Smartphones are pretty much everywhere these days. Most of us have one which we use not just for making phone calls and sending messages but as places where we store our contacts, music and photos.
We also use our smartphones as little black books containing all sorts of sensitive personal data such as login details for online banking or social media sites. Thus taking steps to protect your smartphone is vital.
The problem is that smartphones are small and highly portable and therefore easily lost or stolen.
A smartphone can be easily picked up from a table in a cafe or snatched out of a user’s hand. The likelihood that your smartphone will be stolen is far higher than most people think.
Once a thief has his hands on your pride and joy, he can download personal or financial data from the phone, such as banking details, press the factory reset button to erase your data and then resell it… for €500 ($600) in Europe or North America and more than $1,000 in the Far East.
At the same time, he’ll have a good shot at clearing out your bank account.
Until about a year ago, half of all thefts in the USA involved mobile devices, while over in London, 10,000 smartphones were stolen every month.
As you can see, stolen phones generate a great deal of income for the gangs that carry out these thefts. They smartone 優惠 also generate new business for the manufacturers, up to $30 billion a year in replacement phones in the USA alone.
Perhaps this explains why manufacturers were reluctant to implement kill-switches that enable all phones to be turned off remotely if they are stolen or lost until prompted to do so by legislation.
In most forms of technology, a kill-switch is a single command or button that can shut down a complicated system almost immediately. On a smartphone, that’s the power off command.
There are really two different kinds of kill-switches for smartphones – a hard kill-switch that permanently bricks a phone, and a soft alternative that makes a phone unusable to all but the legitimate owner.
All you need is access to a computer, tablet, laptop or another smartphone to activate the kill-switch remotely.
Kill-switches work. Apple added a kill-switch to its devices in September 2013. In the following 12 months, the number of stolen iPhones dropped by 40 percent in San Francisco and 25 percent in New York. In London, smartphone theft fell by 50 percent.
So far, Apple, Samsung and Google have implemented kill-switches on their smartphones, and Microsoft is expected to release an operating system with a kill-switch for its Windows phones in 2015.