AMITIAE - Saturday 5 December 2015
Cassandra: Making use of Find my iPhone
By Graham K. Rogers
I normally keep the spare iPhone in the bag I now use in the light of the requirements of various security guards at various malls and stations round Bangkok, who demonstrate to me each time they ask to look inside, just how ineffective they are. Tired of opening my backback every time and the guards not even asking about the large section that contained a computer; or the tote bag I bought to make checks easier, when no one even looked beneath the towel I placed on top of my possessions, I bought a small over-the-shoulder bag with several pockets.
I am never checked now (unless I have a bag clearly marked as coming from a high class bakery I frequent), even though there is enough room in the bag for a revolver or other dangerous materials. One presumes that security guards in Bangkok have X-ray vision the cursory way bags only of tourists and local teenagers are checked.
At Siam, I sat down and started the Find my iPhone App. After logging in, the only device visible was the iPhone 6s Plus in my hand, as well as the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Pro at home. That has a SIM card. I turn off the Wi-Fi when I leave the apartment, so the Macs were also not shown as active.
As there was a possibility I had forgotten it at work I needed to make sure (as best I could) that it was secure. Even with the new 6-figure security code, there is a risk that someone could find it and, although they might not be able to access the phone, this would be inconvenient.
I decided to send a signal to lock the iPhone when it went online. If it was me who made the connection, all well and good. If not, maybe I could put a hold on someone's plans. I also set the iPhone to display a message, using the default message offered and adding my phone number. I decided not to use the option to delete all data at this stage.
On the iPhone 6 Plus, I had a message to tell me that the missing iPhone was online. I accessed Find My iPhone again and in a couple of quick taps undid the lock: I also had emails telling me about the locking and unlocking. Later I saw that a similar message had been received on the Mac.
Find my iPhone (which also covers iPads and Macs) was some help to me with this misplacement, but in a real theft situation would be valuable in preventing use, protecting data and hastening its return.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.
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