menu

“Thefties” Snap Shots Of Smartphone Thieves In The Act

“Thefties” Snap Shots Of Smartphone Thieves In The Act
technology

Lookout's new program uses a phone's front-facing camera to capture suspicious activity as it happens.

Marnie Kunz
  • 5 june 2014

Phone thieves, beware! Mobile security company Lookout has launched a new program to cut down on the phone theft epidemic by taking front-facing photos of anyone doing “suspicious activity” on a smartphone. Triggers for the thefts include trying to enter a wrong password repeatedly or trying to remove a phone’s security software. When any sneaky activity occurs, Lookout subscribers get email alerts, complete with photos of the person triggering the alert and a map of the person’s location.

Thefties aim to stop phone thieves in their tracks by giving the cell phone owner information that can identify the person if they know the culprit, or allowing them to give tracking information to the police so they can apprehend the suspect. Each email alert gives users the option to contact their phone carrier about the security breach and also allows them to file a police report if they want to. Subscribers can also personalize the alert system so that only certain features trigger an alert email.

Lookout-theft-alerts

Phone thefts continue to rise rapidly, with 3.1 million smartphones stolen in America in 2013, according to Consumer Reports. Smart phone users have been taking more measures to combat thefts, with about a 50 percent increase in the number of smartphone users who set a screen lock with a 4-digit pin in 2013, according to Consumer Reports. However, most users do not take any measures beyond setting a PIN, and software like Thefties could provide more security for smartphone users. According to Lookout’s Phone Theft in America report, 1 in 10 U.S. smartphone owners are victims of phone theft and 68 percent of victims were unable to recover their device after the theft occurred.

Thefties is available to help combat the phone theft problem, and can be used on Android and iOS devices. On Android phones, the Thefties system triggers alerts when a failed password attempt happens a certain number of times, someone puts the phone in airplane mode, turns off the phone or removes the phone’s SIM card. The Apple alert system is less comprehensive because of limitations Lookout developers met with in working with iOS software. Thefties iOS alerts occur with failed password attempts, putting the phone in airplane mode or removing the SIM card.

The Thefties program is currently part of Lookout’s premium subscriber program, but existing Lookout users will get grandfathered into the system.

this is an image

Lookout

[h/t] CNET, Slate, Consumer Reports

Trending

Zagat's Cafe Offers Tiny Replicas Of Classic NYC Dishes

Experiential Marketing
Travel Today

Mercedes Reveals Dazzle-Free LED Headlights

Digital Light offers great precision with a resolution of over two million pixels

Product Launch Today

Nissan Is Testing A Digital Car Sharing Program In Europe

Nissan plans to launch their new service in Paris sometime this year to trial the profile-matching service

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Social Media Today

Your Favorite Tweets Are Now Wearable

This temporary tattoo allows fans to wear their most favorite moments from the social platform

Health Today

This Mirror Tracks Your Dark Circles And Fine Lines

HiMirror is a device snaps a photo of your face every day to provide feedback on how to care for your skin

Sustainability Today

Biodegradable Furniture Made From Pine Needles Could Be The Next Phase Of Sustainable Living

Premiering at Dutch Design Week 2016, the collection fully utilizes an often wasted material

Retail Today

Creative Director: Navigating The New World Of Founder-Brands

Richard Smith, Creative Director at Sullivan, explains how visionaries like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg approach their branding and why it’s important to apply brand thinking to founders’ products

Syndicated Today

Madrid's 'Robin Hood' Cafe Charge The Rich To Feed The Poor

The charity restaurant makes money from customers by day to offer homeless people meals at night

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

VP: Why Messaging Apps Are Issuing In A New Era Of Commerce

Matt Johnson discusses how mobile messaging commerce is creating a different modality for interaction between retailers and consumers

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Technology Today

Modular System Lets Musicians Create Their Own MIDI Controllers

Mine is a customizable music-maker that lets people design their most ideal layout

USA Today

Amazon Launches Cashier-Free Store For Ultimate Efficiency

The retailer is looking to make shopping even faster by letting customers instantly pay as they walk out the door

Augmented & Virtual Reality Today

Marble-Like Mini-Worlds Invade Miami Art Week And Your Mobile Screen

The gallery world's sphere of influence seems to be expanding into the realm of Pokémon Go—why that's a good thing

Health Today

A 'USB Stick' That Can Detect HIV Levels

The simple device developed at Imperial College London measures viral load in less than 30 minutes

Customer Retention Today

Crafting The Personalized Retail Experience

Marriott International's Christopher Baer shares insights into how the hospitality company is strategizing customer service

PSFK EVENT

FUTURE OF RETAIL 2017:
Conference Built Around Report Launch
BUY TICKETS

Children Today

Experience The White House In Augmented Reality Using A $1 Bill

1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is an AR app designed to help people learn about the history and significance of the United State's capital building

Travel Today

Portable Computer Monitor Opens Up Like An Umbrella For Travelers

This mobile screen and projector means work can go anywhere and still feel like working from home

Food Today

Starbucks Is Selling An Automated Temperature-Setting Mug

For those looking to keep their coffee hot on their winter commutes, the coffee chain has created a device that keeps beverages exactly at their desire temperature

No search results found.