Among the common phone unlock errors is the “Invalid MMI Code Error”. This error happens rarely on other phone brands except the Samsung Galaxy series that are dual sim, or phones that can cater two different sim cards from two different networks at the same time.
Before we hop onto the troubleshooting, let’s briefly go through the technical aspect of MMI codes.
What Are MMI Codes?
MMI codes or Man-Machine Codes, are special codes you dial on your phone to communicate with your phone, SIM, or with your service provider’s network operator computers. By dialing MMI codes on your phone you will be able to obtain valuable data or change phone/ sim settings you can’t access through the phone’s user interface.
MMI codes usually contain special characters such as the asterisk * and the # hash.
Among the most common MMI codes used to communicate with your phone is *#06#, and it is the code to get your phone’s IMEI/Serial number.
Another set of MMI codes are USSD codes. They are also known as Quick Codes or Feature Codes, and they are used in GSM cellular telephones to communicate with their mobile network operators. You often use USSD codes to check your prepaid card balance.
How do MMI Codes work?
When you dial the MMI code in your phone, it is processed by your phone’s MMI reader, and if or when it does not recognize the code, it is then sent to the network verbatim.
Say for example, you have sent the code *09876*54321# your phone’s MMI parser will send the “command” to the phone, and if it doesn’t recognize the code as an internal command, it will then send it to your network operator verbatim.
Your network has a specific list of MMI codes they use on their own so if it returns with a “Connection Problem or invalid MMI code” message, it means that the MMI code you have used is not recognized or your phone failed to connect to your network.
How To Resolve MMI Code Error
Fixing an MMI code error is fairly easy and in order to resolve the issue, we need to isolate the probable causes. To do this, we need to examine the path that the MMI code goes to before it reaches your network.
First, the MMI code is processed by your phone. The phone then checks whether the MMI code is an internal command; if not, the phone then sends it to the network or your service provider. Your service provider’s network computers then reads the code and sends the message back to your phone.
If you are getting an invalid MMI code error, there are only three possibilities.
(1) You have poor signal or not getting network connection.
(2) You have dialed the wrong MMI code.
(3) Your MMI code was sent to the wrong network. (Dual-sim phones)
Note: Do not mistake the MMI Code to be the same code UnlockBase has sent you. UnlockBase only sends Sim Unlock Codes and do not personally have your MMI code information. You can get the correct MMI code from your current service provider (see sim card information).
Here are 5 quick and easy ways to solve Invalid MMI Code error
1. Check the code you are using. Add additional special characters.
You can try adding a comma ( , )at the end of the code before you send it. The comma, as an additional character will tell your phone to overlook other errors on the phone and send it to the network.
Here’s an example:
If your code is *3457*9# and it results to an error, you can dial it with an added comma in the end. Like this,
If the comma doesn’t work, you can insert + after the asterisk and before the first digit. However, this code only works when the first character when your code starts with an asterisk *. For example:
The plus ( + ) sign will tell your phone to force process the execution and overlook other phone errors that may be in the way.
2. Check your Network Connection Settings.
Another reason why your phone sends you an MMI error is the lack of network connection. If the MMI code you are sending is a code to check your prepaid balance, or anything that is specifically a function of your network operator, you need to make sure that your phone is connected to your network.
If you are otherwise not getting any signal bars, your phone is probably not yet connected to your network and you have to reconnect to it manually. Most of the time it connects automatically but there are also times when you have to manually select your service provider in order to connect to their network.
Here’s how you do it:
- Go to Settings
- Choose Wireless and Networks
- More Networks (If you are using two different sim cards, choose the sim card you wish to use)
- Select Mobile Network
- Choose Network
- Manual Selection (Phone will start searching for available networks)
- Choose the network you wish to connect to. You have to wait a few seconds for the phone to connect or you may have to repeat the process over until your phone is connected. Unless you get the signal bars going, you won’t be able solve the MMI code error (network-specific functions).
This is the usual process for most Android devices with stock Android ROM and user interface. You know your phone is already connected to your mobile network when you are getting signal bars that shows 4G, LTE, 3G, etc. You can try dialling the MMI code again.
3. Disable or use only one sim card.
If you are using two sim cards and your calls, text, or data automatically route to one specific network on your phone without asking you to manually choose network, there’s a possibility that your phone is sending the MMI code to the wrong network.
In order to isolate the issue you have three possible options; (1) set your phone to prompt for manual selection of network, (2) disable one of the sim cards, and (3) remove the other sim card physically.
