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PhoneBAK BB – Anti-theft Software To Be Released Soon

Phonebak-bbJosep just sent me a link to an interesting piece of software that is scheduled to be released soon. The software, PhoneBAK BB, is developed by a company called Bak2u and is supposed to help you get a lost or stolen phone back. The idea behind the software is that when a person finds or steals your phone and puts in his SIM card it will automatically send you a SMS message from that phone. The software is not yet released but will be very soon. It will cost a hefty $29.90 when it comes out which will be very hard to justify.

Personally I have quite a few reservations about the software. I usually try to delay judgment until I have tried the software but I just could not resist on this one.

  • First of all is the software meant to stop thieves or just help people who lost their phone get it returned. If it is meant for lost phones why would an upstanding citizen replace your SIM with his if he means to return it? Also if it is meant for thieves why would they not just wipe the phone to get rid of the software?
  • If the software is meant to help upstanding citizens return your device why not use a simpler tag such as an ID label from BoomerangIt, StuffBak, or Trackitback.
  • Third of all, PhoneBAK does not protect your information on your phone in any way so you would probably just be better off putting a secure password on the BlackBerry itself which is free.
  • Last of all, what exactly is the thief phone number going to help you with. In NYC the police would laugh at you if you tried to get them to run down a cellphone robber.

If you are really so worried about security get on a Hosted BES and put all of your BlackBerry security settings on lock down by using a password and content encryption. That way you have remote wipe options and an IT policy to protect your precious information.

9 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Hi,

    thank you for sharing your views on the software.
    We appreciate it.

    Paddy Tan

  2. I disagree with you, Ronen. I think this app may have a lot of potential. I don’t know about your country, but where I live it is quite possible to get a search warrant against someone if I have enough proof. It’s just a matter of convincing a judge, and it’s not that hard. If my Berry were stolen, I’d certainly like to know who had it, and a phone number would be a very good clue.
    Of course an upstanding citizen will not replace your SIM. That’s what that info screen is there for. But if the phone is stolen and I cancel my SIM quick enough, the crook will soon have to insert his own SIM. He is not necessarily going to swipe the device. He might as well be tempted to keep everything in there to enjoy the programs himself or make it more valuable when selling it. My hunch is that he will most likely be tempted to at least try another SIM before deciding to swipe the device. Actually, where I live, thieves don’t usually have the resources (computer + BB desktop manager) to swipe it. Most of them will just sell it “as is” in the first opportunity to buy dope. Now, if PhoneBAK BB is stealthy enough, the thief will never realize he is being tracked.
    The services you mentioned (BoomerangIt, StuffBak, Trackitback) are not available in my country, so they don’t count. Maybe you forget that people use Blackberry in other countries?
    Anyway, neither you nor I have actually tried the program yet, so let’s see. Yes, the price tag is steep. 🙁

  3. Hum, I guess I meant “wipe” when I said “swipe”. You get the picture. 😉

  4. Luc,
    I am glad you disagree with me. I love when people have opinions other than mine. It makes life more interesting 🙂

    I agree with you that the app has potential but as it stands now I am not sure how it will overcome the obstacles in its way to success. I would love if I lived in a country where the police actually cared that much. Truthfully the police here in NYC would just file a police report so that you could make a claim for insurance. Otherwise they would laugh you out the door. Especially if you tried explaining to them what your “Clue” was.

    I know in Europe the police are more thorough but here you have to get killed or rob somebody’s house… I would more or less give up hope on getting the device back and just have your carrier mark the BlackBerry PIN as stolen. Then it can never be registered on a BIS again, anywhere in the world.

    I always thought this would be something carriers should handle. For example you lose your Sprint phone. Sprint phones only work on the Sprint network. That means if somebody stole it and tried using it Sprint would know about it. AND they have the persons contact information on the account. If you are going to get the judge to do anything just get them to make the carrier tell you who has the phone now.

    At this point I know I should just stop venting so I will leave it at that 🙂 I have had over 3 BlackBerrys stolen from me so I am familiar with the aggrivation. my solution was to put the device on a BES and lock it down TIGHT. On top of that it gives me the remote wipe options that no other application offers.

    All the best and have a great weekend!

  5. Blackberry on its own has enough security to protect your data, security best practices are at play here. I don’t see anywhere that says PhoneBak secures your data, that is not the intent of the product. However, out of the box Blackberry’s do not have any means to phone home if they are stolen, so I actually think this is a great idea as it adds functionality that Blackberry does not provide. Blackberry’s are not cheap and to be honest I would like to find any bastard who steals my phone. When is this product going to be available.

    BTW: You have a typo on your last bullet “policy” I assume should be “police”

  6. Ronen,
    I guess one big point people are missing here is the following, Mobile Phones, PDA and BB are all devices that are also stolen after a violent crime like assault, Rape( I hate that word), Major theft and damage to a house. May I ask you this Ronan, If you were attacked and severley beaten, the only clue was that the perpertrator stole your phone, wouldn’t you be wishing they put their Sim into it to assist in getting those dirt bags. PS (I sincerley wish that never happens to you) but you get my point. To many people do not think outside the square.
    Where I live, a man was random gang bashed to death, The perpertrators stole his phone and used it to torment his family and friends via SMS. Now if he had PhoneBAK, and those bastards swapped SIM cards, bang they are busted.

    Merry Xmas. Stay safe.

  7. Hi,

    we are pleased to share that PhoneBAK BB is now available @ US$24.90 each copy.

    Currently it supports all models except the latest one Curve with OS 4.2.2 but we are working on it.

    Paddy Tan

  8. Jason’s example is both a frightening and realistic example of one of many reasons to buy BAK2u. AT the end of the day all we want to do is get our stolen phones back.

    In my case, my device was stolen while at a bar and I was able to identify the thief personally with the BAK2u software. If my device was PIN locked or I rang my telco and disabled the phone through it’s IMEI, it would have probably would up in a dumpster somewhere and I would have had to buy another one. When you can call the thief and you can remind them that you HAVE their phone number and you WILL pass it to the Police if they don’t return it, suddenly they’re not as clever as they thought they were.

  9. Sweet! It will be interesting to see the shocking face on the thief. I just bought the wipeout edition that can do it in realtime. Really cool

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