Muggers could be in for some tough times soon! The absolute explosion of smartphone and mobile devices have made them an increasingly lucrative target for robbers and thieves.

While the loss of a person’s smartphone is troubling in itself, there is obviously a bigger risk here, and that is the fact that the thief gains access to important (and personal) information found on the device. From photos and passwords to financial details and whatnot.

There has been talk of making smartphone kill switches into law, allowing consumers easy access to tools that can be used to secure or wipe the data on these devices in case they are stolen.

And now Microsoft has joined a group of smartphone makers and wireless providers in the US that have pledged, what is being called the “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment”.

Redmond joins other big names like Apple, Google, Samsung, Nokia and HTC, among others. Wireless providers AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile are also in — the two most notable absentees in this effort being Blackberry and LG.

Anyway, these companies have confirmed that the devices they produce after July 2015 will offer free antitheft tools that will either be included on the smartphones, or will be made available as downloads.

And as you might expect, the tools will allow users to either remotely wipe the data on their stolen devices, or render the device itself inoperable.

In case of the latter, the notion is not permanent. The smartphone will retain the possibility to be reactivated, but only by the permission of an authorized user.

So far so good, but then again, these measures are only good as long as the SIM card is in place in the device, or the smartphone is connected via WiFi. Problem is that most smartphone thieves are smart when it comes to antitheft measures like these — it is the first thing they take care of.

But having an option doesn’t hurt, now, does it?

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