Kill Switch All Set To Deter Thieves

by Emily on June 26, 2014

in Articles, Mobiles

mobile-phone-kill-switch

Samsung and Apple led the way, and now Google and Microsoft have agreed to add remote kill switches to their operating systems in a bid to make their devices safer, and less likely to be stolen.

The feature will give users to disable their device should it get lost or stolen, completely wiping the device, effectively killing it.

It comes after authorities have been campaigning for technology firms to take the steps in order to crack down on the growing problem of smartphone theft. Last year, one in three Europeans had a device stolen or lost according to US authorities, which when our smartphones carry more information about us than ever before is extremely worrying.

Information such as bank details and email accounts could be accessed, whilst even fun apps like social media or casino games like [tp lang=”en” only=”y”]Mobile Royal Vegas[/tp][tp not_in=”en”]Mobile Royal Vegas[/tp] can be used to potentially access things such as card details.

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in his report, “An activated kill switch converts an easy-to-sell, high-value multimedia device into a jumble of plastic and glass, drastically reducing its street value.

“With the majority of phones still without a kill switch, smartphone-related thefts and violence remain a tragic reality.”

However, the kill switch has already seen results. Apple introduced a similar feature back in September 2013 on their iPhone’s running iOS 7 which made it harder for anyone to use or sell your device, and it’s reaping the rewards. Across the globe iPhone robberies are down, with incidents in San Francisco alone dropping by more than a third.

It’s a similar story with Samsung too. The South Korean brand’s Reactivation Lock activates a special flag set in a secured memory storage area, whilst ‘Find My Mobile’ also adds that extra security blanket, making it harder to reset the device and eventually sell on.

With Microsoft and Google joining the party, it’s expected that thefts will continue to drop. Although not without concerns from the CTIA. The trade association of US wireless carriers believe the switch could pose a serious threat to users due to the inability to make emergency calls once the device has been disabled, as well as forcing users to buy new smartphones should they have only accidentally misplaced their devices.

But it can’t be argued that something needs to be done in a world where 3.1 million devices were stolen in the United States in 2013, a million in Colombia, and an increase of five times of thefts in South Korea between 2009 and 2013 – and this could just be it.

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