Passphrase, Passcode or Fingerprint: What’s Better?

Everywhere we go, passcodes or passphrases are needed. We need them to unlock our devices, game accounts, and banking. But, even these have become unnecessary, replaced by supposedly- improved validation processes. Continue reading to learn why passphrases and passcodes are better.

What Are Passphrases or Passcodes?

The majority of us use passphrases or passcodes for our email, smartphones, apps, and other services. They are a string of digits or characters, typically longer than an average password. So, if your password is IQAndroid, it may translate into lQ@ndroidOf2018!

It is easy to guess IQ Android, but changing the I into lowercase L, A into the @ symbol, adding the year and ending with a punctuation mark makes it more difficult to crack. The longer, the better.

What About These Other Methods?

While nothing is infallible, passcodes and passphrases are still the leaders.

PINs

We use Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) often. We use it to lock our smartphone or to pay by card. It may seem secure, since a four-digit number, containing numbers 0-9, has 10,000 possible combinations. However, a hacker can predict the actions of an everyday, average person. They learn many things about you, such as birthday, anniversary, or birthdates of children. Hackers also use a brute force attack. A program that systematically goes through a multi-digit system.

Passwords

Passwords are less secure than you may think. While they are preferable over PINs, a hacker who learns enough details about you can easily make an educated guess as to what you might use. They may buy information about you or search your social media presence or blog. Or, they could use a variation of a brute force attack known as a dictionary attack. If not immediately successful, the system may add years onto the end.

Worse yet, if a cybercriminal gains access to your email, they can go through other accounts you may have and click “Forgot Password” and reset them all.

Fingerprint

Apple introduced Touch ID in 2013 with their iPhone 5s as well as their iPads in 2014. Most saw this as a genius security measure because your fingerprint is unique. It would seem impossible for someone to copy your fingerprint. But, they can and they have.

Everywhere we go, we leave fatty fingerprint residue, especially our devices. In fact, we leave usable fingerprints on your smartphone, making Touch ID easier to crack than PINs.

Make Your Passphrase or Passcode More Secure

Long passphrases are best, such as Whitetigersarethebestanimal! Make it even more secure by adding numbers or symbols, such as Whitetigersarethebestanimalof2018!

That is easy to remember and more secure than a PIN or fingerprint.

 

 

What to Expect from Android P – Android’s Latest Smartphone OS

Android’s latest OS, Android P Beta, is available for download on Google Pixel devices, Essential Phone, Nokia 7 plus, Sony Xperia XZ2, Vivo X21, Vivo X21UD, Oppo R15 Pro and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S. A welcome change from past upgrades where betas were restricted to Nexus and Pixel devices.

Here is what to expect from Android P, Android’s latest smartphone OS:

Navigation Bar Changes

Users of Android P can expect a substantial change in the Navigation Bar. The Home button will now allow you to access recent apps. When using the updated Home gesture, a small pin-shaped button replaces the old home button and will be located at the bottom of the screen.

The Overview icon no longer appears if you choose to use the updated Navigation Bar. More customizations are available for the Android P Navigation Bar.

Dashboard

A new feature called Dashboard helps users track the amount of time they spend on their device. See the amount of time you spend surfing the internet, sending messages, making calls, or streaming content with Dashboard. Specific apps with all you to set up screen limits and YouTube sends recommendations for a screen break.

Wind Down Mode

Another new feature, Wind Down Mode was created to improve digital well-being. Just tell Google Assistant what time you would like to go to bed and Wind Down Mode automatically places your Android phone on Do Not Disturb mode as well as switches your display to greyscale.

Adaptive Brightness

With Adaptive Brightness, your preferred brightness settings are determined using A.I. Once it learns your preferences, Adaptive Brightness will make adjustments according to your lighting conditions.

Slices

Slices are very similar to widgets. This feature allows app developers to utilize it API to create contextual messages according to your use. For example, rather than opening an app, an option appears to book a car when searching for a Lyft.

