Home Office unveils three ways to secure mobile phones

The Home Office has unveiled three devices designed to improve security on mobile phones, as part of its Mobile Phone Security Challenge.

The Home Office has unveiled three devices designed to improve security on mobile phones, as part of its Mobile Phone Security Challenge. The initiative, run in conjunction with the Design Council, aims to identify technology that will both secure handsets and be easy to use.

According to Home Office data, identity theft from mobile phones rose by 70% in 2009.

The first device, called "i-migo", is a bluetooth-enabled alarm, which goes off and causes the handset to ring if the phone is out of range. It also stores a back-up of all the phone's data which can be copied onto a new phone if the handset is stolen.

The second device, called "tie" effectively locks the phone's SIM card to the handset. If the phone is stolen and the operator disables the SIM, the handset is rendered useless.

"TouchSafe", the final product highlighted by the challenge, uses near-field communications to authenticate mobile commerce transactions.

Home Office minister Alan Campbell, said, "New technology creates new opportunities for the user [but] also provides criminals with opportunities. Designing out crime can make a real difference and we are leading the way by using technology to protect the public."

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