Fingerprint Cards, an identity technology company from Sweden that manufactures touch sensors, hopes to ride the wave of touch recognition demand by selling to the likes of Samsung, LG and Huawei among others. Fingerprint’s CEO Johan Carlstrom thinks Apple’s inclusion of fingerprint identity technology in the iPhone 5S will set off a scramble by Android device producers to include the same technology in their products during 2014. » Read the rest
A lot of time patents give us a clue of what direction manufacturers are going in, but then again, we live in a world in which everybody wants to patent everything imaginable, even if there is no intention to actually implement it. We have already heard reports that Samsung is having a difficult time adopting a fingerprint scanner in their flagship phones because the technology is still at its infancy. According to a patent, Samsung might be heading into a completely different direction, eye scanning.
Samsung would implement iris scanning, which hasn’t been adopted all that much because of costs and that the success rate can be low because of different levels of melanin pigments from person to person. In other words…for some people, illumination is needed, and for other times, not. Still, iris scanning is more advanced than fingerprint or retina scanning, plus a person doesn’t need to take off their sunglasses.
If you’ve been highly concerned or even hesitant to jump on HTC’s One Max or any other device that may use your fingerprint data to access it, be at rest, HTC assures you they have no access to it and the info will not be sent to third party companies. This should reassure many who weren’t positive how HTC was handling their saved fingerprint characteristics. Well, rest assured, as the company was posed the security question by the staff over at Phonearena and this is what the Taiwanese manufacturer had to say:
The fingerprint data is stored in local memory. It is encrypted and stored in the system partition, which can’t be readily accessed or copied. The fingerprint data is not an actual image but fingerprint characteristics that have been identified by a proprietary algorithm. No, HTC does not have access to the information and the fingerprint cannot be used by a third party.
“I don’t need a password manager. I can remember all of them.”
“All of my passwords are the same so I don’t need to record them somewhere.”
“I have all of my passwords saved on my browser anyway.”
“Nobody will try to hack my account so I don’t need to securely store my information.”
If you have found yourself saying one of the above before, then you’re making a mistake. Password managers can offer so much to even the most average of users, and those of you that have multiple sign-ins on multiple websites (all of you) would be smart to securely write down your password.
If you’re one of the millions of people that use Chrome as a web browser, there’s something you should know. Anyone, and I mean anyone with access to your computer has access to all of your saved passwords on Chrome. Ever try typing “chrome://settings/passwords” into Chrome’s search bar?
You’ll find all of your usernames/passwords for all the sites you have saved the password for on Chrome. All of this is easily accessible by pretty much anyone on your computer.
Now do you want a password manager? If so, check out my list after the break of the top password manager apps available for Android.
The public perception has always been that Apple’s iPhone is more secure than Google’s Android, but Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt wants to set the record straight. During a Q&A session at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, Gartner analyst David Willis said, “When you say Android, people say, wait a minute, Android is not secure.” Schmidt quickly said, “Not secure? It’s more secure than the iPhone.” followed by the audience chuckling.
Unfortunately Schmidt didn’t elaborate other than saying that Android now has one billion users and is a platform that goes through rigorous security testing. He also added that in the distant future security will be implemented on a per app basis since the assumption will be that nothing is secure.
One of the main complaints Apple fanboys will make about Android is that it’s more susceptible to malware, and thereby a more risky choice for a phone, for obvious security reasons.
Google is now making an effort to quell these false claims, and recently released some graphics showing how hard it is to actually have malware damage your device and infiltrate your secure information. Note that their numbers only include devices that have Google Play Services— many phones without Google Play, such as those from China and Russia, are more at risk for malware.
Google’s Android Security chief Adrian Ludwig says that there are many layers of Android security constantly at work, and because of this, only .001% of all malware is even able to attempt to evade security, let alone actually get through.
The numbers get lower and lower as you pass through the multiple layers, as you can see from the graphic above.
This is not to say you should always be careful, especially when sideloading applicatoins, or if you have an untrusted app store on your device, which are the most common ways to get any type of malware on your device.
There are various reasons why it would be very reasonable for you to want to hide an application or some other form of data on your device. While I’m not going to condone living a secret life away from your family, you may find some of the hidden treasures of the Google Play Store quite useful. Of course, you may have a very reasonable explanation for wanting an application that will hide information on your phone, such as wanting to store sensitive information such as passwords, addresses, photos, etc. I won’t be the judge!
Regardless, the following apps will do the trick. Check out my list of the best privacy apps for Android after the break. I can’t cover them all, so let us know of your favorites in the comments section below. » Read the rest
Now that Apple has implemented a fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5S, and presumably in the next editions of the iPad, one would assume Samsung is going to offer something similar. They probably will, but it might not come as fast as some would want. According to the Korean Herald, Samsung thinks the technology is still in its infancy and won’t adopt it until the second half of the year. One Samsung official who went unnamed said, “We never officially admitted that Samsung was weighing the fingerprint system and Knox for Galaxy Note 3 for security functions. We are not yet developing the technology.”
Right now the only company in Korea developing fingerprint technology is Crucialtec, which is being used on the Pantech Vega LTE-A. Seoul-based Woori Investment & Securities analyst Kim Hye-yong added, “Samsung has to rely on the company for fingerprint functions, but its technology level is still behind Authentec in terms of patents and solutions. It will take a year more for the company to supply stable technology.” Apple bought Authentec back in 2012, which gave them the technology that is being used on the iPhone 5S.
The Android Device Manager has added the new remote lock device option to the desktop version of Google Play, and can be found under the “gear” icon at the rightmost part of the screen. Once in the module, you’ll be given the option to either make your phone ring at full blast (no matter the current volume setting on your device), lock it with a new lock pattern (overriding the current lock pattern/PIN), or doing a complete factory reset— all without touching your device.
This will certainly make users feel a lot more comfortable when misplacing their device, especially if you have important information on your phone, for your eyes only. If your phone is in airplane mode, the changes will take place as soon as the device is connected to a network.
On the heels of the public’s worries about the NSA and “big brother” checking in on us, Wickr has released its app to Android devices, as it was already available through the iOS App Store.
The application allows users to send encrypted messages anonymously and privately, and users can also select an option which will cause your message to be permanently deleted after a certain time period ends, much like Snapchat’s well-known feature.
Here are some words from Wickr’s co-founder, Robert Statica:
“Wickr not only offers the most secure form of correspondence but also helps protect our users’ contacts as we anonymize this information before it leaves the senders phone. Wickr does not collect any personally identifable information on users nor can we read any messages or contents sent through Wickr, therefore, no criminal or rogue government can take them from us.”
So if you’re truly worried about the government and those “big bad corporations” spying on you, it looks like Wickr is the perfect app for you. Hit the break for a video and the link to the app in the Play Store. » Read the rest