I could track it wherever it went with a single SMS. Good thing because my smartphone was traveling without a ticket around Europe. First back to Helsinki. The next tracked location was in Manchester, UK, which was also the aircraft’s next destination, according to the airline. Some hours later it was in Helsinki again. And my phone kept traveling, and I kept tracking it, but the airline staff were unable to find it. They even suggested it could have gone out with the garbage. I knew it hadn’t, thanks to the locate feature. Once more my phone traveled between Munich and Helsinki. Finally I wasn’t going to let it travel anymore. 24 hours of tracking was enough. I was able to convince the airline security that my phone was on the plane heading to Helsinki.

F-Secure Mobile Security has another useful feature. I was able to remotely set off my phone’s alarm.  #ALARM#. This is a good feature to use instantly the moment you realize your phone has disappeared. The alarm sound is extremely loud to reveal a thief or to reveal the exact location of your phone.

This time when the security staff searched the plane for my phone, they were finally able to find it between the seats. Not without a little annoyance – the security chief called me and asked how to shut off the very disturbing alarm. So I sent another SMS “Alarm off #ALARM#<security code>#0” to stop the alarm.

The next day when I arrived back from my trip, my phone and I had a pleasant reunion in Helsinki.

So, what did I learn? Always keep your F-Secure Mobile Security up to date. Keep your phone charged and on whenever possible, so it can be tracked if lost or stolen. And keep the SMS commands safely in your wallet so you have them when you need them. F-Secure Customer Support will also help you if you don’t have the commands. Just make sure you remember your security code for Anti-Theft.

Anti-Theft Locate

With F-Secure Mobile Security you are not only able to locate your lost device, you can also keep track of your children’s or anyone’s moves who is holding a phone. Also if the device is stolen, you can wipe the information from it with just one SMS: #wipe#.

And I can now continue my work with my precious calendar and contacts back in my hands. I have to say it out loud, “I just love the feeling of being protected!”

You can try F-Secure Mobile Security for free for 30 days here.

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9 Comments

Yes, you make this sound very cool and it does show how the nice features of Mobile Security work.

But SADLY this whole story could work the way you describe because your unnamed customer is one of those pathetic people who frantically switch on their mobiles right away still on the plane, disturbing neighbours (receiving SMS notices from the voicebox, taking and even placing calls) and some even in breach of German laws (valid for the particular Munich airport you cite) when they do it before the plane even stops and the seat belt signs go off.

He (could also be a she) would not have lost his mobile if he had calmly switched it on later in the baggage area as he waited for his bags. Or he could have left it there and simply gone back to find it there.

As a consequence your story has — in addition — an orphaned mobile phone travelling around Europe, emitting its radiation at full throttle all through subsequent flights, potentially harming the plane’s electronics and risking the passengers’ safety.

NOT something to be proud of in the end in this particular scenario!

Sorry for raining on your parade, Mobile Security has great functions and I am very interested it, but please find a better story to promote it! E.g. if this all had happened in a taxi…

F-Secure Mobile Security is great, if only not quite for the reasons this enthusiastic story by the unnamed person suggests.

In the scenario described you have an orphaned mobile phone in an airplane transporting hundreds of passengers all across Europe, blasting its mobile signal at full force in between landings (mobiles do that when they can’t reach a base station) and potentially interfering with the aircraft’s electronics and thus endangering the safety of the passengers.

It is therefore not responsible to suggest, let alone to recommend, to “keep your phone charged and on whenever possible”, especially in the scenario described.

I lost My phone last month. I installed f-secure in it. But the phone was switched off when I came to know that it is gone.
What if the person has thrown away the sim card. what can i do in this case to get my phone back..
Kindly let me know…

[…] repeat the story about tracking services that can lock, wipe and locate your lost phone. That has already been covered. I’m also not going to talk about the black market for stolen phones, and the hilarious cases […]

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