So we’ve all been there. That rush of panic when we’ve lost (or at least momentarily think we’ve lost) our cell phone. When our phone contains lots of confidential data like bank info and emails, the panic level tends to rise even more quickly. Now we don’t have to just worry about Joe Finder using up our minutes, but now Joe Finder could access our bank accounts and read all those spicy emails we sent to Suzy at the office, uh-oh. This not even counting in the fact that the money spent on the phone is now down the drain.
Enter your possible savior, the cell phone Superhero! Nope, it’s not some guy sporting a cape and a mask (regardless of their logo), but a new service just launched yesterday in the US and Canada from YouGetItBack.com. Claiming to be able to protect your confidential data and aid in safely returning your gadget, YouGetItBack.com may just be a lost cell phone users new best friend. The way it works is that once a phone is lost or stolen, subscribers of the downloadable software simply go online and remotely lock their mobile phone. This will prevent anyone else from being able to make calls or access information on the device. Subscribers are also able to retrieve contacts from the phone via the internet.
The only call that is able to be made from a found phone is to the YouGetItBack service, which then works with the finder to get the device back to the owner. A finder is also able to log onto the company website to return the lost gadget. In the instance of the finder being Internet-illiterate (or so honest as to not even open the phone), the company sells adhesive security tags with unique device numbers and a toll-free return number. The tags, which start at under $10 for three years of use, can be used on any mobile gadget or even luggage.
YouGetItBack CEO Frank Hannigan believes that most people don’t have nefarious purposes upon finding a lost phone.
“Industry research indicates that most people want to do the right thing, And if you make it easy and risk free for them…they are more than happy to see that a found item is reunited with its owner.”
The YouGetItBack service costs $20 annually and works with many phones, though not all at this point. It should be noted that compatibility with the popular iPhone is still in the works. They also run a laptop service, but that one currently only works with Windows XP.
If the software and tags are unsuccessful, the lost device will be replaced. The company said that about 75% of it’s tagged and registered gadgets are returned to their rightful owners. At 20 bucks a year, especially depending on what you carry in your phone, this may just be a superhero you want on your side.