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5 Android Security Tips

Think about the information that your phone has in its memory – Personal photos, contact details, messages, emails. There is also the information you send and receive as well as banking details, passwords and login details plus more. Your phone is something that has a lot of your personal information on it, so security is something to take seriously.

Are Android phones secure?

Android phones Security

The security on an Android device depends on the phone manufacturer and how they utilize the OS. Not all Android phones are as secure as each other, and the OS does have a poor reputation for security. However, there are many things you can do to improve the safety of your smartphone.

One example of an Android smartphone that is security minded is the Solarin Smartphone while another is Boeing’s Boeing Black smartphone. The reason why they use Android as the operating system is because of the ability to change the operating system to suit the needs of the user. With the development of the Boeing Black smartphone for defense and security customers, Android was the best choice for security.

Mobile security

Mobile security comes in a variety of methods. Losing your device is a security issue as someone who finds it has physical access to your phone. Same with your phone being stolen. Maybe you are someone who downloads a lot of apps, then chances are you have given the apps permission to access information on your phone they do not need to know about. Mobile malware and data leakage can share information to others without your knowledge.

Like computers and other devices with an internet connection, smartphones cybercriminal can hack your phone. Hacks can happen due to being on an insecure internet connection, downloading apps not from the Play Store that contain malware or viruses, using the permissions given to apps to gain access or by physically installing something dodgy on to your phone when you are not aware.

So, what are some things you should be aware of when it comes to mobile phone security?

Free Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi sounds good, but it can be an issue regarding security. On a public network, anyone can connect to it and use it. The lack of privacy means that you do not know who is sharing a connection with you. If someone knows what they are doing, they can hack into your phone, tap into the data you are sending. For hackers, the attacks come in the form of being a fake hotspot or Wi-Fi sniffing. In many instances, you might have to rely on free Wi-Fi, and you can protect yourself from cybercriminals. The best way to achieve security on free Wi-Fi is by using a VPN (Virtual private network). A VPN hides your activity with encryption to keep your information safe from harm. Click here to for VPN options for Android.

Only download apps from Play Store

Download apps from Play Store

Apps from the official Google Play Store are unlikely to come with malware or viruses built-in, plus you can read the reviews to find out if anything with the app is amiss. With unofficial, pirated or apps that you must side load, you may find yourself installing something nasty without meaning to or having anyway to know. With the official Play Store apps, Google pushes off suspicious apps – In 2017 Google removed 700,000 apps from the Play Store.

Do not give out your location

Do not give out your location

Using the location function when it comes to Google Maps or the weather makes sense, but it does not make sense for other apps to know your location. When it comes to app permission, you can choose when you first install the device or by going to your app settings to find the location option. Another way to hide your location is to turn off the setting in the drop-down menu. With location services, there are three types that your phone uses – GPS, Wi-Fi and mobile networks for high accuracy; Wi-Fi and mobile networks to save battery; and GPS only. To change the location accuracy, go to Settings > Advanced Settings > Location access. For app specific location settings go to Settings > Apps > (Select an app) > Permissions.

App Permissions

App Permissions

Do not just say yes to every permission an app asks for when you install the app. Think about it for a moment and ask yourself if the app would work without certain permissions being granted. Does your flashlight app need to know your location or access your contacts? No, it does not, so you can safely turn the permissions off without affecting the performance of an app. Use your common sense when it comes to app permissions and if you are unsure get on Google and find out more about permissions. To change permissions, go to Settings > Apps > (Select an app) > Permissions.


App Updates

Performing updates is an easy and simple way to keep your Android phone security. Security patches fix problems that have been found in the software, close backdoors into your device, bug fixes and new features. You can set your phone to remind you to update when there is one available or you can do it manually. Apps in the Play Store have regular updates as well. It is a recommendation that you enable automatic updates over Wi-Fi (in case you forget and so you do not waste precious data) and you can do this by going to Google Play Settings > General > Auto-update apps.

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Posted in Android Tagged with:

Family Sharing on Apple devices

Family Sharing

Family Sharing can be enabled on any Apple device using iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite or any newer version. Once enabled it can be used to share media, books and also purchases made on the App Store and iTunes with all members of the Family Sharing group. Even reminders and schedules can be shared across the group.

The Apple user that starts the group is the Family Organizer. The organizer has the rights to remove/add someone to the group or close the group completely. Once the group is created, the organizer can create child IDs for any children that need to be added to the group. Anybody with a Child ID will have to ask for permission before making any purchases.

Media shared on a Family Sharing group can be played on an Apple TV. However, not every kind of media can be shared between members. If a group member wants to hide any media from the rest of the group, they can easily do so. Also, any content purchased by a group member will have to be downloaded by another group member if they wish to use it.

