If you ever lost your phone, you probably felt like your whole life was missing.
This can be really though to some people, especially if you have lots of personal photos on your device.
When your smartphone is missing, you’re exposed to much more than just your private photos on the Internet: identity theft and fraudulent charges are the most common issues related to stolen phones.
Also, some mobile devices are very expensive so if you own a smartphone, you’re going to need all the security features required to guarantee the best protection for your phone and privacy.
We live our lives throughout our cellphones but current mobile security doesn’t adapt to real life scenarios.
According to the Mirror and just in the UK, an staggering amount of 183 phones are stolen each and every day.
Most security apps available for Android are not useful when it comes to some stranger taking away your phone and disabling it.
Apps like Find My Phone or similar are used post-theft, meaning that you use them after you noticed that your device was missing.
The vast majority of security apps tend to follow this approach of actions to follow after this unfortunate event.
With these apps, users can control the security settings remotely, find the device using GPS, and other features that are good for the overall security of your phone but don’t prevent theft.
According to Consumer Reports, smartphone theft is dropping as the usage of the kill switch grows but kill switch is a feature available only for iOS users and it is also an action taken after the theft event. Still, this feature doesn’t protect your phone from being stolen.
Our app focus is much simpler: if you prevent someone from disabling your phone, you won’t have to search for it with Find My Device app or similar.
lockIO is the only security app for Android that effectively blocks the first step a thief does after steal your device: turn it off.
One of the most important aspects of security is prevention and when it comes to protection, it is (almost) everything. As my father used to say: "You never lock the door after a theft".
By blocking the power button with a password prompt, users have an extra security feature to block theft and that should be integrated in every smartphone.
The Power Lock feature is unique in lockIO, adding an extra layer of protection to your Android phone.
Our goal is to prevent your phone from being stolen so you don’t have to use Find My Phone apps.
Ok, you might be thinking: What if someone removes the battery?
Most devices from the top manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, Sony or HTC have enclosed-case devices.
This means that the battery is integrated on the device and cannot be removed so easily.
To remove a battery on any of these devices it will require time, tools and expertise necessaries for a thief to disable it.
1.- The owner misplace, forgets or lose sight of the device.;
2.- The intruder takes away the device without the owner noticing;
3.- When the intruder is out of sight from the owner, it will attempt to disable the phone by:
• Turning it off
• Removing the battery (thieves normally target mid-high end devices which are enclosed-case)
• Removing the authorized SIM card
• If the owner doesn’t have a home screen lock enabled, it might disable it by activating Airplane mode or disabling the network
4.- After the device is powered off or disabled, is very difficult to retrieve it.
We managed to secure two of the steps shown above and in the case of the other two; Users can take the precaution necessary to avoid this situation.
Our app doesn’t only secure the first step a thief takes; it also blocks another very important step: when it removes your SIM Card.
Another way of disabling a phone that is turned on is by removing the inserted SIM card.
We developed another feature called SIM Card Extraction Alert, which will trigger a loud alarm whenever someone extracts the authorized SIM Card.
By doing this, any stranger that removes your SIM card will activate an uncontrollable alarm that will make any thief throw away your phone.
This feature works when the Power Lock screen is activated, so you don’t have to worry that you’ll trigger an alarm just by changing the SIM at any given moment.
Is good to remember that whenever you suffer a phone theft or lose important devices, you should always go to your local Police Station and file a report for the missing or stolen item.
Most Police Departments are very competent in searching and recovering stolen phones but you need to report it with the proper information that will allow them the retrieve it.
This normally includes your device information (IMEI, Serial Number, etc…), place, date and time where the theft occurred or when you noticed that your phone was missing. Send a copy of this report to your email so you have a duplicate in case of lose.
Please note that it is not the same to report a phone theft than the loss of it.
When you file a theft report, you assume someone stole it from you, different from losing it where you state that, for example, you left it on a taxi or a bus. You’re not implying that someone took it away from you.
Remember that stealing is a felony and accusing someone of doing it without having done it might constitute defamation.
SECURITY TIP: Always write down the information about your phone, especially the IMEI (Model, Serial Number, etc.). You can also find your IMEI number by dialing *#06# and press call. Having this information will allow you to identify properly your device in case of filling a stolen phone report in the Police Station. These elements can be found under the “Settings > About Phone” screen. Copy those values and send them to your email with a title that you could easily find in case you need to search for it (e.g: My Phone Information”).
But don’t make the mistake to think that if you have your IMEI, you will find and recover your phone.
The truth is that is very difficult to recover your phone since thieves are using “flashers” to change the IMEI number and once this is done, is almost impossible to find it.
If you’re looking at how to protect your privacy and personal files from strangers, you should take every precaution to prevent an eventual theft.
Combining preventive measures with post-event apps is what you should aim for.
Dowload lockIO from Google Play and secure your power switch.
This way you’ll have features that will interfere with any burglar intention to steal your phone and in the event that it takes it away, use Find My Phone or Kill Switch to track your device location or erase your personal information.
Blocking the power button is important but only one step in the race to prevent smartphones theft.
And you, have you ever lost your phone? Did you suffer any fraudulent charge or identity theft? What scenarios do you think we’re not protecting against theft? Let us know what do think!
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