‘Tips’ Archive

Sell Your Phone For The Best Price

How To Sell Your Phone For The Best Price: All You Need To Know

Are you planning to sell your old phone so you can upgrade? Your carriers’ trade in program sure sounds tempting, but they are not always the best price. There are many buy and sell websites that give higher offers than most carriers.

Ebay’s Instant Selling, for example, almost always offers better rates than AT&T, T-Mobile, and other carriers who offer trade-in programs.

An AT&T-locked iPhone X 256 GB in excellent condition (no dents, no scratches, perfect screen) best offer is only $450 with AT&T but you can sell it on Ebay for at least $600* even without the accessories. You can sell it for more if you include the accessories that came with it.

Moreover, an UNLOCKED iPhone X in excellent condition, can be sold for at least $700 on Ebay even without the accessories. That difference adds up and can earn you a lot more money than trading your phone with your carrier.

Of course, if you want to sell your phone for the best price, you have to keep it in an immaculate physical condition and ensure it passes standards that would make it worth all the money.

Here are five ways to increase the market value of your phone:

1. Unlock it. Factor number 1 in buying and selling is knowing whether the phone is locked to a certain carrier. If it’s locked, that’d hugely diminish the number of people who would be willing to buy it because it limits their options. It will start off with a lower bid price compared to phones which can be used with any carrier all over the globe.

Unlocking your phone from its carrier doesn’t always involve having to ‘jailbreak’ or ‘root’ the device. If you’re using an iPhone, there is an easy, fast, and SAFE way to unlock your iPhone without breaking your warranty or bricking the phone itself. For phones coming from T-Mobile or MetroPCS, you can safely unlock your phone permanently through the Device Unlock App.

Your carrier can also help you unlock your phone for a FEE provided your account meets certain standards. Otherwise, you’d probably be asked why you’re unlocking it and if there’s a chance you’d be switching to another carrier, which, of course, would in one way or another, harm your pocket, or worse, your credit score.

As mentioned earlier, UNLOCKED phones have more perceived value than those which aren’t because it doesn’t limit the users with their options for carriers.

2. Include the original packaging and accessories with the phone. Selling your phone together with the original packaging, headset, charger, and other accessories that came free with it will drastically increase the retail value.

Ebay and other buy and sell sites for used electronics offer higher for sellers who include the accessories and the original packaging (only if they are still in good condition). Buying phone accessories such as the headset and the charger also comes at a price, so if you sell your phone with it, you’ll have better offers than when you don’t.

However, there are buy and sell sites that don’t require you to include them, like Gazelle, and won’t pay you more if you did include them in the package. It’s best to just keep your accessories for your own use or sell them somewhere else.

3. Start off with a higher price point. Be wary of used phone resellers who will low ball you to the core. When priced fair and just, you will never run out of genuine interested buyers. On buy-and-sell or trade-in websites where there’s no fixed price point and people can haggle or bargain with you, it’s best to start off with a higher price point (but still within a fair price range, of course).

When someone tries to haggle, they will try to knock down the price, but you can still negotiate to the price point you wanted. They’ll think they had a good deal and you got the price you wanted. Win-win.

If you’re not strapped for cash, stay firm, the right buyer will come your way.

4. Add more proof. Often times, listings don’t get noticed because of the lack of photos or videos to prove its legitimacy. When you’re selling a phone, uploading pictures and videos that show the condition of the device is the best way to attract potential buyers. If you’re not selling your phone in trading sites, you can also try Facebook Marketplace.

Warning: you’re not protected by Facebook in case you are scammed by the buyer. In the Facebook Marketplace, you’re all on your own. Uploading more photos or videos that shows the phone’s condition will increase the chances of having more interested buyers. It’s best to sell the phone to someone who’s within your area so you can personally meet and they can check the phone while you’re with them. The video/photo proof will also reduce the perceived risks that prevents people from buying.

5. Try selling on other platforms. There are a lot of legitimate platforms that allow you to sell your phone or other gadgets. Aside from your carrier, you can also sell your phone on Swappa, Glyde, Gazelle, uSell, Apple (for iPhones), Best Buy, Amazon, NextWorth, and many more.

The only difference among these platforms is that, Ebay and Best Buy sends you vouchers or gift cards, and the rest asks you to go to the store, or mail your phone for a physical check- up.

Sell Your Phone For The Best Price

Where Should You Sell Your Phone? We compared each platform.

We tried several gadget trading/selling platforms and here are their offers for an iPhone 8 64GB, GSM, Silver, USED but in excellent condition with complete accessories (headphones, original box, and charger and cable) as of April, 2019.

Ebay Gazelle Swappa uSell Best Buy
AT&T locked $306 $229 $360- $600 average price $220-$271 $210 trade-in value
Unlocked $366 $266 $360- $600 average price $230- $299 No options for unlocked phone
Pros Highest offer among other platforms Don’t ask you to send accessories with the phone No middleman, you can deal directly with buyers. Free prepaid shipping label Free prepaid shipping label
Cons Only pays with vouchers Offer not competitive enough, adding accessories doesn’t change the price offer Only form of payment is PayPal Payments are only done 1-7 biz days after item is received by buyers. Pay via gift cards

 

Although, Ebay’s offer is the highest, they won’t be paying you with cash. You have to reconsider whether you need an Ebay voucher or not.

Do’s and Don’ts Before selling your old phone

  1. Take the old SIM card and the memory card out. You don’t need to delete your memory card’s data unless you’re selling the card together with the phone. Take out your old SIM card as well, although you might not be able to use it, there are still data being saved on your old SIM card like your contacts list, messages, and call logs. You surely don’t want those on another person’s hand.
  1. Make sure you delete all your personal data. Saved password, emails, Drive or Cloud information, deleted videos and pictures, cache, IDs, etc. You’re not only protecting yourself from data theft, you’re also increasing your phone’s market value. If you’re using an Android, you can also backup your phone’s existing data to your Google account. If you can bring back the phone to its default, ‘almost-new’ functionality state, it would drastically increase its memory and power efficiency.
  1. Do a system check. If you’re selling an old used phone that has not been used for the last 3 months or so, it’s necessary for you to do a system check before you even start selling. It could have a drained battery or it might be in need for a system update. Try using the phone for at least one day to see whether you encounter any issues while using it.
  1. For Android users: Sign out of your Google account. You need to sign out of your Google account, otherwise the new user will not be able to activate it since he/she needs your password.

Conclusion

There are other ways to increase the market value of your phone, but it all boils down to how you maintained the phone’s aesthetic value and functionality. When you sell, be honest about your phone’s true condition and don’t let down the person on the receiving end.

AI is now the main technology ingredient behind Apple’s iPhone range

In September this year, when Apple unveiled the latest iPhones, Tim Cook introduced Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a game-changing roadmap component behind almost every aspect of the device. Apple manufacture 15.6% of the world’s phones, but capture more than half of the industry’s revenue. Their strategic focus on AI is a worthwhile reminder of the importance of the opportunity that AI represents.

It’s not just Apple, however, who stand to benefit from this new, ubiquitous technology. With AI continuing to be the technology offering the most potential of our time, and mobile now a key part of every digital customer interface, there is no industry which can expect to be free from the need to find a way to garner AI’s benefits.

The evolution of AI.

AI as a concept has been around since the idea was first generated by John McCarthy in the late 1950s. Today, well beyond claims of ‘hype’ it is fundamentally redefining every industry, starting with mobile.  Source: Medium

It’s no exaggeration to suggest that AI in Smartphones will redefine the field of mobile technology.

According to Gartner, 80% of Smartphones will have AI capabilities by 2022. AI is paving new ways to meet both specified an unspecified customer expectation and turbo charge the use of mobile technology in research.

AI’s success is derived, most fundamentally, from 3 things.

  • First, it can be applied, in various forms to any industry, something we haven’t seen in many years– since air conditioning, indoor plumbing, the jet engine and other innovations of the 20th Century were rolled out.
  • Second, it thrives on computing power and big data sets, two things which we now have in quantities never before seen.
  • Finally, AI automates the most important aspect of the cutting edge of computing interfaces, personalization. Here are some examples of how those important AI principals are being applied to mobile.

