How to properly secure your Android to keep snoops out

For others out there, I’m sure there’s a different reason why their gadget’s security (or lack thereof) doesn’t cause them to lose sleep at night. It’s probably because they’re not aware of just how many threats are out there that can impact Android tablets and smartphones. For example, did you know there’s currently a mobile wireless flaw that allows hackers to pinpoint your exact location? And that’s just the beginning. Click here to discover more security risks every smartphone user should be aware of.

Lock your device properly

This seems obvious. Although it may place one extra step between you and your gadget’s content, it also adds a barrier for an unwanted visitor.

There are multiple ways to lock your Android device, including passwords, patterns, fingerprints and PINS. Most of these options offer great protection, however, we don’t recommend that you use a pattern. This is because patterns are much easier to guess or crack since your fingers leave smudges on the screen that can be traced back by hackers.

We also don’t recommend that you use any type of facial recognition as a security measure, especially since this feature on the Galaxy S8s can be fooled by holding a photo of you in front of your phone’s camera.

While we’re talking about lock screens, there’s also another related setting you should probably avoid. It’s called “Smart Lock On-body detection,” and it basically leaves your phone unlocked whenever it’s on your person. Which won’t be a problem unless you get pickpocketed. If someone can snatch your gadget from your back pocket or backpack, you’ve basically just given them free access to everything you have stored on it.

By Kelli Uhrich

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How to Protect Your Data in Case Your Phone Gets Stolen

Since you can never know when your phone might be stolen, you’ll need to take a proactive approach to lock down your data now. By following these tips, you can minimize the chances of a thief accessing your data while increasing the odds of locating your stolen device. Although we live in dangerous times, we do possess strong tools to protect ourselves.

Install an Anti-Theft App

With the rise of smartphone theft, many security-focused companies started to expand their efforts from remote threats to those nearby. This led to the creation of several anti-theft programs that combine different technologies to assist users if their device is stolen.

Typically, these programs will include remote tracking so that you can locate your device and relay that information to the proper authorities. Remote wiping is another great feature that allows you to wipe the data and prevent unwarranted access. If you conduct regular backups, you won’t lose any data, but the thief will not have access.

Google provides these two features and the ability the ring your device to help you locate your phone in an application called Find My Device. This year, Google combined this program with an antivirus suite to create Play Protect, which acts as a security platform for Android smartphones.


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How to know if your phone or tablet has a virus or malware

What do viruses do to your phone or tablet?

Now that we’ve established that both Android and Apple phones and tablets can be hit by a virus or malware, are there tell-tale signs that will clue you in that your gadget is indeed infected?

Typically, profit-oriented infections like spyware, adware, clickware, or premium SMS scams are stealthy since these want to milk your gadget for revenue for as long as they can.

So aside from the obvious signs of ransomware and lockware, how can you tell that there’s something malicious lurking on your gadget?

Here are clues you need to watch out for to suspect that your gadget is infected with some form of malware (both Android and iOS, jailbroken or not).

Surge in data usage

One of the first things to check is your monthly data usage. This is generally located on your statement from your cellphone service provider or when you view your mobile account details online. Compare the amount of data used to data usage from the prior months and if you notice sudden spikes in your data even though you haven’t really changed your usage patterns, then chances are you are infected.

Adware infected phones usually perform unsolicited clicks in the background to generate profit for cybercriminals. All of these stealthy tactics use up bandwidth and the unauthorized data they consume should be fairly easy to spot.

Unexplained charges

One other sure sign that your Android gadget is infected is by incurring unusual charges on your cellphone bill under the “SMS” category. This happens when your gadget is infected with malware that sends text messages to premium-rate numbers and charges you.

Sudden pop-ups

If you’re starting to get annoying pop-up ads and notifications, unwanted reminders and nagging “system” warnings that just won’t go away, then your phone may have been compromised. Malware can also add bookmarks that you don’t want, website shortcuts to your home screen that you didn’t create and spammy messages that entice you to click through.

Apart from slowing down your phone and eating away at your data, these intrusive notifications can also install more malware on your phone.

By Francis Navarro

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Take these steps to secure your phone before letting anyone–even your friends–borrow it

When somebody asks to borrow your phone—perhaps a stranger asks to make a call, or a friend wants to scroll through your vacation photos—the thought can give you heart palpitations. We keep so much data and personal information on our little pocket computers that handing them over to others, even voluntarily, can seem like an invasion of privacy. But you don’t have to feel that way. Both Android and iOS include built-in options for restricting what guests can do on your smartphone.

These security tips differ from the general lock-screen protections we’ve previously discussed. That advice—for example, you should always have a PIN code protecting your phone—keeps your information safe from anyone who might steal or accidentally encounter your device. But in this guide, we’re looking at situations where you willingly hand over your smartphone.


When the 5.0 Lollipop version of Android launched in 2014, the cellular operating system began including a feature called screen pinning. Essentially, this mode locks the phone’s user inside one specific app, such as a game or a photo gallery. When a guest holds a screen-pinned phone, they cannot open other apps or change the settings unless they know the PIN that unlocks full access to the device.

