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Visual hacking, Phone to Phone charging and Tips on travelling with gadgets

Visual hacking, Phone to Phone charging and Tips on travelling with gadgets 

Show Notes

Tips for travelling with gadgets

Our gadgets have become so integrated into our lives that we take them with us everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Even when we are travelling for work or even taking that vacation.

There is an inherent risk in taking our corporate and personal information with us when we travel. In this part of the show, I would like to offer you a few tips to reduce this risk and what we need to take into consideration when we travel with our devices.

First, consider whether you actually need to take a device with you, of course, if your boss is expecting you to take your work phone with you abroad, then there is no way out, but if not, then you should leave your employer’s devices at home.

Why? Think about the impact if that device is – lost or stolen – the data that will be exposed can have some serious ramifications to your company.

Next consider if your laptop, phone, tablet, and even USB drives are encrypted? Are you using strong passwords? Is all your data backed up?

Travellers should also minimise the potential risk of data exposure and loss of information. The way to do this don’t take too much information with you – it’s better to delete unnecessary the files or save to your home computer or external drive before going on that trip.

For International travel there are a few additional considerations:

The Border agencies in many countries, including Canada and the United States, have the right to examine and even make copies of electronic information.

If you refuse to hand over passwords you can be in a lot of hot water, like having your devices seized, and being denied entry into foreign countries.

Also, border officials can open an app on a phone or tablet when connected to a network which will not only grant them access to the data on your device but also remote data like on your cloud storage accounts – for example – Dropbox or One drive. So this is not limited to data stored on your device, but data on a remote server could be accessed as well.

If you have sensitive data – like from work then it would be advisable to leave your device at home or consider purchasing another for travel.

If that is not an option you can go with, then you can log out of all accounts on your device and then delete the applications that use them. Say for example you’ve logged out Facebook, Dropbox, or Google Mail app and leave it on your phone without deleting them, then this may lead to additional questions or even requests for your login credentials. So if you are going this route, remember to delete the apps.

A more extreme option is to back-up the mobile device, reset it to factory defaults prior to travel, and restore it at the destination. If you want to go this far out to stay safe this is a good option as well.

Also, don’t leave electronics unattended in hotel rooms. Most hotels offer in-room safes; some are reasonably secure, while others are not. So it is up to you if you want to take you laptop with you to the gym or the restaurant. 

The last thing to consider is locking bags that can help you protect your electronic devices. If you are interested in this please go to:

In the end, when travelling with gadgets it all comes back down to good sound judgement, and always being vigilant. That I would say are the best suggestions for keeping personal data safe when travelling.

Privacy Shade app

Have you ever been in public and wondered if the person looking over your shoulder when you were entering your password was able to see it? This is considered visual hacking.

Last year, I was at HP Discover in Boston and one of the speakers talked about visual hacking.

Visual hacking is when other can view your device’s screen without your permission. So, say you are at your favourite coffee shop, you pull your smartphone or laptop and started to check your emails or social media accounts, now if someone is sitting behind you or to your left or right at an angle where they can see your screen, they are conducting a visual hack, they are acquiring information from your device.

To avoid exposing your private information BlackBerry has recently released an app called Privacy Shade. Privacy shade allows you to view your phone messages in private, even in public places such as trains, bus stops, and restaurants.

This app is only available to BlackBerry’s lineup of Android smartphones. So, if you have a BlackBerry Android phone like the Priv or DTEC then you can get this app from Google Play Store.

What the app does is to block parts of your phone screen – or obscuring the parts you are not viewing or using while still allowing you to interact with the obscured parts. By allowing users to adjust the transparency of the filter to suit the surroundings like outside or even indoors.

If you have a BlackBerry Android device then you can use Privacy Shade in four ways:

If you are using Android OS 7.0 Nougat or higher, you can add BlackBerry Privacy Shade to your Quick Settings.

If you are using a BlackBerry device with a Convenience Key, you can assign BlackBerry Privacy Shade to the Convenience Key.

If you are using a BlackBerry device that supports Swipe Shortcuts, you make BlackBerry Privacy Shade one of your shortcuts.

You can also toggle BlackBerry Privacy Shade on or off via an optional dedicated notification in the notification tray.

That’s the update on Privacy shade, if you are a BlackBerry fan there are few other upgrades that BlackBerry is working on that might excite you:


Additional Hub Integrations: Support for Kik and Telegram

Email Auto CC / BCC Setting: Users can now enable auto cc: or bcc: when sending a message. This setting can be applied to individual accounts.

Android Wear Notifications (beta): Hub+ notifications and the ability to read and delete Hub items via Android Wear devices (i.e. smartwatches)

Dual SIM support: Hub will support phones with dual SIMs. You can switch between them just like you would with multiple emails.


Contact Linking and Cleanup: Improved support for finding and linking of duplicate contacts.


OS Integrity Check: Users will now receive a notification if an OS Integrity issue has been detected.

If you are concerned about someone looking at your smartphone screen when you are in the public, then Privacy Shade is a good app to use. Hopefully, BlackBerry will make this available to all Android phones and even their own BlackBerry operating system. 

Phone to Phone charging

Wireless charging is the new buzz words for phones. Samsung and Apple are working on bringing wireless charging to their upcoming smartphones but as they are doing this Sony is working on a really super new technology that will bring us a phone to phone charging. What this means is your friend can change his phone off of yours.

Sony recently filed a recently patent application, for power charging and data exchange between various consumer electronics like smartphones, computers and other smart devices.

The technology that will be used for this will rely on “antenna systems” configured for both wireless data and power transfers, accompanied by a handy user interface that simplifies the process of connecting devices.

In addition to selecting between power and data transfers, the interface will also make it easier to choose between various wireless exchange-enabled devices in your vicinity.

As with patents, we don’t know how soon the technology will become available but it is a good sign to see that more and more the tech companies are looking at ways of bringing us the technology to make our tech engrained lives easier. 

Photo credit: 3M

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