AI and the IoT (Internet Of Things) – A match made in heaven

The internet of things (IoT) is the name given to the concept of cheap sensors and computing capabilities being embedded in to everyday aspects of our lives – everything from smartwatches, to smart buildings, rubbish bins and even children’s backpacks. Information from those now connected products is delivered through mobile phone (cellular) networks connected to the internet with increasingly cheap data plans.

In some senses, the Internet of Things is just at its beginning. Forbes suggest that 45% of business are aiming to implement IoT sensors in the machinery in their organizations. This is the first tranche of the rollout – since these sort of industrial implementations offer the fastest payback for an IoT investment.

We take it for granted that our desktops and selves are connected to the internet with laptops and smartphones respectively. Over the next decade, every other physical asset worth more than $50 will also be added to the mix. Just like our computers and phones, these artifacts will start to generate huge quantities of information about their status and environments.

IoT growth by sector. Early implementations will be where there are the fastest paybacks.

Early implementation of IoT will affect industry, where paybacks are fastest. However, B2C – Business to Consumer applications will also occur in the next decade. Source: Statista

In this IoT world, AI assists in picking the signal from the noise of data which are generated by newly connected devices. Combined, of AI and the IoT helps means that the information obtained from such a broad array of sensors, can be filtered and put to good use.

The results will improve efficiency where, currently, we don’t have information to realize how we could optimize.

As usual, Google are ahead of the curve, and have applied AI algorithms to their data centers, optimizing them with invisible AI algorithms to cut the power used by an incredible 40%.

 AI and Digital Conversation – An altogether different experience

We take for granted that our current interface with mobile technology is the common touchscreen, introduced most famously, again, in the original iPhone back in 2007. This may not be the case for much longer, however, and AI is, again, the tool which is bringing these new interaction methodologies to the fore.

Now, people are getting used to ‘talking’ (or having real time Instant Messaging ‘chats’) with chatbots which answer their queries in much the same way a human would.

Most people have interfaced with one type of ‘bot’ even now. If you’ve talked to Siri or said ‘OK Google’ to perform a search with your voice – you’ve been dealing with a ‘personal assistant’ – a specific type of Chatbot.

Now, the same technology is being rolled out by banks, phone companies and even government departments to manage the huge volume of calls and chat requests they receive from people every day.

The beauty of chatbot is the ability to communicate with a large number of people at the same time – importantly – at a zero marginal cost. Over time, these bots are much, much cheaper than employing people to do the same thing.

Chatbots have started to become a crucial aspect of customer relationship management, learning from mistakes, providing more accurate answers to the most common questions and getting better at the root of the problem from a computing / AI perspective – establishing a user’s intent from what they say ( ‘utterances’ in techno-speak.)

Chatbots are AI software which can simulate a conversation with a user in a natural language through websites, mobile apps or messaging.

History of Chatbots. Source: SmartSheet

Does using chatbots work? More than 95% smartphone users feel that customer service has seen improvement since the inception of AI fueled chatbots.

AI and mobile technology – A lethal weapon for research

AI-powered tech may well be the key component driving the future of every form of mobile research.

80% of research is spent compiling and analyzing the information required. A great deal of the most useful research undertaken starts with a deep understanding of human needs and behaviors. The data available from mobile devices, aligned with AI to sort the wheat from the chaff, has now made that information easier to collate.

Consider the amount of information a smartphones gathers. Simply studying people’s movements using the GPS feature on a phone can be useful for research purpose. Other device sensors (most phones contain accelerometers, GPS, microphones, RF antennae and so on) can be used to gather information on people and cross reference that with other variables, either established through the phone data or derived from another source, to reach a research objective.  

One specific, work undertaken at Dartmouth University, used data collected from students’ smartphones, to determine their levels of depression, stress and loneliness. Their movements, audio signals and position information were correlated with survey questions asked directly of the students using one of those targeted apps. The results could be used to predict psychological wellbeing on other students phones (those who had not answered the questionnaire.)

Further, the strict mathematical models behind AI can also be used to practically remove human bias from the research process, something hard for humans to do but which can materially and negatively impact the value of any research undertaken.

AI and smartphone security – Two sides of the same coin

Finally, AI is catering to the biggest concern of the mobile economy – security.

Security is a difficult subject to contend with for those developing any consumer product, especially when it’s used to address the needs of mobile users.

The nature of security solutions is that they offer an uncomfortable trade off – between the safety of and the convenience of access to information. It’s an important balance to get right, given the quantity of personal information that the average smartphone now contains.

AI ‘fuzzy’ pattern matching is allowing developers can predict vulnerability levels and app security. The technology will keep a eye on ‘suspicious’ (note how vague that term is) activities, identifying them from the coalescence of similar patterns in the past – and raise an alert when ‘unusual’ behavior (of the sort which might indicate a ‘hacker’ is working) is encountered.

AI has the potential to find the loopholes and reduce the risk of intruders attacking the smartphone of the customer through their apps.

Bringing it all together

Most fundamentally, AI helps computers behave in a more human manner, delivering more personalized experiences in an automated way. When your phone recommends a song playlist you love, containing tunes you’ve never heard before, when your mobile interface to Netflix guesses a show you’ll enjoy or when Amazon show you products that you might like to consider – AI is behind those suggestions and transforming the experience you have with your mobile technology.

Artificial intelligence is slowly revamping the entire economy, including its mobile component with its immense power to connect the facilities we’ve listed above. The IoT means more data is collected, often in real time for analysis. AI makes collecting and analyzing it more secure. It offers better ways of interfacing with technology than our current screen technology, in the form of chatbots and voice agents ‘why’ act on our behalf.

 

In the name of having fun or just being “in the trend,” a lot of people unknowingly download apps that are actually harming their device, and even their privacy.

Recently, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has been under fire and was asked to testify in the Senate and in the Congress regarding multiple massive data breaches that may have affected the US election on 2016.

Collected as he was during the interview, the young Silicon Valley billionaire admitted that there was a failure on their end to track how investors and advertisers access and use the data gathered from Facebook’s pool of over 2 billion users.

While people innocently think that the information they share on Facebook don’t matter because they aren’t celebrities, one should still be vigilant and informed about the things that is going on in the whole world of Social Media and not just on Facebook.

If you’re an avid Facebook user, here are a few of our tips to improve your privacy in this particular social media platform.

 

1. Don’t just say ‘Yes’ to app permission pop-ups. Carefully examine what you are permitting access to the app.

We all seem to be too used with just clicking yes on every privacy policy we see nowadays. And since we don’t seem to have any other choice at all but say yes, we skip reading, skim while scrolling fast, and absentmindedly click on ‘I accept’ without essentially knowing what we are accepting in the first place.

Ooops. #guilty.

 

If you haven’t been reading the privacy policies all along, you are putting yourself at risk to so many harmful things. Yes, they can use the data you shared for their own goals, which could be something they don’t want you to know, or they are selling it to an entity you don’t want anything to do with.

To cite an example, many developers warned the people about the viral Chinese app Pitu that lets people insert their faces in a “Wuzetian” cosplay. The app is thought to be “harvesting” a lot of data that is not related at all to the use of the app. It can record audio, know your exact location, and get phone logs that might contain private information like your password.

 

 

Before this, there was also a viral flashlight app that records conversations and that sends the recordings to Beijing. Quite alarming.

 

2. Personality Quizzes are fun, but it comes at a price.

We love getting to know ourselves and so it seems perfectly harmless to know “Which friend secretly loves you?” or “If you were a food, what will you be?”

Crazy questions like this plus a dash of little creativity, and then bam! You are going to see this for the next 5 days on your timeline. Everyone seems to do it, so what’s the harm in trying, right?

If you remember, once you click on a specific personality quiz you are redirected to a page outside Facebook, and you will be asked to either “log in through Facebook” or create an account.

Of course the Login button is right there screaming at you, and who likes the hassle of creating an account, creating a new password, etc? Besides, we have enough passwords to remember and this is just a personality quiz, so what’s the big deal?

You talk yourself through it for about a second and then you just allowed the site to “have access of your public profile, friends, photos, etc etc.”

