Cell phone theft has become a large problem in major cities around the nation as well as on our campus.To help keep its students safe, the University of Minnesota launched its SafeU campaign this past year. The campaign gave students helpful tips to stay safer on campus. Now that our student are doing all they can do to avoid robberies, it is time for large companies to take steps to assist with students safety as well. To help create safer campuses across the nation, Google and Microsoft have followed Apple’s lead in arming all new smartphones with a “kill switch.”
The kill switch is not the average lock button on the top of an iPhone. Rather, it is a signal that is able to be sent to a smartphone if it has been stolen or misplaced. In order to send this signal you or someone you have authorized must call the carrier or use a website.
Once the kill switch has been activated the phone will completely lock out unauthorized users and delete personal information if need be. The lock on the phone also makes the smartphone incompatible with any mobile service globally. The only way to unlock a smartphone that has been locked by the kill switch is with a password chosen by the owner. This making the stolen phone useless for resale by the thief. Robbery then becomes a gamble since thieves are unable to distinguish the devices equipped with the kill switch software from those that are not. By combining the U’s safety campaign and the kill switch technology, authorities are expecting the number of robberies on campus related to smartphones to plummet.
The kill switch software is already available to iPhones with the iOS 7 update and will be installed and or available for download on most new Windows or Android smartphones. On these devices the kill switch is enabled by default; however, there is the option to disable the kill switch if at any time you feel as though it is unnecessary.
The statistics show that since Apple has added a kill switch to its update, theft of iPhones has gone down significantly all over the nation. With this, officials have proposed a new bill. This bill has the potential to make the kill switch technology mandatory by law to be available on all smartphones made and sold in the United States for no extra cost to the users. This could be in effect as early as January 1, 2015.
How do I get this now on my iPhone?
- Get the iOS 7 update
- Go to settings
- Tap iCloud
- Sign in with your Apple ID
- Turn on Find My iPhone
By turning on the Find My iPhone setting you are able to locate, lock, or erase the iPhone. It also prevents the phone from being reactivated or reset without your password.
How do I get this on my Android or Windows phone?
The Kill switch will be available on all Windows phones 8.0 or newer and on the next generation of Android phones. If this is your phone, the kill switch technology is already enabled. All Windows and Android devices are predicted to have this capability by January 2015.
Take action! Don’t be a victim of cell phone robbery, take advantage of this software and become a saferU.