Every Android phone has a built-in capability to send out its location in the event it's lost or stolen, and the same goes for iPhones. This has led some phone thieves to immediately turn off phones as soon as they get their hands on them. A new update to the security app Cerberus aims to fool the thief with a "fake shutdown" message.

When you enable this feature in the settings, Cerberus intercepts a long-press of the power button while the lock screen is active. Instead of the system dialog, the thief sees a convincing fake "Power off" button produced by Cerberus. It even does stuff when pressed—just not what the thief expects it to do. The phone will do a fake shutdown routine (see above), and the screen will remain asleep for 30 seconds to one minute. Even pressing the power button won't wake it up again right away.

If everything goes to plan, the thief will pocket the phone, thinking it's off. However, it's still alive and relaying GPS data to the owner. All Cerberus' other features should be available as well. Cerberus is a subscription service, but you can set up a paid account right from the app. There's also a 1-week free trial.

Cerberus anti theft
Cerberus anti theft
Developer: LSDroid
Price: Free+