 

 

Wow. Is it making sense?

 

3. Don’t click random suspicious videos even if they are sent by friends.

This is pretty obvious but Messenger, the official messaging app by Facebook, is being used to spread videos that when clicked are actually going to download a spyware or malware that may harm your computer or mobile phone.

Aside from potentially harming your device, some of these Messenger viruses also harm other people in your friends list or contact list by sending the same message to their Messenger coming from you.

If you receive any of it, just delete the conversation to get rid of it once and for all, or if you can’t for some reasons, just get out of the page and inform your friend who sent the message to tell other people in her friends list.

 

4. Don’t put your birthday, phone number, and email address publicly on Facebook.

We like to announce and share publicly many of our important life events, including our birthdays. Also, searching using phone numbers was one of the most convenient ways to find someone on Facebook to get in touch with old friends, family, etc.

However, these things put your privacy at risk. Because of that, Facebook has been an easy tool for phishing. You could have your identity stolen and the next thing you know it has ruined your life miserably.

Yeah, it’s nice to receive greetings from many people during your birthday, but if they truly care, you never have to tell them nor let Facebook notify them about it.

 

Conclusion

All the drama that’s going on in the US Senate right now with Mark Zuckerberg in the spotlight is not just about his or Facebook’s privacy failures. It also puts into light, how lightly people nowadays take their privacy, and how they are risking themselves to so many threats even to their knowledge.

‘Free’ Apps or things come at a price. Be sure it’s not your privacy.

New Integration with RepairDesk Expands Opportunities for Cell Phone Repair Shops

 

UnlockBase always aims to open new doors of opportunities and success for small and medium size businesses. Continuing our aim, this time we have integrated with a point of sale software that is heartbeat of many businesses. Yes we are talking about “RepairDesk” which is one of the top notch cloud-based CRM & POS software, especially tailored for cell phone repair shops.

It works to bring efficiency, ease and chances to raise revenue in lives of shop owners with the help of seamless user interface, trouble-free repair booking and powerful integrations. What would you get? Well, here are the benefits that we bring to you.

 

Partner Announcement : UnlockBase and RepairDesk

 

Easy-To-Go User Friendly Interface

 

One of the major features which define RepairDesk as the best POS software is its simple yet remarkable user interface. To book a repair job is just a matter of few clicks. Moreover, setting up your business on RepairDesk will take less than a day.

 

Customer Follow-ups

 

CRM is one of the most popular features RepairDesk offers. It allows you to send follow up emails and SMS regarding new offers and packages to your customers all at once without doing much effort.

 

Repair Ticket Management

 

View all types of repair job assigned to different employees and keep track of available slots while you focus more on growing your business. Order repair parts and accessories, export tickets to CSV and keep a log of all jobs with centralized ticket history.

 

Robust Inventory Management

 

It’s time to get rid of manual inventory management as RepairDesk lets you manage and track all of your inventory with features like low stock alerts and serialized inventory. Real-time analytics help you to forecast future business decisions too.

 

Multi Store Environment & Concise Reporting

 

Managing all of your store locations is now hassle-free as you can run your business with accurate stock, precise reporting and productivity reports. It lets you creates multiple reports including sales summary, cost of goods sold and employee productivity.

 

RepairDesk iPad App

 

That’s not it! RepairDesk has also launched the first ever iPad app for cell phone repair shops recently. The new RepairDesk iPad app gives you the opportunity to get rid of PC‘s and lets you create repair tickets and convert into invoices within a minute.

 

Create a Repair Ticket in Less than 60 Seconds

 

With Stripe integration, you can accept credit card payments and split them into multiple tender types easily.

 

Split payments between multiple tender types

 

Provide exceptional customer experience by in-taking customer signatures with your store’s terms & conditions.

 

In-Take Customer Signature

 

Impressed? Download RepairDesk iPad App now and start running your repair shop like a pro.

With RepairDesk integration, now you can boost your unlocking business efficiently and effectively. To learn more on how to setup this integration, please click here.

RepairDesk is tested by many owners and loved by every one of them. Are you ready to try a known POS name in the industry of cell phone repair? Signup now and get free 14-day trial, no credit card required.

 
 
Integration with RepairDesk for Cellphone Repair Shops

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This Person Tried to Unlock Your Phone - What Happens If Apple’s Face ID Goes Nuts

 

It’s been more than five months since Apple launched the iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X back in September last year. Amidst all the fanfare, there is only one major disturbance, or scare, if that better suits the public’s reaction. iPhone X’s Face ID element has introduced troubling scenarios about the product miscalculating the process of identifying its owner’s face in order to unlock the gadget.

So how does the face recognition process commences? Here it goes:

 

Apple Face ID face recognition process

 

  1. Apple X’s flood illuminator detects the face.
  2. The infrared camera captures the image.
  3. The iPhone’s projector releases around 30,000 invisible dots.
  4. Based on the infrared image and the dot pattern, neural networks form a mathematical model of the face.

 

Or are the steps should be the other way around? Just teasing to ease off everyone’s concerns. How about some light-hearted moments about Apple’s latest security feature, for now?

 

Here Are Top 10 Compilations of “This Person Tried to Unlock Your Phone” Memes with Apple Face ID:

 

1. Wait! Which face is it?

Wait! Which face is it?

 

2. Whoa! Even a ghost can access your expensive iPhone!

Whoa! Even a ghost can access your expensive iPhone!

 

3. Is that an oversized banana or did conehead just made a comeback?

 

Is that an oversized banana?

 

4. Want to make your iPhone super hard to unlock? Try a groufie!Want to make your iPhone super hard to unlock? Try a groufie!

 

5. So much for security. Can’t even dial 911 to rescue MJ.

 So much for security. Can’t even dial 911 to rescue MJ.

 

6. Smile fellas! You’re on the FBI’s big screen now 24/7.

Smile fellas! You’re on the FBI’s big screen now 24/7.

 

7. Just a plain iPhone. All it needs is your face.

Just a plain iPhone. All it needs is your face.

 

8. News Flash: Demand for cosmetic surgeons on the rise

News Flash: Demand for cosmetic surgeons on the rise

 

9. Lots of makeup kits and accessories in the garbage. Tnx iPhone X.

9. Lots of makeup kits and accessories in the garbage. Tnx iPhone X.

 

10. Ooops! Wrong boyfriend!

Ooops! Wrong boyfriend!

 

Got some funny “This Person Tried to Unlock Your Phone” memes not on our list? Feel free to add them on the comments!

 

Is Your Phone Hacked? Here Are 9 Signs To Know If You’ve Been Hacked

 

Your smartphone’s lack of security could potentially damage not only your day, but also your life. Who knows what people store in their smartphone nowadays, and one just can’t let their phone be vulnerable from hackers who employ phishing attacks day and night.

A hacked phone can lead to a damaged reputation or a damaged credit score. You can’t be clueless as to how to protect your phone or how to tell if it’s already been hacked. If this got you scared enough, you can also take a look at our last week’s post: 16 Things You Should Know About Digital Privacy Invasion.

But for now, let’s discover the 9 signs that rings the alarm of your phone being hacked:

 

1. Your smartphone takes forever to load or power up

 

Your Smartphone takes forever to load or power up.

 

Is your phone taking way too long to load up or power up? There could be three reasons why it does this:

  1. Your phone’s memory capacity is almost full
  2. You have too many heavy apps (gaming, social media, etc) running in the background
  3. A malware

 

Now that we’ve got that straightened out, let’s take away the other factors that could be affecting your phone’s performance. Your phone, under normal usage shouldn’t lag or get clunky, unless when you are running gaming apps that are processor or bandwidth intensive.

You might also think using up your phone’s ROM is totally unrelated but there are certain phones which gets affected with a low memory capacity, so you should also take this into consideration. If you think your phone is running out of memory, you can opt to add a memory card to extend the memory or put some of your data on a cloud storage to free up some space.

However, if the first two aren’t factors close to consideration, you can run a malware check on your phone and have the malwares or suspicious files removed. There are anti-malware apps that are offered free for a certain trial period and you can take advantage of that to remove the malwares that could be harming your phone or stealing your data.

