Canada Aims to Stem Smartphone Theft
The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) recently decided to take a stand on smartphone safety with the launch of a new website, Protect Your Data-Protect Yourself.
With over 26 million mobile phones in Canada, at least half of them a smartphone, the CWTA is taking steps to help combat security issues on mobile phones. The new website fetters tips on how you can protect yourself from device theft and additional tips on how you can protect your data. They also released this video to highlight their key message:
As the website notes, the loss or theft of a mobile device that is not properly protected can have wide-ranging personal and professional impacts. Many of the tips on the website mirror those we’ve shared with you about keeping your laptop and your data secure; these tips include things such as keeping your devices hidden in public, having a buddy, being alert to your surroundings and more.
In addition to these tips, the CWTA is working with the Canadian government to combat device theft and recently announced that wireless carriers will begin authenticating devices. By September 30, 2013, the authorization of any GSM or LTE wireless device on any Canadian network will include verification that the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number of the device has not been reported lost or stolen on any Canadian network (and some International networks).
The United States also recently began authenticating devices in an effort to reduce the black market for stolen devices. It is hoped that by decreasing the demand for stolen devices (by decreasing their resale value), smartphone thefts will be reduced. It should be noted, however, that devices will continue to retain some value, as the blacklisting only affects the ability to use the phone, while services that use wireless are still available (social networking, email, Internet, even Internet-based calling). Devices can also be sold to electronic recyclers or exported Internationally, so continue to be vigilant in preventing device theft.