Friday, March 04, 2016

Revolutionary Filipino-Developed Mobile App TARA Created to Combat Mobile Phone Theft

How many of you reading this right now have already fell victim to a mobile phone crime? I, and several members of my family, have already lost phones to pickpockets in the past. Recently, one of my sons even experienced being held up by five criminals (at high noon!) and had his phone brazenly taken out of his bag while bystanders looked and did nothing :( 

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According to statistics from Inspira Research, mobile phones are usually targeted by criminals because this commodity is easy to resell. Every year, thousands of Filipinos lose this personal piece of property that, unfortunately, not only costs money but also carry valuable information that includes phone numbers, photos, videos, access to emails, personal accounts, and even credit card data. 

Technology and communication expert, Engr. Jun Lozada, who is the president and CEO of Galileo Software Services Inc. acknowledges that people who have been victims of mobile phone theft are left with the feeling of helplessness and of being violated. The traumatic experience have even extended to deaths attributed to robbery attempts. 

"Hold-up and snatching incidents have [likewise] been a commonplace scenario in our streets," describes Lozada. "We need to feel safe whenever we go out. This is why we developed TARA (Theft Alarm and Recovery Application). It is like a seatbelt for your mobile phone. As our tagline says … No mobile phone/device should be worth a life, not even a scratch."

With most smartphones nowadays containing users' personal and professional data, we all need to protect ourselves now more than ever. Thus, a TARA subscription is a small price to pay for one's piece of mind.

To better appreciate what Filipino-developed TARA can do for users, here are important points you should know:
  • TARA has a kill-switch feature that makes it unusable for by thieves and their resellers. It is the first of its kind in the country and, possibly, in Asia and the world. 
  • TARA works even without WiFi access, internet data, or cell phone load. It is the first and only telco-enabled kill switch that protects the users, their phones, and their phones' contents in any situation.
  • When activated, the phone will call attention to the thief by screaming, "Magnanakaw! Magnanakaw!" (Imagine losing your phone inside the MRT. If you are able to quickly borrow somebody else's phone to send a text to TARA, your phone can already alert you of its location before the thief can get off the train!)
  • The Back-up and Restore feature lets owners save their contacts so they can restore them later on, even on a different phone. The feature can also be upgraded to back-up photos, videos, and more files.
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Soon with TARA, mobile phone users can use the Red Button feature that will send out a notification to a prearranged contact number. It is a go-to SOS button to enable the floater (which works even when the phone is locked), and hold it for 3-4 seconds to send an SOS message, with a time stamp and location, to one's emergency contact.

To avail of the TARA protection, android mobile phone users can download the app on Google Play and register their basic information. After a free 30-day subscription, they can renew the protection with affordable rates of P15 weekly, P50 monthly, or P500 yearly. 

Lozada explains that they are offering a solution to the alarming cell phone theft situation in the Philippines. "TARA is the first of its kind level of security that enables the user to lock his phone, entirely rendering it useless to a thief. It also provides the service of tracking its current location as well as wiping out and recovering its contents."

event host, RJ Ledesma (leftmost), with the Galileo Software Services Inc. team 
"We, Filipinos, may feel helpless about other things such as the worsening traffic or the country's economic and political situation, but with the sense of security that even ordinary citizens can get from this app, they will not feel as helpless about the protection of something that is very personal for them," he concludes.

At the moment, TARA is only available for Android users with Smart, TNT, and Sun sims. I was told that they will be offering it to Globe and TM users soon, so stay tuned. To know more about TARA, visit, read the FAQs, or call the following hotlines: 02.656.8272, 0998.965.7419, or 0943.131.0544.

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