[AI] Making your mobile theft-proof
sweety.bhalla at ifciltd.com
Thu Jul 12 01:48:30 EDT 2007
Making your mobile theft-proof
With service providers and manufacturers moving into the thefts prevention by installing tracking software, it might become difficult to steal a phone.
For example, global handset manufacturer Samsung has put software on its selected models that sends SMSes to a pre-designated mobile number and e-mails
when a new SIM (subscriber identity module) card is inserted into the phone.
These messages will have the SIM card number of the new user and tracking him down would merely be a phone call away.
"On a rough estimate, there are 1.2 million to 2 million handsets lost or stolen in the country every month. Assuming that these are low-end handsets (priced
between Rs 4,500 and Rs 5,000 each) the total lost or stolen value of mobile handsets would be around Rs 400 crore every year," Samsung Head of Marketing
Asim Warsi told Business Standard.
GSM operator Bharti Airtel has introduced this technology and BPL Mobile is close to launching it, while Vodafone-Essar and Idea Cellular are considering
Samsung, sensing the growing potential of the technology, is planning to install it on all new models. BPL Mobile CEO S Subramaniam said: "Mobile phones
have now become the most important device as it doubles up as a wallet, not to mention its conventional uses of communication. It holds a lot of data,
e-mail accounts, power point presentation files and documents, and protecting this is as important as protecting your wallet."
The tracking software also ensures that data on the phones ??e phonebook and other details?? password -protected.
If the phone is lost, the user can be assured that it would not fall into the wrong hands, Subramaniam added.
Earlier, a Mumbai-based firm -- Virtual Mobile Security -- had rolled out a software that safeguards the images, phone numbers and SMSes stored on a mobile
phone from being accessed by others.
According to Warsi, this tracking technology is simpler and easier to use than the existing method of using International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI)
numbers to track down a lost phone.
The IMEI number is unique to every handset and the service provider can track the phone's usage anywhere in the world.
Voicing the same opinion a telecom analyst said, "Users never note down the IMEI number and tracking the lost phone using the number is cumbersome as it
involves legal hassles. Service providers need an FIR to be filed before they agree to track down the new user."
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