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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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800 Mn Smartphone Users In India By 2020: CISCO Study

The report added that India will be a major driver of this with the total number of Internet users reaching 840 million

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India currently has over 400 million smartphone users and over 700 million feature phone users. Image: Pixabay

The number of smartphone users is expected to double to 829 million by 2022 from 404.1 million in 2017, projects a new Cisco report.

This proliferation of smart devices will propel India’s per capita data consumption to nearly 14 gigabytes (GB) by 2022 from 2.4 GB in 2017, according to Cisco’s latest “Visual Networking Index (VNI)” report.

“By 2022, the smartphone data consumption will increase by five time in India — which proves the dominance of smartphones as the communications hub for social media, video consumption, communications, and business applications, as well as traditional voice,” Sanjay Kaul, President, Asia-Pacific and Japan, Service Provider Business, Cisco, said in a statement on Monday.

OnePlus, smartphone
By 2022, smartphones will account for 44 per cent of total Internet traffic, up from 18 per cent in 2017.. Flickr

The Internet is made up of thousands of public and private networks around the world. And since it came to life in 1984, more than 4.7 zettabytes of IP traffic have flowed across it.

One zettabyte is approximately equal to a thousand exabytes, a billion terabytes, or a trillion gigabytes.

In India alone, IP networks carried 108 petabytes of data per day in 2017 and are expected to reach 646 petabytes per day by 2022.

This is primarily driven by the growth in the number of smartphone users, said the report.

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Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

By 2022, smartphones will account for 44 per cent of total Internet traffic, up from 18 per cent in 2017.

Also Read: Four Best Aviva ULIP Plans In India 2018

In 2018, PCs accounted for 41 percent of total IP traffic, but by 2022 PCs will account for only 19 per cent of IP traffic, the research showed.

Saying that more traffic will be created in 2022 than in the 32 years since the Internet started, the report added that India will be a major driver of this with the total number of Internet users reaching 840 million (60 per cent of the population) by 2022 from 357 million (27 per cent of the population) in 2017. (IANS)