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Ask Slashdot: How can I prepare for the Theft of my Android Phone?

Adam Jorgensen (1302989) writes | about 6 months ago

5

Adam Jorgensen (1302989) writes "Last week my 4-week old Moto G phone was stolen while getting onto the train at Salt River in Cape Town, South Africa. That in itself is no big deal. Cellphone theft is a huge problem here in South Africa and I've had at least two previous cellphones stolen. The big deal this time, for me at least, was that this was the first time I've lost an Android phone to theft.

When I actually sat down and through about it, losing a fully configured Android phone is actually a big deal as it provides ready access to all kinds of accounts, including ones Google account. This could potentially allow the thief to engage in all kinds of malicious behaviour, some of which could have major implications beyond the scope of the theft.

Luckily for me it seems that the thief did the usual thing: Dumped the sim card, wiped the phone and switched it off. It's probably had it's IMEI changed by now and been sold on to some oblivious punter, possibly some oblivious punter in another country.

Still, the potential for serious issue is making me have second thoughts about replacing the phone with anything capable of doing much more than calling.

My question is this: Are there any serious solutions out there for Android that secure against theft?

By serious I mean solutions that go beyond the laughably easy to defeat "Find My Phone" and "Remote Wipe" options provided at present. Presently I'm thinking along the lines of:

  • Full encryption of phone contents
  • Some kind of "Travel Safe" mode that would lock the phone down and trigger a full wipe of not unlocked correctly (Including wiping the phone on next boot if not unlocked before being switched off/running out of battery).

So, any ideas?"

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To crypt, or not to crypt. (1)

Chance Callahan (3422793) | about 6 months ago | (#46442165)

Android does have encryption, but it takes several hours for it to decrypt the file system on some devices supposedly.

Re:To crypt, or not to crypt. (1)

Adam Jorgensen (1302989) | about 6 months ago | (#46443117)

That's not very useful...

What is Useful? (1)

starcosmicstone (3500127) | about 6 months ago | (#46443631)

What is other way useful then? we all know that it is sometimes you feel embarrass when things got stolen from those thieves! I' am as well looking for insightful ideas here and may possible learn those things. So that we will apply it to ours as well.

Not invented here? (1)

Adam Jorgensen (1302989) | about 6 months ago | (#46443775)

The lack of interest in this is astonishing.

I guess people just aren't that worried about their phones providing a direct link into a lot of their personal accounts that is easier to get a hold of than a 20-character password...

Re:Not invented here? (1)

Dan Askme (2895283) | about 6 months ago | (#46444105)

The lack of interest in this is astonishing.

I guess people just aren't that worried about their phones providing a direct link into a lot of their personal accounts that is easier to get a hold of than a 20-character password...

Considering most people already have all their private info as public access on Facebook, no, not really.

Simple solution:
- Keep passwords stored in your brain
- Disable internet cache and user/pw storage
- Password zip your "sensitive" files.

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