Facilities aimed @ locating lost phones open to abuse
Here at GoMo Towers we are constantly bombarded with pleas to provide publicity for spyware apps. This kind of software is aimed at the jealous and/or suspicious partner in a relationship who wants to keep track of his or her lover. Some such apps can provide a massive amount of information gleaned from your handset. Which you can access via the web. The answer is, of course, to install an anti-spyware app such as Anti Spy Mobile Free for Android. However, when GoMo misplace our WP7.8 Nokia Lumia 800, we suddenly realised its ‘Find My Phone’ facility could be abused.
In essence, GoMo News swapped the SIM from our Lumia 800 and inserted it into the Moto G on loan from Motorola. Then we promptly misplaced the Lumia 800.
No worries, we thought. We definitely remembered activating the ‘Find My Phone’ facility – which is a standard part of the Windows Phone OS, in the Lumia 800.
Those Apple fanbois with iPhones will find there is a very similar facility called Find My iPhone. With Android handsets, it seems to vary.
Which gives GoMo News an excellent excuse to mention ‘Protect Your Phone’ which is offered by Motorola with its Moto G handset, for example.
If you activate this option, you can link the device via your regular Google account to www.motorola.com/support and then locate, lock or even wipe your Motorola handset if it is lost or stolen.
So back to our mislaid Lumia 800. We went onto www.windowsphone.com and signed in using our Windows ID.
Then we signed into My Phone and selected the option – Find My Phone. This is where everything went wrong.
With Windows Phone, the whole locate my phone facility works via cellular.
So without the SIM card – even though Wi-fi was turned on, we couldn’t track the handset.
Which is when we wished we had actually selected the ‘Save my location every few hours for better mapping ‘ option.
That way the handset’s location is tracked regularly. So you’ve a jolly good idea where it is.
Now if you were a jealous partner, all you’d need to know is your lover’s Windows ID and password and you could keep an eye on where he or she is.
And, since it is part of the OS – no Anti-spyware app is going to detect it. Which leaves the whole facility open to abuse. Whoops.