Android phones link to PC!

August 9th, 2017

You use a computer, smartphone, or tablet -- or all three -- to surf the web. So wouldn’t it be great if you could share the sites that you’re browsing between devices? If you’re using an Android phone and Windows 10, now you can.

According to Gartner, Android operating systems held 81.7 percent of the worldwide smartphone market share in 2016. Windows PCs have a similarly robust 84 percent of the desktop operating system market share worldwide.

It comes as no surprise that Microsoft plans to closely align many of its features with Android. In fact, they’ve just released a new Windows 10 preview for PCs with which consumers can try out some new features. Microsoft Apps is one of them, a test application that focuses on cross-device web browsing so you can send website links from your Android phone to your Windows PC.

How does it work?

On your Android phone, go to Settings > Phone > Link Your Phone. You will receive an SMS directing you to install Microsoft Apps. Once installed, you can share websites with your PC by clicking the Share option and then picking the “Continue on PC” option.

From there, you’ll have to sign in with the same Microsoft Account you’re using on your PC. You’ll then have two options to choose from, “Continue now” which opens the website on the linked PC, and “Continue later” which makes the website appear in the Action Center of your computer instead.

This is part of the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, set to arrive in September this year. What’s more, you can also expect to see more Android and Windows 10 features in the future, including apps content sharing to and from PCs, as well as content copying-and-pasting from a universal clipboard.

As always, if you have any questions about any Android device, give us a call.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic android
July 22nd, 2017

New strains of malware are being developed every day. In fact, the number was nearly one million per day in 2015. With so many in existence, some have gone under the radar, as such is the case with CopyCat. So if you’re using any type of Android device, know that CopyCat likes to use its claws.

What is it?

CopyCat is a strain of malware that pretends to be a popular app on third-party app stores. Alarmingly, it has already infected more than 14 million Android devices around the world, with the majority of victims in Asia. However, users in the U.S. aren’t in the clear as 280,000 Android devices have been hit since 2015.

Why is it dangerous?

Once downloaded, CopyCat collects data from the infected device and downloads rootkits that cut off the device’s security system. From there, it can download fake apps and hijack your device’s Zygote, the launcher for every app on your phone.

With control over your Zygote, CopyCat will know about every new app you’ve downloaded and opened. This allows it to replace the Referrer ID on your apps with its own and send revenues for every ad that pops up on the app to hackers instead of the app’s creators. Sometimes it even throws in its own ads to increase fraudulent ad revenues, too. So far, there have been nearly 4.9 million fake apps installed on infected devices, estimated to make CopyCat hackers more than $1.5 million.

And while it’s mainly after ad revenues, it could easily compromise confidential data collected from your Android device.

How to protect your Android device?

The malware spreads through five exploits that hit devices running Android 5.0 and earlier versions. Luckily, Google was able to track down this malware to update Google Play so all exploits have been discovered and patched.

However, Android users on older devices should avoid downloading apps from third-party vendors just to be safe. And even if you’re using newer versions of the Android OS, we recommend you ensure your Play Protect function -- Google’s security system which consists of application scanning, browser protection, and anti-theft measures -- is activated. It should be on by default on your Android device, but you can check its status by opening Google Play Store app > Tap Menu > Play Protect.

In an ideal world, you’ll no longer have to worry about cyber attacks and all the damage they can cause. But for now, staying knowledgeable and informed is the best way to protect yourself. If you’d like to learn more about how to keep your Android devices safe, just give us a call. We’ll be happy to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic android
July 6th, 2017

Apple’s iOS 11 will be released later this year, but many Android users might not willingly trade in their device for an iPhone. Even with its key productivity features like Files, drag-and-drop functionality, a more enterprise-friendly user interface, and sleek new design changes, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system is missing a few important tools that many Android users can’t live without.

Multiple profiles

Android devices allow users to create multiple user profiles -- ideal for company devices shared among staff. This feature is also great for privacy because it lets users create an individual profile and password, so there’s no need to worry about important files and apps in the device being compromised. This feature is something iOS 11 should have included since multiple user functionality is commonly found in desktops environments, which is what it is trying to emulate.

