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How to Protect Your Phone From Malware

How to Protect Your Phone From Malware

Protecting your computer from viruses and malware is second nature for most people, but many users don’t apply the same level of diligence to their smartphones. In December 2011, Kaspersky Lab detected 82,000 malware variations just waiting to pounce on vulnerable phones. What is even more astonishing is NBC reported that 25% of Americans would rather surf the web on their smartphone than a computer, and 68% of smartphone owners check the internet or email daily. With the growing trend away from computers and towards smartphones, it is more important than ever to protect yourself from malware. Start the new year right with these tactics for protecting your phone in 2013.

Use Reliable App Sources

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    The number one thing you can do to protect your phone from malware is be careful about where you get your apps from. Only download apps from reliable sources—this is especially important for Android users. Most malware programs target vulnerable Android users specifically, so be sure to get your apps through reliable stores like the Android Market and Amazon Appstore.

    Research each new app before you download it: learn about the developer and any other apps they have created. Read the professional and user reviews to see if there are any deficiencies or bugs in the application, and read through the details to see if there is anything in the description of the application that raises red flags. It’s time-consuming to read the fine print with new apps, but it’s ultimately worth the effort and will help you protect your phone from dangerous malware.

    Set a Password

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      The main purpose of malware is to disrupt operations or gather private/sensitive information so one step that can be taken to protect your phone from outside sources is to set a password to lock your screen. It may not be malware protection exactly, but it is spyware protection and a great way to defend against intrusions. Passwords may seem like a hassle when you use at the device several times an hour to check messages, use apps, or play games, but it is really the best way to prevent anyone else from accessing your personal information without your permission.

      If you accidentally leave your phone in a public place, your password will make sure that no one else can gain access to your personal information. The advancement of technology has also helped improve security purposes: take the touch screen LG phone called “eXpo” for instance, which will allow you to use your fingerprint instead of a password—probably the most secure measure that can be taken to protect your phone.

      To further limit the risks associated with a lost phone, make sure you have a “find my phone” app. This will allow you to pinpoint the GPS location of your phone with a computer or other smartphone once you’re logged in to the proper program. The faster you get your phone back, the less opportunity hackers will have to play around with the device and potentially work past your password protection.

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      Install Malware Protection

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        Just as you can download virus protection for your computer, so too can you use this type of software to protect your phone.  With the movement away from computers and towards smartphones for internet use, we will begin to see a growth in cellular malware, so having a protection program for your smartphone will become increasingly important. The most popular program is Lookout Mobile Security for Android phones. This program will fill in the gaps and give you complete and comprehensive protection from malware attacks. Since the frequency of viruses is imminent, protection software is essential to prevent Malware in 2013.

        Update Your Operating System

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          Be sure to continually update your operating system as soon as a new version becomes available, as running an outdated OS is a great invitation for malware to penetrate your defenses. System developers work hard to stay ahead of malware and give you ample protection, but you can’t take advantage of this protection if you don’t take the time to update your software as often as possible. Not only does this protect you against malware, but it also keeps your smartphone running in the best state. Just as you wouldn’t drive your car around with outdated tires and brakes, you shouldn’t use your smartphone with outdated operating software.

          As the popularity of smartphones increases, so does the need to protect yourself from intrusive malware and spyware. Whether it is to fend off viruses or other forms of outside intrusion, steps need to be taken to ensure the safety of your phone and your personal information. If you’re smart about how you use your mobile device, you can protect it effectively from malware threats. Keep aware, and you can have a safe, virus-free phone in 2013.

           

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          Last Updated on August 29, 2018

          5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

          5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

          Journaling is one of the most useful personal development tools around. Not only does it help us process emotions and experiences, work through internal conflicts and improve our self-awareness, it also provides us with a way to keep a day-to-day record of our lives. Traditionally an activity limited to pen and paper, the expansion of consumer technology has enabled journaling to go digital.

          Saving your journaling entries online enables you to access them from anywhere, without having to carry a notebook and pen around, and provides you with digital features, like tagging and search functions.

          Here are a list of five online journaling tools you can use to bring your practice into the modern age:

          1. 750words

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          750 words

            750words is a free online journaling tool created by Buster Benson. The site is based on the idea of “Morning Pages”; a journaling tool Julia Cameron suggests in her creativity course The Artist’s Way. Cameron advises aspiring creatives to start each morning with three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing to clear away the mental clutter, leaving you with a clearer mind to face the day.

            750 words is the three-page digital equivalent (assuming the average person writes 250 words per page) and lets you store all your journaling online. Each morning, you’ll receive a prompt asking you to write your 750 words, and the site keeps track of various statistics associated with your entries. The site uses a Regressive Imagery Dictionary to calculate the emotional content from your posts and provides feedback on features like your mood, and most commonly used words.

            750 words is simple to set up and is ideal for anyone who finds it challenging to maintain a consistent journaling practice. The site uses a number of incentives to motivate users, including animal badges awarded to journalers who complete a certain number of days in a row, leader boards, and opt-in monthly challenges.

            2. Ohlife

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              Ohlife is designed to make online journaling as easy as possible. Once you’ve signed up for your free account, the website will send you an email each day asking “How did your day go?” Simply reply to the email with as much or as little detail as you like, and your response will be stored on your account, ready to view next time you log in.

              Ohlife’s appeal lies in its simplicity: no stats, no social sharing, no complicated organisational systems—the site is designed to provide you with a private, online space. Simply respond to the email each day (or skip the days you’re busy) and Ohlife will do the rest.

              3. Oneword

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                OneWord is a fun online tool that provides you with a single word as a prompt and gives you sixty seconds to write about it. The concept’s aim is to help writers learn how to flow, and the prompts range from the everyday mundane to the profound.

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                Oneword is not a private journaling tool: if you sign up, your answers will be published on the site’s daily blog, which contains a stream of users’ answers, and might be used by Oneword in the future. If you’d rather keep your answers to yourself, you can still use the tool for fun without giving out any personal details.

                4. Penzu

                  Penzu is a journaling tool that allows you to store your journaling notes online. The service also offers mobile apps for iOS, Android and Blackberry, so you can journal on the go and save your notes to your account. The basic service is free, however you can upgrade to Penzu Pro and get access to additional features, including military-grade encryption and the ability to save and sync data through your mobile, for $19 per year.

                  With either version of Penzu, you can insert pictures, and add tags and comments to entries, as well as search for older entries. You can set your posts to be private and viewable by you only, or share them with others.

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                  5. Evernote

                  Evernote isn’t a purpose-built journaling tool, however its features make it perfect for keeping your journaling notes in one safe place. With the ability to keep separate “notebooks”, tag your entries, include pictures, audio and web clipping, Evernote will appeal to journalers who want to include more formats than just text in their entries.

                  Available online within a web browser, and as a stand-alone desktop app, the service also comes with a series of mobile apps covering almost every device available. These allow you to make notes on the go and sync between the mobile and browser versions of the app.

                  For additional features, including text recognition and the ability to collaborate on Notebooks, you can upgrade to Evernote’s premium service, which costs $5 per month.

                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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