October 1, 2014

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Android Security Login

Here’s some friendly advice for those of you about to receive your G1 handsets next week – stay away from the pizza and buffalo wings before locking your handset.  Although there are tons of possible combinations you can use to secure your handset, a simple bit of greasy finger syndrome can ruin everything!

Take this from someone with semi-experience.  A few months back I downloaded a program for my Windows Mobile device called Throttle Lock.  It essentially gives WinMo users the same secure login as the forthcoming Android handsets.  It took me all of ten minutes to realize that at the right lighting or angle, someone could see the exact sequence I used.  If not, then could see it in reverse.  The app was promptly uninstalled, but not because of that.  It was because it would freeze my T-Mobile Wing up and force soft resets.

Every person with a cell phone has noticed at some point or another how easy it is to get sweat or grease on a screen.  Handsets with full size screens are even worse as most of your face and ear could end up touching the screen.

I started wondering what would happen with the Android handsets when they came out.  What’s somewhat kept my fears calmed is perhaps having the ability to unlock my handset using a trackball.  At least on the G1, it seems feasible.  But what about full touch versions?  Are people going to be able to pick up a phone and see the order in which to slide the finger?

Apple users only have one way to unlock their phones, at least out of the box.  Do we hear them complaining?  Here’s a few tips to help keep your Android handset safe from snooping friends and enemies of the state.

  1. Use a Bluetooth handset when talking and keep your mug off the screen.
  2. Get some clear screen covers and wipe off the screen often.
  3. Make sure your password overlaps at least one dot.  It might buy you some added time.
  4. Don’t store anything on your handset you don’t want people seeing at first glance.
  5. Download a different locking program from the Android Market after launch.
  6. Stop being so secretive

I love the way the login is set up.  It’s simple, yet unique in its own right.  Would I like to see a variation offered, like maybe a screen with a 4-5 digit combo?  Of course. However, we don’t need to raise the threat level to orange just yet.

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