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A smart method to secure specific content in the mobile phone

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000201554D
Publication Date: 2010-Nov-15
Document File: 2 page(s) / 42K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Mobile computing is getting pervasive day by day. Mobile handsets available in the market today are no less than a Personal Computer, with the kind of data they store and kind of applications one can install on the mobiles. The information available on ones mobile handset can categorized as follows - Personal and business contacts - Messages sent and received - Various media like pictures, videos, podcasts - Emails(personal and business) - Various mobile applications - Official documents If one has to secure this information he has the following options - Messages, media, documents which need to be secured can be put into password protected folders. - User can use the SIM card PIN to secure the mobile phone. However there are problems with both these approaches Problems with phone locking using SIM PIN : - If you use the SIM PIN to lock the phone, the phone would get locked every time its not in use or after the time out which is set by the owner. (Especially true with the new touch screen series of the mobile) - If you forget the password the entire phone functionality becomes useless and you need to contact the service providers to get a PUK to get phone back in the usable form. - Usually people store the emergency contact information on the phone which can be used in case of emergencies. If the phone is locked the the person trying to attend the emergency has no means to reach your near and dear ones. Problems with securing the information using password protected folders: - One needs to physically move the contents to a secured folder. - Currently there is no way you can secure the Contacts information - No way to secure the incoming/outgoing/missed call logs for a set of people - Basically there is no way one can secure all the communication information with a set of people in the entirety - Every time you access the password protected folders you need to punch in the password to get into the folder.

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A smart method to secure specific content in the mobile phone

Mobile phones have a set of pre-defined profiles which user can switch based on what he is doing. A standard set of profiles which phones provide are Silent, Vibrate, General, Outdoors, Meeting, Offline etc. The profile basically control the way the phone notifications happen when you activate the profile corresponding to the location you are in.

The invention works as follows
The phones allow the users to customize the profile or create new profiles as per users preference. The method proposes that we attach 2 additional attributes with the profile

passwor

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       - a sequence of alphanumeric characters
security-level - an integer between 0 to 10 (can be extended if need be),

Similarly every item on the device that needs to be secured also have the security-level attribute.

The security level for an item means that the item will be visible to the profiles which have a security level equal to or higher than that of the item. Similarly a security level for the profile means that the profile can be used to view all the items that have a security level equal to or less than that of the profile.

User creates a new profile and assigns a password and a security level to the profile. User then assigns same security level as that of the profile to the items which he wants to be restricted to this profile.

Whenever the user wants to access the information that is secured he/she would need to activate that profile by entering the password. once the profile is activated the phone can be used as if a user with a particular set of privileges has logged into the system

Below are a few other scenarios that would need solution
1. What happens when user gets a call from a contact whose security level is higher that the security level of the active profile

In such a scenario one of the following things can be done
User can be allowed to answer the call without displaying the number
User is prompted to enter the password for the profile under which the caller is registered
User is given options to choose the mod...