Improved Notifications

Google notifications to become more useful to the user. Rather than opening a full app, users will be able to attach photos or stickers, type in a reply, or use one of Google’s smart replies.

App Actions

App Actions is another new feature Google added to enhance Android P. In addition to selecting apps by using A.I., contextual suggestions based on the user’s usage will also be made.

New Gestures

Android P brings with it many new gestures. Some of the new gestures include swiping up on the new Home button to look at recent apps and holding the Volume Up and Power button to prevent ringing. The ability to silence your Android smartphone by turning it over it included with Android P.

This and much more is coming to Android’s latest OS, Android P. Keep your eyes and ears open for more information!

 

 

 

 

The Best Open-Source Desktop Apps Available for Android

Open-source software is free, flexible, and secure. Here are some of the best open-source apps available for Android:

Firefox

When it comes to open-source browsers, desktop users are spoiled with their many choices. Just to name a few, there is Chromium, Midori, Brave, and Konqueror. However, Mozilla Firefox is by-far the best.

Firefox’s open-source Android version of the app boasts all the excellent features of a quality browser, such as cross-device syncing, tracking protection, and a wide range of add-ons.

Download Firefox for Free

VLC

Available on all major operating systems, VLC is among the best media players in the world today. Launched in 2001, was originally intended to be a client/server system with the ability to stream videos across a campus network in Paris but rapidly grew too much more.

VLC is able to play almost every video, subtitle file, or audio you try. Also, despite the lack of CSS decryption license, this app is able to play CSS-encrypted videos.

Download VLC for Free

KeePass

KeePass offers Twofish and AES encryption, protection against dictionary and guessing attacks, the SHA-256 hash for the master key components, process memory protection, and much more. While the Android ports of KeePass are unofficial, it has received almost exclusively 5-star reviews as well as been downloaded over three million times.

Download KeePassDroid for Free

DuckDuckGo

A search engine with a strong focus on security and privacy, DuckDuckGo is now known by most. While DuckDuckGo can be accessed through any browser, it is included in this list due to the company once offering a standalone app for the Windows operating system and the desktop browser extensions.

DuckDuckGo may not be an entirely open-source app, however, every day it is moving more towards it becoming wholly open-source.

Download DuckDuckGo for Free

Tribler

An open-source BitTorrent, Tribler has great strength on anonymity. Developers of this app designed a custom Tor network that includes encryption, hidden seeding, and onion routing.

As with most of the BitTorrent clients, users can begin watching the videos prior to the download finishing as well as search for available content to download directly from within the app’s interface.

WordPress

If you are like some people today, you are interested in building a website. Thirty percent of the world’s top 10 million web pages are powered by WordPress.

In 2015, WordPress (WorPress.com) became open-source along with the already open-source WordPress.org. To facilitate the change, developer Automatic rewrote the entire app from the beginning.

The app supports both WordPress.com and WordPress.org and allows you to write, edit, publish posts, in addition to managing your site and check statistics.

Download WordPress for Free

What to Expect from Android P – Android’s Latest Smartphone OS

Android’s latest OS, Android P Beta, is available for download on Google Pixel devices, Essential Phone, Nokia 7 plus, Sony Xperia XZ2, Vivo X21, Vivo X21UD, Oppo R15 Pro and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S. A welcome change from past upgrades where betas were restricted to Nexus and Pixel devices.

Here is what to expect from Android P, Android’s latest smartphone OS:

Navigation Bar Changes

Users of Android P can expect a substantial change in the Navigation Bar. The Home button will now allow you to access recent apps. When using the updated Home gesture, a small pin-shaped button replaces the old home button and will be located at the bottom of the screen.

The Overview icon no longer appears if you choose to use the updated Navigation Bar. More customizations are available for the Android P Navigation Bar.

Dashboard

A new feature called Dashboard helps users track the amount of time they spend on their device. See the amount of time you spend surfing the internet, sending messages, making calls, or streaming content with Dashboard. Specific apps with all you to set up screen limits and YouTube sends recommendations for a screen break.