Customization

In the upcoming iOS 11 release, iPad users can expect improvements in design. What they shouldn’t expect to find are features that will enable customizations much beyond personalizing their home screen wallpaper. Adjusting the color settings, fonts, and themes are capabilities Android device users have been enjoying for years, but Apple users will have to wait for later iOS releases to enjoy the same.

Screen search

In an Android device, tapping the “What’s on my screen?” button in Google Assistant lets a user search for info on whatever’s “on-screen.” It returns results pertaining to whatever the user is looking at on his or her screen and is useful for those who need comprehensive search results. By contrast, iOS’s search function, called Spotlight, allows instant web searches only on highlighted text.

Local photo deletion

Android’s “Free up space” capability lets users back up photos in the cloud and easily delete local files stored in the device with just one tap. On the other hand, iOS offers a convenient way to sync photos and videos to iCloud, and its Optimize iPhone Storage function is great for users with low-storage devices. Even though this is enhanced for iOS 11, it still doesn’t save as much storage space as Android’s Photos app.

Other features

The iOS 11’s “Do Not Disturb While Driving” mode detects whether the user is driving, which stops the device from sending notifications in order to avoid distractions. It’s a welcome addition, but it’s a weak counterpart to Android’s “Do Not Disturb” function, which is far more robust. Another feature that won’t be found in iOS 11 is a “Clear All” button, which closes all open apps at once.

Even with a handful of nifty features in the iOS 11, those who enjoy Android’s customizability and unique features likely won’t switch. However, the iOS 11’s focus on enterprise usability might be attractive for some non-Apple users.

Businesses need simple yet functional devices that work. If you need expert advice on device features and usability, get in touch with us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic android
June 21st, 2017

As bring your own device policies becomes common practice for companies today, business owners must keep in mind the possible cyber security implications of deploying more devices connected to the company network. If your employees are using Android devices, here are the top five security threats they need to be aware of as well as how to steer clear from them.

Unsafe devices

Sometimes, the device itself might not be safe due to faulty production or configuration. In fact, Checkpoint found 36 Android devices earlier this year at a telecommunications company and multinational technology company that were infected out of the box. This means that the infection was not caused by users, but the malware was pre-installed via apps somewhere along the supply chain before users even received them.

Malicious apps

Judy is an Android app, and although it sounds completely harmless, this software is actually designed to infect a device and activate an auto-clicking command used for malicious advertising campaigns. Believe it or not, this malware got 18.5 million downloads.

Information leakage from useful apps

Many applications are installed for legitimate uses. But don’t let that fool you, as these apps can be used to extract confidential information such as contact information from your mobile device. According to recent research, 0.3 percent of the 20 million Android transactions resulted in some level of privacy leakage. This is primarily due to cybercriminals tapping into an organization's network traffic, which requires skills but isn’t impossible to do.

Banking malware

This is when cybercriminals use phishing windows to overlap banking apps so that they can steal credentials from mobile banking customers. But that’s not all, as cybercriminals can overlap other apps and steal credit card details, incoming mobile transaction authentication number, and even redirect calls. Even worse, file-encrypting features now allow them to simultaneously steal information and lock user files.

One such banking malware that Android users need to look out for is Faketoken. According to Kaspersky Lab, Faketoken is designed to generate fake login screens for more than 2,000 financial applications in order to steal login credentials. The app also displays phishing pages to steal credit card information, can read and send text messages, and even has the ability to encrypt user files stored on a phone’s SD card.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that blocks a device and demands for a payment in order for the device to be unlocked. The latest ransomware, WannaCry, spread like a wildfire and greatly affected the global healthcare industry. Ransomware continues to be a cyberciminal’s weapon of choice and attacks targeting Android devices have increased by over 50 percent.

If you think ransomware is bad enough, ransomworms can be your worst nightmare. Basically, it’s ransomware attached to a network that copies itself to every computer on a local network it could reach  with no warning whatsoever.

