WipeOut app promises to secure data in your phone

A screen shot during the Safaricom-Vodafone AppStar launch at the Michael Joseph center on September 6, 2012. Photo/DIANA NGILA
A screen shot during the Safaricom-Vodafone AppStar launch at the Michael Joseph center on September 6, 2012. Photo/DIANA NGILA  Nation Media Group

Every smart phone owner dreads losing his/her phone, given its cost and prestige. Most users also store considerable amounts of information in their handheld devices, with some people using them as mobile offices.

The loss of vital information like contacts and recorded schedules, coupled with the emotional stress of losing a valuable item, can weigh down on users for a long time.

But technology experts are increasingly coming up with new innovations to provide security for handheld devices and laptops. The latest to grace the market is a software application known as WipeOut.

The application enables mobile users to retrieve important business contacts and text messages or wipe out personal details in the event that their phones are stolen.

At a fee of Sh100 a year, users can back up and store their data and for Sh500, they can wipe out confidential information. They can back up, restore and wipe out data for Sh650 a year.

WipeOut Mobile Director Hussein Ramji said the application back-up feature saves SMS and phone entries to a secure encrypted online server.
This means that when important information stored in a device is accidentally deleted or when a phone os lost or destroyed, one can still restore text messages and phone book contacts to another phone.

The firm is targeting the more than 29.7 million subscribers in the country, with statistics showing that 3,000 of them lose handsets monthly. Other similar applications available in the country include Ujanja, Mobile Tracker and Zoom.

“Close to 3,000 phones are reported stolen every month and this leaves a lot of confidential data in the wrong hands,” said Mr Ramji.

The application will also give registered users an option to view their backed up contacts and text messages online at anytime.

In the event a phone is lost, users can remotely delete data by accessing the WipeOut website. Mr 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 systems including BlackBerry, Android tablets and laptops. 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.