Hot on the heels on the Apple iOS 7.0 announcement, Lost my iPhone has been updated, with tracking features and password protected login for erasing and resetting your iPhone. Truth is, this is never going to work.
For some years now, mobile devices like the Galaxy S series and iPhones have had a tracking feature. The problem is that it was created with the assumption that the device would be stolen and SIM card intact. this is a wrong assumption.
GPS needs a Data line for Tracking
Yup, the first thing they do is take your SIM card and toss it. Thieves have known that by leaving your SIM card intact in the phone, they will be leading the cops back to their hideout. Find My iPhone is useless with a wifi enabled iPod or iPad—which is what your iPhone would be once the SIM card is removed.
Wiping out your iPhone is easy through Jailbreaking
For Androids, it is just a matter of rooting your phone and resetting it. For iPhones, it is jailbreaking. The only way to protect you data is to wipe it clean. Android has Cerberus while it can’t help you recover your device, it will wipe it clean once the security code is entered wrongly.
Your DATA is Precious
I have had my devices stolen in the past, and they accessed my mailbox and used that to steal my Facebook account. Since then, life hasn’t been the same. They hijacked my email box, changed the password to my FB account and tried to lock me out but they forgot to change my phone number security settings, which allowed me to wrestle it back from their evil claws. But even til this day, they are still actively trying to hack their way into my FB account. I get an average of one request for password reset every two days.
The point here is that your email address is the most important element in your mobile device, that single email is your identity to your bank account, credit card and PayPal account, phone billing account, etc. This is why wiping your data clean from you phone is the FIRST thing that must be done.
Recovery of Mobile Device
I urge you to forget this. Regardless if yours was an iPhone or Android device, recovery is not an option if the person who took it is hell bent on reselling your new toy.
There are so many ways around it with the open Jailbreak. Each time Apple gets a new OS out to iDevies, some clown with a hack will post a work around. And once that happens, you can be assured your device is lost.
What’s more, Apple does not get involved in stolen iPhone or iDevice issues. Even if the device is reported stolen to the Police, Apple will not check with the authorities on every unit returned for repairs.
All mobile devices with an IMEI is trackable. Once the device gets on a carrier network, the telcos can lock it out and prevent it from being used.
But this will never be done for one simple reason, Telcos have a vested interest in getting people on their network and the last thing they want is to stop new users from signing up their network plans.
Getting your device back also depends on how stupid the culprit has been. If he left it on, with your data line running along with the SIM card, there is a good chance you can hire the local mafia to beat him up. That said, I hope you have solid contacts with the underworld.
Stay Safe, Wipe your Data
The best bet for Android users is to to use a security app like Cerberus, but for the iPhone folks, well, protecting your data is important. If you really want to protect your device from being stolen or lost, then try a mobile device insurance policy. That’s the only way to get it replaced.