The first iPhone was released June 29, 2007, ushering in a new era of mobile gadgets. Smart phones have allowed us to take the internet with us wherever we go, and there are literally hundreds of thousands of apps designed to make our lives easier.
One of the reasons smart phones are so cool also makes them vulnerable to theft—their portability. It’s not too challenging for a thief to snatch an iPhone from an unsuspecting pedestrian and take off running.
Thankfully, as smart phones have gotten more advanced, so have the security features designed to reduce theft. In fact, the development of a “kill switch” for the latest iPhone resulted in a 38% drop in robberies in San Francisco, and a 24% drop in London, according to the New York Times.
Let’s take a look at some of the more advanced smart phone security features that can help make sure you’re not a victim of theft.
‘Kill Switch’ Security App
The name “kill switch” is a little deceiving. It doesn’t kill anyone, and it doesn’t even kill your phone. It simply renders it useless for would-be robbers.
A kill switch, sometimes called an “activation lock,” is a security app to lock your phone remotely if you suspect it’s been lost or stolen. Suddenly, the street value of your smart phone is reduced to zero, dissuading any would-be robbers from snatching and grabbing phones in the future.
Cell phones have had locking capabilities for years now to provide basic cell phone security. Typically, it’s a four-digit code or some kind of pattern, but several smart phones feature fingerprint locking, making it even harder (or even impossible) for someone to hack into your phone.
Wireless Proximity Alarm
A wireless proximity alarm is an actual physical product rather than a security app that alerts you when your phone has gotten away from you. Basically, it’s a small fob you can attach to your keys or keep in your purse, and you can wirelessly connect it to your smart phone through an app. The alarm will go off if your phone reaches a certain distance from the fob, alerting you if you’ve accidentally left your phone behind or if a robber has walked off with it.
Facial Recognition Lock
Cell phone security has gotten so futuristic that all you have to do is look at your phone to unlock it. With facial recognition software, your phone will only open up to someone who has the exact same facial features as you. Unless you have an identical twin, then you’d be the only one with access to your phone’s contents.
‘Find My iPhone’ Security App and Other Remote Locating Features
Smart phones are probably lost more than they’re stolen. If you’re the kind of person who compulsively leaves your iPhone behind at restaurants and bars, or who can’t seem to locate it in the morning when you have to leave for work, then this security feature is for you.
With the “Find My iPhone” security app, you can go onto your computer and locate your phone through GPS, and even make it give off an alarm so you can find it quickly.
No matter what kind of smart phone you own, chances are it has one of the security features listed above, and probably something even more futuristic. However, no matter how advanced our phones get, common sense is probably the best anti-theft device widely available to everyone.