Linkedin Pulse Replay: Random Thought of the Night: One Smartphone to secure them all! RTOTN

My preciousss! Most people treat their smart phone as if it were one of the rings of power. Why? The few non-initiates have been asking this question for a long time. The answer is simple. A smartphone is the most
versatile and most often used item I own. I read news, books, comics, listen to podcasts, watch videos, navigate, communicate. I also create content, do picture, videos, write text. I am stating the obvious. But a smartphone also boosts security and helps me become invisible! 

Of course we use a different password for every service. But there is something even better. Two factor authentication is the answer to protect your online persona. The easiest way to do this is to sign up via your cell phone number.  You get a text message with a one time code to login. This is an easy solution to all those hacked social media accounts. Even if the hacker gets his hands on your password, as long as he does not also get the text messages to your cell number you are fine. Since your precious phone is living with you 24/7 it makes a lot of sense to authenticate this way. 

The cell phone option is available from all the big services such as gmail, yahoo,, etc. It can be even used with a dumbphone. Another pretty common type of two factor authentication is RSA tags, these small keychain authenticators. But the token might be forgotten, and carrying one for every service is a logistical nightmare. RSA key tags have been around a long time. Most gamers use them to protect their MMO accounts from being hacked. By now there are smartphone app versions which add the benefit of the ‘one ring’ to the security of RSA. If you use these you just have one device you take care off. And no text messages needed. This can be a big help while travelling in foreign countries.
The most versatile app is the Google authenticator. It helps you to easily two factor authenticate with your Googlemail, Evernote, Facebook etc. as you can easily assign the app to do more than one authentication. Mine is producing revolving keys to 5 different services right now. Just make sure you keep a backup of your smartphone setup and some printed out spare keys in a locker for emergencies!

This sounds counterintuitive. Everyone is clamoring about how a smartphone logs everything you do and everyone you contact. True, but that is ON YOU! If you decide to use life logging or a location service on your facebook picture upload, of course you leave a lot of traces. One way to prevent this is not using a smart phone, but you can also avoid this by using your smart phone more smartly.

Think about why those services for counting your videos, tracking your fitness, displaying your pictures, collecting information are offered for free. Most services which offer to track stuff for you also track your stuff for themselves. Now imagine logging in to every service you use via e.g. your Facebook or Gmail. You do not only give the company a lot of aggregated data. Sign up with your main account to everything and the cloud owns all your data in one neat package for companies to profile you on! And worse, once you get hacked, the hacker controls everything, not just the one service.

But there is an easy solution: Spread out the data! Don’t use your main account for every service you use. Why not sign up for different services with different email accounts? Convenience, you say? Too many passwords and logins to remember?
There as ways to mitigate this: One is the password safe. Aside from being a very helpful tool to not have the same account/password for everything, you can use really weird account/passwords that are difficult to hack. Just make sure your password safe and your smartphone are secure.

If you want to keep the password in your head, make sure you add some specialty for every service so the checksum of the password will be different. MyPassword46 and mYpassword64 produce very different hashes (In the end, the more you spread out your web use, the more difficult it becomes for companies to gather data on you, or for hackers to use your data against you. Of course this is not perfect. If you use all of your accounts on the same smartphone there is always a way to combine your data if one service is registered to and one to  

P.S: And with non-standard email apps such as Aquamail for Android or Thunderbird you can easily keep all the different accounts at your fingertips. More on useful apps later.


Read a Survey: Today’s State of Work: The Productivity Drain

• Managers say that they spend 2 days a week, on average, on administrative tasks, and that this prevents them from doing strategic work.

• 9 in 10 managers say their productivity depends on the efficiency of routine work processes provided by other departments – such as delivering marketing services, IT support, issuing purchase orders, and onboarding employees.

The need of Europe (and the world) for IT skills

A Digital Europe needs Digital Skills

Found this on via a friend on Facebook yesterday and thought it a very good starter on the topic of knowledge, IT and managing both in the modern day and age.

While I am pretty amazed by how education in my older daughters school has been digitized I see the need of the WHOLE populace to get more into contact with how IT works.

She is e.g. preparing power points in school now for topics she has to report on and all is presented on a smartboard. The smartboard is also used to watch youtube in free hours :-). On the other hand a friend of mine who is a highschool teacher tells me that when he talked to colleagues in a education class about online media he was the only one in a big room full of people who not only new what Facebook was but also had his own account. He even KNEW people doing online gaming. Oh the devil!

The EC poster shows how it is.

Young People, growing up with tech just use it naturally but have no idea how it works beyond their immediate need. They all use whats app, Facebook, Skype etc. but have no idea what that implies for them in the long run. In the future I will write about media competencies because of that.

Working Age People, often are like young people but are also not interested in how things work. They just want to use and consume but not many want to become ICTs. Who can this be made more attractive is another topic I want to discuss. Knowledge management and knowledge education could also be an answer here.

And finally, with the world becoming more and more digitized Older People, will need at least basic skills in IT operations to keep up with development. If you never used the internet, how can you get you banking data, if the bank only sends out digital reports? My in-laws just told me that this just happened to them. For now they still get paper copies in a kind of “old age legacy program”. But this will stop too at one point. If by then the next generation has not gotten the skills to operate IT then they will be lost. Bringing everybody on board of IT is also just important to not leave older people behind.