Tuesday February 19, 2019
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Kill Switch: An effective tool to prevent smartphone thefts

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New York: Have you equipped your costly smartphone with a ‘kill switch’? If not, then do so immediately as this may save you several thousand rupees and a lot of embarrassment due to lost data.

The “kill switch” option allows the owners to remotely disable, or “kill”, their phone if it is stolen. The process is also known as “bricking” – transforming the phone from a valuable piece of electronic equipment into a mere plastic brick.

A study published by Consumer Reports suggests that kill-switch technology is already having an effect: in 2013, 3.1 million Americans had their phones stolen, but in 2014 that number dropped to 2.1 million, a consumer affairs website reported.

The rationale behind kill switches is to discourage smartphone thefts: thieves would not bother stealing phones if they know the phones’ legitimate owners will immediately be able to brick them and render them worthless.

Samsung developed the app as early as 2013, yet companies including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, United States Cellular Corporation, and Sprint responded by preventing Samsung from pre-loading the app.

This in turn inspired New York’s attorney general in December 2013 to ask those wireless carriers why they would not allow it, and urged carriers to embrace the technology “as a simple yet effective way to protect” smartphone owners from theft.

Now, California has become the second US state after Minnesota where the law mandates that all smartphones sold in the state come equipped with a ‘kill switch’. (IANS)

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Andhra Government to Give Free Smartphones to 1.4 Crore Women

1.4 crore women in Andhra to get free smartphones

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The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to give free smartphones to all members of women’s self-help groups in the state to enable them to avail various government services on digital platform.

The state has around 1.4 crore members in Development of Women and Children in Rural Area (DWCRA) groups, popularly known as the women’s self-help groups.

The phones will have Android operating system and will come with a sim card with required speed, unlimited calls, daily 50 SMSes and 1 GB data.

K. Vijayanand, Principal Secretary, Information Technology, Electronics and Communications, on Wednesday said Andhra Pradesh Technology Service will be the nodal agency for procurement of the phones.

A procurement committee will announce guidelines for the same.

OnePlus, smartphone
Smartphone by OnePlus. Flickr

A technical committee will be framing guidelines to distribute the phones.

The Internet is expected to increase the reach of citizen services being provided by the government. He said the move would help bridging the digital divide.

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The government is providing citizen services under various platforms like E-Pragati, Mee Seva, Yuva Nestam and Real Time Governance. There is also a toll-free number 1100 to lodge complaints.

There are already 900 web-based and 100 mobile applications available to provide various services to the people. (IANS)