Almost every phone manufacturer, OS maker and app developer bring up security solutions for phone users. These are meant for protecting your device

When a geek steals a phone

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Almost every phone manufacturer, OS maker and app developer bring up security solutions for phone users. These are meant for protecting your device from one sort of vices or another. The focus of this write-up is on Anti-theft features.

Anti theft protection are features in place set aside for phone users to help protect their phones in case of theft. Much has been said and done about this issue, governments (in some nations) have tried to introduce rules to tackling the issue. Software developers, phone makers and others have also contributed to the cause.

Truth is, phone stealing will never end, But the big question is -the measures in place- do they really ensure true anti-theft security?

Looking at Anti-theft features we can divide them into 3 classes:


Class 1: Wipes all data from phone after its stolen.

To prevent the thief from tampering with owner’s personal data, this style is prevalent on Blackberry devices if you have setup a BlackBerry ID, when you swap SIM’s you are asked to login to your account before accessing the phone. Wrong entry of these password (a number of times) will wipe all the data on the phone.


  • The phone thief has no access to your emails and personal data.


  • The thief gets to enjoy your phone in its full glory, as theirs no way of rendering the phone useless.


Class 2: Renders the phone useless after its stolen

There has been talk of governments pushing manufacturers to introduce a kill switch that can render a phone useless. Though the later has been reluctant to introduce the feature. Apple is the first manufacturer to bring the the kill switch feature with a software called Activation Lock. Even after wiping the device, it will require your own personal Apple ID and password to be usable and once setup, no-one except the subscriber can unlock the phone.




  • Highly effective and considerably reducing iPhone thefts.


  • Most users are still unaware if this feature.
  • Might need connection to internet or Wifi to work.



Class 3: Helps users, remotely lock access, wipe, or locate their phones

This feature is available on iDevices, Androids, and some apps e.g Avast Antivirus. With this feature enabled, a user can view their stolen phone’s location on a map, remotely wipe the data on the phone, display a specified message on the device etc.


Highly effective in recovering stolen phones.


Most of the features in this strategy are dependent on connection to internet. With data off, the stolen phone very useable.


With all these being said, When a geek steals a phone, just forget it 🙂

Now over to you, Have you lost any gadget before? Have you ever recovered any gadget using one of the above methods?

One comment

  1. I’ve lost phones about three times but all those are feature phones but with power on password in place. I never bothered with them as there’s no means of contact the thief or maybe the person that picked them up once the phone is switched off.

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