To set up screen pinning, go to Settings and tap Security & location, then Screen pinning. Toggle the switch to On and make sure the option to always ask for a PIN before unpinning is set to On as well. Next, open up the app you want to let your guest access, then tap the Overview button (the square on the right side of the navigation bar); recent apps will appear in a line, with the app you just accessed front and center. Drag that app to the middle of the screen, then tap the thumbtack-shaped pin button that shows up in the bottom right corner of the thumbnail. Congratulations—only that app will now be accessible to users. To restore your phone’s full function, press the Back and Overview buttons at the same time and enter the PIN code for your phone.

If you want to take further precautions, or you have one friend or relative who’s constantly borrowing your device, try out Android’s guest mode. This ability, like screen pinning, first appeared with the advent of Lollipop. It gives a frequent phone borrower their own user account, complete with independent apps, browser settings, and more. Compare it to the way that one computer can host different users, where each user gets his or her own settings, files, and layout. When someone else is using your phone in guest mode, they cannot return to your account or access your files without your unlock code.

By David Nield

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This lock screen trick can help you recover your lost phone faster

Your phone is one of the most important things you take with you every day. It contains your emails, your data, and your life. If you lose or misplace your phone you may never get it back, and if you do, it can take a lot of effort and time to find it.

But, did you know you can change your lock screen so that people know how to contact you if you’ve misplaced it?

Android and iOS devices work differently, but both devices have a way to display information on the lock screen, such as your name and email address. In this tip, we’ll walk you through the steps and explain why it’s important.

For Android

An Android device has a built-in feature that will allow you to add a lock screen message to your phone. In this message, you can write your contact info and a good number to call to notify you when found.

It is important to note that some of these steps are newer features of Android Oreo.

To add a lock screen message go to your devices Settings App, then tap Security & Location. Next to “Screen Lock” tap Settings, and finally tap Lock screen message.

From there you can add your personal contact information so that if found, that device will reach you much quicker.

Try not to put too much information on the lock screen, because anyone can view that information without putting in your device’s passcode. “If found reach me at…” should be followed by an email address or a number of someone close to you.

By Nathan Mathews

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How to make sure your apps are safe with Google Play Protect

By now, you should be very aware that Google has worked tirelessly to introduce a new system that will go a very long way to protect your device(s) from malicious software. That system is Google Play Protect.

Before you get too excited, not every device has the pleasure of getting to know this new feature just yet. Google Play Protect rolled out with Google Play Services 11. To find out which version of Google Play Services is on your device, go to Settings | Apps | Application List | Google Play Services.

As you might expect, there is no Google Play Protect app to be found in the app store, it’s completely rolled into the Android system.

What can you do with Protect?

With that said, what can you do with Google Play Protect? The answer: not much. In fact, if you look in your App Drawer, you don’t find a launcher for the new protection system. Open up Settings (or Settings | Security) and there isn’t a section marked Google Play Protect. You have to dig into Settings | Google | Security | Verify Apps before you find any indication that Google Play Protect is running and protecting your device.

And so, the question remains, what can you do with Google Play Protect? Again, I say, not much. However, I believe that is exactly how it should be. Google has created a system that requires no user interaction and works completely in the background to scan for harmful apps.

Once you’re on the Google Play Protect settings page, you can’t even tap the “more” section of Recently scanned apps. What you can do is disable Play Protect (which you should not do), and enable the sending of unknown apps to Google. Enabling sending of unknown apps will allow apps from outside the Google Play store to be scanned. If you happen to work with apps from unknown sources, consider this a must-use feature.

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5 Security Tips Every Android User Should Know

Despite being open-source platform Android adhere to all security norms when it comes to user’s security. It works on latest techniques and smart algorithms to provide round-the-clock security to users worldwide. Android offers various built-in features to keep your device security intact. You can use these built-in features for improved device security. Additionally, you can use anti-malware and security apps for extended security of your device. Let’s discuss few useful security tips to keep your Android device safe.

Secure Android with Screen lock: This simple yet powerful step can help you protect your device data from falling into wrong hands when your device is lost or misplaced. It is also useful to keep your data away from prying eyes. Your device offers multiple locking options including PIN lock, password lock, pattern lock, and fingerprint or eye scanner lock. You can use one of these options to keep your device safe. In fact, following this simple steps can help you avoid more problematic situation like data loss. To activate screen lock on your device, head to Settings > Security > Screen Lock and select screen lock option from given options.


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Android Malware Protection Tips, Advice: Why Users Need the 7.1 Nougat Update ASAP

The fight against malware and ransomware attacks will be an endless ordeal as technological advancement continues. While the methods used by hackers are advancing at a fast rate, tech companies are also coming up with their own ways to protect users from illegal and damaging software.

According to reports, Google has introduced a security feature specifically made to protect users from threatening malware hidden in their apps. The so-called “Panic Detection” mode in the latest Android update automatically kicks in once the phone detects malicious software. If a malware tries to lock the screen, the feature is activated after multiple presses of the back button are made.

This means that after four consecutive back button presses, the system overrides everything on the screen and leads the user back to the home screen. The new feature is Google’s answer to some malware apps that disable physical buttons in the smartphone.

Forbes noted that the Panic Detection mode is not yet enabled by default. For users who are the tinkering type, they have the option of making minor changes in the feature by heading to their device’s config.xml.


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