Andrés Lucero of Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland recently published ( arXiv:1804.04833 [cs.HC] ) his autoethnography about his period of times in his life that he has voluntarily lived without a mobile phone. Since 1999 he spent two separate periods (2002-2008 and 2014-2017) without a phone. Both related to when he was working in academia and cycling to work. Interesting points to note were that even during these periods he had access to wifi enabled tablets, but the need for authentication codes and secure communications were the key areas that were affected by not having a mobile phone. Additionally in Finland at the age of 7 children receive their first mobile phone and house keys so that they can travel to school on their own.
With two factor authentication heavily reliant on mobile phones either for SMS/text codes or smart phone apps with authentication code production, it becomes more and more difficult to imagine the operation of today’s work environment without a phone. In one situation the service he was trying to use reluctantly ended up emailing the security details to an email address that they weren’t able to verify.
Moving back in to the connected world and embracing all forms of device, including wearable, Andrés Lucero also had to learn how to cope with synchronous and asynchronous forms of communication such as Whatsapp, where in a group things are said and discussed through the night which aren’t for people sleeping to respond to until they want to.
The paper makes for an interesting study, and demonstrates a number of situations where normal life is eased by the power of live connection. Eg. location and travelling directions, location based entertainment and two factor authentication services. The paper also shows how remaining in control of technology can help maintain control of stressors.
For security all businesses should be using two factor authentication where they can, and with smart phones being one of the most popular methods the need for all employees having access becomes apparent. However there are alternatives, if you’d like to discuss please contact us below.