Touch Screening: Siggie-proofing Your Smartphone

The future we live in is home to some fantastic devices, not the least of which is the modern smartphone. The phones of today, fully equipped with a diverse array of fun and functional apps, are packed with power and potential to perform tasks no one could have ever dreamed of just 10 years ago...including destroy your romantic relationship.

That's right, since smartphones do pretty much everything, among the tricks a smartphone can perform is using the information required to do all that to serve as an extremely accurate ledger of every activity you've ever participated in since you unboxed the thing (or last wiped the memory). It's as personal as a fingerprint...possibly even more so, since you get to design it. In fact, it's almost an extension of you...probably the only part of you that will incriminate you without being tortured.

For some people in relationships, this isn't a problem. They have no real need to conceal anything from the person they're with, and really wouldn't care if them and their tag-team partner switched phones for a day (assuming there's no important business to be handled and they have comparable devices).

For others, the phone is the only part of them their love isn't allowed to suddenly touch. If the other half decided to borrow their device to even make a phone call, they'd slap it out of their siggie's hand like a live grenade because they know either their phone or their relationship will be in pieces on the floor after just a few minutes. For those people, I present the following guide to making sure you don't have a panic attack every time you accidentally leave your phone unattended around the person you claim to love. Of course, the suggestions start with:
-Just take it everywhere you go. If it's on your person, they have no shot at getting their hands on it without your knowledge. If you're around your siggie, you and your phone should never be far enough apart for you to not hear it vibrate (which you should definitely set your phone to, as all those texts, social media messages, and other electrocommunications from other people usually make sounds that might make them suspicious).

Don't leave it to answer the door, don't leave it to go take a quick leak, damn sure don't leave it to get in the shower...that's 10-15 minutes uninterrupted for your prying partner to see what you've been up to (and on) lately. If you have to, get a waterproof case and actually take it into the shower itself with you. It's not the most farfetched thing in the world for a curious party to wait until you're hitting a high note mid-scrub to slip into the bathroom, grab your precious off the sink, and see what you're acting so damn shady about. Of course, that gets a bit trickier when you...

-Create a passcode. Most things we consider classified come with some element of security to protect the information contained within from unwanted eyes. Credit and debit cards have PIN numbers and the first 12 numbers of them are usually "X". Personal mail (those old-fashioned paper rectangles they sometimes put in that box in front of your house) often comes in a envelope printed on the inside so nobody can hold it up to the sun and read it like an intercepted report card.

Therefore, it stands to reason that since your phone also apparently contains sensitive information, you should take similar steps to make sure nobody gets at it just by picking it up. Most modern phones have security features standard, but in case yours doesn't for some reason, apps for it are all over the markets. Since you're mainly doing this to guard against your siggie, don't be predictable about it. I assume the person knows you fairly well, so make sure it isn't something stupid that they could guess in under 5 tries. Oh, and please don't forget to put the lock on EVERY TIME. The one time you don't is likely the last time you'll have to worry about it.

-Perform periodic infomaintenance. Infomaintenace is another essential tool of siggie security. It's the next line of defense when you forget to secure your phone or they make a once-in-a-lifetime lucky passcode guess. It involves going through every so often and cleaning out anything you might have to explain away later. This goes beyond simply clearing the call log so you don't have to discuss those 3AM phone calls, it's also clearing the data on any GPS-based app after you've either been somewhere you don't belong or tried to find such a place. (She knows that's where that bitch lives, even if she doesn't.)

It's making sure your wireless access point memory is clean so doesn't tell anybody where you were or who you were with. It's making sure your voicemail can't be reached from the outside and that there's nothing interesting in there to begin with. It's frequently deleting any texts that could serve as evidence of extracurricular romanctivities. It's definitely clearing your internet cookies so somebody can't just pick up your phone and access your social media accounts. 2 clicks from there, they're in your inbox...and you know what goes on in there. In fact, you'll want to delete pretty much everything saved every so often...

-...but those pictures! I know, I know...you worked really hard to get that one chick to show you what the inside of her looked like via satellite. Eww, yes...but congrats on your accomplishment. I'm sure you don't want to lose that trophy, but your siggie might not find it as artsy and tasteful as you do. Luckily, there are plenty of apps that can put some of the...more private photographs...in a hidden folder where only you can access them. To your duped lover, you might just have a bunch of pictures of food, yourself, and good clean fun...they never have to know they are not the last person of the opposite sex you saw naked by request. 

-Alternames. If you're with Leslie and it comes out that you get an awful lot of texts from Michelle and you're calling Tasha every Friday night, there might be problems. If you're with Leslie and it comes out that you get a lot of texts from your buddy "Michael" and call "the local pizza place" every Friday night, there might not. It's just a matter of what's on the label. Only you have to know the method to your madness.

-Have a backup phone. Why not keep your main everyday phone clean as a whistle and buy some $30 piece of shit to conduct your secret affairs with? It makes calls, takes them, and stores numbers and texts...that's really all you need. Any multimedia you aquire in your prurient pursuits can be forwarded to the phone from this century and concealed like we discussed. As long as you keep it well-hidden, possibly the way they hide things in jail, nobody will be any the wiser.

-Or...y'know...you could always just stay on your side of the fence. These preventative measures might seem like a whole lot...and that's because they are. Who has time for all this? Explaining to your siggie why you're taking all those business calls in the shower, constantly worrying about what and who is in your phone, keeping track of codenames and cover stories, juggling secrets and lies all around...all that time you spend chasing thrills could be spent making new ones with the person you voluntarily chose to be with.

It's so much harder to be a good cheater than even an okay partner...is it really even worth it? Maybe it is...there's always the distinct possibility I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about, but from under this hat, it's damn sure not. Eh...not like monogamy ain't dead anyway.

I hope you enjoyed this handy guide to making sure your phone and all its contents are safe and secure from the person that should be making you feel safe and secure. After all, your connected life is none of your siggie's business, right? For umf, this is AJ...thank you, and good night.


Janene said...

Good advice, AJ, and not just to protect you from the eyes of your bf or gf. Add your mom to the list, too. ;)

Russell said...

Great post. Janene you must be pretty close with your mom!