All this sounds horrific, but the worst is yet to come if you don’t act fast. Having said that, we’ve rounded up some security best-practices that will help keep your Android devices secure:

  • Enforce device passcode authentication
  • Monitor mobile device access and use
  • Patch mobile devices quickly
  • Forbid unapproved third-party application stores
  • Control physical access to devices
  • Conduct application security assessment to ensure compliance
  • Implement an incident response plan for lost or stolen mobile devices
While it’s easy to turn a blind eye against cyber threats, the question is are you willing to take that chance? If you’re looking for an advanced security solution to keep your Android device safe, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic android
June 2nd, 2017

There’s a lot of buzz surrounding Google’s latest Android operating system known as “Android O.” Whether it will continue the trademark snack-theme name is yet to be confirmed, but what we do know is users can expect longer battery life and an improved notification system. Besides that, here are six other OS changes you don’t want to miss.

Picture in picture This is one of the so-called "fluid experiences" coming to O devices. You'll be able to watch a YouTube or Netflix video in a small window while using another app. The small window can even be used for a video call. Simply swipe it away when you're done.

Notification dots If an app is trying to get your attention, a dot on the icon will appear. You can pull them down from the top of the screen to view the notification or press down on the app icon to view the notification in place.

Autofill Reminiscent of autofill on computers, this feature will be available for apps on O devices. This makes it easier to log in and set up phones and applications since personal information like your name, address, and credit card details will be automatically filled in.

Better copying and pasting Another component of O device's fluid experience is the enhanced copy-and-paste feature, which will be based on machine learning. You won't have to drag handles to highlight everything you want to copy -- just tap once on names, phone numbers, or addresses and Google will automatically highlight the rest.

Vitals This is the group of optimizations that will improve your device's battery life, startup time and performance, stability and security.

Android for the entry level Normally, the latest operating systems are exclusive to the most powerful phones. However, Google doesn't want to reserve O to state-of-the-art devices. That's why Google developed a variant called Android Go, which aims to provide a seamless Android experience for affordable O phones, including those with fewer components and/or less storage.

Android Go includes a customized set of Google apps that require less memory, storage, and mobile data. Google Play Store will also highlight the apps that will work better on such entry-level phones (regular apps will still be available). The operating system is being designed for O phones with limited memory: anywhere between 512 megabytes and one gigabyte.

The OS will be available this summer. In the meantime, if you want to know more or have any questions about Android O, feel free to contact us today!

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic android
May 19th, 2017

One of the most common ways hackers infiltrate networks is by using phishing scams -- fraudulent emails to trick unwitting users into giving away login credentials or downloading malware. Although this is the oldest trick in a hacker’s arsenal, it’s still an incredibly effective attack method. To blunt the potency of these scams, Google released an anti-phishing feature for Gmail apps on Android devices. Read on below to find out how it works.

Phishing warnings The new Gmail app feature uses Google’s Safe Browsing technology to examine billions of URL links per day and identify websites impersonating legitimate ones, like an online store, bank, or social media. It will then check whether these websites are embedded with malware or have elements of a phishing attack (e.g., asking for login credentials, private information, etc.).

If it has reasonable evidence to think that the website is indeed malicious, Gmail will display a warning prompt: “The site you are trying to visit has been identified as a forgery, intended to trick you into disclosing financial, personal, or other sensitive information.”

Keep in mind that Gmail may come up with false positives, and for this reason, Google does not completely block access to using a link but advises that you take extra caution if you choose to proceed.

The tech giant also reported this update is available only for Android users and will eventually reach other devices; so if you have an iOS, be extremely careful when interacting with any links in your Gmail accounts.

Safety for Gmail and Google Docs In other news, a widespread phishing attack affected thousands of Gmail and Google Doc users earlier this month. The attack uses a spoofed email from a known contact attempting to share a ‘document.’ If opened, the fraudulent link redirects victims into an innocent-looking Google page that asks for account permissions. If users grant access, a worm collects your contact list and proceeds to attack other users. Fortunately, Google quickly responded to the scam, removed the fake pages, and updated anti-phishing detection to account for similar threats.

Security training While Safe Browsing features are extremely helpful for Android Gmail users, they shouldn’t be a total substitute for good security awareness. Remember, phishing exploits human trust, so make sure to train your employees to have a healthy skepticism of every unsolicited link or file and download security updates whenever possible.

