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Anti-phone theft app now available for MyPhone users

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 05:53 PM October 01, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – A mobile phone application, which can scream help for its owner, is now available for MyPhone users for free.

The “kill switch” feature, a loud, non-stop alarm “Magnanakaw! Magnanakaw!” was  the highlight of the Theft Apprehension and Asset Recovery Application (TARA)  launched  on Tuesday at  the Discovery  Suites  in Ortigas.

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The event was attended by whistle-blower and IT expert Jun Lozada, who developed the application, MyPhone president  Jaime Alcantara and  other  MyPhone officials.

TARA is an application “pre-embedded” at the chipset level of MyPhone’s latest gadgets such as Agua, ICEBERG and  Agua Vortex, Agua Rain 3G as well as A888 duo.

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“We’re only addressing (first) those new models that are going to come out this coming month and onwards…(but) we’re coming out with (android) handsets as low as P1988 and TARA will also be there,” Alcantara said.

To activate  the   application,  mobile users  must first  create a TARA account by providing basic information such as their full name,   secondary mobile number, unique six-digit PIN  and an active email address.

“We offer the registration to and use of TARA to MyPhone mobile phone users free of charge,” MyPhone vice president Kevin Lim-Tan said in a statement furnished the media.

“On MyPhone’s end, we provide the enabling mechanism, this anti-theft technology. As a company, we share the responsibility with our device owners on taking measures to address the rampant mobile phone theft in the country,”  he added.

Once the  phone is stolen, the  owner  may activate TARA either via text or call.

The mobile user, using another handset, should text LOCK plus the 6-digit PIN (eg. LOCK123456)  and  then send it to the   number of the stolen device or simply call TARA hotline numbers: 847-82-72 (landline),  0917-873-5107 (Globe) and  0925-800-8272 (Sun).

“Once the  owner of a stolen Myphone mobile phone activates this (kill switch) feature, a loud, non-stop alarm of “Magnanakaw! Magnanakaw! is set off. Consequently, this renders the device  on a full  system  lock, thus entirely  inoperable,” MyPhone said in its statement.

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MyPhone said mobile phone thieves would not be able to work around the technology even after change of SIM or by turning off/removing the battery of the device.

Since the application was embedded at the chipset level, it may not be uninstalled despite rooting, re-flash, reformat, hard reset and software update.

“Hindi mo mapipigilan yung nagnanakaw pero at least mapipigilan mo yung purpose ng pagnanakaw, yung economic gain na hinahabol nila (You can’t stop the thief but you can prevent him from cashing in on your phone),” Lozada told newsmen at the press conference.

TARA may only be deactivated by the device owner through a text message or phone call to the dedicated TARA lines by providing the 6-digit PIN.

Aside from the “kill switch” feature, the application also includes the Data Wipe feature, which may be activated via phone call to TARA hotlines so mobile owners may fully secure confidential data saved or installed in the gadget.

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TAGS: anti-cell phone theft application, infotech, MyPhone
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