How to set up Family Sharing on a Mac?

  1. In the Apple menu click on System Preferences and then click on iCloud. It will take you to the screen below where you click on the Set Up Family                                Click On Set up Family
  2. After this it asks if you want to be the organizer for the Family group, for which you click on Continue.

Click on Continue.

  1. In the next steps you give your permissions for sharing of your credit card for purchases, location, photos etc.
  2. Finally, you get to invite up to five people for Family Sharing.

Click On Add Family Member

You can send the invites using the person’s email. While sending the invites you also get the option to create a child ID.

Add a family member

How to set up Family sharing on an iPhone and iPad?

  1. Tap on your Apple ID to access your iCloud settings.

Tap on your Apple ID

  1. Among the options below iCloud, you will see Set Up Family Sharing. Tap on it.

Set Up Family Sharing

  1. Tap on the Get Started

Click On Get Started

Once you get started, it will show you a list of features you can share e.g. location, iTunes, iCloud storage etc. Click on the first one you would like to share with your group and then send invites to the others to share theirs.

What exactly can you share using this feature?

  • Photos, music, videos stored on the group members’ devices. Groups of photos can be shared instantly among group members.
  • The registered credit card can be shared to make iTunes, iBooks and App Store purchases.
  • Schedules and reminders.
  • Some of the apps that you download can be shared with your family sharing group. Some others cannot be shared. It is up to the developer’s discretion to make an app shareable or not.
  • In app purchases are one of the things that cannot be shared.

How to add family/friends to Family Sharing?

Now that you have started Family Sharing, it is time to invite your family/friends to join the group. Tap on the Invite Family Members button to start sending them the invites.

Click on Invite Family Members

Send the messages just like normal text messages.

Send the messages

Family Sharing with Find My iPhone

Find My iPhone with Family Sharing! When you use this cool feature along with the Find My iPhone service, it enables you to not only locate and track your own devices but also others’ in your family/friend circle. This feature is especially useful for parents wanting to keep an eye on their kids’ whereabouts.

Again, using your iCloud settings, you can easily start sharing your location with the people you want and then invite them to share theirs.

Click On Get StartedClick On Invite Family Members

Once everyone you want has started sharing their locations with you, just log in to iCloud from the web or access Find iPhone on your iPhone and you will be able to see locations of all your devices under My Devices and your family members’ devices under their respective names.

See Locations of your Device

Cost of Family Sharing?

Will Family Sharing Cost Anything?

No. Family Sharing is a free feature in iOS 8. The only requirement is that each device be upgraded to iOS 8 and each Apple ID be attached to the same credit card. The Apple ID setting up the plan will be used as the Family Sharing administrator/organizer.

How to stop using Family Sharing?

You can very easily stop using Family Sharing. Just go into the Family Sharing settings in iCloud, under your name and tap on Stop Family Sharing.

Stop Family Sharing

How to remove a family member from Family Sharing?

To remove a particular family member from the Family Sharing group, tap on the member’s name in the member list and then tap on Remove <member name>.

Remove Member Name

If you found this article helpful would you please leave us a comment below to let us know. If there is a specific article or guide you’d like us to write please email us or leave a comment below. Click here to view our iphone and ipad accessories.

Posted in Apple Tagged with: ,

Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+

Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ are the newest smartphones from Samsung. Coming from a long line of popular flagship phones, the S9 and S9+ have improvements in the right areas to make them worth considering when purchasing a new phone. These new Galaxy S models are great for photographers, have an immense amount of processing and graphics power inside and retain the features and design that made the S8 and S8+ one of the most popular smartphones.


The S9 and S9+ share the same processing units, but there are two kinds of the processor depending on where you are situated in the world. Globally (and here in Australia) there is Samsung’s own Exynos 9810 processor. This CPU is an octa-core with 4×2.8GHz and 4×1.7GHZ. In USA/Canada/China/HK/Japan/Latin America, the processor is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 with an octa-core 4×2.7GHz and 4×1.7Ghz Kyro 385. The S9 comes with 4GB of RAM, and the S9+ has 6GB of RAM.

These devices have external memory options of 64GB, 128GB or 256GB. There is removable microSD storage with up to 400GB capacity. The battery on the S9 is 3000mAh, and on the S9+ it is 3500mAh. For size, the S9 is 147.7 mm × 68.7 mm × 8.5 mm weighing 163 grams and the S9+ is 158.1 mm × 73.8 mm × 8.5 mm weighing 189 grams. With the display, it is a 2960×1440 Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen Infinity Display.