Wind Down Mode

Another new feature, Wind Down Mode was created to improve digital well-being. Just tell Google Assistant what time you would like to go to bed and Wind Down Mode automatically places your Android phone on Do Not Disturb mode as well as switches your display to greyscale.

Adaptive Brightness

With Adaptive Brightness, your preferred brightness settings are determined using A.I. Once it learns your preferences, Adaptive Brightness will make adjustments according to your lighting conditions.

Slices

Slices are very similar to widgets. This feature allows app developers to utilize it API to create contextual messages according to your use. For example, rather than opening an app, an option appears to book a car when searching for a Lyft.

Improved Notifications

Google notifications to become more useful to the user. Rather than opening a full app, users will be able to attach photos or stickers, type in a reply, or use one of Google’s smart replies.

App Actions

App Actions is another new feature Google added to enhance Android P. In addition to selecting apps by using A.I., contextual suggestions based on the user’s usage will also be made.

New Gestures

Android P brings with it many new gestures. Some of the new gestures include swiping up on the new Home button to look at recent apps and holding the Volume Up and Power button to prevent ringing. The ability to silence your Android smartphone by turning it over it included with Android P.

This and much more is coming to Android’s latest OS, Android P. Keep your eyes and ears open for more information! Plus, you should also know the reasons to choose Android over iPhone!

Pick the Best Lock Method for Your Needs on Android Phone

Security is vital due to the amount of personal data we maintain on our smartphones. By default, Android phones are encrypted and provide numerous methods for locking and unlocking. Some are more convenient, while others are more secure.

Password Lock

When choosing a strong password, or passphrase for more strength, they are very secure. However, on average we unlock our phone a hundred times per day, making this method inconvenient. For the highest level of security, try using a password as a backup option to a biometric choice.

Pin Lock

A PIN lock provided an easy alternative to a password. However, it can be difficult to remember a strong PIN code. As with a password, a PIN is a good backup option to a biometric choice.

Pattern Lock

The pro for using a pattern lock is that they are both easy and intuitive. Unfortunately, most people tend to choose a simple, predictable pattern. Also, people can easily learn your pattern when looking over your shoulder.

Fingerprint Sensor Lock

Fingerprint sensors have become common and even are available in several entry-level Android phones. They are fast and very secure, but not always located in the right spot. The best time to use fingerprint sensors is as a default.

Facial Recognition Lock

Facial recognition locks are fast and there is nothing to remember; with just a glance, your phone is unlocked. Unfortunately, however, in its current form, facial recognition is not very secure. This locking method is fine to use only when not accessing payment or banking apps.

Iris Scanner Lock

The iris scanner lock method is one of the most secure forms of the biometric ID. However, when using this lock method, it can become hindered by bright glasses or light. It also requires a more deliberate gesture and more work than the fingerprint method.

Intelligent Scan Lock

Created by Samsun and used on the Galaxy S9, intelligent scan combines the best elements of both the iris and face scanning. However, as with facial recognition, it is not secure enough to use of banking and payment apps. This method should be used only if you would also use facial recognition alone.

Smart Lock

Android offers users five Smart Lock features built to make the action of unlocking your device less intrusive in addition to their main security choices.

On-body Detection allows your phone to remain unlocked when it senses you are carrying it, such as in a bag or pocket. This method is less about security and more about convenience.

Whenever you are in a specific location, such as home or work, Trusted Places unlocks your phone. However, while in these trusted places, anyone can use your device.

Since Android first introduced Trusted Face there have been improvements. Unfortunately, it is not secure as the other options.

Voice Match allows you to unlock your phone simply by saying the “OK Google” hotword. This is an excellent choice for those who use OK Google often, or for those who need access while in a hands-free setting, such as driving.

In the end, it is all up to you, the Android user, for which lock method works best for their needs.

