New Service to Recover a Stolen Samsung Galaxy S4 Smartphone

Yesterday, Absolute Software announced its phone recovery service, LoJack, for the new Samsung Galaxy S4 line.  This service is a first for smartphones, and previously offered for PCs, laptops, vehicles, and even humans.  A question that people may have is: "so what?  I have software that can already do that!"

All software that is currently available to track smartphones has to be installed as an app.  There is a are problem with that: an app can be uninstalled!  Even if you have some rudimentary security mechanisms (such as a PIN) to prevent the security app from being uninstalled, the phone can be reset to factory condition, thereby erasing everything on it.  Phone service providers like AT&T and Verizon are working on creating a database to track stolen phones but you have to understand that they are in the business of selling new phones and providing service, not in law-enforcement!  The database will, therefore, not necessarily help recover phones.

This is where LoJack's service is different.  The tracking software is "embedded" in the base phone software, that is, its operating system, which will make it uninstallable.  So, as long as the smartphone is on, even when there is no SIM card in a GSM phone, the phone will be trackable.  With  GPS technology being as accurate as it is, I won't be surprised if a phone is recovered in short order.  The only problem?  Finding a phone to call LoJack to let them know that your phone has been stolen!!  That is the only time I may miss having access to the almost-extinct land-line phones!

Humor aside, the service, when available, will cost about $30 a year and, for some, it may make sense to invest in the peace-of-mind it may provide.  Ultimately, as with any security service, it all boils down to a risk vs. benefit issue.  That should become the guiding principle in deciding to use the service.

Here's an article that also talks about LoJack for the S4.


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