Combating the Mobile Crime Wave

5:35 PM --Siri! The Pig and Whistle ... The PIG AND WHISTLE!

This shouted phrase startled me out of fumbling with closing the door on our office building as I left here late one night recently. There were a couple of people nearby yelling into their iPhones for directions to a nearby bar.

Now, West 35th Street in Midtown Manhattan is one of a diminishing number of places on the island where it is definitely wise to be more than a bit cautious with brandishing expensive devices after dark. Particularly when drawing attention to yourself as a tourist by bawling at digital voice assistant for directions.

So, I went over and told them they were off a block for The Pig and Whistle and sent them out into the night.

I wasn't surprised when I saw that Lookout Labs projects that lost and stolen phones could cost users up to $30 billion in 2012. Particularly as devices like the iPhone and the iPad are both so iconic and recognizable to friends and thieves alike.

But I've been pondering how device makers, app developers and users all often seem to act as if we live in a utopian playground where bad things never happen. And what, if anything, we can do about it.

It is clearly not a good idea to yell at -- or pore over -- your device if you're not sure of the area. Use a headset instead (and I'm sure that swapping out those oh-so-recognizable white ear-buds is a good plan, too).

Is it also possible that some of these voice-recognition technologies could help with phone security soon? I mean, if Siri is already collecting so much info about its master's voice, wouldn't one option be to put a lock on the iPhone when the assistant doesn't recognize who is giving it commands?

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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