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Mobile app aims to combat phone theft in the Philippines

Adrian M. Reodique | March 7, 2016
Theft Alarm and Recovery Application (TARA) aims to make stolen mobile device useless to the thieves.

Philippine-based mobile app developer, Galileo Software Services Inc., has launched a Theft Alarm and Recovery Application (TARA) to protect and empower mobile phone user against mobile theft.  

According to Inspira Research, 41 percent of Filipinos have experienced phone theft. "As more and more applications are coming in for the smartphones, the motivation and opportunity for thieving also rises," Jun Lozada, President & CEO of Galileo Software Services Inc. told the Philippine Star

TARA is a telco-enabled kill switch app that works even without Internet, data, load, or charges in the owner's phone bill. Through the app, the owner of the stolen phone can lock, locate, and wipe the data in the device remotely.

To use the app, users need to register an account and receive an eight-digit PIN. When users lose their phone, they simply have to text "LOCK (space) PHONE NUMBER (space) the eight-digit PIN" to 5161 using another phone. This will lock the stolen phone and activate an alarm, which will scream "Magnanakaw, Magnanakaw!" (robbers) repeatedly and at full volume. The alarm will be activated every time the phone is switched on, even if the SIM card has been changed and if the phone is on silent mode, thus rendering the phone useless.

Users can also wipe the contents of the phone entirely by simply texting "WIPE (space) PHONE NUMBER (space) the eight-digit PIN" to 5161 using another phone.

The app is currently available to Android users who are Smart, Sun Cellular, or Talk 'N Text subscribers. Users can activate the TARA service for Php15 for a week, Php50 for a month, and Php500 for a year. 


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