What is it?
NFCSecure offers Android users a fast and easy way to protect their devices. By utilizing NFC technology, NFCSecure prevents access to any of the phone or tablet’s functions until an associated NFC tag is scanned. The app can be used in place of inconvenient PIN/Password unlocking or in combination with them to enable two-factor authentication. Stop walking around unprotected, and install NFCSecure today!
With the rise in popularity of Android comes increased security risks. Not all come via software though, every device regardless of operating system is vulnerable to a physical attack. On Android you have a choice of ‘locks’ you can use. These are limited to swiping or typing a code, or using facelock (flaky at best). NFCSecure offers another option, and not surprisingly it involves the use of NFC tags.
What NFCSecure brings to the table is a physical ‘key’ to unlock your handset or tablet, and this alone makes it radically different from the rest.
How it works:
You can setup multiple tags to be used with the same device, which increases the scope a little further as well. At first apart from thinking it was a pretty cool idea, I struggled to come up with a practical use for it, but I happen to have a NFC enabled wrist band, and I find the combination to be very effective and now wear the wristband the way others wear those little charity ones. I can also see uses in group areas, possibly in education where tags are located on desks, and the device is therefore only usable within a certain or area.
The settings are pretty simple, you get to active or turn off the app, Add or wipe tags, setup a device administrator (for multi-users setups), and an option to turn off lock screen widgets and features until the device is unlocked. There is one other option, unlock delay type, this basically tells the app when to run and for most instances you will have it set to none. You can however set a delay before the app activates after screen off, or even set an amount of times the device can be unlocked before the app kicks in each time. Obviously there is a fail safe in the event that you don’t have a tag nearby and that is to use the device administrator Google account details to sign in.
Unlike most app developers r2DoesInc have listed the permissions required on the app as well as why they are needed.
Required for version verification and authentication with App Engine (Coming soon!)
Required for locking the device when you complete a reboot
Required for handling of phone calls
Used for App Engine authentication (Coming soon!)
Required for password verification. Do not fret, your password is never exposed to us, the only data we are given is whether the password we supply (input by you) if correct or not.
Required to get a list of the accounts on the device for possible authentication.
I have been using the app for a couple of days now along with the wristband, and it works nicely through a couple of layers of clothes. At £3.15 it’s not the most expensive app, but it is also probably not for everyone either. If you think it may suit your needs however, it can be downloaded via the Play Store. This is the first play Store release, so expect improvements and additional features to come from the development team.