To legislate or not to legislate, a kill switch’s conundrum

Losing your phone to theft is a traumatic experience that can either set you back a few hundred dollar bills or, at worst, cause incalculable damage to your reputation as a person. With mobile phone theft on the rise due to a booming black market, it is extremely easy for you to fall victim to the rising number of crime syndicates that steal and fence your stolen mobile. This might not sound plausible to you, but the shocking number of theft being directed at mobile phones, 1.6 million in 2012 and rising since then, only serves to drill in the scale of the crime. It has prompted legislators to propose a law in California. This bill was introduced in February but was dropped due to the economic aspects that would push the over regulated tech industry into a death spiral. A total of 21 votes were needed to pass the legislation.


The effects of losing your phone are not just restricted to losing your contacts. With more and more of our lives becoming intertwined with our mobile apps, losing your phone is not a situation you want to be in. Stories of young girls losing their phones and having compromising pictures on them posted on the internet are a dime a dozen. Yet the true cost of losing your phone is losing your identity and your contacts with people. If you are a sales person or a business owner, losing your contacts on your mobile phone due to theft is easily the worst thing that can go wrong for you. Corporate espionage or hacking into your phone to gain your contacts to sell to the highest bidder are one of the many growing areas of criminal activities. You may be ethical and not buy your competitor’s stolen information, but that may not be true for everyone else. So how do you protect yourself from such crimes?


Newly developed apps, like Titanium Backup root and Go Backup & Restore, are able to save your settings on the cloud or an external SD card. These are very useful apps for the go getting entrepreneur, ensuring that you do not ever lose your critical information. Yet with the shocking news of the HeartBleed Bug, it stands to reason that your cloud upload may not be as safe as you think it is. That is why kill switch apps, like Find My Phone, are so important. They provide you the security needed to find your stolen or misplaced phone quickly either with your companion’s mobile or if you have access to a computer, an online website. The newly added version allows for you to wipe all data on the phone.


There are some other apps that can guarantee the security of business/private information stored on the smartphones. One of them is a tracking/monitoring application mSpy, that is a cost-effective solution for the protection of confidential information, while the target user is being engaged in various online/offline activities.


With the glacial pace that governments do things as well as the strong but sometimes illogical demand for privacy in the United States, it came as no surprise that the legislation failed. However, we as individuals are able to make intelligent choices that would protect both our privacy as well as identity. We ought to then make the right choices to protect ourselves.

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