Posts Tagged ‘passwords’

Weekend reading: Sweet thoughts of passwords, holidays and BlackBerry Q10 news

Could daydreaming about your vacation double as your password? Researchers have found a way to use brainwaves to authenticate your identity, and all you need to make it work is a $100 headset. Meanwhile, three-quarters of high income travellers are taking their smartphones on vacation, teens are coveting the iPhone and the new BlackBerry Q10 smartphone (yes, the one with the keyboard) will be rolling out from Rogers in the coming weeks.

Secure thoughts

One uppercase letter. One symbol. Don’t forget the number! Typing passwords could be on the way out, we learned this week from TechCrunch. Researchers at UC Berkeley School of Information have developed a way to think your password, using a $100 headset and brainwaves to authenticate users. Researchers say the so-called “pass-thoughts” could work by simply concentrating on breathing.

Other pass-thoughts included imagining moving a finger up and down, focusing on a dot on a piece of paper in response to a sound, imagining a repetitive motion from a sport, imagining singing a song, counting (silently) objects or focussing on a single thought for 10 seconds.

All these pass-thoughts worked to identify users, and researchers say the brainwave-based passwords could end up being an accessible, cheap and secure alternative to the pricier biometrics, such as fingerprint and retina scans, that are also being tested.

Would you try protecting your email with a “pass-thought?”

Staying connected on holiday

When I’m travelling, my suitcase is always a tangle of cords. I rely on smartphones, cameras and tablets to keep me on track (and from getting lost!) on holiday, while ensuring that all the fun is documented in photos, tweets and more. Not to mention how handy it is to check my flight status, look up restaurant reviews and make sure I’m not missing too much at home. Turns out, I share my travel habits with some high rollers. According to a recent study from Mediapost, 77 per cent of “affluents” – people with annual household incomes above $100,000 –  vacationed with their smartphone last year, while 47 per cent toted tablets and laptops.

These high-income earners are logging on to read (40 per cent), make plans, check the weather (72 per cent) and get directions (66 per cent). Three-quarters use their devices to send personal emails, while nearly 40 per cent are posting updates to social media. And more than a third, 38 per cent, stay connected to their office by checking their work email.

Do you rely on your devices while on vacation?

American teens love their iPhones

Apple continues to win the hearts of American teenagers in the iOS vs. Android battle, according to Piper Jaffray’s 25th bi-annual teen survey. The report – which used classroom visits and electronic surveys to poll 1,600 teens from high-income families and 3,600 teens from average income families — found that nearly half (48 per cent) of teens own an iPhone, up from 40 per cent in the fall. And 62 per cent of teens plan to buy an iPhone for their next mobile device. Less than a quarter, 23 per cent, planned to buy an Android phone. That was a one per cent increase from the fall.

Teens are also choosing Apple when it comes to tablets, with 68 per cent planning to buy an iPad. The survey also found that more than half, 51 per cent, of teens owned a tablet and 17 per cent planned to buy one in the next six months.

What will your next device be? Apple, Android, BlackBerry or Windows?

Coming soon: The BlackBerry Q10 smartphone

Keyboard fans, rejoice! The BlackBerry Q10 smartphone, with its physical QWERTY keyboard and touch screen, will be arriving at Rogers retail locations across Canada in the coming weeks.  It’s now available on the Rogers Reservation System and for new customers on rogers.com. Rogers is the first Canadian carrier to bring its customers the device with support for the blazing fast 2600 MHz LTE spectrum band. Rogers customers will also be the first to get the BlackBerry Q10 smartphone in white. The device is also available in black.

Touch screen or physical keyboard: which do you prefer for typing? Why?

Jennifer is a regular RedBoard contributor.

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It’s National Cyber Security Awareness month

Are you using the internet safely?

As our lives become more connected online through mobile phones and social networks, it’s important to educate ourselves about internet security and the threat of cyber-crime.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and the Government of Canada has launched the Get Cyber Safe national public awareness campaign, which provides helpful information and tips on how to keep you and your family safe online. Here’s a few highlights from the campaign that we think you might find particularly useful:

Creating and Using Passwords

  • Make sure your password has at least eight characters and avoid using common words that can be found in a dictionary
  • Use different passwords for different accounts, change your passwords often, and commit them to memory
  • Avoid using automatic login features that save your username and password
  • Password protect every device

Online Banking and Shopping

  • Choose strong passwords for your banking and online investment accounts and keep them private
  • When making transactions online, look for the lock symbol on the website or “https://” at the beginning of the website address, which indicates that the site is encrypted
  • When you’re banking online, never use public Wi-Fi or public computers

Social Networks

  • Check the privacy and security settings of your social network and use them to control who sees what
  • Never include your phone numbers, email address, home address, work details, or any other personal information on your profile page
  • If someone you don’t know tries to “friend” you, ignore it
  • Before you post pictures, think about whether or not they’re appropriate or giving away too much information about you

For more tips and information on how you can protect yourself from cyber risks, visit the Get Cyber Safe website at www.getcybersafe.gc.ca.

Also, check out this pamphlet with useful Cybersafety tips for your wireless device.

Patricia is a regular contributor to RedBoard

 

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