(in)security Tasker and Bluetooth

Published on August 30th, 2013 | by Kalen Wessel

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Securing your phone with a Bluetooth Keychain

The problem:

Smartphones are a hot commodity, especially for your everyday thief. With more and more personal apps like email, banking, and offsite drop boxes, having someone gain access to all of that through a single device is a little nerve racking. Since the convenience factor of having all these apps is far too great to give up, I need a way to protect my phone so that in the off chance it is stolen, the thief’s only option is to wipe my phone – not siphon all my confidential data.

So the next logical step is to put some sort of locking mechanism on the phone like a pin, pattern, or password. Since pins can be cracked quite easily, and pattern locks leave finger trails, the only viable answer is to use an alphanumerical password with a few special characters. This is going to give you the best protection out of all the options I mentioned. So let’s say you are a paranoid user and your password is 10 characters long, includes uppercase and lowercase as well as a few numbers and special characters. On most QWERTY keyboards this is going to take you a few seconds to enter, and if you are constantly rechecking your phone those seconds start to add up. Especially if you take into account the number of failed entries because you accidentally missed a character or your large thumbs hit the ‘F’ instead of the ‘G’

The solution:

So this brings us back to the first point, convenience. A password is no longer convenient, but is necessary due to the content on the phone. This is where Tasker and a small Bluetooth key chain come into play. With the combination of the two, you can keep your phone nice and secure while no longer being inconvenienced with strong passwords.

How it works:

You setup a Tasker profile which removes the key guard while the device is connected to a specific Bluetooth device. As soon as that connection is dropped the key guard is enabled. This was the Bluetooth key chain I went with since it was cheap and went well with the Android theme. BT Key Chain

Bluetooth Keychain

Below are my two Tasker profiles:

Unlock Profile & Associated Task

Tasker ProfileTasker Unlock Action

Lock Profile & Associated Task

Tasker LockTask Lock

And there you have it – now you don’t have to worry about entering complicated passwords to unlock your phone whenever your key ring is nearby. Shoulder surfers won’t have any luck snagging your login credentials and thieves won’t have much luck once they are more than a few feet away.

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About the Author

is a multidisciplinary systems administrator. Whether it's auditing network security, implementing scale-able systems, or providing technical services - he makes it his focus to perform due diligence on all his tasks.



6 Responses to Securing your phone with a Bluetooth Keychain

  1. Simon says:

    I assume we could also use that bluetooth keychain with BlueProximity which is really convenient to automatically lock the session when we move away from the computer ;)

  2. Joe says:

    This would be prefect with a moto x and you wouldn’t even need tasker because the moto x has a trusted device setting in security settings.

  3. Raymond Madigan says:

    This sounds great. I have a Nexus 5 and pretty hopeless at Tasker. Any chance you could give step-by step set up instructions?

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