Uses & Misuses of Mobile

By Pallab Dutta

Mobile phones have redefined wireless communication and connectivity for millions of users worldwide. Falling tariff rates and prices of hardware components have led to the fast-paced and widespread adoption of mobile phones. However, criminals, petty thieves and even terrorists are also known to use latest-generation mobile phones for illegal and illicit activities. Mobile phones have their many uses and misuses.


Mobile phones are used to communicate wirelessly and across borders. In the past decade or so, mobile phones have emerged as the primary communication devices for millions of users in rural, underdeveloped areas and remote locations in developing countries where it is quite difficult and expensive to lay fixed or land-line infrastructure. In case of emergency situations and natural disasters, a mobile phone is often the best way to communicate and seek help. With the ubiquity of social media applications such as Twitter and Facebook on mobile phones, alerts about potentially dangerous situations are often communicated faster through mobile phones.

Multiple Functions

Mobile phones have become all-in-one communication and infotainment devices. Apart from the ubiquitous voice and texting operations, the many features of new-age mobile phones have enhanced their functionality. Mobile phones now have large screens, audio and video recorders, GPS navigation, games, digital cameras, music playback, FM. The availability and usage of cables and USB slots in mobile phones facilitate easy downloads of songs, third-party applications and tools and even synchronizing applications with home and work-based PCs.

Enterprise Usage

The recent emergence of smart phones and full-featured, high-end cell phones has redefined enterprise usage of mobile phones. Many of these mobile phones have the functionality of a hand-held computer and are used by business executives, on-the-go professionals and small entrepreneurs to access and send email and load attachments, files and documents. Corporate IT directors and managers now facilitate access of key enterprise and business applications and tools on mobile phones by mobile workers and professionals anywhere, anytime.


Almost all new-generation mobile phones have in-built cameras. Many users are known to capture pictures of women, children, celebrities and other people in public places. The antisocial and unscrupulous elements among these users are known to manipulate and morph these images and circulate them on various mediums. Bullying through texting is quite common among teens and young adults. Impressionable and vulnerable teenagers are known to be affected mentally when bullied or harassed by peers and other students through text messages.

Criminal and Dangerous Activities

Nearly every new commercial or consumer technology application can be misused for ulterior purposes apart from the known positive uses. The easy availability of mobile phones, and especially those with prepaid services, has ensured many subscribers among unscrupulous elements of society. Scammers, sophisticated criminals and thieves are known to indulge in criminal activities with the help of mobile phones. National security and law enforcement agencies are fearful about usage of high-end mobile phones by terrorists.

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