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If a smartphone or tablet is stolen, current security measures are
easy to circumvent. Even if you notice right away that the device is
missing and have an app installed to track it via GPS, the thief need
simply power it off until he figures out how to perform a factory data
reset to wipe the
password and gain access to the device.
A security feature I have never seen on any smartphone or tablet
(any cellphone at all, for that matter), is an option to require a
password to power the device off. I realize on many smartphones
the battery could be removed, but consider that on nearly all tablets
(For instance, the Apple iPad, Acer Iconia, and Samsung Galaxy
Tab), and some smartphones (HP Veer, all iPhone models) the
battery cannot be removed, and on many other phones the
protective case is very difficult to remove so you've got some time
And that's the big idea. A password requirement to power off a
smartphone or tablet. If the password is forgotten, standard
password reset procedures can be used.
||This would be somewhat less effective for a device
an iPhone, where the battery can't be removed. If
OS crashes or locks up, the only way to reset it is to
hold down the power and home buttons for a few
seconds, which is a (I believe) a non-maskable
hardware interrupt. So even if you couldn't shut the
device off, you could continuously reset it,
accomplishing the same thing.
|| Not the craziest thing I ever heard, though.
||I thought this was going to be a hardware thing,
maybe a physical key that has to be inserted to
make the thing work. The key could be electronic
but hard-wired (eg, a matrix of ten contacts in the
key, whose pattern of hardwired connections has to
complement that of the "lock" built into the
||"This tablet will self-destruct in 10 seconds."
|| <Chief Quimby>"No, not again!"
||My family has four iPads, an iPhone that we share
depending on who's leaving the valley, and a MacBook Air
that primarily belongs to my mother, and not one of these
devices has crashed--ever.
||Ytk, you can also force a reset through iTunes, if you know the
security password for the iPhone in question. I see your point
about the soft reset method, but a LOT of iPhone owners don't
even know how to turn the damned thing off, let alone perform
a soft reset. I have customers call my desk every day because
their iPhone has frozen or is running slowly. These are folks who
have owned this device for over a year, yet they still think that
simply clicking the power button once to lock the screen is the
same thing as powering it off (this means it has never BEEN
off during more than a year of constant use), and 2/3 of the
ones that DO know how power it off are still running software as
old as IOS 4.3.3 or earlier. Occasionally I still come across an
iPhone 3G or 3GS that's still running IOS 3.1.3. Most iPhone
users have no idea how to use the things properly.
|| My point is that while yes, some of the dedicated iPhone users
out there might be able to circumvent this security feature by
keeping it in a soft reset loop, most people who would steal an
iPhone (ie, people who DON'T already have one and thus don't
know a lot about them) wouldn't even know to think to do that.
|| And that's just for iPhones. Almost NOBODY knows how to soft
reset an Android, Windows Phone, or Blackberry smartphone or
tablet, and a good Otterbox-
like case (or perhaps a new case that requires a key to open)
would keep a casual thief from quickly removing the battery.
||That sounds like a basic design error to me.