But you might be asking how do malwares slow down your phone? Malwares slow down your phone because they take a bit of your phone’s processor or bandwidth capacity to operate. They can piggyback on some of your apps and that could also be a reason why some apps are running slow or “crashing” when you use them.

It’s important to install an anti-malware app or software on your phone but it’s just as important to examine whether your phone’s processor capacity is enough to run it. There are phones that just aren’t made for apps that uses up a lot of memory or is needing a bigger processor.

If you think your phone isn’t made for a bigger hustle, you shouldn’t load it up with apps that are too heavy for its use.

 

2. Your battery is drained up faster

 

Your Battery is drained up faster

 

In relation to the previous item, malwares also use up a lot of power aside from processor capacity. It’s just like playing an online game, if you are playing online games or are multi-tasking, your battery drains faster compared to just texting or simple browsing the net.

Now, since malwares run in the background, which you don’t likely notice, they will eat up your phone’s power faster than it used to. And as mentioned, since some malwares piggyback on other apps, it will now take more power for the app to run properly. It affects not only how fast your phone performs but also the length of its battery life.

 

3. You have apps you didn’t even install

 

Apps you didn’t even install

 

Some of these malwares can come as innocent offers, like pop-ups offering to help you free up some memory space and even trick you into thinking they are anti-malwares.

But how do these apps end up on your phone when you didn’t install them in the first place? Well, there are too many circumstances that could lead to this, but here are a few to consider:

  1. You clicked on an advertisement that uses phishing/spamming
  2. You accidentally installed the apps from annoying pop-ups that ask you to click “ok” or “I agree” unsuspiciously
  3. You have installed apps from suspicious websites that come with another phishing app/software.

 

You can easily uninstall these apps or if you think your phone is too “infected” you can reformat it or the memory card where you stored the installed apps. Make sure to backup your data though, because you won’t be able to retrieve them after cleaning up your phone or memory card.

 

4. Your phone bill has weird unexpected charges

 

phone bill has weird unexpected charges

 

If you think the excess charge on your bills (which you have no idea about) is the only problem, you better think again. Some service providers have let their users to receive text messages from subscription based third-party vendors for services that are sometimes illegitimate.

Some of these text messages that get through has spam links that may lead you to suspicious websites or spam your inbox with messages that you don’t want at all. What’s worse is that you are paying for them!

If you are seeing these type of messages, you can call your service provider to help you opt out of these subscription-based text messaging services.

 

5. Your phone is accessing bad sites

 

phone is accessing bad sites

 

Have you ever been reported to your head office because your phone has been caught accessing bad sites a.k.a. porn sites?

You know you wouldn’t do it using a company-provided VPN so if it wasn’t you, it sure was someone else pretending to be you. If you think your VPN ID or your login credentials have been leaked or stolen by someone else, you have to report it to your company’s IT department.

If that’s going to take long, you can start cleaning up the devices where you have logged in using VPN. Cleaning up can mean erasing your browsing history, removing your remembered passwords on browsers, and generally applying extra security measures.

Also recycling your password or having the same password for your email, social media, or banking app accounts is not really recommended. It is advisable that you even change your passwords regularly, like more than twice a year to keep you from hackers that maybe just lurking around the internet neighborhood.

Installing a firewall, either a router or a software is also advised as these will help you stay private when you are on the internet.

 

6. Some apps aren’t working properly

 

Some apps aren’t working properly

 

As mentioned earlier, if you have apps that aren’t working properly, there might be malwares that are piggybacking on them or are interrupting the way your phone functions.

Some malwares are designed to slowly damage the apps installed in your phone. There are also some which are really designed to slowly damage your phone’s processor. If there are no significant changes or additions to your smartphone, you shouldn’t be experiencing any lag or any particular issues on your other apps.

If you are willing, you can also isolate the issue by doing a simple uninstall and reinstall to see if it’s just a problem with one app or a problem with your phone itself.

 

7. Your social media accounts are being accessed on places you haven’t been to

 

social media accounts are being accessed on places you haven’t been to

 

Social media sites like Facebook and Google, do take note of your location every time you log in. This helps them accurately suggest places you want to visit or provide related advertisements according to your current location.

This also serves as an added security feature, since you will be able to receive alerts every time there is a new device log in or if you’ve been logged in to places you weren’t usually logged in to.

For Facebook, you can check these “places” in the Account Security section. You will blown away with how much data Facebook really holds about you, and if you find suspicious logins from places you haven’t been to, you can choose to click on the “Not You?” option to let Facebook block any logins from the device logged in on that location.

From there, Facebook will walk you through the process of creating a new password and employing another set of security measure such as 2FA (2-Factor Authentication) to

If you are using gmail, you will also be able to detect new logins, and Google can help you block suspicious logins from unrecognized devices to prevent them from accessing your account again in the future.

 

8. You have ad pop-ups that you didn’t have before

 

ad pop-ups that you didn’t have before

 

A hacked phone doesn’t only mean leaked private videos, it could also mean annoying pop-ups that flash on your phone every time you open it. If you have pop-ups you can’t get out of or when you get them even when you are not on the internet, chances are the malwares have already stitched themselves to your phone and it’s going to be a a little challenging to get them off.

One way to get this fixed is to reformat your phone or to install an anti-malware software to get rid of the ad pop-ups.

 

9. Your personal data or information is being leaked

 

personal data or information is being leaked

 

This is probably the worst thing that can happen to you when your phone is being hacked but don’t lose hope. Take the necessary security measures to keep your phone from being hacked!

Your iPhone X may look like it has the best set of security features, but hackers are getting smarter everyday. It’s best to keep your passwords to yourself or change them regularly. Adding 2FA or two-factor authentications also help you track every login on your online accounts. Adding a router, a firewall, or backing up your data on a secured cloud service provider is also one way to keep things protected.

 

Takeaway: Your phone is doing stuff you didn’t do.

 

You don’t need to be a famous celebrity or a big ball businessperson to become a target of hackers as anyone can be a victim.

A hacked phone can be doing stuff you didn’t do like sending text or messages that are spamming people’s inbox. A hacked phone can also become a medium to help the hackers reach more people and steal their information, so if you happen to have received messages from friends or contacts that you are sending suspicious messages, immediately report this to your service provider or to the authorities.

16 Things You Should Know About Digital Privacy Invasion

 

TL;DR

  1. Google is collecting data about you through your phone.
  2. Phishing comes in so many forms.
  3. Never trust your password to anyone, not even your phone.
  4. Use Password Managers.
  5. Change your passwords regularly.
  6. Add an extra layer of lock to your phone.
  7. Clean your browsers more often (than your house).
  8. Don’t just click “OK” or “I agree” absentmindedly.
  9. Employ 2FA (2 Factor Authentication) for all withdrawals (and on all your online accounts).
  10. Check the fidelity of your Social Media accounts.
  11. Create A Guest Wifi Network.
  12. Install a Firewall on your computer or on your home network.
  13. Use a VPN to hide your ass.
  14. Avoid using public Wi-Fi.
  15. Install manufacturer updates when needed.
  16. Be careful with the apps you install.

 

When we think about privacy in the digital world, we all suddenly feel anxious. Are we truly safe from privacy invasion? Are our phones especially equipped to keep our bank details, emails, phone numbers, etc free from hackers and digital thieves?

We’ve heard enough stories from people who lost their money because of email phishing and of those whose private videos got exposed and never got their peace again. It’s adding up to the anxiety people are burdened with nowadays, even after the extraordinary layer of security technology has to offer.

Mobile phones in particular, is one of the most vulnerable gadgets that is prone to hacker attacks. It gets especially hotter nowadays, since more and more people are using their mobile phones to buy things online, and even purchase products right off the shelves at Walmart.

Although mobile phones have become the best boon for humankind, it could also be the source of our greatest bane. With all the threats that’s going on around us, what can you do or what do you need to know to keep yourself safe when using your phone?

Well, let’s delve deeper and discover what you should know and what you can do to protect your privacy and essentially, your life.

1. Google is collecting data about you through your phone.

 

Google is collecting data about you through your phone

 

Did you know that you are being stalked by Google? Google knows almost everything about you. It can predict with absolute accuracy what you want to buy, what you want to search about, and even tell you where you’ve been last.

