Keeping your phone safe online
IT support Brisbane
A vast abundance of information can be found on our phones. Specifically, they hold an inordinate amount of information about ourselves and the way we live our lives. From banking information, location data, eating and shopping habits, correspondence and, with the emergence of smartwear, even our heart rates are accessible on our phones. Some have even compared them to houses based on the detailed information they contain about us. A 2002 study actually found that when people were shown the rooms of other people who they had never met, they could accurately guess the personality traits of that person (all except neuroticism at least).
It begs the question of what a person may figure out about us if they were given access to our phones. For many of us the thought of this may be as scary, if not more so, than that of a stranger seeing the insides of our houses. This is somewhat unsurprising, based on the seemingly endless slew of news headlines highlighting the prevalence of cybercriminals taking peoples’ private information from phones, computers and cloud storage. It is a pretty clear message really, BE SCARED OF WHAT YOUR PHONE COULD DO, but maybe it should be about what your phone could be made to do. Afterall, smartphone safety would probably be a pretty confusing phrase in a world without hackers. This begs the question, how do you make sure your phone isn’t being made to do something you don’t want it to do?
Well firstly, you’ll never be able to make ‘sure’ of this. Any type of computer is made to be somehow accessible, and people are bound to misuse that access in some way. It’s like driving a car, or owning a house; sometimes cars crash, even when driven by the best drivers, and sometimes houses get broken into, despite having good security. Likewise, there is always a small possibility that your phone will be hacked, or data will be stolen. The trick is to minimise that likelihood, and if a piece of information is too sensitive, don’t keep it on your phone. Luckily, our IT support team have provided some pointers on how to keep your phone safe online. The following 5 pointers could save you a lot of trouble down the road, enjoy:
Smartphone Safety Tips from Keycomm IT Support Brisbane
Adjust your privacy and security settings, or at the very least look at and try to remember them. These settings control what “permisions” apps have on your phone, and what information they have access to. Think of this like the doors inside your house, if you have someone inside like a tradie doing renovations, you’re likely to close any doors that lead into rooms you don’t trust them in. You would, however, leave open the doors they need open in order to complete the work you want them to do.
Set your apps to update over Wi-Fi automatically. Apps that are not up to date become more of a risk, the longer they are not updated. Yes, we all get fed up with updates from time to time, but many times app developers will update their app when a security vulnerability is found so that people on the latest version are safe. There is no protection for old versions of software. It’s like changing your locks if your keys and wallet get lost or stolen. You wouldn’t feel safe if someone out there knew where you lived and how to get in, and it really should not be any different with a smartphone.
Whenever the app or service allows it, try to use 2 factor or multi-factor authentication. Basically, this stops people getting into your account by having them enter a code that displays on your phone or having a notification show up on your phone that asks you to verify the log in request. On mobile apps, it is more likely that the verification will be a text message with a code you can then enter into the app. Thus verifying that your it is your phone (or a phone with your phone number) signing in. This is like having a lock and an alarm with a code at the entrance to your house. You not only have to know something (the password or alarm), you need to have something (the key or phone) in order to gain access, and those notifications to verify requests, like alarms, can tip you off that your password could be at risk.
Fun fact, other multi-factor authentication systems can actually go further than this. Some using such features as the pattern of your iris (the colored part of the eye) or facial structure to add a further step of verification. Thus, to access the account, you’d have to know something, have something and be something, making security breaches highly unlikely.
All of our online apps and accounts require passwords, but we all forget these from time to time. We’ve all had to reset a password, generally by sending a link to our email. Just make sure you use a strong password for this email. It should be unique (different from your other passwords), seemingly random (not using easily guessable components like your place of birth, birthday, favourite pet or another well known personal detail), and relatively long (although it is just as good to make it more random and involving special characters, as long as it has around 10 characters minimum).
We’re all human, and naturally we have fallible memories. So if you want to avoid constantly having to reset passwords (and if you’re like me, realising what the old password was because that’s what you tried to set the new one as), using a password manager might be for you. Do bare in mind however that your password manager holds the proverbial “keys to the kingdom” and should be protected accordingly. That means, a long seemingly random password, and 2 factor authentication are good ideas for this. One helpful password manager service that allows 2 factor authentication and helps you create a strong password is called LastPass. I would reccomend it to those who have trouble remembering all their passwords.
