1934: Phone Security
Title text: ...wait until they type in payment information, then use it to order yourself a replacement phone.
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This comic pokes fun at various phone security measures. At first, it covers some real measures, and then continues on to measures that are clearly somewhat overzealous or otherwise humorous. It is worth noting that all of the options are turned ON in the screen shown, so apparently the owner must be very afraid that their phone is going to be stolen, or just wants to see what will happen. These may be options that would appear on the XKCD Phone, but that is not mentioned specifically, and this comic does not appear to be directly linked.
The first two options: Set Passcode to Unlock, and Erase phone after 10 failed unlock attempts are both real security measures found on most phones. The additional options:
If phone is stolen it may be:
- Tracked: This would be reasonable, as it would allow the police to catch the perpetrator and return your phone.
- Erased: This would also be reasonable, as it would prevent any sensitive data from being taken by a thief.
- Detonated: This would be less reasonable, as it would likely harm the thief, possibly severely depending on how the phone was detonated.
If the phone is stolen, play an earsplitting siren until the battery dies or is removed: This would be to draw attention to the thief, and discourage them from stealing future phones.
If the phone is stolen, do a fake factory reset. Then, in the background... :This series of options is all humorous, indicating that the phone would allow the thief to think that it had factory reset, but the phone would, in fact, not do so, and would instead foil the thief by doing various horrible things to them.
- Constantly Request Dozens of Simultaneous Rideshares to the Phone's Location: This would cause tons of "rides" to show up at the stolen phone, leaving a lot of annoyed ridesharers, and possibly alerting the police to the thief's location.
- Automatically order food to the Phone's location from every delivery place within 20 miles: This would be similar to the ridesharing issue, except it would be implied that the thief would be on the hook to pay for all of that delivered food. This could also lead the police to the thief.
- If the thief logs into Facebook, send hostile messages to all their family members: This has now deviated from things that could even possibly be useful, and is now just getting revenge on the thief, or potentially the person that the thief sells the phone to.
- Automatically direct self driving car to drive toward the phone's location at 5mph: This would cause a self driving car to slowly follow the thief. This could absolutely catch the thief, but would also just be really, really creepy. This is similar to the plot of the movie "It Follows".
- Take photos of random objects at the thief's address and post them as "Free" on Craigslist or NextDoor: Craigslist and NextDoor are sites that allow people to post advertisements for various things. Posting a large number of things for free would cause a lot of people to show up at the thief's residence (though it is not noted how the phone would know where the thief resides) requesting the free things, or, more humorously, if the thief was not home, people may just come by and take things, causing them to steal from the thief. This would be a humorous form of poetic justice.
The title text extends the last category with: Wait until they type in payment information, then use it to order yourself a new phone. This would be the ultimate in poetic justice, as it would basically say that the user does not care if their phone gets stolen, because the thief will end up unintentionally buying them a new one. If the thief were to complain about this, they would have to admit that they had stolen the first phone in order to do so, which they would be disinclined to do.
All these options are toggled on.
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- Security Options
- Passcode to unlock [Set Code]
- Erase phone after ten failed unlock attepts
- If stolen, phone can be remotely
- If phone is stolen, erase data and play an earsplitting siren until the battery dies or is removed
- If phone is stolen, do a fake factory reset. Then, in the background...
- ...constantly request dozens of simultaneous rideshares to the phone's location
- ...automatically order food to phone's location from every delivery place within 20 miles
- ...if thief logs in to Facebook, send hostile messages to all their family members
- ...automatically direct self-driving car to drive toward phone's location at 5 mph
- ...take photos of random objects at the thief's address and post them as "free" on Craigslist and Nextdoor
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