Koosharem

Anti-Theft SMS Control Issue

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Just installed Emsisoft Mobile Security 3.0.1 (Trial) and, I'm having trouble getting the Anti-Theft SMS Commands to work. Take "LOCATE" for example. The instruction is: "Send this command ("BD-xxxx LOCATE") from any phone to get the response illustrated below" . I  understand the "xxxx" is my PIN but, what do I use for the SMS address/phone number ?  What am I missing here??

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Dear Koosharem,

 

Thank you for contacting our support.

 

You need to send a SMS from a different device to your own mobile phones number using the command.

 

Please let me know if I can assist any further.

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Thomas, 

 

Thanks for your reply. Yes, and sorry for being so dense on this!!  Your instruction makes sense.  It also caused me to realize I couldn't use my wife's NON Smartphone to test the commands!  I'll have to get a friend (with a smartphone) to do that (but, just for the LOCATE & SCREAM commands).  

 

Is my thinking correct that it would NOT be wise "test" the other commands (LOCK, WIPE, CALLME) but, use them only in the event my phone is really lost or stolen?  (Especially regarding the WIPE command!     ;) )

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You should be able to use a non-smartphone to send an SMS, after all SMS support has been around for more than 20 years (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Message_Service ). If the phone you send such a command /to/ replies with anything, or at least anything significantly more complicated than a simple "got the command and did it" reply, then that might be a problem.

 

Testing WIPE etc...  It depends on how much personal data you have on your smartphone.  If it's new and you're only playing with it, you might as well find out what state it would be in if it had really been lost/stolen and you issued a WIPE... and then were lucky enough to get it back.  But if you have lots of personal data on it and/or customised apps, and have never saved the data elsewhere or noted how you customised things, then wiping it all is going to be a huge nuisance... 

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Dear Koosharem,

 

As JeremyNicoll already kindly outlined I wouldn't recommend to test the WIPE command unless you really want to wipe all data from your mobile device  :)

 

Also you might want to test these anti-theft functionalities in question via web portal if you are not especially interested in SMS commands: https://central.emsisoft.com/

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Thomas,

Thank you and JeremyNicoll for your replies to my questions.  I've been away from home the last two weeks but, I'm still puzzled
with the responses I get using the two commands "LOCATE" and "SCREAM".  I used a neighbor's iPhone to send these two
commands to my phone (a Google Nexus 6P Android). 

In this case, I used my phone's number for "To" and, "BD-xxxx LOCATE/SCREAM" for the two (individual) SMSs ("xxxx" being my 
personal PIN).  Each SMS was received by my phone (as individual SMS text messages e.g., "BD-xxxx LOCATE & SCREAM").  However, 
my phone did NOT "Scream" and, my neighbor's phone did NOT get it's expected response (SMS): "My location at 4:59PM was 
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=41.850336,-112.0056871".  (This "expected  response" is illustrated under "Mobile Security/
Dashboard/Anti-Theft/SMS Control/LOCATE" on my phone's (Trial) Emsisoft Mobile Security App.)

In preparing this post, I noticed the LOCATE command (under "SMS Control") refers to the maps.Google.com website, where as the
SCREAM command refers to the central.emsisoft.com website regarding tracking/locating the phone. Why are these references different??

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Dear Koosharem,

Just to be sure, please could you navigate to Anti-Theft -> SMS CONTROL and check if the functionality is turned on there?

Please disable the functionality there and activate it again to make sure you've not any permissions missing for the feature to work.

Also, as for the two separate text messages you've sent from your neighbor's mobile phone -to exclude any syntax troubles, you've sent the following messages, correct?

BD-XXXX LOCATE

BD-XXXX SCREAM

Could you please login to your account at Emsisoft Mobile Securitys online portal at the following site?

https://central.emsisoft.com/

Click on the entry for your mobile device there, then click "Anti-Theft" at the upper right. Next please choose the gray button next to the blue "LOCATE" button to open a new dialog.

You can enter a message if you want, but before clicking "SEND" please choose "Play alarm". Is it working via the web portal?

Edit: As for your question why for LOCATE Google Maps is mentioned and for SCREAM the web portal, I'm not aware of any specific reasons. I suspect it was a design decision. If you want to locate your device a direct link to a Google Map view comes in handy and if you can't find your device using SCREAM you might want to lock it via the web portal as next step or issue a similar command from there.

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Thomas,

Thank you for your response.  I went to Anti-Theft > SMS CONTROL, disabled the functionality and, re-activated it (as indicated by the solid blue "slider button").  Also, I verified that I am using the correct syntax for these two commands.

Next, I logged into my account at the EMS online portal, selected my mobile device and, clicked on "Anti-Theft" at the upper right.  Then, I chose the gray button next to the blue "LOCATE" button. This opened a new dialog box. I entered a short "test message", clicked on the "Play Alarm" box, and then clicked "SEND".

