17 December 2012

Kenya: App Enables Users to Delete Stolen Data on Stolen Phones

Nairobi — Mobile users can now retrieve important business contacts and text messages or wipe out important personal details in the event that their phones are stolen or destroyed, thanks to a new mobile application called WipeOut.

WipeOut Mobile is an application that features software which will allow users to pay Sh100 per year to back up and store their data, Sh500 per year to wipe out confidential information and Sh650 per year to backup, restore and wipe out data.

WipeOut Mobile Director Hussein Ramji revealed that the application was developed at a cost of Sh2 million and he explained that WipeOut's back-up feature saves SMS and phone entries to a secure encrypted online server.

He explained that this means that when accidentally deleted, lost, or even destroyed, one is able to restore text messages and phone book contacts to a new or existing phone.

In the event a phone is lost, the WipeOut feature will allow users to prevent confidential information from getting into the wrong hands by remotely deleting data from the phone by accessing the WipeOut website from any web browser.

Ramji revealed that 3,000 mobile phones are stolen in the country on a daily basis, hence the motivation to develop the application.

He explained that phones with the app will be back upped regularly thanks to a feature that allows the app to work while you use your phone.

Wiping out erases the phone and resets it to the status it was after purchase, meaning all user data on the phone including SMS, contacts, MMS, applications, music, pictures and videos are lost, which is done by logging into a PC and sending a command to the target device.

Ramji added that the future release of the application will add a "lock" features that will make phones unusable.

In addition, the application will be ported to more ecosystems including BlackBerry, Android tablets and laptops.

WipeOut will be competing against other applications with similar functionality such as Lookout Security, which cost approximately US $3 per month (Sh260).

The application is available on the Android store (Google Play) and the Nokia Store and will be offered on a one week free all feature trial.

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