Friday 24 November 2017

Apple steps up war against iPhone theft

Theft of iPhones and iPads global problem known as 'Apple picking'

Apple sold a record-breaking 33.8 million iPhones in the last financial quarter but it also suffered a fall in profits
Apple sold a record-breaking 33.8 million iPhones in the last financial quarter but it also suffered a fall in profits
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

The theft of iPhones and iPads has become a global problem, now known as “Apple picking".

Now Apple and Samsung are taking steps to fight back against the thieves.

Recent figures in Ireland show that while there have been falls in a number of crime areas, an 11pc increase has been recorded in the category of ‘thefts against the person'.

And nearly one in three robberies in the United States involves the theft of a mobile phone.

Last summer, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman convened a “smartphone summit” to urge the smartphone industry to implement technological solutions to thwart the robberies.

And last month in Ireland, a senior officer based in Store Street Garda Station urged the public to be vigilant in keeping their phones safe.

Superintendent Sean Ward described the open display of iPhones as “hanging €500 off the side of your ear”.

There are a number of different methods being used by thieves to steal smart phones, which include using bicycles to swoop in and target female pedestrians.

Apple’s new iOS 7 mobile operating system, includes a security feature called Activation Lock that automatically works with the free Find My iPhone feature.

Find My iPhone is built into iOS 7 and can be enabled in Settings.

Activation Lock basically ties your devices to your Apple ID.

Criminals who steal phones typically “wipe” the devices clean so they can resell them.

But now any thief who wants to turn off Find My iPhone, erase the device, or reset the device will be required to enter the Apple ID and password.

Samsung’s Galaxy S4 smartphone includes Absolute software that allows owners to remotely delete files and lock down the stolen device, rendering it useless to thieves.

If you lose your iPhone or if it is stolen, Apple advises trying to locate the device using Find My iPhone.

You can also put the device in “Lost Mode,” and keep track of its location and indicate to anyone who comes across it that the device has been lost or stolen. And you can also erase personal information from your missing device, remotely.

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