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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 February 15, 2019

          7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

          7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

          Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

          Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

          Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

          So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

          Joe’s Goals

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            Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

            Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

            Daytum

              Daytum

              is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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              Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

              Excel or Numbers

                If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                Evernote

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                  I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                  Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                  Access or Bento

                    If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                    Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                    You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                    Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                    All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                    Conclusion

                    I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                    What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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