The rear camera on the S9 is a 12MP (1.4 μm, f/1.5/2.4), OIS, 4K at 30 or 60 fps, QHD at 30 fps, 1080p at 30 or 60 fps, 720p at 30 fps. The S9+ rear camera is Dual 12 MP (1.4 μm, f/1.5/2.4) + 12 MP ((1.0 μm), f/2.4), Dual OIS, 4K at 30 or 60 fps, QHD at 30 fps, 1080p at 30 or 60 fps, 720p at 30 fps. The front camera on both smartphones is 9MP.

With the battery, the S9 comes with a 3000mAh non-removable battery, and the S9+ comes with a 3500mAh non-removable battery. Data inputs include the following: accelerometer, barometer, fingerprint scanner, an iris scanner, a geomagnetic sensor, gyroscope, hall sensor and proximity sensor.


To start with, the Samsung S9 and S9+ come with Android Oreo. The camera is one of the top features, becoming something that is good to use in low light. A new feature for a smartphone is the changing aperture. While there are only two settings, the fact the rear camera can switch between an aperture of f/1.5 (For low-light situations) and f/2.4 (for bright light conditions) means that you can take photos in most lighting situations. Additional photo modes, as well as a pure auto mode, give photographers many choices when it comes to making high-quality images.


The most significant benefit of the S9 and S9+ is the power and performance. Using the most powerful CPU and GPU combination to date, this device is a workhorse that allows you to do a lot more away from your desk. This power can use Dex, Samsung’s peripheral device that allows the user to connect it to any monitor or television. While not perfect, being able to work with Dex means being able to do more with your phone.


The addition of Gorilla Glass 5 for the casing is an improvement that will help stop the screen cracking from drops and bumps. For the aluminum casing, this is made from a stronger aluminum that on the previous model. Moving the finger scanner is a big plus, especially on the larger S9+. Brightness is given an improvement, and there is the ability to provide yourself with the best colour balance for your needs. The screen is less reflective than comparable phones, and you can easily watch a show with a bright light behind you.

Release Date

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ come out on the 16th March 2018. If you found this article helpful would you please leave us a comment below to let us know. If there is a specific article or guide you’d like us to write please email us or leave a comment below

Posted in Broadband and Computing, Samsung Tagged with: ,

What to Look For In A GPS Car Tracker

GPS Car Tracker

 Keeping track of your car if a thief steals it or someone else is driving it can be a major concern for some people. To ease the worry of not knowing where your car is, getting a GPS car tracker is a simple and easy way of achieving this. With a GPS car tracker, you will have additional security knowing that you can find your car where ever it is. Other benefits include:

  • If a thief steals your car, you will receive a notification letting you know
  • You can monitor the car’s location for fast recovery
  • The ability to remotely disable your car so the thief cannot drive it anywhere
  • 24/7 location monitoring

Types of GPS car trackers

There are two types of GPS tracker – Wired-in and plug-in. The difference is that a wired-in tracker is built into the car, is hidden from view and can connect to the alarm, ignition and other electronics in the car (Windows, door locks and such).

A plug-in device is good to keep track of the car but is not something used to prevent thief. Commonly the plug-in GPS track gets its power from a car’s cigarette light using 12-volt power. Newer cars can utilise a 5V USB socket. Another method of connecting a plug-in device is the vehicle’s diagnostic port, the OBD. Installation is easy, but the device can remain given thieves, and there is the ability just to remove the device.

Consider why you want a GPS tracker. For security, choose a wired-in tracker, for simple tracking a plug-in device is best.

What to look for in a GPS car tracker

An example of a high-quality GPS car tracker is the Gator GTrack4G. The device has the features you should look for in a GPS tracking system, such as:

  • Built-in cellular antenna with 3G and 4G compatibility with a GPS antenna, using a mini SIM card
  • The ability to keep track of your driving history and track your car in real-real time
  • Lithium-ion rechargeable battery for backup power
  • Motion sensor, shock, displacement, low battery, power off and over speed alerts
  • Geo-fence capable and remote immobilisation

Vehicle GPS Tracker Wiring Loom

Geo-fence capabilities are important for a GPS tracker. What this feature does is sets up a perimeter around your car so that if it moves outside of that area, you will receive a notification. If your alarm goes off, then you will receive a notification. When the combination of geo-fencing and alarm notifications you will know if you need to contact the police straight away. The ability to immobilise your car in this situation will enhance your security.

Other considerations

Remember that the device should work on the same frequency as Australian mobile devices. Purchasing a GPS tracker from overseas might appear cheaper, but you might be unable to use the device in Australia due to different frequencies.

When considering purchasing a GPS car tracker, the costs are something to know. The initial cost is the device itself and installation if you are unable to do this yourself. For the device, the costs can be between $199 to $499AU You may need to pay for software and apps unless they come with the device and there will be the communication costs determined by your mobile carrier. The amount of data the device uses is low, so you do not need to get a heavy data plan.