That’s right ladies and gents, with the 2019 annual World Mobile Conference (MWC) it’s officially smartphone season! With this has come lots of revolutionary smartphones. The obligatory flagships of big brands, 5g capable phones, foldable phones (my personal favourites), and a phone with 5 cameras from Nokia. This article breaks down what we have got so far, and if I may say so myself, it’s exciting:
I know what you’re going to say. I really do. Yes, we do still remember the spying allegations made by the US and the traction they got. But for the love of god, look at this phone! What you’re looking at is the Huawei Mate X. With a 6.6-inch front screen display and a 6.3-inch screen inch one on the back, it folds out to an 8-inch display with a resolution that almost makes you want to cry (2480 x 2200). So it’s not as though it’s without its problems, with the screens always on the outside, you’ll probably scratch it within the first day unless handling it like a newborn. Huawei has built a case for it in all fairness, and just look at it. It also won’t lie completely flat as a tablet due to a curved panel that juts out from one edge which houses, among other things, the cameras. That is still a small price to pay, and it gets better.
This phone is 5g capable, and there is a 2-in-one power button and fingerprint scanner on the side. According to Huawei, they’ve been working on their patented foldy-bit (not the technical term I’m sure) for 3 years and it doesn’t have an annoying gap (like Samsung’s Galaxy Fold) due to an intricate design with over 100 components. It is also thinner than the Galaxy Fold, and much thinner when folded (11mm, to the Fold’s 17mm). It kind of looks like Huawei blew Samsung out of the water on this one.
If you want to multi-task, you can have 2 apps running side by side on the screen at the same time, that being said Samsung has 3. It has There’s a dual, 4,500 mAh battery with 55W fast charging and dual slots for SIM cards. It has only been seen on stage in the hands of Huawei CEO Richard Yu, but it looked slim, slick and durable from the way he was handling it.
Samsung has done all they can to overshadow MWC this year with their unveilings at their Unpacked events in San Francisco and London not long before MWC. One may question the wisdom of this decision as they’ve been matched or out-done in everything they announced once MWC rolled around. Nonetheless, DJ Koh seems happy to be first-in and almost best dressed.
A perfect example, the Samsung Galaxy Fold has solidified its place in history as the world’s first foldable smartphone. The flexible display is based on technology that has been in development as Samsung for over 10 years. The phone-tablet lichen is priced at €2,000 ($3,172.67 Australian) and features an unimpressive 4.6-inch display at the front. The inside, however, folds out to reveal an impressive 7.3-inch AMOLED display. It also has the benefit of coming from (matter of opinion) a more trustworthy company that Huawei.
Another notable mention is the Galaxy s10 series. They are available for pre-order not and are set to be released on March 8th. The series includes the 6.1-inch Galaxy, it’s big brother the 6.4 inch s10 Plus, and the proverbial runt of the litter 5.8-inch s10E.
The next Android update comes later 2017. Android O is the next coming version of Google’s mega-popular mobile operating system set to release this year.
This is relevant to a Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X or Pixel C.
This big Android update for 2017 will continue its beta following the Google IO 2017 presentation and will likely debut in full first on the Google Pixel 2.
Don’t have a Google-branded phone? The company announced Project Treble, an initiative that will ensure that Android O comes to many more devices than previous operating system updates.
Some Features We like:
Faster boot times
Speedy boot times are usually associated with a step-up in hardware – Google unveiled that Android O will bring those benefits to all phones that run the software.
It’s not just the operating system that becomes faster to load up, but the apps on your phone too.
Restricted background activities
This is a power-saving feature that de-prioritizes app functions running in the background, which in turn means that your battery is going to possibly last much longer than it currently does on Android Nougat.
Paired with likely improvements to the Doze function that intelligently saves battery during down-time, it’s feasible that Android O could help squeeze an extra few hours out of your phone battery life from fully charged to depleted.
The DeX Station is compact, light weight and portable. It supports USB, HDMI and Ethernet connections, and acts as a charging station to make sure your phone can keep going as long as you do.
A full desktop at your command.
Some things are just easier on a desktop, like sending an email, bolding text or copying and pasting between apps. With Samsung DeX, you can do it with the click of a mouse or the punch of a key.
Amplify your apps.
Samsung DeX lets you get the most out of your apps by letting you use desktop functions with them, such as right-click and drag and drop. So now you can do more things with the same emails, photos and files already on your phone.