You’ve probably seen a video or two by now depicting a theft of an iPhone, or some other mobile device. Thefts of mobile devices have become quite ubiquitous in everyday life. Almost everyone carries a smartphone, and their value grabs the attention of thieves. Some thieves even have the audacity to steal a person’s phone while they’re talking on them!
With the release of iOS 7 in 2013, Apple introduced a new feature on its iPhones that allows users to disable, and turn off their phones in the event the phone is stolen. Essentially Apple implemented a kill switch. It’s a rather handy feature allowing the victim to protect any important information that may be stored on the phone. It also makes the phone useless to whoever stole it. Apple also offers a few other security features such as the ability to remotely lock your iPhone, and to completely wipe it.
According to Reuters, since the introduction of the iPhone kill switch, thefts of iPhones have dramatically dropped. In San Francisco for example, thefts have dropped by 40%. In New York, the number was 25%, while in London, the reduction is reported to be over half.
These numbers are quite positive. They prove that smartphone manufacturers can play a major role in preventing thefts of user’s devices. Implementing anti-theft features can go a long way to protect users, and prevent theft as shown in these numbers. 25-50% reductions in smartphone thefts are a huge improvement. Other manufacturers have also taken similar steps in terms of the implementation of such features.
Smartphone thefts are terrifyingly common. In San Francisco and Oakland, smartphone thefts accounted for more than half of all crimes committed.
Although the manufacturer can play a big role in preventing thefts, the user also plays a big role. Being aware of your surroundings is very important; along with knowing where you should maybe leave your phone in your pocket can go a long way in protecting your valuable smartphone.
As more manufacturers improve their anti-theft features, it’s pretty safe to say that thefts of smartphones will continue to drop in the years to come.