Cellphone panic button a lifesaver

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Roberts acknowledged the unique nature of cellphones in contemporary life, noting that 'the proverbial visitor from Mars might conclude they were an important feature of human anatomy.'

Johannesburg - A push of a button could mean you, your phone or even criminals are found if you are in danger.

By simply downloading an application to your smartphone, a local crime-fighting group has the ability to track the location of your handset, even if your SIM card has been thrown away.

The information-sharing and community group eblockwatch offers a panic button for members’ phones, which alerts your loved ones that you could be in trouble.

The panic button is saved as a contact on the phone and dialling it sends out a message to your chosen contacts, notifying them you might be in danger.

Together with Google Latitude, a mobile locator, a user can allow certain people to view the location of their cellphone through their Google account.

The user can then allow eblockwatch to view this information by e-mailing ryfsny@yebo.co.za

The eblockwatch team might be able to locate the device and send out the relevant teams to “track, smack and get criminals back”, according to André Snyman, the head of the group.

“We have moved into the technology age to fight crime,” said Snyman.

By signing up with eblockwatch, the user grants them permission to track their SIM card with the panic button and their handset through Latitude.

They can then start to track the phone within 10 minutes, Snyman said.

He said all members’ information is behind secure firewalls and is not given out to anyone else.

People can only view a user’s location if they have been given permission to do so. - The Star

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