Google’s AI helps them know what ads to suggest based on your search behavior. And on your phone, there’s a default Google app that lets them know your location so they can suggest the best restaurants, places to visit, and report accurate temperature.

Ever since GPS, it was possible for anyone to follow us around or stalk without us knowing, and of course, this is a government initiative through NASA. Your mobile phone picks up signal from your mobile phone service provider towers and they can predict with almost perfect accuracy where you are at the moment just by using that data alone.

By default, Android and iOS users have GPS trackers enabled, but there’s no need to sulk, you can disable these location trackers just as easily. Here’s how to stop your phone from logging your location:

 

To Disable location reporting on Android:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Location
  3. Google Location Settings
  4. Switch slider off on both Location Reporting and Location History
  5. Delete Location History
  6. Repeat process on each Google Account on your device.

 

Note that by disabling these services you are essentially limiting Google on suggesting information that may be of help to you. Nonetheless, you can leave Location Reporting on when you think you need it. You can also block Google from seeing your location through the help of a VPN app for Android devices from services like ExpressVPN. This not only blocks Google, but also your ISP from seeing your location.

 

To Disable location reporting in iOS:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Privacy
  3. Location Services
  4. Swipe slider off on all apps or select apps you want it disabled (e.g Google Maps)
  5. System Services
  6. Deny location data from features you want to disable it

 

Note that with iOS you can’t erase the location history, so you have to log on to a web browser for you to do that. Choose the days you want to delete location history and you’re done.

2. Phishing comes in so many forms.

 

Phishing comes in so many forms

 

Bet you’ve probably seen how phishing emails look like, and hopefully it wasn’t successful on whatever its scheming to do. Email phishing disguises itself as a trustworthy organization aiming to gather important information from people who aren’t suspecting. They can disguise to be your bank, a famous brand, Google, and even your phone’s manufacturer!

Even Facebook has had this incident and a lot of accounts in so many countries had been infected. If you suspect your computer or your phone had been infected or hacked through Facebook or any other website, you can run a malware scan and immediately log out from the internet.

Unfortunately, hackers and phishers evolve fast and they are extremely creative. Nonetheless, it’s easy to outsmart them if you know how they really do it. Now, take a look at these examples:

 

  • Pop-up offering quick fixes for your mobile problems. They can show you a result of a quick device scan and will ask you to download or install a malware that is potentially dangerous to your computer and/or the data in it.

 

  • Email disguised to be your bank account asking for more account information. Your bank already has your account number, so there’s no way they’d ask that from you via email. Also, legitimate companies will not ask you to send your personal information through email or text.

 

  • A Facebook message from a friend with a link. Facebook hackers have made it to your friends’ inbox and if your friend unsuspectingly clicks on that link, all the person on their friends list will receive the message as well. This links will slow your computer down or install extensions on your browsers that can gather login information. You wouldn’t notice they installed anything but when you login to your bank, email, or work-related sites using the infected browser, it will send the information to the hacker’s server.

 

  • Emails disguised as customer complaint. High-level executives are the target of “customer complaint” phishers. They can even come up with an official-looking subpoena to make it look legitimate. More often, they are going to ask you to click a link where you will be asked to install a software so you can proceed. They can sometimes also clone your email login page where you will unsuspectingly enter your email login information to proceed.

 

  • Emails disguised as a shipping carrier asking for your personal information. Key here is not to provide your address or any information about you if you can’t confirm you have an order with them. Most carriers don’t really need to confirm shipping information because it is done by their vendor or the company where you purchase your goods from. If you are not expecting any order delivery, better to erase it right away.

 

  • Clone emails. As the term itself defines, this type of phishing clones or copies the exact email sent to you by a legitimate entity (e.g bank) and they also use an email address that looks like that of your bank. If you receive an email regarding a matter that your bank already had informed you with before, please don’t click any link. Instead investigate and verify the email by searching about it. You’re probably not the first to receive that email and the public have already been alerted about it.

 

  • Email from an unknown company about a freebie or a voucher you can claim by clicking a link. Well, it is easy to bait someone using their emotion, but remember, if the offer is too good to be true, it probably is.

 

  • Unsecured website login page. If you are routed to a page where you have to enter login information like username, email, pin, or passwords, always remember to check its security. Websites which as HTTPS and has a lock icon before the web address is safe and secure for you to enter your credentials. If on the other hand, it is only an HTTP or there’s no lock icon, you should be concerned. Also, you can check the website’s security certificate when you click on the lock icon. This helps you know how your data is protected.

 

Remember that phishing doesn’t only use one medium of communication. It can disguise itself as an unsuspecting text message from your daughter about your credit card information, or it can be through a call. When you receive a phone call from a company XYZ and they are asking personal information about you (including your birthday) that’s already one form of phishing.

There are other ways to prevent phishing and we’ll go through them in the next sections.

3. Never trust your password to anyone, not even your phone.

 

Never trust your password to anyone, not even your phone

 

As mentioned earlier, hackers and phishers have created ingenious ways to install extensions on your browsers with a single click. These extensions are triggered by certain websites, especially those where you enter login information. Although it would be easier for you to keep your passwords saved or “remembered” by your browser, it would be unsafe for you to do that.

Google Chrome, for example, isn’t a secure place to store your passwords. Anyone with access to your browser can keep your login credentials and save it for their own use. Although the hacker has to have physical access to your computer for them to steal your login information, you surely don’t want them to discover something you want to hide or keep for yourself.

Your phone’s browsers are also flawed the same. You can keep your social media logins to yourself if you allow people to use your phone or borrow it. You can stay unsuspecting but better be safe than sorry.

4. Use Password Managers.

 

Use Password Managers

 

If you have way too many passwords for you to remember, you can install a password manager like Lastpass. You need only one master password for the software login and you can keep all of your passwords in there safe and sound.

You can set a two-way authentication as well, so that when you login using a computer, you will need to authenticate it using your phone or another gadget of your choice. There are a lot of free password managers out there, so go get one now!

5. Change your passwords regularly.

 

Change your passwords regularly

 

Talking about passwords, it is necessary that you change your passwords on a regular basis, especially for those which concern your privacy and your banking logins. Even Apple Pay has its own flaws, so never trust yourself enough to keep these passwords and PIN’s just the same for more than 6 months.

It is advisable that you change your credit card pins on a regular basis to protect yourself from card skimming. If on the other hand, you use your phone to purchase, you need to make sure that your phone is locked enough that when someone steals it, it would be practically useless.

Jailbreaking a phone is something that even a grade-school kid can do nowadays, so to help protect yourself from this kind of disaster, you need to add an extra layer of lock to your phone which we will discuss next.

6. Add an extra layer of lock to your phone.

 

Add an extra layer of lock to your phone

 

Adding an extra layer of lock or security to your phone is going to help you not only secure your phone’s private data but it also prevents other people from using your information illegally.

There are a lot of free App Locks you can download from Google Play. With an extra lock installed you can lock certain apps and programs using a 6-digit PIN code and a simple toggle and voila, your Facebook, Gmail, or banking app is safe with another line of security.

Mobile phone manufacturers understand this necessity that’s why they always pack your devices with biometrics such as iris scanner, Face ID, fingerprint scanner, etc. However, no technology is perfect and there are still flaws in the system.

In an iPhone X, for example, your identical twin brother (if you have) can open your phone without any problem. In China, a lot of people had been in an uproar against Apple lately due to its racism in producing iPhone X.

A woman had discovered that her son can unlock her iPhone X and when she got to the store, she was told that there was a problem with the camera. She later discovered that everyone else can actually unlock her phone using their face with no problem and so was every other iPhone X in the store!

This major flaw had been denied by iPhone and of course, they denied the accusation of being racist. This had happened a month later iPhone X was released in the market.

7. Clean your browsers more often (than your house)

 

Clean your browsers more often (than your house)

 

Cleaning your browser is as important as cleaning your house. You have to erase your browsing history once in a while if you want to keep your devices safe from hackers.

Although there is a need for any hacker to have physical access to the device (e.g mobile phone), once someone breaks into your computer, they can look at the browser history and use the available data to steal information from you.

