By Stanley Iwuoha
Those who thrive in phone theft might begin to look for alternative means of livelihood as EF-Network has come to the rescue of victims.
This is as a technology company Ef-Network limited has launched an app called efphonetaxi.
The solution is a downloadable solution that can give a phone owner the opportunity to control lost phone at any location.
It also offers the owner the chance to retrieve stored data and render the phone useless after all effort to return it failed.
With the introduction,
used phone dealers are compelled to practice Know Your Customer (KYC) before selling a used phone or they risk prosecution as criminals.
Investigation shows that over 4446, 000 phones are stolen yearly in United Kingdom in 2016 alone, which translates to about 1222 phones per day.
Some experts put the figure in Nigeria above one million phones stolen in yearly.
Industry analysts have described the trend as a huge capital flight to the economy, since the owners would have to replace lost or stolen phones with another imported smartphone.
Even in worship centres, phones are stolen there due to the value attached to them.
The “one chance” thieves tormenting car passengers have not helped matters either, as they usually go after the phones of the passengers or their victims. Many vulnerable young ladies parading expensive phones are more hit, as they are attacked daily by phone thieves in many cities in Nigeria, just to steal their Smartphone. All these further stretch the overburdened security agencies in responding to phone-related crimes.
Chairman and the CEO of EF-Network limited, Gideon Egbuchulam said the company introduced efphonetaxi to stop phone loss and also to assist government in tackling the increasing wave of kidnapping and other related crimes across the country.
Egbuchulam disclosed this in a chat with Mobileswagg in his office in Maitama, Abuja.
He said that the application when installed on a phone will reduce the number of phone related crimes, which the Nigeria Police respond to on a daily basis across the states in Nigeria, in particular, where the victims are injured or even killed.
According to him, another beauty of the app is that the icon on the phone can be hidden where the thief won’t even know it is installed and codes or PIN only known to the owner is used to operate the phone remotely.
Recall hat the E. F Network limited recently launched an app called efphonetaxi, to assist phone secure their phones from theft and also assist the security agencies reduce crimes in the country.
The Chairman further explained that the technology boasts of retrieving all the stored data contained in any lost phone and the phone remote controlled by the owner or any authorized partner through a command from alternative network source.
With the new app installed on a phone, Egbuchulam said ‘‘loss of phones and all data contents are over as Efphonetaxi can now locate a missing phone, retrieve its contents and then renders it useless when remotely locked, adding that it can also even facilitates the arrest of the thief.’’
On what prompted the decision, he said, ‘‘I feel concerned about what Nigerians are passing through in terms of insecurity. My motivation is to contribute to the safety of Nigerians.
‘‘In the world we live today, no security agency can use old approach to achieve results. We can’t fight insecurity with bullets and guns but with modern technology.
‘‘The security agencies, for us need to embrace modern technologies to achieve results. To us, this is a social responsibility, saving lives and property. It is our Corporate Social Responsibility . Every Nigerian should commit to making Nigeria safer and making the security agencies more effective.’’
On the acceptance of the technology, the E.F Network Chairman said: ‘‘We are very pleased with the cooperation we receive from the security agencies so far. This is the kind of relationship that can make Nigeria safer.
‘‘We are also encouraged by the overwhelming reception Nigerians have given to the app, despite the network challenge, which has prompted us to commence move for the launch of our own network soon.’’
Speaking on the various packages, the Chairman said the company designed the product in both individual and group packages for those who may want to purchase at cheaper rate.
Speaking on what makes the product unique, he said ‘‘We are the only phone anti-theft provider in the world with live customer service center. Another irony of efphonetaxi app is that E.F. Network does not know the identity of subscribers, because subscribers do not have to use their real names to register.
On affordability, he said the app is currently being installed at the promotion price of N2,000 till January, when the promo will end.
He said any subscriber can use any name as username and not real name and also use any Gmail account. ‘‘We are only protecting the phone and giving tools for owners to regain control of their phones and equally retrieve their stored information remotely.
‘‘Once the phone is stolen the owner is required to remotely lock that phone, perform search options or retrieve his/her stored information out of the phone before wiping the data on the phone out to prevent abuse. ‘’
‘‘Once the preliminary search is done and phone not found, the owner is required to send a command which will retrieve all saved data (contents) and those on memory disc to the owners registered email. After the owner has retrieved all his information, he or she can erase or wipe out the entire phone’s data; including those on the memory disc. That prevents unauthorized user from accessing anything on the stolen or lost phone. Even when the thief changes the SIM, information on that new SIM would be sent to the owner,’’ he added.
He warned that anybody buying a stolen phone with efphonetaxi app is just giving up him/herself up for arrest or wasted money.
He however, hinted that the company has concluded plans to launch its own internet early next year to enable overcome the network challenge currently posing a challenge to the deployment of the technology.