FAQ: Security and Passwords

The Dynotag Cloud Service (DCS) manages all the content and procedures for Dynotag Smart Tags.  DCS takes user privacy and security seriously.

All tag information is input and displayed over secure SSL connection to DCS – so it cannot be intercepted and changed by third parties.

Dynotag Accounts

Every Dynotag Account is identified by an “email address” and the “account password”. In order to activate or update a tag, the “account owner” has to be signed into the dynotag account on a web browser.

When a dynotag’s content is viewed by a web browser – DCS knows if that very web browser is currently signed in as that tag’s owner or not.

Anyone other than tag owner is treated as a “third party” viewing the tag.

In other words, If the viewing web browser is NOT signed in as the owner of the tag – then the tag is viewed by a third party, and DCS applies all the security settings as preset by the tag owner.

If the viewing web browser is actually signed in as that tag’s owner, then DCS allows the viewer to manipulate content and settings of the tag.

Every dynotag account keeps a “collection of tags” activated and owned by that account. A dynotag can be owned by only one account at a time.  Once activated into an account, given dynotag cannot be activated again.

Each dynotag smart tag acts as its own mini private web server, with its own security settings, content and access log.

Dynotag Security Model

Following security gates exist for a dynotag smart tag:

Dynotag account password

Without signing into the account that owns the given dynotag, no one can change the contents or settings of the tag.

Tag enable/disable

Every dynotag has this feature checkbox in the  “Advanced” section of the tag management screen.  By default, all tags start life “enabled”. A disabled tag will only be visible to its owner and to no one else.

When to use this feature:
If some change occurs and you want to keep ownership of your tag – but intend to load new content later – you can just disable it until you get time to update the information and re-enable it. In the meantime, old, obsolete information will not be shown to anyone.

Tag password

Every dynotag can be assigned a password that will be presented as a challenge before showing the content.

For tags where the Owner Activation Code (a randomly assigned 4-letter code) is visible on the tag itself, the “Activation Code” does double duty as the default “Tag Password”.

Anyone physically holding the tag should be able to answer challenge “What is the Activation Code printed on the tag?”  The DCS system knows the randomly assigned answer – so this brings a level of security that only those who know the password can see tag contents.

Initial password challenge/answer can be changed by the tag owner to anything else, such as “what is 3+5000”   where password is “5003” for instance.  If you use this feature and update the password, make sure it is something the well-intentioned viewer can use to view contents. Else, it becomes an unsolvable challenge that blocks your tag content.

When someone is trying to view your tag’s content and help – it might be a good idea to have as few hoops to jump through.  Hence, if you are displaying minimal information such as an email address and/or a phone number to contact, there may be no need for the extra password security.  However, if you have private information such as medical history, etc. you want to manage access to – you want to password protect that info.

When to use this feature:
By default, Dynotag products come with no password enabled – meaning that information in them is visible to anyone who has the Tag ID and visits the tag’s web address at dynotag.com/TagID.  If you want password security, you need to turn it on the tag’s content/management screen.

One exception is Emergency Contact Information tags, which very often store sensitive information. These tags start life with Password protection enabled.   Even for those tags, our recommendation is not using the Tag Password – and leaving basic information such as name, home phone, age, etc. easily accessible – and put sensitive information in an attached file, with password security. More on that below.

File Cabinet: Attached file password

Certain advanced Tag Templates, such as the Emergency Information Tags,  feature a “File Cabinet” component, where the tag owner can upload one or more files into the “Cabinet”.   Each of these files can optionally be password protected.

When to use this feature:
Even for Emergency Information Tags, we suggest NOT using a tag level password – but placing sensitive information in file(s) and password protecting these individual files.  That way, basic information is easily accessible – and passwords for the attached file(s) can be obtained as necessary.  Here is a sample Emergency Information tag setup as such https://dynotag.com/1004-5409   The password challenge can be as complex as needed, as long as it is workable.

Log Book password

“Gold” level dynotags (most consumer products come with Gold level tags) have an optional “LogBook” functionality – which works like a diary, enabling other people visiting your tag to add notes to your tag.  This is very useful for anything that needs occasional maintenance or requires that all work done on it get logged.  Airconditioning equipment or shared construction equipment (such as air compressors, etc) is one example. A pet may be another example – with the veteriner adding information about visits, innoculations, etc.

Log Book functionality is quite useful in many use cases, but for additional security, a password can be enabled for the LogBook.   In that case, DCS will demand a password challenge get answered before appending another entry to the log book.

When to use this feature:
When you need to limit the people who can add records to the Log Book to only those who know the password.