Smart phone theft appears to be on the rise, that is why this blog post will be dedicated to showing readers how to prevent and manage smartphone thefts.
In this day and age no one is shy about using their smartphones almost anywhere they go, on the bus, in the subway, on the street, wherever. However one could be robbed of their smartphone in any one of these locations.
If your smartphone contains data that is personal and or confidential, you need to think of ways to prevent the data from being seen by thieves. One great solution is the ever so familiar pin code lock. Android phones offer alternate locks to pins, such as full phrase passwords and pattern locks. Pattern locks work by the owner drawing a registered pattern on the lock screen.
Now it is time to decide what is more valuable, convenience or security. It is possible to set the phones lock setting to lock the phone immediately after the phones screen turns off or to wait a determined time before the phone actually locks, even if the screen is off.
Lets have a scenario where the smartphone user is a lawyer, the phone is set to lock 10 minutes after the screen is off, this way the lawyer won’t have to always enter his pin. The lawyer is on the subway, and his phone is in his pocket. The thief picks his pocket. The phone isn’t locked yet! Our thief now has access to personal and confidential information, emails, pictures, notes, calendar entries, etc.
This could have been prevented if the phone was set to lock immediately.
Regardless of the phone lock setting, depending on the content, which exists on the phone, the owner may want to start a remote wipe. A remote wipe will only delete info from the phone itself; it will not erase emails, contacts, calendar entries and the like, from their associated account.
iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone offer the ability to find your lost phone and to remotely wipe it should you need to.
The table below depicts the name and the website to browse to access remote wiping and location tools.
|iPhone||iCloud – https://www.icloud.com/|
|Android||Android Devie Manager – https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager|
|BlackBerry||BlackBerry Protect – https://protect.blackberry.com/|
|Windows Phone||Find my Phone – https://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/my|
You must register to these tools to use them. It is recommended you register on the first day of obtaining a new phone.
If you want your physical device back, and are not very worried about its contents being seen by thieves, go to the police station, explain what happened to the officer handling your case, show them your phones location using the tools provided by the manufacturer.
The GPS functionality must be turned on for accurate results, to recover your phone.
There have been cases where the officers where very responsive and managed to retrieve the phone within a few hours of being notified.
There also have been cases where the smartphone owners lost all hope of ever retrieving their device, and then new photos started to appear in their iCloud Photo Stream! All because the thief didn’t bother to reset the phone, and the phone was still logged in to iCloud. The information was taken to the police and the phone was retrieved.
For more information on securing your mobile device, preventing data leaks, remote wiping and so on, contact Group 4 Networks. We’ll show you how to use the provided tools, and assess your phones security.