Protect Your Android Device

Android security

Usually, when you think about smartphones you think iPhone. Well, it come as a bit of a shock to hear that isn’t the only smartphone that’s available – there are Android ones too.

Almost every article about protecting smartphones is aimed at Apple users, well we’re about to change all that. You see, Android devices are actually more popular than their fruity counterpart (Yay!) and, due to their open operating systems, far more vulnerable to hacking and malware (boo).

So, to help you keep your information, files and photos safe here’s a quick round up of things to look out for so you can keep your Android phone (and its contents) safe from attackers.

Ready?

The Con

The most successful hacks are those that dupe you into entering your password and email address. Usually they come in the shape of a pop-up or false login screen. Your information is then get to a bot that attempts to log in to anything and everything on your behalf.

Sneaky.

The bad news is there’s no third-party way of avoiding this, so all we can recommend you do is be alert.

App installation from unknown sources

Your Android phone allows you to install apps that don’t come from the Google Play Store. This can be useful, but it can also be a curse. Once you’ve enabled your phone to install one from an ‘unknown source’, very few apps ask tell you to go back and disable it once the app is installed, leaving your phone vulnerable. So take care when installing ‘off piste’.

Malware apps

Google has worked hard to set up user testing areas for companies that want to beta test new features. As a result, should you decide to go ‘off piste’ and install apps outside of the Google Play Store, make sure you’re in no doubt that the app is safe.

These apps could be tampered with, or the app could just be malware that is labelled as something else.

Antivirus software for Android

There’s no question that Android-based devices are rapidly becoming the target for a surging tide of malware and spyware, which is why protection is vital.

MPM IT recommends BullGuard Mobile Security for Android (other products are available) because it delivers comprehensive protection so your photos and other data are always protected.

A range of features means that it’s always up to data so infections are halted, including unwanted apps such as adware. It also scans new apps for malicious code that may be ‘hiding’ in the app. Plus, a cloud-based AV engine doesn’t drain your battery while ensuring you always have the latest protection.

You can check the status of your phone with its full scan feature, which checks for possible infections, malware or unwanted apps such as adware. And it automatically scans apps as soon as they are installed on your device notifying you immediately of any malicious or suspicious apps.

Yes, it’s a faff, but we think it’s worth it for the peace of mind you’ll get that all your personal information is safe and sound.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Source: BullGuard

How to Uninstall a Windows 10 Desktop Programme

Windows 10

 

You can uninstall programmes in Windows 10 from the Start menu or from settings. First up, the Start menu.

If you’ve uninstalled Store apps form the Starts screen in Windows 8.1, you’ll find this process familiar.

Once the Start menu is open, find the programme you want to get rid of in the All apps list, or the live tiles. The right click, select Uninstall from the context menu and follow any uninstall wizards that appear.

Windows 10 uninstall app

 

 

 

 

 

Simple – it works for traditional desktop programmes and Store apps.

Managing apps from settings in Windows 10

Before uninstalling you have to wait of the Windows 10 settings app to populate your programmes and app list.

To get started click on Start > Settings > System > Apps & Features.

apps and features

 

 

 

 

Once your list is ready it will be automatically sorted by app size. To change this to name, click the Sort by size drop down menu and select Sort by name. 

Now all you have to do is scroll down the list and find the programme or app you want to uninstall. Once you click on it you’ll get a pop-up warning that the programme and all its data will be wiped. Hit Uninstall again in the pop-up and the uninstall process will begin.

Alternatively, you can use the Control Panel for uninstalls, but that only works for traditional desktop programmes.

There you go – 2 simple uninstall methods.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Microsoft Muscles in on Google Users

The gloves are off.

A recent announcement from Microsoft and Dell stated that Dells’ newest Android-powered devices will be receiving Office apps pre-installed – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype.

It’s a clear sign of Microsoft pulling Android users away from Google’s services towards their own.

Peggy Johnson, Microsoft’s head of business development, said in a press release:

“For OEMs, these deals will increase the value of an enrich people’s experiences on Android devices. Original device manufacturers are important because they extend Microsoft services to the ecosystem.

“We’ve proven that we’re not afraid to look outside ourselves to reinvent ourselves. We’ve received fantastic customer feedback for making Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype available across all platforms. But, we’re far from done. Now we see an opportunity to turn our focus to our device partners — easing mobile access to great apps and services for customers by pre-installing them directly on the device.”

But will other Android device manufacturers follow suit?

If they did Google could have a fight on its hands, although the search giant’s connected services still hold more allure because users know that a created document is available on any computer thanks to Google Docs.

Whatever happens, Dell Android users can look forward to Office apps on their devices later this year.

 

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Source: Pcpro.co.uk

Is Android’s Security Good Enough?

More and mbouncerore of us are moving into the cloud as it is often a convenient and cost effective solution for small businesses. Plus, with the growing popularity of smartphones, the number of people using apps for business (and personal use) is growing.

But how secure is our data when using apps?

That has been an issue for a while now. Apple have stringent controls over what apps make it to their store, so the issue of security isn’t, well an issue. But when it comes to Android, it’s an entirely different story because there are no pre-publication clearance controls.

Last year, PC Pro ran an article about Android security (or rather the lack of it) and mentioned an experiment run by Dan Wallach, an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at Rice University, Houston. With is permission, his undergraduate security class listened in on the traffic to and from his Android smartphone.

Using Wireshark and Mallory, they quickly discovered that “ Google wasn’t encrypting traffic heading for Google Calendar (using the default Google Calendar app that came with the phone)” although it does go on to mention that Google is “planning on introducing encrypted traffic to Google Calendar on Android as part of an unspecified maintenance release in the future.”

Not only that but, “…while the professor had a Facebook account configured to specify fully encrypted traffic, the Android Facebook app ignored that and sent everything in the clear…especially…Facebook isn’t doing anything like OAuth signatures, so it may be possible to inject bogus posts as well…[plus]one of the requests that the class saw heading to the Facebook server was carrying a SQL statement, which doesn’t bode well.”

It would therefore appear that Android apps, even authorised ones, may not offer you the type of protection you would expect to receive.

Over to you

In light of the article mentioned above, what are your feelings about Android apps?

Have you had any bad experiences?

Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear what you have to say.

Finding Your Way Round the Android Market

android

Nope, we’re not about to tell you how to go all ‘Star Wars’ and create your own Androids to do your bidding for you.

The Androids in question are those little bits of magic that you find in the Android market for your Android-based mobile phone.

How to use the Android market

As with iPhone Apps, you can access the Android market in two ways: via the official web based browser store, or through your phone.

Let’s take a look at the online store first.

Through the browser-based store, you can download your chosen apps directly to your phone from your desktop PC. All you need to do is sign in to the store using your Google login.

The other method is via your phone. The easiest way is through the Market icon on your mobile (of course, your phone will have to be connected to the internet to do this).

Once in the store, it’s divided into apps, games and downloads. The first 2 are again divided into various categories, whilst the downloads section shows you the apps you already have and any updates.

Keeping your information safe

Our previous post ‘How Safe is the Data on Your Smartphone?’ looked at how you can keep your data safe from hackers.

One of the key messages was to ensure you only download official apps from dedicated app stores. But to remain ultra safe, invest in a mobile security product, such as Bullguard Mobile Security – it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry.

Author: MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.