Brad’s Back + Fully Charged

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Let’s Go (Phone) Chargers!

Not going to lie, the past few weeks have been crazy, in the best way possible! Between work, family, and what seems like a never ending amount of activities to do now that the world is opening up again, I think we can all agree that life is moving much faster now. And while we’re all getting back to living in the real-world, it may be easy to forget the little things we took for granted the past year and a half. One example: always being at home with a phone charger nearby.

Don’t be that person on vacation or on a night out with friends who can’t stop complaining that their phone died. These portable phone chargers from Anker will help you keep your mobile’s battery topped up, letting you avoid the frustrations of low power mode, slow maps or, worse, a completely dead phone. My favorite is the Powerport Atom 3, which charges 4 devices simultaneously for all your charger-forgetting friends and family.

Sitting for Free

I recently indulged in a new Herman Miller chair for my office – the Herman Miller Embody. Designed with the input of more than 30 physicians and PhDs in biomechanics, vision, physical therapy, and ergonomics, the Embody office chair is for those who take sitting seriously. Their research even proves that it increases blood circulation to improve oxygen flow and lower your heart rate. The best part? It cost me nothing thanks to my Amazon Business Prime American Express Card.

The Amazon Business Prime American Express Card earns 5% back on the first $120,000 spent each calendar year and 1% thereafter.  So if you’re already an avid Prime member like me, this card can offer value on spending you’re doing anyway, and potentially defray the cost of that annual membership fee. Cue ‘Jeffrey Bezos’ by Bo Burnham.

TTYL, SMS

Facebook, PayPal, Microsoft, Twitter, Sony, Uber, Dropbox, Amazon… the list goes on. It’s strikingly ironic—these companies are rightly pushing us to better secure our apps and services with two-factor authentication (2FA), verification codes when we log in or make payments. But the default 2FA option is usually SMS—one-time codes texted to our phones, and SMS has infamously poor security, leaving it open to attack.

 

Phone/phone number compromises include malware that is unwittingly installed by users and will then look for one-time SMS passcodes and send those back to the attacker. Mobile malware can also capture usernames and passwords for websites and apps on the device—although these credentials can be easily harvested by other means. That said, it’s probably a good idea to rethink your security relationship to your phone number. We suggest an app like Microsoft Authenticator to stay ahead of those pesky hackers.

The Last Word

That’s it for this week’s Brad’s Blog! My sincerest apologies if you missed me in your inbox the past few weeks; but I’m back and better than ever! If there’s any interesting tech/product/generally cool content you’ve seen during my absence, do share it with me! The geekier, the better. Have a great week!

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