My phone did transmit a loud alarm tone and, "Google Maps" displayed a map (on my computer screen) showing my correct vicintiy, with a red "balloon" indicating the phone's approximate
location.  All is well so far, however, I did not get the "test"  message!?  Does this adequately demonstrate the LOCATE command is working properly when sent from another phone?  

Previously, when I sent the LOCATE command from my neighbor's phone, I did not get an "Alarm" tone (my phone was not there).  But I did expect an SMS response with the web link to Google Maps, which would allow me to locate the "lost" phone. (All that came back as a response to my neighbor's phone was the command: "BD-xxxx LOCATE".)

 

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Dear Koosharem,

Thank you for your detailed feedback.

Well the behavior when triggering the alarm from the web portal is fine but of course an alarm should be played if you send the SMS command as well.

Now we know in general the alarm is working if you trigger it online via internet. Now that you've also disabled and re-enabled SMS commands please could you try sending the command "BD-XXXX SCREAM" to your mobile devices number from your neighbors iPhone again and test if it works as intended this time?

I'm sorry that I've somehow missed to mention that in my last reply already.

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Thomas,

Sorry for the delay in getting back.  I believe we have made "great progress"  on this issue!  I  had my wife sent a test "LOCATE" command from our neighbor's phone to mine
and everything  worked!!  After sending the command, she received the proper SMS response giving her a "time stamp", the URL link for Google Maps and, a set of Lat
and Long coordinates for the location of my phone.  Also, she sent the "SCREAM" command to my phone and, that worked as well.

I believe what happened before was I misunderstood the meaning of the two positions of the On/OFF slider-switch for the SMS command group.  The "ON" position is
with the blue "dot" moved fully to the RIGHT.  "Off" is fully to the LEFT.  What "fooled" me was, in the ON position (fully RIGHT) the "dot" is a very PALE BLUE.  Whereas
in the OFF position (fully LEFT) the dot is a much DARKER blue.  For some reason I connected "DARK blue" with the switch being "ON".  So, we're done!!  Thanks for your help.

Now, for something really crazy!  This happened awhile ago near the beginning of this "Issue" (I ignored it because I was more concerned with "LOCATE" & "SCREAM".)
One day my wife (my "trusted friend") got an EMS Anti-Theft "SIM CHANGE" alert from MY PHONE!! I didn not send that alert (at least knowingly; and perhaps its not even
possible) AND, my phone's SIM card has NOT BEEN CHANGED!!  This has not happened (yet) a second time.

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Dear Koosharem,

I'm glad to hear the SMS commands work as intended now.

As for the alert regarding SIM change personally I just could think of a false positive if the SIM card might lose contact for a moment but this should only be possible if the alert really is triggered already if the SIM card is removed.

I'll ask our developers for clarification and their thoughts and report back once I know more.

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Dear Koosharem,

Our developers let me know indeed it'll trigger this alert if the SIM card slips. To be more exact, it can happen when:

  • Sim card slips from it's location
  • The mobile device offers dual-sim and has a feature to turn off a sim card at a specific point

I suspect it must have been reason number one. Please let me know if it should happen again and you don't think the SIM card slipping could have been the reason.

 

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Thomas,

I waited awhile to reply to your last post, just to see if the "Changed Sim Card" Alert would happen again -- and it DID!!  First thing this morning.  I had left the device (a Google Nexus 6P) on my desk overnight (fully charged/in standby mode -- still connected to the AC charger -- that is, no rough handling or dropping/jarring the device all night).   My wife (who's phone gets the call regarding a "Changed SIM Card" and, had gotten up just before me) told me she had just received "the call" !!

The Nexus only has one SIM card.  The device was shipped to me (by Google) with the SIM card packaged in the same "box" but, not installed.  There were instructions on how to accomplish the installation which I followed.  As I recall, there was a "frame or carrier" that the SIM card was to be placed in before sliding the combination ("carrier-with-card") into a "slot" on the side of the device (it "snapped" firmly into place).  This assembly took place last March (2016) and, to my knowledge, the device has performed flawlesssly ever since -- no suggestion of the SIM card not functioning properly (no interruptions in service).  Another observation: the device is fully enclosed on the back and, all four sides, by a very rugged plastic protective case; the "slot" where I inserted the "carrier-with-card" is completely covered by this protective case, making it quite impossible for the card to move at all.

Thomas, I'm definitely NOT complaining nor disappointed with the EMS product.  In fact, I was a quite surprised and impressed that, in addition to its basic antimalware scanning and web security features, it also includes Anti-Theft & Location capabilities!  That's great!  My wife just got a Samsung S7 device and, we're going to protect it with EMS as well.

