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.

 

 

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.

Unlock Your Android Smartphone When its Pattern Is Forgotten

Everyone forgets things at times. Perhaps you forgot to lock the front door; where you placed your car keys; or maybe you forgot the PIN or pattern on your Android device. Fortunately, many methods are available to bypass your lock screen and gain access to your Android device. What method to use may also depend on the version of your Android device; some may not work on older versions.

Android Device Manager

Android Device Manager is the best and easiest way to gain access to an Android device when the PIN is forgotten. To work, you must be logged into your Google account.

Log in to Android Device Manager from your computer and choose which device you wish to gain access to from the devices associated with your Google account. Hit “Lock” although it sounds counter-intuitive. The original code will be overwritten once your phone is locked with a new code.

This method works on Android version 2.3 or higher.

Smart Lock

The newer versions of Android are unable to be unlocked with your Google account due to greater security than the older ones. They do, however, have a Smart Lock feature that allows you to unlock the phone automatically depending on the condition, such as connecting to your home’s Wi-Fi. With Smart Lock, simply go home to unlock your Android device when you forget the PIN or pattern.

This method works on Android version 5.0 or higher.

Google Account

If you have forgotten your pattern, there is no need to worry about this simple method to gain access to your Android device.

If you have attempted to gain access to your Android device five times and failed, you will be locked out. The good news is if you are unable to get to a computer to log into your Google account, and the option will appear at the bottom of the screen of your device that states, “Forgot Pattern”. Select it and now you can sign into your Google account. You will be able to choose a new pattern, lock, PIN, etc., and unlock your Android device once it is authenticated through your Google account.

This method works on Android version 4.4 and lower.

Third-Party Options

Some manufacturers of smartphone devices have included their own security software with their device, such as Samsung with Find My Mobile. This option must be set up prior to forgetting your pattern to allow you access to the device.

Factory Reset

Keep in mind, with a factory reset, all your data will be erased. Be sure to try the other methods above be proceeding to factory reset.

The simplest way to factory reset is by going online and log into Android Device Manager. A hardware reset must be done if you are unable to gain access to Android Device Manager or your Google account.

Android Protection with Security & Antivirus

android security protection

Protection for Android Smartphones

It’s common knowledge that antivirus protection is needed on your laptop or desktop computers. These machines must have constant defense against cyber criminals . However, should an Android smartphone have similar protection? To answer this quickly, yes. Protect android with security apps that can defend against known security vulnerabilities.

Play Store Security Apps

Unfortunately, stores selling Android apps, which includes Google Play Store, tend to be laid back when it has to do with screen apps. Because of this, apps containing malware keep finding their way into these stores. One threat that continuously pops up over the last few years is Ransomware. Save yourself several headaches by protecting against this if you accidentally get yourself one of these malicious apps.

Android operating system has more than ninety-five percent of mobile type malware targeting it. Thankfully, with this many threats, there are numerous high-quality security and antivirus protection Android apps available. Choosing which one you want to use basically depends on the interface you believe is easier to use.

AV-Test.org test rank the following apps with top marks:

  • Alibaba Mobile Security
  • ESET
  • AVL by Antiy
  • G Data
  • BullGuard
  • Baidu
  • Sophos
  • BitDefender
  • Qihoo 360
  • Kaspersky Lab

Apps must pass tests of detection on more than three thousand pieces of malware from the real-world to receive high marks for AV-Tests.org. They must also have little effect toward the battery life of the phone, and no false alarms can be triggered. Many of these security apps have other features included. Qihoo 360’s sports Privacy Protection and ESET’s Security Audit, to name a couple.

Firewall Protection

For added protection to your Android smartphone, you can install DroidWall that provides you with a firewall. However, the majority of these apps require that your device is rooted, which can open it up to further dangers. A firewall increases the security, but the way in which Androids are typically attacked, having a firewall is not necessarily required.

Take a crucial step to protect your Android smartphone against malvertising.  There are not as many options available for protection against malvertising due to how new it has become a major threat. Disconnect is an excellent privacy browser extension. They offer their users Disconnect Malvertising as a solution for anti-malvertising which can be downloaded for to your Android phone. Adblock Browser, from Adblock Plus, stops ads even before they have a chance to load.

No matter what you download to your phone, it is always a good idea to have some protection. Using one of these options above, you should be protected correctly.

Should an Android Smartphone Have Security & Antivirus Protection?

Img: www.Digitechblog.com

Protecting Your Smartphone Might be the Best Thing to Do

It’s common knowledge that antivirus protection is needed on your laptop or desktop computers, these machines must have constant protection. However, should an Android smartphone have similar protection? To answer this quickly, yes. Your Android smartphone should have a security app due to known security vulnerabilities.

Android Store Apps

Unfortunately, stores selling Android apps, which includes Google, tend to be laid back when it has to do with screen apps. Because of this, apps containing malware keep finding their way into these stores. One threat that continuously pops up over the last few years is Ransomware, and you can save yourself several headaches by having protection against this if you accidently get yourself one of these malicious apps.

An Android operating system has more than ninety-five percent of mobile type malware targeting it. Thankfully, with this many threats, there are numerous high-quality security and antivirus protection Android apps available. Choosing which one you want to use basically depends on the interface you believe is easier to use.

