Summary: Current smartphone remote-wipe solutions protect your data, but a factory reset still works on the black market. LoJack has a solution that can’t be removed, rendering the device useless for thieves.
Smartphone theft is out of control, especially when such theft leads to murder. The Huffington Post has reported that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has requested representatives from Google, Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft attend a summit next week to discuss the problem.
The upcoming LoJack solution for Android devices is the kind of solution that Schneiderman is asking for, and I hope to see this in cell phones other than the Galaxy S4 in the near future.
There are a number of software solutions that let you wipe or track your iPhone, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone. But after a hard reset or wipe, a thief can take your phone to be sold or used. Something more effective is needed to stop this crime that affected about 1.6 million Americans last year.
Unlike a software solution only, the Absolute Software LoJack system is both a hardware and software solution. Starting with the Samsung Galaxy S4, Absolute’s persistence technology is built into the firmware of the S4 and cannot be removed, even if the device is restored to factory settings.
The Galaxy S4 has the technology built in now, but the necessary Absolute software solution is not yet available. When it is available, you will be able to remotely lock your device, locate it, erase the data from the device and storage card, or have the Absolute Investigation and Recovery Services Team attempt to recover it.
The Recovery Team is made up of experts from law enforcement, the FBI, the Marines, the US Army, and other government positions. To date, they have recovered 28,000+ devices (laptops and PCs) in over 95 countries.
The service starts at just $29.99 for a one- or four-year subscription. If you live in an area where smartphone crime is rampant, then you may want to consider a S4 and this LoJack service.
As LoJack continues to support more devices, or manufacturers step up to the plate, let’s hope smartphone crime becomes a thing of the past.