This "Changed SIM Card false-alarm thing" is something I thought you would like to know about.  If it becomes more frequent, I can always delete my wife's "trusted" phone number. ;-)

Best regards,

Koosharem

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Dear Koosharem,

Thank you for your detailed feedback here.

I'm sorry to hear the call regarding the changed SIM card happened again even if the SIM should not be the reason. Also very thankful for your serenity and that in the worst case removing the trusted number from the settings can serve as a solution for you. At least I'm glad "the call" came in when your wife were already up and it didn't wake you up unnecessarily.

Our developers let me know one more reason which could cause such a false alert, they've told me that it could happen if Google Fi is used, a "phone and wireless service" from Google. Currently we've no other similar reports which makes it even more difficult for our developers to pin down the problem.

It would be great if you could might let me know here if you should receive the false alert regarding the SIM change again. Maybe our mobile developers know more then or we have similar reports in the meanwhile.

As for your wifes new Samsung S7, if it is an additional device I would be glad to help you with an upgrade for your current license for Emsisoft Mobile Security so that you can get it covered with Emsisoft Mobile Security the smoothest and easiest way. If the new device replaces and older one I'm glad to explain how the older device can be removed from the web portal of Emsisoft Mobile Security so that the new device can be connected and will be automatically covered with the existing license for Emsisoft Mobile Security.

If I may can assist you with an upgrade for your existing Emsisoft Mobile Security license for your wifes new device you might want to send me a private message (PM) here in the forum with the Google email address which is in use for Emsisoft Mobile Security on your wifes older/existing mobile devices. I can do the rest from here and no actions from your side besides installing Emsisoft Mobile Security on the new device and logging in with the Google email address would be needed.

The easiest way to send a private message here in the forum would be to simply place your mouse cursor over my name displayed next to this reply and wait a second or two - a menu should appear where you can choose "Message" in the lower left corner.

Thank you for the kind conversation, please let me know if I can assist any further.

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Thomas,

Thank you for your response to my last post regarding the SIM Card Alert.  Yes, I am using the Google Fi "phone and wireless service" 
for my Nexus 6P cell phone. (My wife's Samsung S7 uses a different cell phone service.)  As I mentioned previously, this false alert 
does not occur very often (only 3 times since last March).  So, it is not a serious problem for me.  And, thank you for looking into the
possible causes -- I didn't know this false alert was so unusual!  (Yes, I will let you know if it persists.)

Also, on the other topic concerning getting EMS operational on my wife's new Samsung S7 (as a second device on my EMS account), we are
fully "up-and-running" with that as well.  Thanks to your help on this problem also!!

Best regards

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Dear Koosharem,

Thank you for your valuable feedback again.

Our developers wanted me to pass you a big thank you for being so helpful and providing us with valuable input.

I think indeed the problem then must be related to Google Fi where there are some know problems if used together with Emsisoft Mobile Security.

I've let our mobile developers know that Google Fi is in use on your own phone and if they may can give any additional information/suggestion/status or kind of an ETA for a fix I'll be glad to let you know here.

 

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I, too, am on Google Project fi (Nexus 5X phone). My wife's iPhone is my trusted number, and she's getting several "number changed" text each day. I drive a delivery route, so I'm moving around quite a lot each day (abt 250 miles).

Project fi phones, when moving about, not only switch from one cell tower to another, they can change from one carrier network to another. I wonder if a network change is what's triggering the msgs? You might pass this on to the developers to see what they say.

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Dear JRM,

Thank you for contacting our support.

I'm sorry to hear that you encounter troubles with the SMS sim card changed notifications when using Emsisoft Mobile Security with Google Fi.

I've just requested the current status of the situation from our mobile developers. I'm unsure if I'll hear back from them before begin next week but I'll make sure to follow up as soon as I know more.

In the meanwhile, if I can assist please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Dear JRM,

Thank you for your patience.

Our mobile developers had the chance to discuss the topic with the Google Fi issue you've reported and wanted me to ask you if it would be possible to get debug logs covering the problem.

This way the could gather valuable information on why this exactly happens on your device which will hopefully enable them to get the problem fixed once for all. In the case you might want to help with debug logs I'll send you a private message (PM) here in the forum in a minute shortly with a link in it to a special version of Emsisoft Mobile Security our mobile developers built for you.

You would need to uninstall the version of Emsisoft Mobile Security which is installed right now and then use the link which I'll send you to download the version of Emsisoft Mobile Security with debug logging enabled. Once the SMS is sent it'll generate some logs already at our side and we can see what our developers can find out with the help of these logs.

Of course it is understandable if you don't want to spend your time with uninstalling our app and reinstalling another version. Sadly as a temporary solution the only way to stop the problem from happening would be to actually disable SMS control in Emsisoft Mobile Security.

 

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