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terakoya @ Tokyo Tech

This week I had the honor to present at a seminar held by professor Suzuki Sakie for her students of mathematics at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Although my research area is far from her’s (topology), she asked me to present at the seminar. Professor Suzuki called the seminar terakoya which refers to old Japanese temple schools. I introduced usable security and my research road-map very briefly. I finished the presentation with bicycle braking…

expensive rut

We are all made in a way that we get used to the status-quo. In our life we always get used to things. It can be our living situation, our partners, or mundane things as the construction site next to our house. I believe that, while being an important ability of our psyche, it is also dangerous. When we get used to things and accept the current way of life we stop growing. This can even become…

phone security – protect your digital soul

Smartphones are central to our lives. Everyone uses them and they hold every possible piece of information about us. They contain our digital soul and therefore phone security is an important topic. I am regularly shocked at how many people do not use a lock on them. On our phone we have browsing histories, photos, downloads, access to all accounts (mail, social media, banking, etc.), basically our identity. What people often forget is that the phone acts…

gk64 – typing happiness while on the go

This post is not about security or philosophy, which I usually like to write about. If you want to read a post like that I suggest you read my post about password managers. This entry is about hardware, especially the one I use to write these lines. Recently while being abroad I noticed that the quality of my interaction with technology is influenced heavily by my keyboard. For three weeks I only had a rubber dome…

U2F and second factors to get rid of phishing!

This week’s post in minimal security is about second factors. Apart from password managers, this is perhaps something you can apply that increases your security the most. As we have seen in my post about password managers, passwords can be stolen from websites. A universal second factor (U2F) registered with a website will protect your accounts even if your password has been compromised. One other advantage is that it also protects against phishing. Google reported that…

password manager – minimal effort; awesome security

This weeks topic in minimal security is on password managers. I have a few older post where I talk about passwords and tools or the importance of strong passwords. I want to reiterate password managers this week and give a clear recommendation. If you are curious why you should care about your password read my previous post. Your password is your gatekeeper to your online accounts, your information and therefore your life. I can not stress…

going all sciency in my pantsy!

This is a very brief post about a little project I worked on in my spare time and when I felt frustrated with work. Although, I somewhat wanted to keep myself out of the spotlight I decided to publish a website that shows more of myself. This is to appear more professionally to the outside world. TBH of course everyone does it for his/her own gain; I do not consider myself an exception. I launched a new…

secure email communication with pep

This week will be the most easy advice to follow so far. However, it might also be the most useless (so far). Email encryption is something that all of us should get better at. Until now the problem was that the tools are barely usable for non computer science graduates. Fear not! There is a new tool on the block and it aims to make email encryption as easy as possible. People just have to start using…

secure communication on your smartphone

Welcome back to minimal security! This post is about how to communicate securely with your friends on your smartphone. I am sure we are all worried about sending our cat videos through insecure channels. Fear not! There are messaging apps that will protect you with minimal effort on your side. There is a myriad of choices on the Play store / App store and while there are some hacky nerdy choices out there, people generally should opt…