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Apple and Samsung move forward in the war against Smart Phone Theft

downloadThe theft of iPhones has now been coined as “Apple Picking”. However, Apple and Samsung are now taking extra measures in order to defend users from these thieves.

Recently in Ireland, figures show a decrease in many crime areas, however, an 11pc increase has been seen in the crime of ‘thefts against the person’. And nearly one in three robberies in the United States involves the theft of a mobile phone.

In the U.S.A last summer, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman held a “smartphone summit” to urge players in the smartphone industry to implement new solutions to overcome the robberies.

And last month in Ireland, a senior Garda based in Store Street Garda Station urged the public to be pro-active in keeping their phones safe. Sean Ward, Gardai Super Intendent, described the open display of new smart phones to be like “hanging €500 off the side of your ear”. There are a variety of different techniques being used by thieves to steal smart phones, which include using bicycles to quickly fly by and primarily target female pedestrians.

The new iOS 7 feature for Apple products includes a new security feature called Activation Lock that automatically works for free, in sync with the Find My Phone feature.The Find My iPhone feature is built into iOS 7 and can be enabled in the Settings page. Activation Lock essentially connects your devices to your Apple ID.

Criminals who steal phones, as a general rule, “wipe” the phone of all extra files and apps in order to sell it on. But now any thief who attempts to turn off Find My iPhone, erase the device, or reset the device will be required to enter the Apple ID and password.

Samsung’s Galaxy S4 smartphone includes the Absolute software which allows the phone’s owner to remotely delete important files from the phone and also lock the phone down, rendering it useless to thieves.

If you lose your iPhone or if it is stolen, Apple advises trying to locate the device using Find My iPhone. You can also activate the device’s “Lost Mode,” and keep track of its location and indicate to anyone who comes across it that the device was lost or stolen. And you can also wipe personal information from your missing device, remotely.

What measures do you take to keep your Smart Phone safe? Let us know at 4pm!