Protect your Android device from malware

Android device

The adoption rate of mobile devices continues to soar, with Android leading the way. The open-source operating system that is led by Google is now found on more than half of all smartphones. In fact, research firm Strategy Analytics found that 81.3 percent, or 204.4 million, of smartphones shipped in the third quarter of 2013 were powered by Android.

This massive user base has caught the attention of cybercriminals, who have begun to double down on their efforts to illegally obtain personal information from Android owners. While most mobile malware is found in countries like Russia and China, users from Europe and the United States aren’t completely immune.

Bogdan Botezatu, a senior e-threat analyst for security firm BitDefender, explained in an interview with CNET that malware is more accessible than ever before because “no coding is required to bind Android apps with malicious programs.”

The analyst went on to say that “people look at phones more like phones, rather than intelligent computers,” adding that most people don’t understand that these devices are susceptible to malware similar to the strands found on PCs.

The most common malware regardless of platform is related to short message fraud and personal life invasion. Botezatu noted that “one of most important things that can happen with Android is privacy invasion.” Mobile malware can allow cybercriminals to intercept messages, monitor calls, steal personal information, and even listen in with the device’s microphone.

Perhaps even more troubling is that cybercriminals are now coming up with more complex ways to attack mobile devices, most of which are not protected. Botezatu pointed me to an alarming statistic from research firm IDC, which revealed that only 5 percent of smartphones and tablets have some sort of antivirus program installed.

While antivirus apps can help secure your device, there are other steps that can be taken to better protect yourself from encountering mobile malware.
We’ve detected that you need to upgrade or install Flash to view our library of thousands of tech videos. Installing Flash is fast, free, and easy! Simply follow the instructions from your browser, or click here to install/upgrade the free Flash player.

Legitimate app stores

When downloading apps it’s imperative that you only do so from a legitimate app store; that means from companies like Google, Amazon, Samsung, or another major manufacturer or carrier.

These marketplaces are monitored and scanned for potentially dangerous or fraudulent programs. On occasion, however, malicious apps sometimes slip through the cracks, often disguised as legitimate ones.

A fake BBM app recently appeared in the Google Play store and managed to secure more than 100,000 downloads before being removed. The app itself was nothing more than a spamming service.

Suspicious apps

The fake BBM app is a great example. While anyone who actually read the reviews wouldn’t have downloaded it, thousands of users did. One of the best defenses against malware is to notice things like suspicious apps with outrageous promises, bad reviews, and sketchy app permissions.

Pirated apps
I’m not here to lecture you on the ethics of pirating programs (it’s illegal), but I am here to warn you about the dangerous that can come from it. As Botezatu said, taking a legitimate Android application package (APK) file and binding it with a malicious program is a relatively simple process.

Most pirated or cracked apps usually contain some form of malware. You could spend a couple of bucks on that game you always wanted, which in the long run will give you hours of entertainment and reward the developer for their hard work, or you can pirate it and put your personal information at risk. The decision shouldn’t be hard.

For those of you interested in sideloading apps, make sure to only do so with apps downloaded from a trusted developer’s Web site.

Settings

Google includes numerous settings in the Android operating system that can prevent malicious attacks. Devices running Android 2.2 or higher, which essentially means nearly all Android devices, have access to Google’s malware scanner. Prior to installing an application you downloaded outside of the Play store, Google will scan the app and warn you of any potential threats.

This feature is enabled by default and can be accessed in the Google Settings app in your device’s app drawer. Alternatively, devices running Android 4.2 or higher can access the feature by going to Settings, clicking on Security, and scrolling down to Verify apps.

Devices running Android 4.2 or higher are also protected from premium SMS charges. A notification will alert you if an app is attempting to send a text message using a premium service, at which point you can approve or deny the transaction. This feature is built directly into the operating system and does not need to be enabled.

Software updates

While this may not be an option for most users, if there is an update for your device make sure you download and install it. Manufacturers, carriers, and Google are constantly pushing out updates with bug fixes, enhancements, and new features that can make your device more secure.

To check for an update on stock Android go to Settings, click on the “About phone” or “About tablet” option, and select System Updates.

Antivirus apps

The Google Play store is also home to hundreds of antivirus apps that can offer an extra layer of protection. Finding the right one, however, can sometimes be difficult. A simple “antivirus” search in the store yields more than 250 results. So which one should you choose?

Companies like Avast, AVG, BitDefender, Kaspersky, Sophos, Symantec (Norton), and TrendMicro have long and established histories as some of the most trusted brands in the industry.

Newcomers Lookout and TrustGo have also made a name for themselves as some of the top mobile security providers. Earlier this year, AV-Test, an independent IT security institute that ranks antivirus apps based on protection and usability, rated TrustGo and Lookout as the top two antivirus programs on the Android platform.

Each security provider I mentioned above scored higher than average for protection against malware, with most detecting malicious apps more than 99 percent of the time. Any of these programs would be a safe and smart option for your smartphone or tablet.

Many of these companies also offer additional features for a small monthly fee. These include things like anti-theft protection, safer Web browsing, device tracking, remote wiping, and more. It should be noted, however, that Google’s Android Device Manager offers similar functionality for locating a lost or stolen device. The tool can be accessed online or through a free app on the Play store.

As for antivirus programs, whether you opt for the basic or premium features, Botezatu noted that, at least concerning BitDefender, the basic malware protection is the same.

“We are trying to make security available to all users with no distinction,” he said, adding that the premium features are just an extra layer of protection.

