HomeOpinionSmart devices can now be tracked

Smart devices can now be tracked

By Jacob Mutisi

Today’s laptops, smartphones, radios and televisions, often referred to as smart devices, should not be gone for good when either lost or stolen. These devices can now be easily tracked and recovered.

Most people feel like they are taking the best possible care of their devices, but sometimes disaster strikes. If you misplace your device or, worse still, it gets stolen, it can feel like the end of the world. Your laptop is probably second only to your phone with regard to the personal data you have stored in it and is such an essential part of your household and your business that you cannot do without it even for a short time. Your TV and radio are also essential parts of your household or business and should never be stolen and if stolen should be recovered quickly.

Losing your smart device understandably causes a lot of distress but all hope must not be lost.

Most smartphones and laptop providers have implemented features in their operating systems capable of locating devices using GPS, which means you can now be reunited with your lost device sooner than in the past.

In Zimbabwe, the easiest product to sell after it is either lost or stolen is a smartphone or a laptop.

These two devices have become the most sought-after products by thieves and opportunists.

Imagine, one day, someone you do not know ends up holding your smartphone or your laptop!

You might even forget it in the bus or it has been snatched out of your hand or it might be snatched out of your car window when you leave it in your car. Laptop and smartphone thefts are on the rise.

Laptops and smartphones hold a pocket-sized summary of an individual’s digital life and are also your banking wallet.

No one should lose their device as Zimbabwe has a digital economy and a cashless society and there is a need to protect individuals’ devices by speeding the process of recovery when lost or stolen.

Generally, in Zimbabwe, it usually takes 90 days to start tracking your lost smart device.

Yet the government has prioritised Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and e-governance as an economic driver.

The World Bank has recognised Zimbabwe as a digital economy.

There is now a need for our law enforcement agencies to speed up the process of recovering a lost smart device to a maximum of 10 minutes and this can be achieved by using the latest tracking methods.

The basic process for one to recover their lost mobile device is: report to the nearest police station, then an investigating officer (IO) will be assigned to the case.

The IO then requests a letter that has to be signed by the commanding officer, usually a superintendent and anyone above that rank and finally forwarded to a mobile network operator. This helps the general public recover their mobile device within a very short period of time.

  • Mutisi is the CEO of Hansole Investments (Pvt) Ltd and the current chairperson of , a division of Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers.

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