For more information and advice on security training or Android-related news, give us a call today. We’ll make sure your business is completely up to date with shifting mobile security trends and issues.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic android
May 3rd, 2017

In the past, “scanning documents” meant using a dedicated scanner to convert the physical document into a PDF or image file. Nowadays, however, you can simply scan documents on your phone. The camera feature has made it incredibly easy to capture an image of your document. But if you want to create a PDF with your smartphone, you’re going to want to use Dropbox’s doc scanning feature for Android.

Doc scanner The new doc scanner feature is fairly straightforward. Simply open the Dropbox on your Android device, tap the “+” button, and select Scan Document. Then, take a snapshot of any printed or handwritten documents within Dropbox, and the app will quickly convert the image into PDF format. To maximize capture accuracy, make sure your document is not crumpled, minimize glare on your photo, and hold your Android directly above the document.

Once you’ve captured the document, you can go to the Edit options. From there, you can crop, rotate, or adjust the contrast of your scans. Under the Arrange menu, you can even group multiple scans to create a single PDF. After you’re satisfied with the changes, the document will then be uploaded to your cloud storage, ready for you to access anytime, anywhere.

Dropbox also announced that if you are on a Dropbox Business Team, you can search for keywords inside any of your scans. Unfortunately, there are still no features that allow you to edit the text within a scanned document directly.

For many Android users, this update has been a long time coming. iOS versions of Dropbox have had this feature for almost a year, but we guess it’s better late than ever.

Bonus feature: Paper update On top of the scanner update, Dropbox Paper -- a shared platform where employees can collaborate on files and communicate -- is getting an offline mode. This feature allows you to continue working on any documents you’ve stored in Dropbox while you’re offline, and immediately sync any edits or changes once you find an internet connection.

Although the changes may seem small compared to other feature releases, both the doc scanner and Dropbox Paper update are welcome additions for Android users who want to work on the go.

If you’re looking for more apps and updates that will make your Android device even better, call us today. We can provide cloud productivity apps that will empower your increasingly mobile workforce.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic android
April 15th, 2017

2017April14Android_AWhen moving from one Android phone to another, how smoothly you are able to migrate contacts and settings often ends up determining how happy you are with the new phone. Even though there’s more than one way to go about it, each approach is a simple affair. Check them out.

Backing up to Google

Google’s free services are so tightly integrated with the Android operating system that it would be crazy not to sign up for a Google account. If you do have one, it’s usually the easiest way to migrate your contacts between phones.
  1. Open the Settings application on your phone.
  2. Scroll down and select Accounts (depending on the phone manufacturer it may be labeled something slightly different).
  3. Tap Google.
  4. Select your preferred Gmail address.
  5. Enable Sync Contacts and select Sync Now at the bottom of the screen.
  6. Visit google.com/contacts and confirm that everyone is there.
Good, from this moment on contacts from that phone will automatically be synced to your preferred Google account. Then all you need to do is add that account to your new phone.
  1. Return to the Account window in your settings app (step #2 above).
  2. Scroll to the bottom and select Add account.
  3. Choose Google and enter your account login information.
  4. Open the settings window for that account (step #4 above).
  5. Select Sync Contacts.
That’s it! The first set of instructions exports contacts from your old phone to Google.com, and the second set downloads them to your new phone.

Backing up to your SIM card

SIM cards are how your cellular provider keeps track of your phone number and who you are. If you’re lucky, you can just pop your existing SIM into your new phone and the majority your data will move with it. Double-check that’ll happen with these steps:
  1. Open your Contacts application (sometimes named People).
  2. Tap the More option (sometimes this is three dots stacked vertically).
  3. Select Import/Export.
  4. Choose Export to SIM and pick which information you want to store on the SIM card.
Once that’s finished, everything should be downloaded to the new phone as soon as you plug in the SIM card!

Using a third-party app

Verified apps, downloaded from the Google Play store, further simplify this process if you’re willing to go through the hassle of choosing one of the dozens of options. If you pick this approach, most apps are no more complicated than a checklist of which contacts you want to transfer with a Send button at the bottom. As long as you’ve installed the app on your new phone as well, and linked the two with a password, that’s all it takes.

