Starting this week, Facebook for Android stopped working while under my home network. At first I thought it was just an issue with my Access Points, and rebooted. It did not fix the problem, so I went ahead and rebooted my main router running DD-WRT. Still with the same issue, I decided to reboot the U-Verse gateway. Unfortunately nothing seemed to fix the problem.
Ever thought of that scenario? Not yet? Better start thinking about it now. If you work for a large corporation you might already be backed up by an enterprise level security system, but if you are not, then it’s time to get something in place to protect your information.
Work/Personal email, text messaging, sensitive documents, Facebook, Twitter, personal banking applications; you name them. An stranger can get access to them very easily (with banking application might be trickier, but at least they can try).
I use two products to protect my Android based phone in the case it gets lost or stolen.
Protector, an application that allows to setup a pin to access certain applications (fully configurable). This is very useful when you want to lend your smartphone to a friend for them to search but not allow them to open your email inbox for example.
Lookoput (available for Android, Windows Mobile and Blackberry). Protects your phone from viruses and backs up your information to their systems (calls, sms, etc). If you pay you get the premium options to locate, remote lock and remote wipe. These last 3 are the most important features for me.
There are several other products out there you can try yourself.
It comes with no surprise to me that online database of passwords are being hacked. Last week Gawker Media got compromised and their password database stolen. Passwords were stored in an encrypted format but are still prone to dictionary attacks.
So how do I do it?
I use a different password for every account I create online. I combine uppercase, lowercase, numbers and non-alphabetical characters when possible.
How do I keep up with different passwords?
Well with so many passwords it is almost impossible for me to remember them. I use an excellent software: KeePass.
Do I create my own Passwords?
I do mostly. But lately I have let KeePass generate them for me.
How do I access my own password database from different places?
The easy way? Storing the password database on a USB thumb drive. Just make sure that the database has a strong password for accessing it.
The convenient way? Synchronizing to the cloud. I use DropBox for that matter. I can download from the website, or if feasible, install the DropBox and KeePass application on the local machine where I am working on.
KeePass Password Safe
What If I need to access the site using my SmartPhone?
No problem. I installed DropBox and KeePass for Android. Both Applications are available for pretty much all mobile platforms.
Is my smartphone saving passwords for websites?
Yes, for convenience, although it is a security concern.
What if my phone gets lost/stolen?
I installed Android Protector and the most sensitive applications require a PIN to access it. I have also installed Lookout for Android which allows me to backup sensitive data to the cloud, remote lock, remote locate and the best option, remote wipe.
Do I change my passwords?
Yes. Every 3 months at the most.
This is what I do for my passwords. How do you do it?
My first task was to change the ringtone to music I used to have in my Windows phone. A simple search let me to a guide with this information:
Music/ – Media scanner classifies all media found here as user music.
Podcasts/ – Media scanner classifies all media found here as a podcast.
Ringtones/ – Media scanner classifies all media found here as a ringtone.
Alarms/ – Media scanner classifies all media found here as an alarm sound.
Notifications/ – Media scanner classifies all media found here as a notification sound.
Pictures/ – All photos (excluding those taken with the camera).
Movies/ – All movies (excluding those taken with the camcorder).
Download/ – Miscellaneous downloads.
These are under the media folder located in the microSD card. As soon as the Android phone is plugged to a PC, a USB Mass Storage device is detected and drivers are installed.
My second task was to have the ability to browse the storage card within Android (kind of File Explorer on Windows Phone). I found Astro file manager and installed it.
My third task was to find applications I used often in other environments and install them into the device. TweetDeck, Foursquare, Skyfire, Retro Radio and Google Reader came to mind. Facebbok and Twitter apps came pre-installed.
Fourth task. Figure out why is my device losing signal in my house. This is ironic because I used to laugh at the iPhone 4 when all the articles of bad reception popped up a week after it was launched. Several sites started posting funny pics about it. Well it is just bad luck as my Windows Phone has better reception. I figured out spots where I can leave it and let it get some signal.
The situation prompt me to ask a question on Twitter. 2 mentions came back quickly pointing out about WiFi calling. This is why Twitter is so awesome!
So my fifth task was to research about Wifi Calling and try to make it work. Well this wasn’t as trivial, as I needed to follow these steps: