TRACKING AND CONTROLLING YOUR STOLEN MOBILE PHONE
I have looked at device security previously, but it is always useful to try and understand the different solutions that are out on the market at any given time. Like mobile devices themselves, there are countless similarities between solutions, but individual intricacies between solutions, however small, can make all the difference for a solution that any one business user chooses to deploy.
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Maverick Secure Mobile (MSM) is a security application developed and distributed from India through various different channel partners across the globe, and the UK distribution arm is currently looking for reselling partners. The Nokia-only solution helps users protect their data, track their stolen device, retrieve their phonebook and even disable a stolen device remotely if necessary.
The application works in ‘hidden mode’ and cannot be viewed from within the device itself, therefore preventing access by potential perpetrators. The launch and customisation of the application is carried out via a combination of pre-defined shortcut keys and password entry. In case of theft or loss, the moment a SIM change is attempted or detected, MSM will encrypt all the data on the device so the user is assured their privacy is secure.
In the case of loss or theft, the application will send the phone number, device ID, country code, operator name and area code to the (pre-defined) reporting device via SMS. An SMS report can also be generated that details all activities performed on the stolen device, so full visibility is available at any given time.
Despite the most vigilant efforts of IT managers and administrators across the country, it is still an alarming reality how much data individual users capture on individual devices, and do not back up anywhere else! For most of us, the most important data on our device is the contacts we have spent months, and often years, building up. MSM can retrieve an entire phonebook from the stolen device, simply by sending an SMS to ‘contact=all’ from the reporting device.
As soon as the stolen device receives this message, it will begin sending the entire phonebook via SMS to the reporting device that has already been put in place. Those worried about the cost you might incur in by receiving so many texts, just remember that the unscrupulous phone thief has already put their own SIM card in the device because yours has already been blocked, so they will be kind enough to pay for your phonebook recovery on your behalf!
I Spy Call
One of my favourite elements of this application is the ‘Spy Call’ function. As soon as you make a call from your pre-defined reporting device to your own phone that has been stolen, the app already identifies this as a Spy Call. This automatically switches on the loudspeaker and microphone of the device without any notification or approval required on the handset itself, so it becomes an automated ‘listening in’ service to the phone thief that they cannot deactivate, even if they somehow discovered that Spy Call was activated.
There will be some readers who might decide that the remote activation of the speakerphone presents an excellent opportunity to let the phone thief know exactly what you think of him or her for stealing your prized asset. Of course, this article cannot condone that in any way!