Microsoft Wants To Combat Thieves From Using Your Stolen Phone Via New Feature

There is unprecedented demand for smartphones in the black market and to counter the growing menace of theft many companies are providing software features that enable users to remotely locate or wipe their devices. Soon, Microsoft is going to be one.

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Microsoft is planning to update Windows Phone to include anti-theft features that will prevent thieves from using devices after they’re stolen, reports The Verge

Microsoft developing activation lock to render stolen Windows Phones useless

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Microsoft announced today that it is developing an anti-theft feature for Windows Phone.

Back in April, Microsoft signed on to CTIA’s Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment, which entails that the company meet certain criteria before CTIA’s end goal of July 2015

The software maker signed on the CTIA’s Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment in April, and to come through on its commitment Microsoft is going to extend the existing capabilities of the Find My Phone application on Windows Phone 8.1 ahead of the CTIA’s goal of July 2015.

The new features will allow Windows Phone users to remotely erase any and all personal data on their device

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New features will include the ability to wipe and lock devices from being used without logging into a Microsoft account, known widely as an activation lock.

Moreover it would also let them render the device unusable by unauthorized users, save for the ability to call 911. This is the feature that’s now commonly referred to as activation lock. Reactivation or setup of the smartphone will be prevented if there’ no permission from the authorized user.

Last but not the least users will be able to reactivate their device and recover data stored in the cloud should they be lucky enough to be reunited with their stolen or lost Windows Phone device. he new features will be offered as an update for all devices running Windows Phone 8.0 or higher.

Apple introduced similar features for its iPhone devices in September last year with iOS 7, allowing users to stop thieves from wiping them and reactivating handsets

With iOS 7 Apple introduced a new feature called Activation Lock. The feature doesn't allow anyone to access a stolen device if they can’t prove they are the owner.

Meanwhile, Google is also planning to implement an activation lock feature in Android, and is expected to deliver this by July 2015.

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