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InfoQ Homepage News Tune Up Your Online Privacy with Clef

Tune Up Your Online Privacy with Clef

Clef is like a retina scan for your smart phone, which gives a whole new meaning to Retina Display. You can use Clef as an Open ID to log in from your smart phone only once to access many different web sites when online. Rather than typing in your user ID and password for each web site. In place of that repetitive task is a unique visual identity signature emanated from your smart phone. This is the prized new technology (called The Wave) developed by Clef, Inc. of San Francisco to increase online security and reduce the effort required of memorizing many different passwords and usernames each time that you log in to all of your favorite online sites.


Clef does take some setup time. But that should be made up from all of the keystrokes that you will save not having to always repeat typing in your password and ID’s. Clef will provide a unique visual identity signature that replaces your old-fashioned one factor identity sign in method when logging in online at a Clef enabled site or for signing in to other digital services that employ the Clef technology. Clef’s visually dynamic log in pattern, which uses a distributed architecture approach, is secured with 2048-bit RSA asymmetric key cryptography coupled with PKCS-5 encryption.


Here are the basic steps to set up Clef’s visual login process:

  1. Download and install the Clef app on your smart phone (iOS or Android)
  2. Follow the instructions in the app to setup your secure digital profile
  3. The Clef app creates your personal unique visual identity signature called The Wave
  4. Log in to a Clef supported site (There are over 250 like; Stack Overflow, Stack Exchange and LiveJournal) as per usual (with user ID and password) to set up your Clef visual login (this one time set up will then activate visual log in from your smart phone for all Cleft supported sites and services)
  5. Click ‘Profile’ on the Clef enabled site
  6. Go to ‘My Log Ins’
  7. Then to ‘Add More Log Ins’
  8. Go to ‘Open ID Options’
  9. Type in ‘’
  10. Scan the Clef app code with your smart phone
  11. Delete any other authorized account

Then in the future you look for the ‘log in with phone’ button on sites and services. Hold your phone up to the computer screen and Clef grabs your profile from your smart phone to log you in instead of the less secure user ID-password regime. Every time that you log in Clef generates a different digital signature, thus enhancing your chances for security in an increasingly volatile Web.


Besides the benefits of improved online security, signing in this way has the advantage of not having to remember your latest user ID and password variations. Illustrating the need for some kind of improvement over the current user ID/password system of things, are the ongoing efforts by other parties like Mozilla and PixelPin to squelch the malware party that is furthered by the current antiquated log in methods. Clef’s main outreach to developers at this point would appear to be limited to the Wordpress community. For which Clef says that any Wordpress site can be up and running with The Wave password replacement system in under 10 minutes. 

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