In safe hands: A review of mobile phone anti-theft designs

Anti-theft designs relating to mobile phones are reviewed. The physical and electronic design of handsets includes visual deterrents, owner-identification, and handset tracking options. The systems design of phone networks includes the blacklisting of stolen phones. Other measures include biometric-locking of handsets, and designs that encourage ‘safe’ phone use and transportation. Characteristics that promote anti-theft designs are proposed and form the acronym ‘IN SAFE HANDS’: identifiable, neutral, seen, attached, findable, executable, hidden, automatic, necessary, detectable, and secure. The set of characteristics is presented as a heuristic device to aid designing-out crime from frequently stolen electronic goods.