A plus side of a GPS tracker is a decrease in insurance costs. For insurance companies, the ability to immobilise the car or find it easily is a positive that makes their job easier.

If you found this article helpful would you please leave us a comment below to let us know. If there is a specific article or guide you’d like us to write please email us or leave a comment below.

Posted in Broadband and Computing Tagged with: ,

All you need to know about Apple’s Face ID

Apple’s Face ID Setting

On November 3rd 2017 the much-anticipated Apple’s iPhone X finally hits the market. Unlike other products from Apple, the newly launched iPhone X comes with a more advanced security system called ‘Face ID’.  Like the Fingerprint security authentication that comes with older version of Apples iPhone products, Face ID is used for the verification and authentication of users true Identity.

Apple’s face ID uses similar biometric technology used in Touch ID. One of the major differences here is that Face ID tries to authenticate your identity by scanning through your face and retina. Face ID technology uses your device’s TrueDepth selfie camera to scan through your entire face and it compares the newly taken picture with the previous picture which was initially captured while setting up your Face ID. If there is a match, your device gets automatically unlocked.

How does this technology work?

Apple’s Face ID

Now let’s get a bit technical, here is how face ID technology works. Anytime you raise or tap the screen of your device, your device TrueDepth camera is automatically activated for a scan of your face. After the scan, a 2D infrared image of your face will be formed by the camera through its 300,000 plus infrared dots projected by the camera to your face.

Afterwards, a sequence of digitally signed 2D depths and images captured by the TrueDepth camera will subsequently be sent to your iPhones X secured enclave memory chip called the Bionic chip. The data stored in the Bionic chip is then transformed into mathematical representations by your device. These mathematical representations are then compared with your stored facial data which were initially saved data while setting your iPhone X Face ID. If there is a match, your device automatically unlocks otherwise it remains locked.

What are the uses of Apple’s Face ID

iPhone X Face ID

There are not many differences between what the newly launched Face ID can do when compared with Touch/Fingerprint ID. They perform basically the same task, other than the later is more secured and advanced than the former. Below are some of the operations you can perform with your iPhone X Face ID

  • Will be required for Identity authentication anytime you are to make transactions on Apple pay
  • If activated it may also be used for user ID verification when you are to make a purchase from either of your device iTunes store or app store
  • It may also be used by a third-party application on your device for identity This totally depends on whether the technology has been integrated with the application by the third-party app developers. It should, however, be noted that third-party applications will only have access to your live depth data, but not your raw data.

How to set up Apple’s iPhone X Face ID

Apple’s iPhone X Face ID Setup

Just like the touch ID technology that comes with older versions of iPhone, you will be required to go through an initial setup process while setting up your Face ID and here is how to go about doing that.

  • Tap on settings icon from your device
  • Tap Face and Passcode icon
  • Tap enrol face icon
  • Your device camera will automatically take a snapshot of your face and that will be followed by encircling of your captured image by a thick round green markings as shown in the figure below
  • Afterwards, you will be immediately prompted to adjust your face so as align properly within the enclosed circle
  • Boom! You are good to go.

Pros and cons of Apple’s iPhone X Face ID

For every invented technology, there is always  good and bad points, but often the good always outweighs the bad. We have seen inventions from some of the world’s foremost tech giants such as Google and Microsoft revolutionized the way we live our lives. The same goes for the newly launched Apples face ID. Below are some of the pros and few drawbacks of this new technology.


  • It is more advanced and secured than any other means of identity verification on any iPhone device. The chances of bypassing this security system is just one in a million
  • Your captured data is stored on your device memory, not on cloud. This makes it difficult for hackers to tap into and make damages
  • This technology can detect whether you’re a human or not through a scan of your eye. It’s a futile endeavour for any hacker trying to make a bypass with fake images.
  • This technology is 20 times more accurate than Touch ID
  • It can authenticate your through identity even when you are putting on a glasses or an hat
  • It gives the flexibility to update your facial details as you age.
  • After five unsuccessful attempts, a passcode will be required to unlock your device
  • Face ID can be used both indoor and outdoor. It can also be used when there is total darkness.


  • Can feel awkward and unnatural posing like you want to take a selfie anytime you are to unlock your device
  • There is always a delay in execution as compared with Touch ID that authenticates in split seconds
  • Only a face can be used per device, unlike Touch ID that gives the flexibility to register more than 5 users at a time.
  • Face ID is cannot be used on any other device other than on an iPhone X

As mentioned above FaceID is currently available on the iPhone X only. Click here to view our accessories for the iPhone X. If you found this guide useful would you please leave us a comment below to let us know this was helpful. If there is a specific article or guide you’d like us to write please email us or leave a comment below.

Posted in Apple Tagged with: , ,