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Litmus Test for Apple & Samsung Anti-theft Features


As the smartphone market is getting intensely competitive, manufacturing companies strive to make the technology more advanced and superior. This situation is very favorable for the consumers, as they get to use the best technology of the time. User demand coupled with initiatives made by individual companies to improve Smartphone experience, the gadget has acquired a very special place in modern day living.

The device works like a diary, PC, game console and directory. Due to its diverse usage  and dependency, any event leading to theft and loss of the device can cause a lot of problem to its users.  Being fully aware of such instances, the U.S government recently sponsored on anti-theft security features test for Apple’s iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S4 and the yet to come Activation Lock feature for iOS7.

This drill  was conducted by security experts from the Northern California Regional Intelligence Centre. This preemptive attempt by the US government is to dissuade occurrences related with Smartphone theft. Apple Devices and Samsung galaxy line of Smartphones are very expensive. If an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phone is stolen from a user it will not just make a big dent in his/her pocket but also put him/her at great risk as these days people carry personal information such as photos, bank account details etc. on their Smartphones.

A real world feel is to be attached to the test process. Deactivating the device before putting up for sale in the black market is the most adopted technique.  The test is also expected to scrutinize the  Activation Lock feature which is arrive on yet to be released iOS7. As per the latest feature, the Activation Lock feature will require original Apple ID and password to turn off Find My iPhone, erase existing data from the phone and to reactivate the phone after it has been successfully deactivated.

Last month, Smartphone giants Apple and Samsung announced upgraded security features for iPhone and Galaxy S4 respectively. The development of these feature stemmed from the pressure generated from the government in the face of high number Smartphone robberies. While Apple has developed Activation Lock for iOS7, Samsung has brought LoJack to the tablet as its attempt to ditter mobile phone thefts.

Praising the endeavor of the two enterprises , the officials from the team spoke to CNET that “While we are appreciative of the efforts made by Apple and Samsung to improve security of the devices they sell, we are not going to take them at their word. Today we will assess the solutions they are proposing and see if they stand up to the tactics commonly employed by thieves.”

Despite these efforts, U.S prosecutors are skeptic of the effectiveness of these new security features.  Instead they are proposing that all Smartphone makers must include “Kill Switch” in all the new phones so as to curb iPhone theft or “Apple Picking” as it is called.  Kill Switch would eventually leave a stolen phone useless, absolutely denouncing its resale value in the global black market.

The Pandemic of Smartphone robbery is a big reason for worry. There are crime reports in which phone users have lost their lives in an attempt to resist a Smartphone robbery. These incident has urged law enforcement agencies to pressurize Smartphone makers to take matters related to mobile phone security quite seriously. Kill Switch is a very logical security feature that companies can adopt. Smartphone security has to be taken serious and should be a top most concern. An average user uses his/her Smartphone to accomplish great deal of tasks. The users must feel secured that the information that he/she is carrying on his/her phone should not fall in wrong hands or misused.

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