Apple may need Samsung to make enough chips for iPhone 6

Apple may have to rely on arch-rival Samsung for a hefty percentage of processors to power the next iPhone.

Samsung has been Apple’s go-to manufacturer for the past several chip generations, most recently producing the A5, the A6, and this year’s A7. Apple has sought to reduce that dependence by reportedly cutting a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to take on production of future A series processors. But Samsung is far from out of the picture, according to a story from The Korea Economic Daily.. Click here to See More

Year 2013 Apps for Photography!

There are some very good apps available in the market to enable amazing photography and the effects that make it look even better.

Camera+

Camera+ would be something that general iPhone and iPad users use who want to utilize the app to bring out effects and zooming so that all you need to do is simply click away but add all types of effect after the picture is taken.

Instagram

And then there is Instagram in the market that everyone knows because of how popular it has become on social networking platforms. This smartphone photography app gives you the option of using 16 different filters, uploading and sharing on the social media and also saving on the camera roll. This definitely swept away the market and has gained the fame name to itself in a short time.

Autostitch

Autostitch is amazing if you want to make panoramic shots of all occasions that you have visited. It automatically recognizes the elements in the image and makes it easy to shoot a 360 degree environment with the same time that it takes to shoot all photos.

iDarkroom

iDarkroom is the best for getting vintage and darkroom effect photographs with tons of options as to lighting, shading and different colored filters. This definitely an app that you would want to share on the social media with your friends.

Diptic

Diptic enables that you can place your picture in a format, layer or grid. It allows you to play around with many images and let you give contrasting effects so that they can appear in a definite sequence like the before and after effect.

The Photographer’s Ephemeris

Photographer’s Ephemeris is the app that you are looking for if you are planning for an outdoor shoot. It amazingly allows you to use mapping tools so that you can take picture from the right angle in the range of light. It does this by finding out where you are standing at what point on the globe in what time and from where the light coming.

Snapseed

Snapseed is yet another smart app that allows you to manipulate the transparency of the textures that are captured in the image. It allows you to apply more than one filter and bring variations in different styles that allows you to get a more confident grip on how the photographs are appearing and thereby improvising on the scaling and the lighting of the images and allowing you to experiment until the correct effect.

Source:  blog.karachicorner.com

iPhone 5S: New leaked photos, purported full specs point to biggest ‘S’ upgrade ever

See on Scoop.itTechnology News & Updates

As Apple’s next-generation iPhone 5S enters mass production, we’re seeing all of the puzzle pieces fall into place. Photos are leaking, new details are trickling out, and rumors of production issues and possible delays are spreading like wildfire, just like they do every year. Now, a new report from Weibo user and claimed insider C Technology may reveal full specs for the iPhone 5S alongside new images of the device’s case assembly seemingly taken inside Foxconn’s factory.

 

Techno Geek silhoutte‘s insight:

Where specs are concerned, the upcoming new flagship iPhone will be the biggest hardware upgrade ever for an “S” device if the report’s claims pan out. Highlights include a 4-inch IGZO display with the same Retina resolution as the iPhone 5, an A6 processor clocked a bit faster than the current model, quad-core SGX 554MP4 graphics, 2GB of RAM and an upgraded LTE radio.

Where new hardware is concerned, the report claims Apple’s iPhone 5S will include an upgraded 12-megapixel camera, a dual-LED flash, NFC and a fingerprint scanner. Skeptics dismissed early rumors suggesting a fingerprint scanner would be included in the new iPhone, however numerous subsequent reports including one from Reuters suggest Apple will finally make use of its AuthenTec acquisition in the iPhone 5S.

The new hardware upgrades in Apple’s iPhone 5S are unconfirmed for the time being, of course, but an earlier exclusive report from BGR revealing a complete internal overhaul suggested Apple was indeed making room for new components in its next-generation flagship iPhone.

See on bgr.com

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. HTC One: 5 Things Buyers Need to Know

See on Scoop.itTechnology News & Updates

“We take a look at the five most important things buyers need to know about the match up between the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One.

While much of the talk these days is about devices like the iPhone 5S, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and HTC One Max, there are plenty of consumers that aren’t in the business of waiting to buy a smartphone.”

Techno Geek silhoutte‘s insight:

However, none of those devices will be hitting shelves any time soon as they are all rumored for the month of September with release dates that could certainly come later than that. For some smartphone shoppers, waiting a few more weeks won’t be a big deal. Many others though will likely be searching for a new smartphone right now.

Two of the smartphones that consumers will likely encounter in their search for a new smartphone are the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4, the respective flagships from their respective companies. These devices, despite the rumors, remain two of the best smartphone options on the table to consumers right now.

While they have been out for a few months, their battle is an evolving one as things have changed drastically since they first arrived on American carriers back in April of this year. In fact, there are some extremely important details that consumers should know, right now, about the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 before buying.

Here, we take a look at the five things buyers need to know about the battle between the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4.

See on www.gottabemobile.com

Mobile technology is key to NHS service transformation

See on Scoop.itGadgets News & Updates

How can today’s mobile technology make a difference? Put simply, by giving staff the right information and tools to do their job, in any place, at any time.

Of course, many staff are already ‘mobile workers’, moving between wards and outpatient clinics on different sites or treating patients at home or in GP surgeries. Yet current approaches to mobile working are often highly inefficient. What health boards need to do is to ‘mobilise’ each healthcare professional’s entire job, using the latest generation of mobile solutions. These overcome issues of limited and clumsy web-based access to existing back-office systems by providing native smartphone and tablet apps that draw together the information and tools staff need to support them as they work.

See on www.theinformationdaily.com