Kenny Sahr

Bring Your Own…

Apps – And whistle while you work!

Batteries – An external battery pack can be a lifesaver while on the road.

Connection – The company wifi comes with too many rules.

Device – Work with style!

External hard drive – Connect to your tablet and backup your data.

Firewall – Secure your devices!

Google account – Logout and login for after hours privacy.

Headphones – And listen to your favorite music at work.

IT – Support your device with a DIY (Do It Yourself) attitude.

Joystick – Play the latest tablet games!

Keyboard – A tablet keyboard can replace a clunky laptop.

Laptop – You buy it, you set the rules.

Mobility – Work from a beach cafe one day a week!

Native app – Insist IT provide you a real mobile experience.

OS – Bring your favorite flavor to work!

Privacy – Keep IT in the cloud and away from your device.

Quality time – Know when to go offline!

Router – Connect all of your devices with a mobile router.

Security – Now *you* are responsible for your data security!

Tether – Perfect for tablets without SIM cards.

USB hub – And plug in your USB fridge and other useful toys.

Virtual Desktop – Keeps work away from your device.

Wifi – Your home wifi is always faster.

Xbox – Kill zombies at work!

YouTube – Who needs cable TV?!

Zombie phone – When your company insists on giving you a smartphone.

Kenny Sahr

How do you secure your Android mobile device? Is your smartphone rooted? Do you store your banking passwords on your device? Life in the mobile age can be complex. Here are some practical tips that will help you to secure your Android device.

Don’t Root It

Rooting your smartphone is the single worst thing you can do to your phone. Unrooted Android gives your mobile device a huge advantage that Windows, Mac OS and Linux cannot compete with. When your phone is unrooted, apps can’t gain admin privileges. This prevents malware and viruses from infecting your device. Think of every time you see “Windows needs your permission to continue.” Unrooted Android avoids this scenario. Rooting your phone negates all of the security advantages that Android has to offer.

Don’t Pass Up on a Passcode

If someone steals your phone, they immediately gain access to all of your data. Your deepest secrets will be revealed. Lucky for you, Android phones come with a simple way to make it harder for thieves to do their dirty deed. Click on Settings->Security->Screen Lock and set a passcode. Most Android phones will allow you to choose a finger drawn pattern, a PIN number or a password. Don’t use your Facebook password, “1111” or your name. Make the thieves work hard!

Stay with Play

If you don’t know what an APK is, you probably don’t need it. Do yourself a favor and limit your app downloads to the Google Play Store. You can do this via Settings->Applications or Settings->Security and unclick “Unknown Sources.”

3-2-1 Wipe!

android_336X352 Android phones enable you to do a remote wipe. If you lose your phone or it is stolen, at least prevent pickpockets from accessing your data. Android has an internal wipe feature that you can activate by clicking Settings->Security->Remote Controls. You need Google Sync or an Android device with the Google Apps Device Policy installed. There are two types of wipes – remote wipe and account wipe. Remote wipe is the whole enchilada, deleting everything from your phone. Account wipe deletes all of your Google account data, but not your personal files.

Store Your Passwords Carefully

We all need a place to store passwords. There are a few terrific password manager apps; Keeper is one of them. Don’t store your passwords on an unsecured notes app or on Dropbox. Be smart when choosing passwords. Don’t use the same password for banking that you use for social networks.

Read App Permissions

When is the last time you read the app permissions when you installed a new app? Who was president then? Your alarm clock doesn’t need to access your Facebook friends and your favorite game doesn’t need to access your contacts list. When the app’s permissions seem a bit far-fetched, read the comments in the Play Store and consider Googling it.

Use Common Sense

If you are lucky enough to have a 3 digit IQ, use it! Don’t do banking on a public wifi, don’t put personal files on your phone or tablet without a good reason, put your phone in your pocket before you stand up while in restaurants and public places. “Don’t make careless errors,” as my tennis coach used to tell me. That lesson carries over to real life and especially to mobile security. If you play your cards right, your Android devices will be more secure than your PC.

Kenny Sahr

The loudest rock concerts typically reach over 130 decibels. This is so dangerous to your ears that the Guinness Book of World Records, run by the legendary British brewery, removed this category a few years ago. Where is the category for loudest ringtone? In a closed public space – like a bus or train – an obnoxious ringtone will sound louder than a Led Zeppelin show.

Bring Your Own Ringtone

In the 1990s, we personalized our PCs with desktop themes and sounds for every click that our mouses made. Today, we’re able to personalize our mobile world, a world which begins when we leave our homes in the morning.

The Beatles’ Revolution is a great song, but the loud guitar riff makes it an awful ringtone. Good ringtones have a gradual build-up of sound.

How do you choose a ringtone? As a music collector, this was a big decision when I bought my first smartphone. The audiophile in me insisted on a wav file. At home, I prefer to listen to 24 bit sound, as opposed to CDs, which are 16 bit. MP3 wasn’t an option, though I doubt my Galaxy S1 Mini knows the difference. A 128k MP3 is probably more than enough. Most of the time, we answer incoming calls within 3 and 20 seconds. Unless you want to use a sound editor, you’re looking for a 30 second song intro.

What songs make inherently poor ringtones? The opening to The Beatles’ Revolution is a good example of an awesome song that you should never use as a ringtone. It is probably The Beatles’ most powerful guitar riff ever. Do you want to hear it 5-10 times a day? I’d rather hear Star Trek’s William Shatner’s version of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. The same goes for Boston’s More Than a Feeling, one of the most recognizable power chords in rock. Even after I’ve had my morning espresso, I don’t want that riff ringing in my ears.

The best ringtones are gradual build-ups of sound. As a Bossa Nova fan, I considered using The Girl From Ipanema, Corcovado and Jobim’s instrumental Wave (a great song to wake up to!). I ended up going with The Who’s Eminence Front. It starts with mellow drums, continues with a synthesizer and ends up with a guitar riff if I don’t answer on time.

When I ride the train to Nubo’s offices in Airport City, Israel, I am often exposed to the loudest ringtones. The people with the most obnoxious ringtones are the same people who hide their smartphones in the hardest to reach places in their backpacks and purses. Of course everyone has the right to choose their sounds; I don’t want the “thought police” to decide how we personalize our phones. But I do think we should consider moving to pleasant ringtone sounds.

I hope the editors at the Guinness Book of World Records will consider adding a category for loudest, worst and quietest ringtone songs. What are your most and least favorite ringtones?

Our friends at SysAid made this hilarious dance clip last month. If you like the song, you can click to download the ringtone version here! The song is by LookAndListen.