 

It’s easy to clean your browser. If you are using Chrome on your phone:

  1. Go to Chrome app
  2. Tap More History
  3. Tap Clear browsing data
  4. Go to Browsing history
  5. Uncheck any other boxes you don’t want to delete.
  6. Tap Clear data

 

Clean your browser often and save yourself from dirty trouble in the future.

8. Don’t just click “OK”or “I agree” absentmindedly.

 

Don’t just click “OK” or “I agree” absentmindedly

 

We all know that apps do ask “permissions” to access certain programs on your phone like your contacts, calendar, photos, messaging, notes, etc. By default, all of these programs have their boxes ticked, it’s up to you to uncheck the box next to the program you don’t want the app to have access with.

Limiting the app’s access isn’t going to affect the performance of the app, although there will be features that are to be compromised. Nonetheless, if you don’t want your Facebook, Messenger, Twitter or any other app for that matter have access to data that you think should stay private like Contacts, you can opt out and still be able to use them.

 

If you want to limit permissions on some apps, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Apps
  3. Device
  4. Tap the Gear icon
  5. App permissions
  6. Toggle slider ON or OFF on apps you want to limit access

 

In the same way, does some websites ask for permissions. If you have seen websites asking permission to “give you a notification about latest updates” or even asking to “enable cookies“, you better read what exactly they want from you.

By default, you shouldn’t allow them to do just that, and in fact, Google already penalizes websites who don’t let you opt out from these “permissions“. What these “cookies” do is to observe your behaviour when in the internet so they know what ads to suggest.

Amazon does this and so does other e-commerce websites. Google also does this, however, to a much healthier extent. When the information gathered by these cookies are given to the wrong hands, you’ll be spammed and the next thing you know, you’ll have annoying pop-ups every now and then.

 

If you are using Chrome on your computer, here’s how you change permission on all sites you will visit:

  1. On you computer, left click on Chrome
  2. Hover your mouse on the top right, click More (it looks like 3 bullets in a line)
  3. Click Settings
  4. Scroll down and click Advanced at the bottom
  5. Under “Privacy and Security” click on Content Settings
  6. Change the permission you want to update.

 

If you are using Android or iOS on your gadget, here’s how you get there:

  1. Open Chrome
  2. On the top right, click More  (it looks like 3 bullets in a line)
  3. Hit Settings
  4. Under Advanced, tap Content Settings (iOS) or Site Settings (Android)
  5. Tap on the permission you wish to change.
  6. Please follow “Recommended” advise from Google Chrome but ideally, you would want the following to be on the corresponding mode:
  • Cookies – Removing some cookies may mean that you will be logged out from some websites)
  • Camera – Should be on “Always Ask” mode
  • Location – “Ask before accessing
  • Microphone – “Ask before accessing
  • Notifications – “Ask before sending
  • Flash – “Ask first
  • Pop-up’s– “Blocked

 

For more information regarding Chrome browser settings, you can visit Chrome Support or you can go here for the full tutorial on their support site.

9. Employ 2FA (2 Factor Authentication) for all withdrawals (and on all your online accounts)

 

Employ 2FA (2-Factor Authentication) for all withdrawals (and on all your online accounts)

 

One way to also add another level of security to your bank accounts, Paypal, etc. you can add a 2-factor Authentication for all withdrawals. What this do is to provide you a notification on your phone (you bring daily), to authenticate and allow the withdrawal or any transaction.

This will help you to validate and deny the transaction that’s at hand. This keeps your money safe because the hacker has to have a physical access of your phone in order to do the last half of their job.

You can add 2FA on Paypal, WordPress, Evernote, Lastpass, Dropbox, Slack, Amazon, WhatsApp, and on your social media accounts. Google Authenticator is one of the commonly used 2FA apps and it supports a hostful of websites and apps that you want to have extra security. Thankfully, there’s a Google Authenticator app for both Android and Apple.

It’s fairly easy to get the app working. Once downloaded, install the app on your phone and sync your phone and tablet. For a full tutorial on how it’s done on Android or iOS, you can go here.

Apple also has 2-step authentication verification procedures that will notify you of any iCloud access or any app access on your iPhone or Mac. If you want to enable it, here’s how:

 

On iOS:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Sign in on iCloud
  3. Tap arrow on Apple ID
  4. Tap Password and Security
  5. Tap Turn ON Two-factor Authentication

 

On macOS:

  1. Go to System Preferences
  2. Sign in on iCloud
  3. Click Account details
  4. Click Security
  5. Click Turn ON Two-Factor Authentication

 

Microsoft is also on the same league, and it will add more security on your OneDrive, Skype, Xbox Live, etc. If you want to enable 2FA on your, you can look at this tutorial from Microsoft Support for guidance.

Google also has a 2FA capability and they have enabled email alerts by default so you can receive an email about new browser logins. If there’s a login on a new or unrecognized device, Google will let you know about it via email.

10. Check the fidelity of your Social Media accounts.

 

Check the fidelity of your Social Media Accounts

 

Your social media accounts are surely going to be a headache once hacked. People can steal your identity or use your private information to blackmail you. But as mentioned earlier, you can enable 2FA on each of your social media accounts to keep them protected.

For mobile-only app or service which do not have 2FA capability, you can enable login verification. Also, if you have logged in any of your social media account on another gadget, you need to remove or “forget” your password on those devices. With SnapChat, you can do this remotely using login verification. You can also generate a Recovery Key or Code for when your mobile device is stolen to protect your social media accounts.

 

On the other hand, Facebook also have created a way for their users to know whether their account has been hacked. If you haven’t tried this trick yet, here’s how:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Click Security and Login
  3. Click Where You’re Logged Into
  4. You will see your login history’s dates, places, and device used
  5. If it wasn’t you, click “Not You
  6. Click Secure Account
  7. Click Get Started and Facebook will walk you through the rest of the steps. It includes changing your current password.

 

If your Facebook account have been hacked you will see suspicious logins that you have not initiated. In order to prevent this from happening again in the future, you need to:

  1. Turn log in alerts.
  2. Update your password often.
  3. Enable 2FA
  4. Choose 3 to 5 friends to contact if your account is locked out.
  5. Be vigilant with friend requests.
  6. Don’t click suspicious links.
  7. Don’t believe any emails about changing your password or about your account being hacked. You need to login to Facebook first to confirm this because you will receive a notification from them if it is indeed true. It’s a no-no to update your password outside of the Facebook app or web page itself because Facebook will never ask you to do that.

 

The same rule applies to every other social media account you have. Never assume your account is safe unless you did the extra mile of checking it. The information they can get from your Facebook or other social media accounts is enough to steal your peace and ruin your life.

11. Create A Guest Wifi Network

 

Create A Guest Wifi Network

 

The struggle of having a connected home is keeping everything safe from thieves. If you have a connected home network, you don’t want anyone else to see or even remotely access your computer or gadget.

This is also one reason why, it is advised that you have a “Guest” Wifi network, so if your friends want to connect to your home Wifi when you hang out, they can do so without compromising your security.

If you have a connected home, it is important to keep all the access only to your trusted gadgets. Letting in an unauthorized mobile phone or laptop to your main Wifi network is dangerous because that means they can access your router’s login page and change the settings.

Whereas if they are connected to the guest network, they will not be able to access your router’s page. Thus, a guest network strengthens your network’s security.

They can get the IP addresses of your home’s main server where you store and share access to your important documents and data. Giving them access to your main Wifi is equal to giving them access to all of your house’s connected devices.

 

How do you create a Guest Network?

 

By default, most routers nowadays is already broadcasting a guest network and the main network using unique individual passwords.  The guest Wifi network usually has a “-guest” suffix in the end.  If you want to customize it, which is recommended, you need to know how to access the router’s setup page.

First, know your router’s brand name. The router is the device that transmits the internet connection coming from your modem into wireless signals. It’s practically the source of your Wifi connection.

There are also times when your modem and router is just one box, but if you aren’t sure which is which, you can ask your internet service provider to walk you through.

 

If you now know your router’s brand name, you can then search how to open it’s setup page, in most cases, all you need is your router’s IP address.