You have to set your phone to prompt for manual mobile network selection to “Always ask” before making a call. You can do this by going into Settings > Sim Settings /Dual Sim Settings > Voice/Call > Always Ask.
On the other hand, if you wish to disable the other sim card, just slide off the network name of the sim card you want to disable using the same route as earlier. The third option no matter how inconvenient, can be the most effective way to isolate the problem. Removing the other sim card physically will automatically make your phone choose the network of the only sim card left.
4. Restart your phone.
Restarting your phone refreshes it from its most recent operations. Sometimes errors on the phone are just a product of simple system hiccups that can be solved only through a restart, so it’s advisable your restart your phone when all the other steps have been taken. Most of the time simply restarting your phone resolves the issue.
5. Go To Safe Mode
There are also cases when the phone’s MMI code error is caused by an app or a specific software installed the phone. Many users have been able to resolve the MMI code error by removing certain apps on their phone that’s hindering the code to go through the network operator.
When you reboot into Safe Mode, your phone will not load any third-party apps and only the stock apps that came with the original OS will be available. Furthermore, this means that all the apps you have downloaded will not be available in Safe mode, and this will help you determine whether any of the apps you have manually downloaded and installed are causing the MMI code error.
Going to Safe Mode is the second to the last resort, if only all the before mentioned possible resolutions have been attempted many times. It is fairly easy to do and your phone will go back to its normal state once you reboot it again.
Here’s how to enter into Safe Mode:
- Tap and hold power button (off) for a few seconds until your phone flashes a prompt box that confirms you want to reboot into safe mode.
- Tap ok and phone will not restart to Safe Mode.
Once you are in Safe Mode, try entering the MMI code again and see if you are seeing the same error. If you are able to go through this time, then it means one of the apps you downloaded in your phone is causing the problem.
MMI code errors are easy to fix and if you think you are lost or are needing help with this problem, don’t hesitate to talk to us. We are a global enterprise with 24/7 support and we are ready to help you anytime!
Did we miss anything here? Did you experience this error in the past? How did you solve it? Drop it in the comments!
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.
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.
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.
With Stripe integration, you can accept credit card payments and split them into multiple tender types easily.
Provide exceptional customer experience by in-taking customer signatures with your store’s terms & conditions.
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.
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TL;DR: With MetroPCS, you have two different unlock options; Temporary Unlock and Permanent Unlock. If you otherwise want to unlock it temporarily for travel, you can do it on your phone with the Mobile Device Unlock App (Android). On the other hand, iPhones and other unsupported Android models will be unlocked using a sim unlock code. To unlock your phone permanently, you have to qualify with the MetroPCS unlock requirements. Third party unlock providers (UnlockBase), however, do not have any unlock requirements to get your phone unlocked.
Want to Unlock your MetroPCS phone now? Click here >>>
If you are here to know how to unlock a MetroPCS phone, then you are in the right place! We got you and we’ll tell you exactly how to get your phone unlocked in a fast, easy, and convenient way!
MetroPCS has several unlock types and methods for both Android and iPhone. Most Android devices use the Mobile Device Unlock App, while iPhone users has to undergo the manual unlock process.
Today, we will discuss your unlock options and the methods to get it done. Aside from discussing how to get it unlocked with MetroPCS, we will also tell you how third-party unlock providers like UnlockBase, help you unlock your phone in a fast, easy, and convenient way. So, stay tuned!
How To Unlock with MetroPCS Customer Service
The MetroPCS customer service team can help you with unlocking your phone, and they will provide you the information you need to get it done. However, in order for you to unlock your phone through them, your account has to qualify with their unlock policies.
To save you time from calling them, we have prepared a bullet list for you, for a complete and more thorough look you can also check out MetroPCS Phone Unlock Policies.
Here is a quick run-through of the MetroPCS Phone Unlock Requirements:
- Must be a MetroPCS phone
- Must have had active service for 90 consecutive days from phone’s activation date.
- Warranty exchange handsets, 90 days starts with the original phone’s activation date and not the activation date of warranty exchange handset.
That’s practically the only thing you should take note when you want to unlock your phone through the MetroPCS customer service.
If you think you don’t qualify with their 90-day active status, thankfully, you have another option, and that is third party unlock providers like UnlockBase. UnlockBase won’t ask or require of you anything that is specifically alike the MetroPCS policy.
However, just like any third party unlock service providers, UnlockBase also have a specific set of pre-unlock requirements to make sure that your phone is permanently unlocked successfully. When these pre-unlock requirements are met, you are guaranteed of a refund in the unlikely event that the UnlockBase unlock code/method doesn’t work.
