For many of us, our mobile phones are the central cog of our digital lives. We talk. We scroll. We shop. We scroll some more. In fact, we’re so dependent on the multitude of apps and livelihoods that our phone affords us that the risk of theft is a nightmare scenario for many reasons – not just for the loss of our social media accounts.
Not only does a lost or stolen mobile phone likely involve significant cost to replace, as opposed to a traditional wallet, what about the plethora of data housed inside that tiny device, too? Photos. Emails. Text messages. Financial information, yep, that as well. A stolen phone isn’t just an inconvenience, it’s a rock through the window of our own private world.
In both England and Wales, during the financial year ending March 2020, an investigation compiled by the Office of National Statistics found that a staggering 325,000 people had been the victim of smartphone theft. In South Africa, a recent survey into crime also indicated that over 70 percent of personal theft involved smartphones.
Replacing a phone and recovering its content, on average, takes a whopping 18 hours – excluding the anxiety and stress that comes with it. So, what risks do we face and how can we best protect ourselves from the threat of phone theft?
Well, identity theft is a term most of us now know. Your smartphone contains so much data, names, birthdays, addresses and contact details, it’s no real surprise that criminals continue to seek out and exploit whatever information they can get their hands on. Then what? Sadly, this is where unsuspecting citizens may find themselves spammed and even blackmailed for money.
For those of us who use our mobile device for online banking, financial fraud represents another major problem. Sensitive information, like account numbers, pins and passwords, can be traced back and accessed from your device. In worst case scenarios, not only could credit card applications be registered in your name but your hard-earned savings may be swiped in a flash.
There are many simple, preventive measures you can take to make sure your phone is protected. Firstly, set a bespoke password. Most modern day devices (and now mobile banking apps, too) use biometrics, such as fingerprints or face recognition, to fully lock your phone down. Don’t use birthdays or PIN numbers, and be sure to avoid easy guesses like 0000 or 1234.
Anti-theft software is another sure-fire way to keep your phone and data safe. This technology can remotely locate your device, as well as backup the entirety of its contents before wiping. You can restore any backed up data, either to the original phone or a new device, at a later date.
LOX Network is not only at the forefront of tomorrow’s mobile security, but dedicated to protecting device owners and their smartphones from loss and theft. By merging both digital and physical device ownership, our dual NFT ownership model grants enhanced security, tracking, and all-round safety for smartphones. Our bespoke solution, known as SmartLOX, empowers individuals, authorities, and insurance firms with the necessary tools to recover and blacklist devices which may be lost or fallen foul of crime.
Right now, and bearing in mind that this industry has an approximate value of $30 billion — a figure set only to go northwards — mobile phone companies use a centralized system when it comes to blacklisting. Ran individually, in terms of network and borders, there’s a huge resulting gap in the wider security landscape.
LOX Network endeavours to eradicate the lines of isolated international security and unite the world’s wireless infrastructure. Moreso, we single-handedly seek to return device ownership back to those most vulnerable. Our unique NFT ecosystem is due to go live later this year.
Not only does the SmartLOX application tighten gaps around cross-border phone theft, its users benefit from the ability to check a device’s security status, as well as locking, backing up and locating remotely. Irrefutable proof of ownership is then forwarded to the stolen phone’s intended new user, while rewards can be offered in exchange for safe return. A full overview of our development program, roadmap and whitepaper can be found here.