2 Indispensable Tips to Speed Up Your Old Android Phone

If you are an owner of an old Android device, you are not using it because it is so slow. In the off chance, you are using it, the performance of the device is probably horrible. To learn how to make an Android device faster, consider the following:

1. Locating and Removing Unused Apps

If the storage of your device is almost full on your device, it performs poorly. We recommend using one of these two apps, DiskUsage for experts and Files Go for beginners.

Removing clutter from Files Go

Files Go is easy to use. Just install and allow the app to run each of its jobs. First, you must grant File Go access to allow it to automatically free space by opening the app and head to Find unused app and select Get Started > Settings to allow the app access by sliding over the tab. Once the app is finished it lets you know which apps you are using and what can be removed.

Removing clutter with DiskUsage

DiskUsage shows you files on your device are using the most space. Identify the files and remove and delete them if wanted. To delete, open the depiction of the file and in the upper-right corner tap on the 3 dots, and hit delete. Never use DiskUsage on any devices system storage drives.

2. Optimizing Your Android Device

In two of these tips, it requires enabling Developer Options.

Trim Your Storage Device

Before the storage begins to behave normally again, a function called trim needs to run. For trim to work best, at least 25 percent of space is needed. Also, for trim to run uninterrupted, leave it charging overnight.

Enable Developer Options

To turn on Enable Developer Options head to Settings > About > Build number and tap on Build number seven times.

Once Enable Developer Options is turned on, head back to Setting > Developer Options.

Turn Animations Off

All screen transitions are automatically animated in Android. By turning off animations, apps launch faster.

Open Developer Options and look through the list of items and locate Drawing. The three kinds of animations include:

  • Animator duration scale
  • Transition animation scale
  • Window animation scale

Animations scale begins at off and goes up to 10x. Tap in the entry and from the context menu, select off.

Check Process Stats

To locate Process Stats, head to Developer Options > Process Stats. Here you are able to look at the amount of memory an app consumes and also the length of time a process runs in the background. While not all apps located here are bad for the performance of your Android device, you may possibly see a few you forgot you installed and do not use. If so, uninstalled those apps.

Once you have finished cleaning and optimizing your device, plug it in overnight while in airplane mode.

Control Your Social Media Use with These Android Apps

On average, we check our smartphones approximately 150 times per day. Even while we are in bed, our phone is a priority, with 71% of users sleeping with their device a mere 3 feet from them. Also, studies have found that 1 in 3 users bring their smartphone with them into the bathroom. These numbers are astounding, to say the least.

If you are like the users found in this study, you may want to control your social media use with these following apps:

Quality Time – My Digital Diet

Quality Time is one of the best apps to help you control your social media use, having more than 1 million downloads. Included in this Android apps top-features is the ability to provide a unique, in-depth analysis of tracking your phones activities such as screen unlocks, usage, as well as individual apps. Track in day, week, or month. Also, receive a notification when you have reached a pre-selected time limit on your social media apps.

Download Quality Time

Instant – Quality Self, Track screen time usage

Instant is by far one of the best apps to use for when you want to control the amount of time that is spent on activities. This app does not limit the control on only social networks, but also exercising, sleeping, traveling, or visiting places. Instant collects real-time data making is simple to set short-term objectives or goals for time spent on social media, sleeping, or daily exercise.

Download Instant

Forest – Stay focused

Similar to the Pomodoro Technique which breaks down work and leisure in 25 minutes work time and 5 minutes of leisure, this app makes the user more responsible for their phone usage. This allows the user to focus on the more significant things in life. With Forest, you plant a tree in the forest and over time it will grow. However, the tree will wither away if you leave to check social media before time is up.

Download Forest

IFTTT

Short for “if this, then that”, IFTTT contains hundreds of options allowing you to reduce the amount of time spent on social media or checking your phone. For example, have certain apps turn off automatically when you enter your work office. Or, have your Android device send a message to a specific contact when leaving your house. How many times you need to take out your phone is reduced to the more creative you get.

Download IFTTT

Take some time to try out each of these great apps before choosing your favorite.