How To Unlock Through UnlockBase (Third-Party Unlock)
UnlockBase is one of the pioneers or the phone unlock service industry. With over 5 million unlocks and over a decade of service, the UnlockBase team has built a strong league of suppliers that are helping them innovate the unlock process to make it easier and also help them reach more people all over the world.
There are a lot of phone unlock service providers out there, but we will be basing the steps and processes on UnlockBase. The unlock process is virtually remote and most probably won’t need much of human intervention.
These are the most important unlock requirements we set before we unlock your MetroPCS phone. We do have a broader list than this that is specific to the device that we are going to unlock since we have 3 different unlock categories for MetroPCS.
Only a select set of Android devices has the Mobile Device Unlock App pre-installed, and you can use that app to have your phone unlocked remotely without calling MetroPCS customer service. And the other Android phones that’s not supported by the app will be unlocked using a SIM Unlock Code.
3 Ways To Unlock A MetroPCS Phone:
- Through the Mobile Device Unlock App
- Through A SIM Unlock Code
- iPhone Unlock
Now, it’s very easy to distinguish which way you should proceed because there are only a few phone models under the first option. If you are using an iPhone, we have a completely different process for unlocking that. On the other hand, if you are using any other device beyond the list we will provide you below, then your only way to unlock is through a SIM Unlock Code.
You can also view an updated list of supported MetroPCS phone models by the Mobile Device Unlock App – https://www.unlockbase.com/blog/metropcs-mobile-device-unlock-app/
As mentioned earlier, these are the ONLY set of phone models supported by the Mobile Device Unlock App. If your phone is in any of the devices listed above, then here’s what you need to know about how to unlock it.
How To Use The Mobile Device Unlock App
The Mobile Device Unlock App is an app that lets you automate the unlock process, eliminating the need to enter an unlock code in the Sim unlock process. It lets you temporarily or permanently unlock your phone with just one tap. We have a different article on how to use The Official Mobile Device Unlock App, but we’ll go through a quick run-through about the app here.
As mentioned earlier, it’s already pre-installed on the supported MetroPCS phone models. The app will also uninstall by itself if you’ve successfully permanently unlocked your phone.
If you are ready, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use the Mobile Device Unlock App:
- Turn ON mobile data. Make sure your 3G/4G/LTE/WiFi signal is strong and stable.
- On your Application list, find Device Unlock. This could be under MetroPCS folder.
- Tap Continue.
- Choose Permanent Unlock Type.
- Restart phone to remove alert in the notification tray.
Take note that it is important to ensure that your phone is able to communicate with the MetroPCS server for the unlock process to be successfully finished.
Possible Unlock Errors:
1. “Server Error” – it means that your phone isn’t connecting to the server because you have a weak/bad internet connection.
2. “Unlock Failed: This mobile wireless device is not eligible for unlocking. For Device Unlock eligibility details, please go online or contact Customer Care” – this means that your phone is connecting to the MetroPCS server but it’s not eligible for unlock according to the carrier’s requirements.
If you want to unlock your phone via the Mobile Device Unlock App, click on the button below.
Want to Unlock your MetroPCS phone now? Click here >>>
How To Unlock Regular GSM Phones
If you are using an iPhone or another Android device that isn’t supported by the mobile device unlock app, then you have to unlock your phone using the usual unlock process we do here in UnlockBase, and that is through a SIM unlock code.
All we need is your phone’s IMEI or serial number for us to be able to calculate the code. You can check your IMEI by dialing *#06# on your phone. For this, the unlock method will depend on the make and model of the device you are using.
We support almost every mobile device brand/manufacturer so that won’t be a problem. We’re certain we can help you out. Just head on to the Unlockbase Homepage, enter your IMEI, and choose MetroPCS as your carrier.
Once your order is received, you will receive an email from us about our Pre-Unlock Requirements, and it will depend on the device you are using. Please follow the instructions accordingly as this agreement shall be your key to a refund in the unlikely event that our unlock code didn’t work.
UnlockBase has a committed and highly knowledgeable tech support team that’s ready to answer your questions and walk you through the unlock process when you need it. Our customer service and tech team are available 24/7 to help you.
Unlock with us now and increase your phone’s worth!
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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 X’s flood illuminator detects the face.
- The infrared camera captures the image.
- The iPhone’s projector releases around 30,000 invisible dots.
- 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?
2. Whoa! Even a ghost can access your expensive iPhone!
3. Is that an oversized banana or did conehead just made a comeback?
4. 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.