 

  1. Open browser.
  2. Enter your Router’s IP address.
  3. Enter router’s login information (username and password)
  4. Once logged in, look for the keywords Network, Guest Network, or Guest Access and click on it, or
  5. Click on “Allow Guest Access
  6. Enter your preferred Wifi name on the SSID box.
  7. Enter your preferred Wifi password for your Guest network.
  8. Click OK or Finish.

 

And voila! Your guest network is already setup. If you can’t access your router’s setup page, you might need help from your internet service provider (ISP) or you can call the router’s manufacturer to walk you through.

There are a lot of high-tech routers nowadays and the router that came from your ISP is probably outdated and don’t have the guest network functionality. It is highly recommended you update it to the model that’s best for your family’s needs for wireless connectivity.

12. Install a Firewall on your computer or on your home network.

 

Install a Firewall on your computer or on your home network

 

A firewall is one integral component to a home network. If you are using a cloud server in your home, you want that protected with a Firewall. A firewall can be a physical device or a software you can install.

Your router is one good example of a firewall. When you are connected to the modem, you will be given a public IP address and that is the perfect ingredient towards a hacking disaster. If you are using a public IP address you are like going to a war without an armor and of course, and we don’t want that.

To fully arm yourself, you need a firewall or a device or a software between you and the cruel world of the internet. Instead of using a public IP address, you want to use a private IP address.

The modem gives you a public IP address while the router in the other hand gives you a private IP address. With a router in between your device and the modem, hackers will not be able to get on your network and access your device.

It would be an extra challenge for them to hack your network because they will have to be connected to your private home network first before they can get in and start doing their business.

That being said, it takes your WiFi password for them to be able to steal information. With a well-secured router in your home, your network has better security.

Now, on the other hand, a Firewall could also be a software. You can install a software on your device to prevent it from getting viruses or malwares that can potentially harm the data that’s stored in your computer. These malwares can also be used to steal information from you and even shut your computer down.

If you want the best security for your home network and your devices, you need to have a strong Firewall.

13. Use a VPN to hide your ass.

 

Use a VPN to hide your ass

 

A VPN or a Virtual Private Network is a medium or a service that serves two purposes:

  1. To remotely connect to your company/home computer
  2. To safely hide all of the data you transmit over the internet.

 

The security that VPN offers is best if you want to transmit or access private information over the internet. A VPN encrypts all the information that you use over the internet, so that you browsing history, downloads, etc will not be visible to your internet service provider.

If you are travelling or always on the go, you won’t fear the security threat of using a public WiFi because you can login to your VPN and open your emails securely without feeling like anyone is sniffing on you. Now, you can use the internet and no one will know what you accessed, downloaded, or seen because your internet service provider will not be able to take records of them.

You can hide your ass or your IP address and essentially be able to download via BitTorrent and save yourself from copyright infringement litigation. Just be sure to use a VPN that doesn’t have Europe, US, or Canada as their exit points where these activities are considered illegal.

You can also install a VPN on your mobile gadgets, so if you like the convenience of opening your email or your work CRM‘s using your phone or tablet, you can freely do so securely!

Although it used to be mainly for corporate use, a VPN is also a wonderful add on to your home network because of the security offers. The process is pretty straightforward as downloading an app (mobile) or a software (computer) to make it work.

Next, sign up for the service, you can choose between a paid and a free service, although the latter will probably sacrifice a little privacy from your end as they will feed you with ads according to your browsing behaviour, which is somehow a contradiction of the purpose it serves.

After signing up, be sure to read the EULA (End User License Agreement) because not all VPNs are created equal and you might be compromising an essential feature due to this trifling negligence. There are thousands of VPN service providers and choosing one can get overwhelming, but the top thing to consider is the reason why you are using it.

If security is one of the things you are most concerned of, then getting a VPN should be at the top of your list.

14. Avoid using public Wi-Fi.

 

Avoid using public WiFi

 

As mentioned in the previous item, connecting to a public WiFi is a big no-no when you are trying to open your emails and even your social media accounts because this could potential put your privacy at risk.

If you are always on-the-go or can’t afford the cost of your postpaid service provider you can always have a VPN installed so you can keep yourself secured while on a public WiFi. You can’t expect for the speed to be fast though, as VPN connection uses a lot of data on encrypting your searches and may result to lower speeds.

Also, being on public WiFi means you are trusting the owner whatever information they get from your internet browsing data. If you have trust issues, don’t get yourself on a public WiFi.

Another alternative is to bring an unlocked portable WiFi hotspot which allows you to insert and use any sim from every country all over the globe. With your WiFi hotspot, you don’t need to connect to an unsecured public WiFi plus you can connect multiple devices and surf simultaneously on all these devices.

15. Install manufacturer updates when needed.

 

Install manufacturer updates when needed

 

Alright, this is one thing that is pretty much done by your phone or computer automatically, however it’s not always like that. For instance, your gadget is probably going to ask your permission to install any updates where you can do later.

Every persistent hacker out there will always find a hole out of every software update and this is why manufacturers continue to produce update even after their flagship is out of the stores. Apple has been consistent in giving software updates for their phones however, Android manufacturers had been notoriously called out because they seem to stop giving updates after a new phone is launched. That doesn’t essentially mean Android is less secure than Apple, but the assurance of a consistent software update even after 2 years of purchase should be a part of your buying conditions.

16. Be careful with the apps you install.

 

Be careful with the apps you install

 

Never ever download an app that is outside the official App Store or Google Play and that means you should only install apps from these places.

As mentioned in the earlier segment, apps ask permissions to get access to your mobile’s data, if you absentmindedly allow these apps to access anything they want to have access to, you just got yourself in to trouble.

The apps you download outside of the official Android and Apple stores are not tested by the software developers for security and they could potentially harm the data on your mobile by installing malwares or stealing vital information from it such as your contacts and calendar. It can even hack your email.

Stay away from sketchy app stores which offer apps you don’t see on the official app stores.

 

Takeaway

 

That was a whole lot of information about getting yourself safe in the internet both on mobile and on a computer, but the most important thing there is to remember is to always be vigilant and suspicious of everything you do online.

Be suspicious about the link, be very careful when you download, be vigilant when you grant app permissions, and be wary of suspicious websites. As the golden rule of thumb says, you’re better safe than sorry.

Top 3 Tips and Tricks to Master Your Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus : COVER

 

What are the most useful features of Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus?

  1. Iris scanner
  2. Edge Panels
  3. Always-On Display

 

Before, the most problem you can get from a Samsung smartphone is not being able to reach a network, thus, requiring a SIM network unlock PIN. Today, people tend to get lost with the various features and settings that the brand’s flagship smartphones – like Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus – contain.

In the first place, technology is complicated itself. However, we can’t deny the fact that it truly helps us in our daily needs. So, here are a few tips and tricks you can use to master your new Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus – for you to make out the best of this device’s lavish features!

 

 

Top 3 Tips and Tricks to Master Your Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus : Unlock Your Phone via Your Irises

Unlock your phone via your Irises (and add a cartoonish screen mask!)

You may have already heard about this, but indeed it is one great news. Samsung S8 and S8 Plus are introducing us to the iris biometric unlocking feature! The iris scanner is actually a default setting for unlocking the device, however, there’s a twist that you should know – the screen mask. If you are a great fan of Snapchat’s wonderful goofy masks, you will definitely love unlocking your phone with the Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus. To go around the setting, you need to:

 

Navigate the Settings > Lock screen and security > Iris Scanner > Preview screen mask

 

From there, select the mask and you will be provided with options of cartoonish masks to choose from.

It’s fun, isn’t it? Plus, the speed of the iris scanner is notably fast compared to the fingerprint option. However, it should also be noted that wearing sunglasses or fancy contact lenses would not work with the iris scanner.

 

 

Top 3 Tips and Tricks to Master Your Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus : Customizing Your Edge Panels

Customizing your Edge Panels

Along with the Galaxy duo’s applauded biometric features is its customizable Edge Panels. It is useful especially for quick access to specific apps, messaging people, and keeping up with your tasks. To enable or disable this feature, you may:

 

Go to Settings > Edge screen > Edge panels > Select ON or OFF

 

From the Edge panels tab, you will also see three different options. This is where you technically customize your panels for easy access. These includes the App Edge, the People Edge, and the Tasks Edge.

