Imagine a finless fish, a furless polar bear, a tusk less elephant, indeed our earth without water. Impossible right! In the same way the electronic revolution warranted present day civilization improbable without the existence of mobile handsets. Just think of a day without your mobile…your manager cannot reach you; you fail to reach out client in time while you are on the move; you cannot decide on what to and not to buy with a fickle minded wife at home; in fact your business will be stranded! This is the case when mobile burglar shoplifts our mobile phones. Adding tragedy to this, they consume the available balance and can even misuse our phones.
In that case, how can we track our mobiles? Whom to contact? What are the steps to be undertaken? The key here is the IMEI number. IMEI (pronounced as aI’mi) stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity, is an unique identification number which is used to identify the handset in case of Global System for Mobile, Wideband Code Division Multiple Access and satellite phone. It can be found inside the battery slot of the phone. The same number can also be retrieved by typing *#06#. In case of theft, the user can lock the phone and discontinue the service by contacting the service provider with the IMEI and his credentials. This prevents the user from using it irrespective of the SIM card inserted. Hence the user has to safely keep this number recorded. One more utility of the IMEI number is that we can validate the originality and the place where the mobile was manufactured.
The department of Police have taken effective steps in improving on the same over the years to prevent mobile handset theft. Previously, the victim has to reach out to the nearest police stations and file a First Information Report with the details of the cell phone lost. The same will be used for all subsequent actions like claiming insurance, etcetera. However, the process is made simpler by just shooting an email to cop at vsnl. net with details of the owner and the cell phone instead of going personally to the police station.
Understanding the pain of customers, mobile manufacturers have spent a lot of effort and money in the Research and Development of tracking mobiles. Phone Guardian is one such mobile security anti-thief software smart phones incorporated by a leading mobile manufacturer based out of Finland. By sending a lock SMS to the provider, the phone is remotely secured and auto locked preventing the miscreant for using it. Once we have found the locked phone, the user can unlock by another SMS from the alternate number. Not stopping with this, this new security software aids to track and punish the culprit by a loud siren. If the wrongdoer tries to exploit with his/ her sim card, all vital information like service provider, manufacturer, model, connected tower are automatically routed to the alter number configured in the form of a Short Message Service. With that message, the address and hence the culprit can be brought to justice. This feature runs on all smart phones which have Symbian 9.1 Series 60 3rd Edition Operating System.
The limitation we have here is that electronic geeks are skilled enough to re-programme the IMEI number and re-use the phone. It is estimated that 10% of IMEI numbers are not unique. Several countries have included such acts like changing the IMEI of a phone, or possessing equipment that can change it as criminal offence. Another disadvantage is that the mobile is scrapped off and components are used in other phones.
To conclude, in the present day e-revolution, the day when people do not complain on mobile theft is not far but till that time mobile stealing and tracking continues…