6. Smile fellas! You’re on the FBI’s big screen now 24/7.
7. Just a plain iPhone. All it needs is your face.
8. News Flash: Demand for cosmetic surgeons on the rise
9. Lots of makeup kits and accessories in the garbage. Tnx iPhone X.
10. 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!
Do you want to use your mobile phone abroad or do you want to unlock your mobile device for use on other carriers? If you bought your mobile device from T-Mobile or if you are currently using a T-Mobile-enabled phone, we’ve prepared a complete guide to SIM unlock your phone on a legal and easy way
Most of the mobile carriers nowadays have pre-installed programs or softwares that prohibits mobile devices to be used on another carrier. So, if you plan to switch carriers using the same mobile device you need to get a SIM Unlock code.
And just like most carriers, T-Mobile also programmed their mobile phones this way. Let’s explore how you can unlock your mobile device through the guidelines we will discuss below.
Make sure the mobile phone you wish to use with another carrier is compatible with their network. Take note that even if you find your phone model on their website, phones/mobile devices purchased from T-Mobile has specific version numbers- that means some of your phone’s functionality/features may or may not work fully on the network you want to switch to.
Verizon and Sprint uses CDMA technology, while AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM technology for their networks. You can’t use a GSM phone on a CDMA network, and likewise, a CDMA phone can’t be use on a GSM network.
Do not confuse yourself on a CDMA phone with a sim card slot. Some CDMA phones have sim slots to be simultaneously used on the 4G LTE towers of carriers like Sprint or Verizon, but it doesn’t necessarily mean this phone can work on a carrier with a GSM network that uses sim cards to work.
SIM Unlock Legality
Unlocking a mobile device is fully legalized in the US. If you are using a T-Mobile phone, they will even allow you to have your phone temporarily unlocked (for travel, etc) depending on your eligibility.
Like T-Mobile, almost all carriers around the world (except those from European countries) tie up your phone’s unlock eligibility on a specific number of months that you have used up their service. It’s usually 90 days (3 months) after activation that they allow you to unlock your phone through them if you are still in a contract (postpaid).
Some service providers, however, do not allow you to unlock your phone without paying your phone’s remaining device balance- if you are still in a contract. Being in a contract means they have subsidized your phone for X number of months, and this ultimately means that if you haven’t finished your contract, you will pay for the device balance equivalent to the subsidized amount on the remaining number of months left before your contract ends.
T-Mobile also has a specific set of policies regarding device unlock which we will cover in the next section.
Unlocking With T-Mobile Customer Service: What to Expect
Ok, now this is probably the first tick box you have in mind and bet you already tried calling customer service, but have pleaded to no avail. Before you raise your eyebrows, let’s first go through the T-Mobile unlock requirements and policies for those who haven’t tried their luck with cx svc.
That’s quite a long list, but what we must take note is that T-Mobile does ask for the device to be paid in full for EIP or postpaid accounts. That’s one route you can go, but good news, you have another option! And that is to use a third party unlock service provider.
Here at UnlockBase, we help you get your unlock code quick and at an affordable rate. To make it clear once and for all, WE DON’T REQUIRE YOU TO QUALIFY ON ANY T-MOBILE UNLOCK POLICY. We have a different set of unlock eligibility requirements and we will discuss that on the latter part of this article.
Going back, T-Mobile used to provide SIM unlock codes, but to avoid errors and to make things easier, they have created the Mobile Device Unlock App and pre-installed it on your phone. Let’s go through the Mobile Device Unlock App on the next section.
How To Use The Mobile Device Unlock App
With the Mobile Device Unlock App, you will no longer need to go to a physical store or contact customer service as the app lets you unlock your phone with just one tap. If you think your account is eligible and qualified on all the T-Mobile Unlock requirements, you will be able to request for unlock conveniently.
There’s no need to enter any code, just tap and request for unlock. Easy as that.
The only caveat is this app is ONLY available ON ANDROID devices.
You have two unlock options, Temporary or Permanent. If you are travelling or just want to temporarily use a non- T-Mobile SIM card on your phone, you can opt for the Temporary Unlock.
If your temporary unlock request expires, you will receive an expiration message. If you change your mind and want to unlock your mobile permanently, you have to wait for your Temporary Unlock to expire.
If you want to Permanently unlock your phone, you can tap on the Permanent Unlock option. If successful, the app will automatically uninstall on your mobile and you only need to restart the phone to get rid of the pop-up notification.