  • App Edge – this panel lets you select your top 10 go-to apps
  • People Edge – this panel lets you pick 5 important contacts
  • Tasks Edge – this panel lets you choose 10 shortcuts for your tasks

After customizing the content of your panels, you also have the liberty to personalize the look of your Edge panels by proceeding to:

 

Settings > Edge screen > Edge panels > Edge panel handle settings

 

From there, you may choose the placement of your panel (whether it’s on the left or right side), its size, opacity, and its position.

 

 

Top 3 Tips and Tricks to Master Your Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus : Using the Always-On Display feature

Using the Always-On Display feature

If you are the type of user who uses a phone for business, you will definitely find the Always-On display feature handy. This feature keeps your phone dimly lit despite it being switched off. From the screen, you will be able to view alerts for SMS, missed calls, and other information that you may find useful. The default display includes the time. However, if you wish to customize it according to your preference, you may:

 

Settings > Display and Wallpaper > Always On Display

 

From there, you may choose which content you prefer to appear in the display – whether it’s the Clock, Image, or the Calendar. You can also choose to replace the theme by doing the following steps:

 

Settings > Themes

 

Moreover, you can also choose to disable or enable the feature from the Always On Display settings.

 

Key Takeaway

There you go! These features may only look complicated at first, but they are worth the experimentation. With this, you will definitely have your phone back you up with your daily tasks in guaranteed convenience.

5 Ideal Apps for Your Next Travel Abroad

 

What apps are best when traveling abroad?

  1. A travel platform like Klook for the perfect destinations and activities.
  2. A travel planner like Google Trips for an organized itinerary.
  3. A hotel booking app like Hotels.com for the best hotel deals.
  4. A flight booking app like Hopper for the best plane ticket deals.
  5. An accurate international weather forecast app like Accuweather.

 

The “unlock my phone tip is the most important advice you will need when traveling abroad. Mainly because it makes communicating with your loved ones easier and cheaper. However, if you are done with that and is still having trouble getting your way through different places as you travel abroad, there may be essential smartphone apps that you have been missing for a while now.

Truth be told that there’s a lot of travel apps that you can find in the app store. However, the plethora of options can be tricky for actual use. Hence, here are 5 ideal apps that are useful and proven effective in making the best out of your next travel abroad.

 

1. Klook

Ideal App for Your Next Travel Abroad - Klook

Klook is a growing travel platform that offers travelers the best deals, activities, and attractions that one can book in the simplest way possible. You just need to type in the place in their website’s search bar – whether that’s Hong Kong, Singapore, or South Korea – and they will immediately turn you over into a page full of all suggestions on how you can enjoy the trip wherever you plan to go. Aside from that, they also have a sidebar which lets you browse base on categories that include the following:

  • Attractions and shows
  • Tours and sightseeing
  • Activities and experiences
  • Food and wellness
  • Transport services
  • Wi-Fi connection

These categories are also divided into more specific activities so it isn’t hard to get the right deals.

What more should you look for? With Klook, you will never waste a single penny on your next travel abroad!

 

2. Google Trips

Ideal App for Your Next Travel Abroad - Google Trips

If you are a fan of Google products, you will definitely love their travel app named Google Trips. With its aim to create a to-go itinerary for its users that effectively helps them to plan less and see more of their dream destinations, there’s nothing to worry about traveling anymore. You can freely organize your plane tickets and hotel reservations in one place, research the place you are traveling to, and even get free personalized recommendations based on your Google search history. Who would’ve thought traveling could be this easy?

No worries! You don’t need Wi-Fi or data to access your itinerary and your maps. You can download them all to your phone and access them offline. Need we say more?

 

3. Hotels.com

 

Ideal App for Your Next Travel Abroad - Hotels.Com

Hotels.com is one of the most convenient hotel booking app at the app store. It offers users great hotel deals plus all the information you need to book. More so, whether you are using your laptop, tablet, or smartphone, you can easily access the app and site to get the best deals for your next big travel abroad. Furthermore, it also has customer-focus features such as Secret Prices that allows you to get the best, budget-wise hotel deals of all time and Hotels.com Rewards which offers free nights on particular conditions! Who wouldn’t want that?

 

4.Hopper

Ideal App for Your Next Travel Abroad - Hopper

 

Hopper is a flight booking app that offers great deals. It guides its customers on when is the best time to buy plane tickets. No regrets, you will definitely score the best deals yet for your next travel destination.

 

5. Accuweather

Ideal App for Your Next Travel Abroad - Accuweather

 

The weather is a significant consideration when traveling, as it can either make or break your travel itinerary. With Accuweather by your side, you will never go wrong with your plans. It gives the most up-to-date weather forecasts – from long-term to at-the-moment type of forecasts on your exact address. A great way to find out whether to bring an umbrella or a sunblock cream, right?

 

Key Takeaway

Going to a place that’s not familiar to you can be tricky. Though it may be an exciting adventure, hence, it could also be a recipe for a disaster waiting to happen without the right tools. With these apps, you will be able to plan better, organize your destinations, and even get the best deals to further maximize your budget. After all, who wouldn’t want something great for a lesser cost?

Major Red Flags of a Hacked Phone : COVER

 

Having your T-Mobile device unlocked wouldn’t breach your security. However, it is still important to keep your phone’s behavior tracked in order to avoid unwanted circumstances. Furthermore, keeping up with unfamiliar pop-ups and a slow processing of apps can be very annoying.

What can you do?

If you are not that tech savvy, awareness is definitely the best option you can go for. You can always ask an expert to help you out after you diagnosed your own device. Thus, without further ado, here’s a list of the major red flags of a hacked phone. Beware!

 

 

Major Red Flags of a Hacked Phone : Your phone takes up too much data

 

1. Your phone takes up too much data

Some instances of hacking can cause your phone to eat up data faster than the usual. This may be because that particular data is being used to send spam from your phone. More so, this particular type of malware may cause your device’s battery to drain faster than the usual.

Moving forward, the data it steals from your phone is being obtained by the hacker over the Internet.

 

 

Major Red Flags of a Hacked Phone : Encountering frequent lags

 

2. Your phone is encountering frequent lags and becomes sluggish

While it could be a hardware issue that causes your phone to perform sluggishly upon every command, it can also be a malware issue. This may be due to the reason that your phone has obtained a virus infected app, given that it was not directly downloaded from the play store. However, for iOS phones, this may not be the issue. This may be because iOS phones have relatively highly secured operating systems than Android phones.

 

 

Major Red Flags of a Hacked Phone : Unusual charges on your credit card

 

3. You are receiving unusual charges on your credit card

Today, the most important information can be easily accessed through your phone because of mobile processing of transactions. For one, you may receive unusual charges on your credit card which you know well you did not purchase. This may be a malware downloaded from a fake store that is designed for smartphone hacking. This very issue, among others, should be given appropriate action to avoid further inconvenience.

 

 

Major Red Flags of a Hacked Phone : New apps installed

 

4. You have new apps installed on your phone that you did not install

One of the few annoying indication that your phone has been hacked is the installation of apps that you know you did not install. Worse, it is a really bad app that does not want to be uninstalled. It will remain re-appearing unless you get rid of the malware that has infected your phone’s operating system.

 

 

Major Red Flags of a Hacked Phone : Phone is trying to access bad sites.

 

5. Your phone is trying to access “bad/dangerous” sites

If your phone is hacked, it may try accessing bad or dangerous sites that may harm your system. This may further lead to a damaged, or worse, a dead phone.

 

Key Takeaway

So what do you do? While some indications may not really harm your phone, it can when left unrepaired. Thus, it is only significant to pay attention to such issues in order to fix a hacked phone and avoid further data leaks that may affect your personal properties such as your bank account. You can scan your phone with an anti-malware app and remove the apps that the malware has installed. You may also restore factory settings in order to wipe off the malware entirely and reinstall your apps after doing so.

However, should the indications continue to appear after fixing it, consult an expert for help.

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