Securing your Smartphone : Antitheft Software

Smartphones have become a vital part of modern life at least to most urban dwellers of my age. I still meet people my age who can easily afford a smartphone but still operate rudimentary devices and I can’t help but be puzzled.

With the ever increasing computing power in our pockets, a lot of our lives is managed through the touchscreen be it managing finances, love lives, business or pleasure most of us turn to the palm sized bricks in our pockets.

Losing your smartphone thus becomes a micro nightmare especially if you saved a tiny fortune to keep up with the trends. Kenya Orient insurance have recently launched a mobile insurance product that is rather discriminative in terms of the gadgets they consider qualify for insurance cover. All I know is my Chinese android gadget is not swanky enough to merit insurance. Their loss either way.

So I recently got mugged and lost my phone (A Tecno N7) that was more infamous for its humongous size than for its tacky brand. I must say for its price point it more than delivered on it promise and I pretty much managed my life through it be it todo lists, maintaining social contacts, and planning work. The google navigation also saved our skin several times when making road trips.

On advice from a good friend,  I had installed avast! mobile security suite that includes backup, antitheft, antivirus etc. I was rather sceptical about the abilities of the antitheft module but I have now swallowed my words. I installed it as a system application and obfuscated it by giving it some generic name so that it doesn’t raise alarm amongst the bandit fraternity.

I was headed for Kericho the following day and so did not even report to the police or even attempt to lock or wipe remotely. A week later after a trans rift valley road trip, I settled down to see how useless or useful the avast! app was. There was no response for a few days and I assumed that the damn thing was already uninstalled. This morning however I logged on to the avast account dashboard and there it was. The bloidy pilferer in glorious GPS.

Gotta hand it to him though he aint daft. Whoever he sold it to is in Morogoro, Tanzania. Crossing borders makes it that much harder for the authorities to nail the bastard. If he was still in Kenya I would have his name by now and would be pestering the cops to nail the guy seeing as I would have his current position and no. and interactions.

Culprit's GPS positions

 

Apparently the root app is not so easy to get rid off however many times you factory reset. And it will not budge if you don’t know the PIN, which I only know. . muhahaha.

So now my interest was piqued. I promptly asked to receive all call and SMS activity sent to my line.  and they started trickling in. If this is anything to go by, then being a smartphone thug is becoming more and more dangerous.

Le Bagga

 

For now this is pure entertainment and the thought that the guy is having his airtime drain inexplicably is hilarious from all the way over here.

For now lemme watch.

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Samsung Galaxy Pocket

I finally got rid of the Blackberry storm after thoroughly being disappointed by its battery life, app store and general pain in the tush in using internet services.

The way they market the BIS service you would think it has some kind of über superior advantage over the regular data network but it’s actually more limited. You can’t YouTube. On Orange Kenya network, BIS totally refused to connect on 3G for me at least. I understand why Blackberry is dying now.

I moved swiftly lest the condition of being smart phone less caught on and became permanent (nimetema hayo mate!) and scored myself the cheapest android phone I could get that had the best bang for buck. At the time my options were the Alcatel one touch 918 and the Samsung Galaxy Pocket .

Of course Safaricom sales agents being the regular douche-bags they are did not tell me that Huawei were about to upgrade the U8150 Ideos with a pimped cooler snapdragon sporting older cousin in the form of Huawei Ascend y 100.

But the heart was firmly with the Samsung pocket and the 2 year warranty wasn’t sounding too bad from where I was seated. I still haven’t gotten my free 500mbs from safaricom and am getting rather bored with the back n forth exchange with the customer care.

The phone is rather nice to hold and feels too plasticky as have all Samsungs since time immemorial. This I remember is why I detested and resisted buying a Samsung handset for many years. In retrospect this may be a reason why I should buy Samsung phones since I drop my phone more times than I sneeze. Compact solid phones dropped on hard surfaces crack. Plasticky phones just bounce. Samsung 1 Others 0

I will spare you details on the specs. These are easily googled and I am not google. I love the battery life since i easily do a whole day on intensive use. The camera is a hopeless 2 megapixel  machine. Absolutely nothing to talk about. The galaxy moniker is thoroughly embarrassed by this camera. This touchwiz interface is also annoying and ugly at times I don’t like the rigidity much and would rather have the vanilla android interface.

That being said , I cant wait for the fellas over at XDA or Cyanogen to come up with a proper custom ROM for this baby and I will jump ship faster than you can say a ship. And the 1 gb system memory and 2 gb user memory means I can install as many apps as I want without worrying bout space or pushing them onto an sd card. That is just awesome. Samsung 1 Others 0

I am also annoyed by its random hanging and crashing and leaving me with a crappy screen with a droid and ” CP crash upload mode” displaying.Till I have another smartphone to use I am not about to take it back to the shop. I have 2 years warranty anyway.

Other than that its awesome.

 

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