Unlocking Through UnlockBase: What You Need To Know
As mentioned earlier, at UnlockBase, we don’t require you to qualify for any specific unlock eligibility requirement according to the T-Mobile policies. We do have our own set of Unlock Eligibility requirements that are prerequisites prior to finalizing your unlock order.
These prerequisites make sure that the unlock process will be smooth, easy, and fast.
We only want to eliminate any factors that may complicate the unlock process or that may cause the unlock to fail. If you qualify to all our unlock eligibility requirements, you are assured of a refund in case the unlikely event happens and the unlock failed.
For Android devices which support the Mobile Device Unlock App, we can remotely enter your IMEI on the T-Mobile server and get your phone unlocked within 3-5 business days.
If you are using an iOS (iPhone) device from T-Mobile, there’s also no need to enter an unlock code. However, unlocking an iPhone is a completely different process. Go here to see how it’s done.
We already have discussed how we unlock your device through the Mobile Device Unlock App on a previous blog post. It includes the supported devices, the troubleshooting steps, and all the how-tos on unlocking your phone.
The Unlock Eligibility requirements vary per phone model (we will give you a copy of this via email before confirming your order), but to give you an idea, here’s a few of the general requirements we ask before we proceed.
✔ Make sure your mobile device is CLEAN, NOT REPORTED LOST OR STOLEN
✔ Make sure to try first a Permanent Unlock on your phone before confirming your order, please follow the steps listed earlier. Confirm your order only when your error is like this: “Unlock Failed: This mobile wireless device is not eligible for unlocking. For Device Unlock eligibility details, please go online or contact Customer Care.”
✔ We can’t process an unlock unless you fix all other errors on your mobile.
✔ Make sure your phone is connected to the server before continuing. If you are getting an error that says “Server not responding, try again later”, it means your phone is not communicating to the server. Either you have weak mobile data signal or your WiFi connection is not strong and steady.
✔ Make sure your phone is running on its original software and not on a Custom OS. Rooted devices, or a mobile device that is running on a Custom OS, will not be recognized by the server and will not be unlocked.
If you are ready to unlock your phone, take note of your mobile’s IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity). This serves as your mobile’s unique serial number and this is the only thing we will need to get your T-Mobile device successfully unlocked.
To get your IMEI, simply dial *#06# on your dial pad.
Go here, to start your order.
Once we receive your order, we will be sending you a form through an email that enlists all the unlock eligibility requirements. Again, it varies per phone model, so make sure to follow and tick all the corresponding boxes.
Sending the form back to us means that you agree to the terms and conditions stated therein. Furthermore, sending the form back to us means that you are confirming your order.
Once received, we will also send you back the unlock instructions and possible troubleshooting steps. Your IMEI will now be in queue, and since we have a thousand unlock orders per day, we hope you will comply with the 3-5 business days delivery or as the stated turnaround time on your order confirmation email.
Since this is a digital service, we will not be able to refund you when you change your mind during the waiting period. All orders are considered final as we are sending them to our suppliers as well.
Should the unlikely happen that your device was not successfully unlocked, and provided that the circumstances are outside the Eligibility requirements we have agreed upon, we will refund you 100% of the money that you paid for the service.
We will try our best to provide you support and answer your questions immediately during the unlock process. Our tech and customer service team are ready to help you 24/7. If you find yourself lost or confused during the unlock process, don’t hesitate to shoot us an email.
Unlocking a T-Mobile Android device is pretty easy and straightforward. Through the use of the Mobile Device Unlock App you can now unlock your phone with just one tap. Easy, fast, and convenient – UnlockBase can help you with all your mobile unlock needs.
Do you think we missed something? Please tell us on the comments section down below.
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A Quick Peek:
- Display: 5.0 HD In-Cell Touch Display
- Rear-facing Camera: 13MP PDAF Fast Focus and LED flash
- Front-Facing Camera: 5MP Auto and Gesture Shot
- Internal Memory/RAM: 16GB/ 2GB RAM (9GB user-available memory)
- Memory Capacity: 32GB expandable memory
- Processor: 1.4 GHz Quad Core Processor
- Added Security Feature: Facial Recognition (convenience and security)
- Talk Time: 17 Hours Talk Time
- Operating System: Android 7
- Weight: 4.9 oz
MetroPCS has graced us with yet another phenomenal deal to kickstart 2018. This first is not your average phone, because LG has given the Face Recognition Unlock a shot with this mid-ranger after the iPhone X landslide.