Contact migration sounds easy enough, but it’s no simple task if you’ve got an entire fleet of company phones to migrate. Our fully-managed solutions cover all your Android needs, and if you’d rather we take care of some menial task, we can do it in no time. Just drop us a line to find out more!

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic android
March 30th, 2017

170px-01The good news? Google will be rolling out more features for Android 7.0 Nougat and Marshmallow devices earlier than expected! The bad news? Google hasn’t yet confirmed which devices are eligible for the latest upgrades. In the meantime, here are four prominent features you should be keeping your eyes on:

Quick Switch What this feature allows you to do is to quickly jump between the two most recently used apps with a double-tap on the Overview button. (That’s the square icon located to the right of the three virtual navigation buttons at the bottom of the display.)

Multi-Window After ensuring the application’s compatibility, simply long-press the square Overview button to shrink the app to fill half the screen. This feature allows you to easily run two apps side-by-side on your smartphone or tablet.

Better battery First introduced with Marshmallow, Doze is a power-saving tool that prevents your apps from sending or receiving data without disabling your mobile data. It gets a boost in Android 7.0 Nougat. Doze utilizes sensors to detect when the device is idle -- even when it’s being moved around -- and lowers power consumption.

Data Saver After activating this function from the notification dropdown, Data Saver mode reduces cellular data used by applications. It does so by blocking background data usage, limiting bit rate for streaming, reducing image quality, just to name a few.

Enhanced encryption In Android Nougat, each file and folder saved on the device is individually encrypted and protected as opposed to being encrypted as a whole, like previous versions of the mobile operating system were.

The latest tech innovations might succeed in enticing consumers, but it’s usually the operating system that seals the deal.This is merely a preview of Android 7.0 Nougat’s capabilities. By no means does this list detail all the awesome functions that await Android users. If you’re interested in getting the latest updates or would like to have your Android-related questions answered, just give us a call!

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic android
March 15th, 2017

2017March14Android_AThe average smartphone user doesn't give nearly enough consideration to mobile phone security. In fact, smartphone users are more likely to get anxious about their phone’s physical safety than the more serious threat of malware. Malware and other forms of cyber threats are far more common in desktops and laptops particularly for business users, but with the increasing sophistication of cyber crimes, disregarding your other ‘lower risk’ devices’ security can mean disaster.

Mobile malware MO

Malware and other threats pose risks that are as harmful as those that infect desktops and laptops. Some of the threats include messing up your phone bill, ruining your mobile phone’s data, remotely locking and unlocking devices, intercepting messages, prompting fraudulent log-in commands, and sending fake notifications, among others.

Most malware comes from applications downloaded from third-party app stores. Once a phone is compromised, the hacker will have access to passwords, user accounts, and other sensitive personal data. Since some Android devices are linked, there is also more than a passing chance that bugs on one device find their way to linked devices.

Who is responsible?

The burden doesn’t fall solely on smartphone users; app stores such as Google Play Store are responsible, too. Some of the infected banking and weather forecast apps that were widely reported were downloaded from the Google Play Store. Aside from taking swift action against the apps, infected companies were urged to provide as much information and updates as possible regarding the malicious applications so they could be removed from the store to protect users.

Of course, Android users are responsible for their own safety, and there are several measures they can take to avoid becoming victims.

How to avoid being victimized by malware

Yes, the Google Play Store isn’t 100% secure, but downloading from the Google store and other more established app stores -- and not from little-known and less secure third-party stores -- reduces the probability of downloading malicious apps. In case an infected app makes its way to the store and gets thousands of downloads, Google is usually quick to remove the threatening app from their environment and block other malicious entities.

It also pays to read the user reviews. Despite app stores’ best efforts, the proliferation of apps in today’s marketplace makes it nearly impossible to prevent mobile malware from getting through to the store and, afterwards, users’ device.

If an app poses significant risks, someone is bound to post a review or a warning. Regularly updating your mobile device’s software also helps prevent attacks, as the latest software version often comes with stronger security patches or quick fixes.

Malware doesn’t discriminate. Regardless of your computing or communication device of choice, it will find a way to infect and destroy. Ascertain your business devices’ safety by consulting our security experts today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic android