December 16, 2013
The sheer notion of open source coding might paint an image of the Wild West where maverick, renegade hackers swoop in to steal passwords and social security numbers. While the Internet and open source software has provided the world with plenty of good, there is the unfortunate reality that we have to take the good with the bad. In this case, the bad are people who steal our information, property, and identities. Protecting yourself or your business from technology breaches is just as important, if not more important than remembering to close and lock the front door of your house.
Moving quickly past screen locks and 2-step verification, predators can be thwarted using any number of products powered by Android. Take for example the Blue-Watchdog. This anti-theft device protects the laptop or that phone you carry around with bank logins auto-saved and work email ready for some punk to hit “reply all” on that important internal message. Using Bluetooth technology, the device is placed in the item you want to protect. If the bag containing the Blue-Watchdog is stolen, the tiny device will set off an alarm at an almost deafening level hopefully making the thief drop the bag. Second, your phone is sent an automatic message. Certainly the future of this technology will lead to much more than a credit card-sized luggage alarm. The possibilities can be seen in things like automobiles, face-recognition software that alerts business owners of intruders via their smartphones, and much more.
ET would have used this device. The iFi Systems Smart Tag for Android is like an avalanche beacon. You hope you never have to use it, but if you do, you’re glad you have it. Attaching to your key-ring, there are two alarms (one on the key-ring and the other on your smartphone), similar to the Blue-Watchdog. Both sound when the phone is more than 25 feet from the smart tag. If your phone is seriously lost or stolen, using the downloadable iFi app will send an email of your phone’s exact location.
Using a combination of Android and Bluetooth technology, smart-vehicles will soon be able to identify car owners based on sensors in the seat, face recognition, and even the cell phone the driver is carrying. For example, without the cell phone that is paired up with the car, the car will not start. This new form of 2-step, or double, verification has implications insmart home security: doors will not unlock unless the deadbolt detects homeowner’s Bluetooth signal paired up with smart-security application. Laptops that won’t turn on unless the user has their Bluetooth and their application live.
Criminals cannot be thrilled about the innovations in Android technology and new security features. Will these features put criminals out of business? Maybe not, but it’s certainly going to make their job harder. The best thing you can do is be smart and put up walls against hackers and thieves. Lock your screen, don’t reuse passwords, and consider investing in technology like the products above to help keep your digital identity safe.