AV-Test.org test rank the following apps with top marks:

  • Alibaba Mobile Security
  • ESET
  • AVL by Antiy
  • G Data
  • BullGuard
  • Baidu
  • Sophos
  • BitDefender
  • Qihoo 360
  • Kaspersky Lab

To receive high marks for AV-Tests.org, these apps must pass tests of detection on more than three thousand pieces of malware from the real-world. They must also have little effect toward the battery life of the phone, and no false alarms can be triggered. Many of these security apps have other features included with it, such as Qihoo 360’s has Privacy Protection and ESET’s Security Audit.

For added protection to your Android smartphone, there are apps you can install that provide you with a firewall, such as DroidWall. However, the majority of these apps require that your device is rooted, which can open it up to further dangers. With the addition of a firewall your phone may have more protection, but the way in which Androids are typically attacked, having a firewall is not necessarily needed.

Another crucial step you need to do to protect your Android smartphone is a guard against malvertising.  There are not as many options available for protection against malvertising due to how new it has become a major threat. Disconnect is an excellent privacy browser extension. They offer their users Disconnect Malvertising as a solution for anti-malvertising which can be downloaded for to your Android phone. If you use Adblock Browser, brought from Adblock Plus, ads will be stopped even before they have a chance to load.

No matter what you are downloading to your phone, it is always a good idea to have some protection. Using one of these options above, you should be protected correctly.

android security encryption

How to Lock a SIM Card & Encrypt Data on Android

Encryption & SIM Lock Android Security Features

Is data being encrypted on your smartphone by you? If you fail to do so, if the phone is ever stolen there is a risk of losing it. Encrypt your android to protect sensitive personal data.  Its easy to do with software that is usually provided by the device manufacturer or in the operating system.

Simplicity of Securing Your Smartphone

Due to threats being so high of smartphone theft, it is highly important handsets have locks applied to them. Use a PIN, a shape you swipe on screen display, or facial recognition to unlock your secured phone.

To set this up on Android, go to Settings > Security > Screen security. Next you want to tap Screen lock where choices between PIN, Swipe, Password, and Pattern can be selected as methods for access. Choose whichever one you like best to unlock your Android phone.

When using a Windows Phone, go to Settings > Applications > Phone, and enable SIM security. Enter a PIN according to your network provider’s instructions. This gives you two PIN codes now on your phone, one unlocks the screen and the other unlocks the PIN.

On an iOS, Settings > Phone > SIM PIN then enter the network-provided, existing SIM PIN for confirmation.

Encrypting Data on Android Smartphones

Locking a phone is helpful, but to have ideal security, you should encrypt your data.

Android data encryption is separated from linked to the passcode once activated. Keep in mind however, if you forget your PIN once encryption is applied, your data remains unattainable. Only way for data to be decrypted is by your PIN.

To encrypt data on an Android device, connect the charger. Next go to Settings > Security > Encryption > Encrypt Phone. Be sure to read warning/explanation and understand encryption implications. If happy, select ENCRYPT PHONE. During this process, your phone is not able to run apps, make calls, etc.

If your phone has slowed down dramatically, you are able to return and disable encryption by going to Settings > Security > Encryption > Encrypt Phone. 

Encrypting data on iOS is much simpler. When a PIN or passcode is set on your device, the data is encrypted.

Encrypting data on Windows Phone can be done if an organization manages your phone and is done by way of Microsoft Exchange server. Otherwise users must wait for Microsoft Mobile 10 update for another way of encrypting their data.

Using these ways to secure your smartphone helps ensure data stored will not be stolen if your device is.

Bloatware-Wasting Your Android System Resources

Android Bloatware

Bloatware got you down?

Stop Wasting System Resources

Android bloatware is what we call the factory installed apps and carrier installed apps loaded in android devices.  Remember your excitement when opening up  a brand new android smartphone? The whole feeling is great, opening the package, little extras in the box, and peeling off that plastic covering the front. Finally, turn it on and watch it finish its boot animation to fully see your Android.  When you take a look inside the app drawer your smile quickly goes away. Your focus turns to all these unwanted pre-loaded apps within your Android.

Removable Bloatware in Android

Some manufactures of Androids claim their bloatware will be removable. This is not speaking entirely truthfully, however. Users can delete some pre-installed apps, not all of them. Users only have the capability to disable some of the apps.   We are still stuck with some apps whether we want them or not. The amount of apps which can be disabled or deleted depend on your region and carrier. If you buy an android which is carrier-specific there is going to be more non-deletable, non-removable bloatware.

Why We Deal With Bloatware

Most of us believe tons of pre-loaded bloatware that we do not want or have no need for, should no be on our Android smartphones. We purchase with our own hard earned money and expect a good experience. Android users should have a say what apps are on our phones using up precious system resources and storage space. Manufacturers of these phones need to allow us the ability of deleting any apps we want, not just some of them. As the owners of android phones, we should decide if these are apps we want.  We can go to the Google Play Store and download them.

We wouldn’t buy albums with ads or Blu-ray players with commercials.  Why do we deal with this on our android smartphones and tablets? They take up plenty of system resources and space, but we still take it. Let us face that bloatware is not going anywhere anytime soon. They could present these factory and carrier apps to us differently instead of forcing them down our throat. I doubt there is one person that uses every single pre-loaded app they are made to have on their phone. They could offer different pre-loaded packages for our phones for use to choose from.  We might consider some of them useful, such as “entertainment package”, “gamer’s package”, or “office package”.

How to Get Rid of Bloatware

Manufacturers put bloatware into our Android smartphones. We as consumers will continue to purchase them despite this. Contact an experienced professional to root your android in order to rid your device of bloatware. Benefits include increased performance and battery life, along with many other advantages.