AT&T decided this week that it's a good idea to help eliminate cell phone theft. The company has launched a new section of their website that not only helped customers be better informed on protecting their devices, but will also, in time, be able to shut down the stolen device. The site, att.com/stolenphone first tells all users to put a password on your mobile device and change it often. It also has information on the security apps available and features a tutorial on how to back up contacts on a SIM card.
The AT&T Stolen Phone program launched shortly after the FCC came together with the wireless providers to work on building a list of all stolen devices. For more on the program and what this list will do, check after the break.
For right now, AT&T lists on their site that they can do several things if your phone is lost of stolen, and it starts with the user reporting it in.
If your phone is lost or has been stolen, suspend your wireless service to protect against unauthorized usage. Our system will then indicate that your phone is lost or stolen. To suspend or reinstate service, you must be logged in to myAT&T. From the Suspend or Reactivate Your Service page select Suspend or Reactivate next to the phone line for which you wish to change the service status.
While that may not seem like very much right now, more is to come very soon to make sure the thieves can't use your phone. In the next six months, device owners will have the ability to call up their carrier and have them lock down the stolen gadget so it can't be used, without having to suspend the account. 18 months from now, all of the stolen mobile devices in the US will wind up in the database.
This is a step in the right direction following what companies like Sprint have done in terms of security with stolen devices. AT&T says more good things are to come in the future.
Our work with the industry as well as governments and the law enforcement community continues. So, stay tuned for more updates as we roll out additional educational tools and materials (and the new database to identify and disable stolen devices) over the coming months.
We have to remember that not all of us might be the tech-savvy genius and these simple tutorials, reminders and lessons are a great things for all. More importantly, though, is the fact that finally carriers will take charge and not only lock down but track stolen devices on a national level. Now, this probably doesn't work if you have a prototype, but who's leaving those things in bars anyway? At the end of the day, it's not like anybody would raid your house to get it back, right? We didn't forget, Apple.
For those of you not in that category and have AT&T, hit the source link for more information on the program. We'll let you know when the FCC rolls out its nationwide database.