Monitoring My Kids With Cerberus Anti-Theft
As I explained in Post 2, my best laid plans did not work. The kids and I were all frustrated. I needed to change directions with my monitoring plans or we would all be unhappy.
So I decided to remove all of the apps previously mentioned and leave their phones wide-open. But to install a hidden cellphone spy program or app that would monitor what they did.
I found “Cerberus” (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lsdroid.cerberus&hl=en) and installed it on their phones and paid the (approximate) $7.00USD for a lifetime license for 3 devices. This looked promising so I decided I would be monitoring my kids with Cerberus Anti Theft app rather than a standalone parental control app.
Cerberus is billed as an anti-theft device and has a massive list of functions. Get location, location history, SMS log, call log, record audio, take picture (front or rear camera), take screenshot, wipe, reboot, enable wifi, etc.
Immediately, I experienced the same problem that thousands of others posted about … the famed “Can’t connect … ” message. One phone gave this message 98% of the time; while the other phone gave the message 50% of the time.
Cerberus says it is because your phone is not communicating with Google servers — which I proved to be inaccurate. They suggest checking the connection on the target phone (which I did and it showed “OK”); and installing the push notification fixer from Google-Play if that didn’t work. I did as they suggested but the problem doesn’t go away. Read the reviews — most people using cerberus complain about the connect message. And without making a “connection”, you can’t do anything at all!
Overall, it works most of the time and has some unique features, especially since you are paying a small amount of money for a lifetime license.
Yes, I was
Cerberus is unforgiving — not only is your account blocked PERMANENTLY, but they blacklist the IMEI of your phone, preventing you from moving the phone to a new Cerberus account!
Across the internet, thousands are getting blocked and screaming about it — without success. Cerberus won’t tell you WHY they are so anal about this policy, but I will:
In order to NOT be reported as a “SPY” app by security and anti-virus software, Cerberus made an agreement to not allow its software to be used for anything but anti-theft.
When you install Cerberus on your target device, you do NOT receiving any warnings from any anti-virus or security programs about Cerberus. You would be surprised just how important and lucrative it is to NOT be reported as dangerous or SPY WARE.
With the constant connection issues, and now the blocked account, Cerberus doesn’t have as much value in my books. BUT for a one-time license fee, it is worth leaving installed just in case it is ever needed. [Later I updated this to say that it is still valuable enough to install on every phone you want to monitor, and use it for the very occasional backup service].
And even when your account is blocked, there are things you can still do. I made the mistake of not adding Cerberus to a new phone that I wanted to monitor because of my blocked account issue. That was before I realized what I could still do.
And if I had been thinking, I would have created a new Cerberus account for the new phone, paid the fee, and had a fully-functional, unblocked version on the new phone as my backup. Hindsight is 20-20, right?
IF your phone “connects” with Cerberus, you can still (EVEN with a blocked account) see the following:
1. GPS Location of where the phone is located. It will also let you know if your target has disabled “location” services on their phone, which prevent GPS from working.
2. “Get Device Information” — which tells you the name of the WIFI that the person is connected to, helping you to identify further where they really are located.
Knowing the name of the wifi your kids are connected to is much more important than you realize. If they are supposed to be at school, by location you might see them at or near the school and think all is well. But if you see that they are connected to Starbucks wifi, then you know they are across the street at the coffee shop and NOT in their classroom.
as well as other services. Go to the website to read all the available anti-theft related services.
For clarification, this are the services I am blocked from accessing:
1. CALL/SMS log (can’t see their message list or call list)
2. Audio/Video Recording (can’t record their surroundings)
3. Screenshot/Screen Recording (can’t screen shot what is on their phone)
5. Remote Shell
SMS COMMANDS DO NOT WORK:
I sent the SMS command to “FIND” or locate the phone. Did not work. So, none of the programs I have tested actually work correctly using SMS commands … and that is a big selling point of some! Very disappointing.
TWO HOURS LATER … Cerberus responded that it had received the “Find” command and a reply would come within a minute. One minute later, I receive a reply that it can’t find my phone.