NFC app on androids facilitates automation

Near field communications (NFC) is the exchange of information between two devices via wireless signal. For example, a wireless signal emitting from your cell phone can act as a credit card when making a purchase. In the case of a mobile wallet application, those devices would be a mobile phone and a point-of-sale device at a checkout counter.

And NFC does so much more on Androids. A program called Trigger, which is available in Google Play, allows you to create customized automation tasks for numerous everyday things we do.

Bored of putting your phone on silent every time you get into the office? Tired of turning off Bluetooth to conserve battery every time juice gets low? This app interacts with your surroundings to configure settings on your phone automatically. Combine triggers and actions to create tasks, then activate the tasks that you create with conditions that you set!

Here are examples of what you can do:

In your car: Use Bluetooth as a trigger to open GPS and launch your favorite music app.

On your nightstand: Program an NFC tag to set your ringer to vibrate, dim your display and set an alarm.

In your home: Configure mobile data to turn off when your phone detects your own WiFi signal.

The current triggers are as follows:

  • NFC
  • Bluetooth
  • WiFi
  • Battery level
  • Location
  • Time triggers

And here are a few examples of the actions that you can perform:

  • Change WiFi, Bluetooth, mobile hotspot, airplane mode, auto-sync, GPS (root users) and mobile data settings.
  • Change your volume or notification tones.
  • Change your display brightness, timeout, auto-rotation or notification light settings.
  • Check in on social media like Foursquare or Google Places.
  • Send messages using Twitter, SMS, email or Glympse.
  • Start or stop applications (root required for stopping applications), dock modes, open URLs, speak text or navigate to an address.
  • Set alarms or create calendar events.

There’s even more, but suffice to say this app allows you to easily program your device to do the actions you manually do regularly.

So go ahead and create your own combinations to automate your life. The only limit is what you can come up with!

Robert Siciliano, is a personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto and author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! . Disclosures For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247.

Kids and Smartphones: How Old?

How old is old enough for a kid to have a smartphone? Right out of the gate, I’m saying 16, and I know there’ll be some backlash from that. Some will say it all depends on the kid; others will argue there’s no right answer. Here’s why children under the age of 16 should not have a mobile phone:


Driving age: Somewhere along the line, someone said 16 is a good age to allow kids to drive. I think a car in anyone’s hands can be used as a weapon, and 16 is the earliest age that weapon should be handed over. A mobile is no different. In the wrong hands, a mobile can be deadly.

Bullying: We have seen way too many kids suffer from awful bullying as a result of other kids using mobile phones. The fact is, there is no emotion felt when bullying someone virtually—meaning the perpetrator can say anything and not see the harm he is bringing to the victim. At least at 16, kids have developed a better sense of empathy and a little more self-confidence.

Pornography: Anything and everything one can imagine in photo and video is available online—more than anyone under the age of 20 can handle and definitely more than a 15-year-old can process. There just way too much information for their young minds to consume.

Fraud: Kids say and post way too much information about their lives that can put themselves and families at risk. They give out emails, phone numbers, home addresses, financial information…you name it.

Personal security: Kids are being targeted by adults online. I recently did a segment on Fox in which a 25-year-old man posing as an 18-year old connected with 13- and 14-year old-girls. Let’s just say it didn’t end well. Oh, and that reminds me: the minimum age for social media should be 16, too.

What about keeping in touch? Get them a feature phone and no texting. Sorry. I’m a dad. You can feel bad for my kids. I didn’t have a smartphone at 15; they’ll be fine.

Robert Siciliano, is a personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto and author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! . Disclosures For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247.

Why mobile security is a must

Smartphone use continues to increase. More than one third of Americans have dropped landlines and only use mobiles. It is very possible that within the next 10 years, the landline will be obsolete and we will all be wireless.

And when there’s a major transition in technology, the newness of it all creates a perfect storm for scammers to attack the new systems. Hackers are creating scams and viruses that are designed to spy on and collect our data the same way it’s done on a PC. (Keep in mind that what makes smartphones smart is the fact they are nothing less than small computers with the same power and reach as desktops or laptops. The only difference is they fit in your pocket.)

It is as essential to protect your mobile as it is to protect your PC. You need to make sure you protect yourself, as our mobile devices are our most personal of personal computers. Here are some things you should do to protect yourself:

  • Use a PIN code and set it to lock your device after one minute.
  • Download apps only from reputable app stores, and review the app permissions to make sure the app isn’t sharing more information than you’d prefer.
  • Don’t store sensitive information on your phone, like user names and passwords, and log out of apps that provide access to personal information.
  • If you use online banking and shopping sites, always log out and de-select any options to keep you logged in or your password saved.
  • Don’t access critical websites sites when using free WiFi connections unless you are using a virtual private network (VPN) application.
  • Review your mobile carrier accounts and app store accounts to check for any suspicious charges. If you do see charges you have not made, contact your service provider and credit card provider immediately.
  • Never respond to text, email or voicemail messages with personal information like credit card numbers or passwords.
  • Never click on a link in an email, text, social networking site or message from someone you do not know (or, in some cases, someone who poses as someone you know).

Robert Siciliano, is a personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto and author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! . Disclosures For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247.

Mobile Phone Security Under Attack

As mobile Internet usage continues its rapid growth, cyber criminals are expected to pay more attention to this sector. Mobile device platforms compete for content creators’ latest innovations, which often require more and more device access. As applications and other content are more widely distributed, security breaches will be inevitable.

The speed of technological advancement and the demand for new products and services make mobile phones particularly vulnerable. In some countries, almost all banking takes place with the use of phones.

Spyware, which was created as a legitimate technology for PCs, further complicates matters. Spyware can track and record social networking activities, online searches, chats, instant messages, emails, keystrokes, websites visited, and programs launched. It can be the equivalent of digital surveillance, revealing every stroke of the user’s mouse and keyboard. When a PC or phone becomes infected with spyware, all the data on that PC or phone is immediately compromised.

Mobile phone spyware is relatively new, and is quickly grabbing headlines. As PCs shrink to the size of a smartphone, spyware continues to evolve. This software records nearly everything a person does on a phone. Some spyware programs can record everything in a video file that can then be accessed remotely.

Spyware can be installed on your cell phone remotely or directly. To protect your phone, never click on links in texts or emails, since these links may actually point toward malicious downloads. Keep your phone with you, don’t let it out of your sight, and don’t share it with others. Make sure your phone requires a password, as this makes it more difficult to install spyware.

If your phone is behaving oddly or you have some other reason to suspect that it contains spyware, reinstall the phone’s operating system. Consult your user manual or call your carrier’s customer service for step-by-step help with this process.

With more than 11 million victims just last year, identity theft is a serious concern. McAfee Identity Protection offers proactive identity surveillance, lost wallet protection, and alerts when suspicious activity is detected on your financial accounts. Educate and protect yourself – please visit

Robert Siciliano is a McAfee consultant and identity theft expert. See him discuss mobile phone spyware on Good Morning America(Disclosures)