Google Baby Book

I did this for my daughter and I just rolled it out for her future brother.

I created a Google account for them.  The original idea was have an easy way for my wife an I to send them letters, but it has expanded into a multi featured online baby book.

I’ll detail my methodology below.  My main goal was to create an account that I could use to catalogue their life that was both easy and functional.  One day I hope to turn over the password to my children and they could have a fully functioning account of their own.

Account Creation

I created the account with my information, birthdate, phone number, etc.  I used my email as the recovery email and enabled two-factor authentication.  They only be children but account security is still important.

Email

I set up two filters of that forward all emails received to both my and my wife’s email address.  This is so I can read the emails to the children and also filter out any unwanted emails.  In the couple years I’ve had these accounts I have yet gotten any spam.

I also use the vacation responder as an auto-reply feature.  I update it every few months to keep it current and encourage people to send messages even if it just to see the new message.

Calendar

Calendars was an unexpected surprise after I started.  I shared the calendar with my main account with the “Make changes to events” permissions.  Which means I can easily add events from any device I am logged into.  You can also quickly copy events from your other calendars.   I have the first steps, first words, etc all recorded with exacts times/dates, details about each event, and locations.  You can also attach pictures or other documents to the event.

Drive

Drive is an easy and very customizable one.  I have a folder shared to the account that I store important documents (swimming certificates, photos of artwork and birthday cards, etc).

Apps

Everything so far could be done with a free google account, but there is more that can be accomplished with an apps account.  It may no longer be free but for $50/year/user its still not a bad deal.

You can have a personalized domain.  You can disable features which you don’t want to be active (Hangouts, contacts, drive, etc).  There are no ads and the pressure to join Google+ is non-existent.

Backup

With anything else its best not to leave all this data in one place. Google takeout is the solution for that. On a regular basis I create a backup and drop it into my backup solution.

The Future

One day, the children will want their own account.  Simply hand over the password.  As with anything in parenting, take an active role in the experience.  Teach them how to be safe online and know what and who they interact with online.

#blog

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Defining “Secure”

Defining "Secure"

I've learned that the term "Secure" means a lot of different things to people.

My post http://bit.skyjedi.com/1oNrdke took the stance of it was exposed to malware via the open-garden (not open source) nature of app installation.  For example, if you find an apk on a random website, you can install it with very little effort. 

Several people took the stance of "secure" meaning the ability to shield your private data and location from a third party.  The NSA was named several times.

An additional group took it as low-level OS vulnerabilities, bugs in the underlying code that in the hands of a hacker, could give unrestricted access to your device.  

Finally, a group looked at "secure" as the use of App permissions.  They pointed out that a rogue app could have a permissions to send personal data such as location, UUID, access to text messages, etc back to the developer.  A flashlight app being a prime target, +Michael Kessler wrote about it here 
http://bit.skyjedi.com/1oNrdkh

One thing that is really clear, there is a lot of opinions out there and people want to discuss them.  To have these conversations, though, we need to define what it is we are talking about and, more importantly, what we are not talking about.  

The vagueness of the term secure allowed several good point and counter-points discussions, but it also allowed people to make point which I believed had nothing to do with my current train of thought.  it made things messy.

I wasn't as clear as I would like to have been, but the experience has taught me that an effort to clearly define the subject matter of a post should be a top priority.  

#blog  

Don’t believe the “Android is not secure” hype The vast majority of mobile…
Don’t believe the “Android is not secure” hype

The vast majority of mobile malware is written for +Android. Thats a fact.  Its a side effect of the… – Luke Olson – Google+

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Don’t believe the “Android is not secure” hype

The vast majority of mobile malware is written for +Android. Thats a fact.  Its a side effect of the open-garden.  Anyone can write apps, even malicious ones, and distribute into the wild without the approval of a curation system.

But to the everyday user, does it matter?  I have been looking for posts, on forums and social media, about people whose mobile device have been infected and need help.  All I have found are blogs posts about Mobile malware, no personal stuff.

Charts and statistics can be misleading and the effect is massively intensified when you only refer to percentages rather than hard numbers.
http://bit.skyjedi.com/1k0wIrw
http://bit.skyjedi.com/1xigCDS
http://bit.skyjedi.com/1k0wJM7
http://bit.skyjedi.com/1xigFzj

People can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. 14% of people know that.
http://bit.skyjedi.com/1k0wJMb

In my quest for hard numbers I found this article http://bit.skyjedi.com/1nnB6pu thats estimates mobile malware infections to around “11.6 million mobile devices” and “Android devices accounted for 60% [~7million] of total mobile network infections”  I believe these numbers are world wide.  At last count Android had crossed the Billion device mark http://bit.skyjedi.com/1xigELZ  and activates 1.5 million devices daily. http://bit.skyjedi.com/1k0wIrz

With those number and a couple of others i made a chart of estimated Activated Android Devices compared to estimated infected Android devices.  http://bit.skyjedi.com/TmFlaz The sheet with math and sources http://bit.skyjedi.com/TmGeQd

It is quite easy to avoid malware infection on Android.  In a nutshell, don’t sideload apps [disabled by default] and the vast majority of people will never have to worry.  If you decide to sideload apps  +Chris Hoffman has a nice write up on how to keep yourself safe.  http://bit.skyjedi.com/1k0wK2z

more good reading
http://bit.skyjedi.com/1xigEM2 by +JR Raphael
http://bit.skyjedi.com/1xigF2g by +Emil Protalinski
http://bit.skyjedi.com/1xigF2h by +Jerry Hildenbrand
http://bit.skyjedi.com/1xigFPY by +Gordon Kelly
http://bit.skyjedi.com/1xigF2j by +Steven Vaughan-Nichols

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