How To Stop Your Phone Tracking You

Google is getting nosy. It’s tracking your every move through your Android phone.

You might think that turning off the Location history function in the settings will spoil its fun. It won’t because Google will still track you through other services such as Maps, search, and weather.

The reason behind its fascination with your location is that it uses that data for personalised services, local search and, of course, advertising.

How to shut down tracking on your Android phone

To stop Google’s fun once and for all, all you have to do is:

  • Go to settings.
  • Tap on Google then Google Account
  • Tap on the data & personalisation tab and then Web & App Activity
  • Toggle Web & App Activity off

And here’s how to turn off location history:

  • Go to settings.
  • Tap on Google then Google Account
  • Click on the Data & Personalisation tab
  • Press location history and toggle the setting off for each phone or device connected to your Google account

Shutting down Apple smartphone tracking

Things are a bit different if you have an iPhone. Apple’s Significant Locations Tracking tracks and records places that you visit most often to provide location-based data and relevant suggestions.

You can turn this feature off by:

  • Launching the Settings app from the Home screen.
  • Tapping on Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Tap Significant Locations.
  • Entering your passcode, use Touch ID, or Face ID, to authenticate access.
  • Tapping the Significant Locations On/Off Switch, which will become grey when off

How to turn off location tracking on Windows 10 devices

If you don’t want Windows 10 to track your location:

  • Launch the Settings app
  • Go to Privacy > Location.
  • Click Change and, on the screen that appears, move the slider from On to Off.

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

Facebook’s Violation Of Our Privacy Also Affects Android Users

Facebook data breach hits Android users

It has come to light that if you have the Facebook Messenger installed on your Android device, there’s a fair chance that the social media giant has been collecting contacts, SMS and call history data until at least last year.

According to a recent article on BullGuard‘s blog:

This discovery was made by a New Zealand-based programmer who downloaded a ZIP file from Facebook and much to his surprise discovered it included complete logs of incoming and outgoing calls, SMS messages and contacts.

Why affect Android?

The problem is, Google’s Android is an ‘open’ platform. This means companies and developers can tweak the operating system to meet their own needs.

Initially, Android API permissions weren’t very strict. So, in older versions of Android, the Facebook app took away contact permission at the time of installation. As a result, it was allowed to access call and message data automatically.

Eventually, Google changed the way Android permissions worked. But third-party developers like Facebook were able to bypass this change. As a result, it continued accessing call and SMS data until Google released a new version of the Android API in October last year.

How to stop Facebook’s data gathering

The easiest way to spoil Facebook’s party is to turn off the continuous uploading setting in the Facebook Messenger app. Just remember though that this change will also delete all your previously uploaded contacts.

Just in case you were wondering why Apple’s users aren’t affected, it’s because Apple’s iOS has never allowed silent access to call data.

If you’re concerned about what data Facebook holds about you, BullGuard offer this advice:

  • Go to the arrow at the top right hand side of your Facebook home page.
  • Click on this and then scroll down and click on Settings
  • This will take you to General Account Settings
  • Beneath your settings information you will see Download a copy of your Facebook data
  • Click on this and it will take you through to a page where you will see a green button and Download Archive
  • Click on this and the data will download though you have to add in your password to a pop-up box before the process starts
MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

How to Avoid Mobile Scams

mobile scams

 

Back in 2016, mobile device usage overtook fixed computing internet usage, so it’s hardly surprising that smartphone and mobile devices are a huge target for cyber villains.

According to a recent article in BullGuard, recently:

  • More than 500 Android mobile apps were removed from Google Play after it was discovered that a software development kit (SDK) embedded in the apps could be leveraged to install spyware on devices
  • The SDK was developed by a Chinese company and may have been used to install malware

To illustrate the scale of the problem further:

  • Last year, in a two month period, malware known as CopyCat infected 14 million devices around the world and rooted (i.e. gained root access to your device) more than half of them, about eight million devices
  • The malware spread via popular apps, which were repackaged with CopyCat and available for download on third-party app stores
  • It installed a component to the device’s system directory and targeted Android core process that launches apps, basically giving attackers admin privileges

When you get your phone out of the box, you can only alter what the manufacturer allows you to. Gaining root access means you can modify the device’s software on the deepest level, giving hackers remote control over your device.

Scary stuff.

How to beat the scammers

The best way you can protect yourself is by using mobile security. There are lots out there, but here at MPM IT we recommend BullGuard’s free Mobile Security.

 

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

Are iOS Devices Threatening Your Business?

mobile phone security

 

Did you know that only 20% of Apple iOS devices are running on the latest operating system?

Running outdated iOS systems leaves you open to well-known vulnerabilities such as Ins0mnia and Quicksand. A report by security provider Duo Security estimates that more than 20 million devices connected to enterprise networks are no longer supported by the device manufacturer. And, because they can’t be upgraded, they pose a real problem.

This issue is compounded by the fact that there are numerous devices still on the market that can’t receive updates, so potentially, even new devices could be a security threat.

It’s not just iOS

This isn’t a problem that’s just confined to Apple. It is estimated that there are more than 90% of Android devices running out-dated operating systems too.

With the number of personal mobile devices being used in the workplace, Duo Security warn that IT professionals must be aware of the risks and how to sort them quickly.

Education, education, education

The only way this can be addressed effectively is for the device users to take some responsibility.

Henry Seddon, head of European Operations at Duo Security told Computer Weekly:

“Users need educating, but organisations need to put in place systems that not only educate users, but can also encourage them and make it easy for them to upgrade to the latest versions of software. It’s up to everybody in the company to take responsibility for the company’s security and their own, and organisations need to prove the tools that stop them at key points, and encourage and enable them to follow past practice.”

Failure to do so can potentially open up organisations to malware and other forms of attack.

Security recommendations

Here are some of Duo Securities recommendations:

  1. Establish basic mobile device security policies for the company and get buy-in from business managers
  2. Enable all employees to use passcode and fingerprint screen locks to prevent trivial access to sensitive data on mobile phones
  3. Consider excluding phones that are jail broken
  4. Provide helpful tips and reminders to users to check for updates on personal devices accessing company data
  5. Update or replace outdated hardware in use in the enterprise that may no longer be supported with security updates by the manufacturer
  6. Recommend that employees using Android devices consider Nexus handsets with more frequent and direct platform update support
  7. Address common update issues up front with guidance on problems related to updating mobile devices, such as providing tips on freeing space for updates
  8. Use free tools to detect devices with particularly concerning vulnerabilities (e.g. X-Ray for Android)

This is no longer something that can be ignored by businesses. Management and employees must work together to ensure the security of data and avoid embarrassing breaches.

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

Source: Computer Weekly

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