New Software for Protecting Tablets, Smart Phones
Since technology has become so integrated in our lives, the loss an important piece of technology, like your phone or computer, can be very troublesome. If you have all of your corporate files saved on your computer or all of your important contacts on your phone, what would you do without them? Recovering all of that valuable information can be costly to both your time and your wallet. .
“It was an iPhone 4S. Brand new, $250 phone, $50 case,” says David Dyer. Dyer made the innocent mistake of leaving his phone behind as he exited a taxi. It happens to the best of us.
“I think the guy, as soon as he let me out, sees my phone in the backseat and just takes it and pockets it,” Dyer said. Leaving behind a phone in a taxi is not the only way for it to get stolen, though. The LAPD reports that there has been a 32% increase in reported phone thefts, while the thefts of laptops and tablet computers are also on the rise. Dyer said he tried calling his phone, but by that time it had already been turned off and there was no way to track it.
“I think it’s long gone. There’s nothing I can do,” Dyer said. Unfortunately, Dyer was never able to recover his phone. However, there are ways and countermeasures that you can take to prevent this from happening. Security software company Symantec has recently developed a new way to track your stolen phone, laptop, or tablet computer very easily.
“How it works is all these smart devices have the ability to track themselves,” said Con Mallon with Symantec. The anti-theft software will not only allow you to trace your stolen piece of technology, but it will also allow you to turn on the camera of the device and take pictures of the person using it.
A team of reports and investigators decided to test this. They went LAX, where several hundred people get picked up by taxis every day. They then had one of their team members leave a tablet in the taxi and see if they could recover it later. For the first three tests, the drivers willingly returned the merchandise quickly without any incident. As soon as they noticed that the customer had left something, they immediately returned it.
The fourth cab, however, was a different story entirely. It was one from United Independent Taxi. The investigating team used the same tactic as before, purposely leaving their tablet in the taxi after they reached the destination. However, upon calling the company, the driver did not respond. The team used Symantec’s software to activate the camera in the tablet and take several photos of the man and his family as they used the tablet. They then tracked the tablet directly to the man’s home in North Hollywood, California. Upon request for the stolen tablet, the driver claimed not to have ever had a tablet lost or forgotten in his taxi. That is, of course, until he was shown the photos of his family using it.