It didn’t disappoint though, as it is easy and fast to setup. As for the security it offers, it’s something you’d expect from a $60 phone (MetroPCS price save $80), as it can unlock using your own picture. (You can take a look at the video here).
It’s not something you can expect from Apple, as it’s way cheaper than the iPhone X, but it does make up for the convenience it offers.
LG Aristo 2 has definitely proven to us that Facial Recognition in iPhone X is not overrated. The theory that Facial Recognition technology can be on a mid-range phone is debunked, for now. Nonetheless, that feature sure added up a little novelty on the LG Aristo 2, and again for the price it asks, you can’t expect more.
On the flip side, unboxing the phone isn’t really exciting as the box from MetroPCS is usually straightforward with the phone’s features printed at the back cover. The phone is designed with full HD screen at 5-in IPS display which is long, sleek, thin, and easy in your hands.
It has a mirror-looking back cover although it only has a plastic build. It also houses the camera, flash, and power button.
LG Aristo 2 runs on Android Nougat and has a 16GB ROM with a 2GB RAM. Compared to the LG Aristo, this phone’s RAM and processor capacity is slightly bigger and that’s accounted as one of the major improvements. It’s also micro-SD expandable to upto 32GB and it’s powered by a 1.4GHz quadcore processor, which gives us the reason why the Facial Recognition lock system works fast.
The phone’s sensors and camera are safely situated at the upper front portion of the phone. The front facing camera is 5MP and Phase Detection Auto Focus rear camera that has an LED flash.
LG Aristo 2 vis-a-vis LG Aristo
There’s not much difference between the LG Aristo and LG Aristo 2. Both have the same 5-in screen and apparently running on the same Quadcore processor. The placements of the buttons at the back are also very similar as you will still have the power button right below the camera.
The only difference is the fringe on the back cover as LG Aristo has them but the LG Aristo 2 only has a plain mirror finish. The LG logo are also placed differently as the predecessor has them at the middle, while the latter has it at the bottom. The speakers are also on the same spot, except for a difference in how the holes were designed (it doesn’t differ much in sound quality).
On the front, the second generation Aristo does look better as it appears cleaner, without the LG logo at the bottom and with the camera on the upper portion, making it look more professional and minimalistic.
Overall, it doesn’t make that much difference on the aesthetic level of the phone; only the LG Aristo 2 looks a little more classy and blends to most 2017 phone models with glass finish.
The performance on the newly-released LG is also better as it can support multiple windows, giving it an edge compared to other phones on its price range. It also has a much higher RAM, so multitasking on this phone should go seamless even when you use a lot of internet or multimedia. The latter also has a much updated Android version, which means it boasts the latest security and features you can expect from Android.
Picture quality are also similar, but on par with other phones it doesn’t really make it to the instagram-lovely cut. The display on the LG Aristo 2 is also much better as it is better lighted and has much better saturated color.
Is it worth the upgrade?
LG Aristo 2 has upgraded on both the inside and the outside. The design, display, and build of the second generation phone is obviously much better compared to its predecessor. The screen has better saturation, the back cover looks more professional and trendy and it does feel more premium in the hands. Concerning the performance, LG Aristo 2 is slightly faster compared to the LG Aristo because it has a better RAM and can support multiple windows.
Setting up the Facial Recognition Unlock is also straightforward and it unlocks pretty fast without needing to position the phone on a particular angle, which is very convenient. The only caveat is that this feature is so easy to cheat, so you might want to take advantage of adding up another unlock feature when you need it.
If you are considering the price, this specific model is sold at less than half the price at MetroPCS and it sure doesn’t disappoint when compared to other phones in the mid-range arena.
Upgrading to the phone is a good idea only when you are an LG mid-range fan, but if you’re not, 2018 is just getting started and there’s so much more in store for you in less than a month from now. So stay tuned!
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
Is your phone taking way too long to load up or power up? There could be three reasons why it does this:
- Your phone’s memory capacity is almost full
- You have too many heavy apps (gaming, social media, etc) running in the background
- 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
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
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:
- You clicked on an advertisement that uses phishing/spamming
- You accidentally installed the apps from annoying pop-ups that ask you to click “ok” or “I agree” unsuspiciously
- 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
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
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
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 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
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
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.
Hi, welcome to UnlockBase! We are one of the first and most trusted mobile unlock service providers and we unlock any mobile device from all over the globe!
Our expertise of over a decade will provide the solution to all your mobile unlock needs and challenges and today we will discuss one of the most common unlock issues, and that is a hardlocked phone. If you are here because you discovered your phone is hardlocked or if you suspect it is, then you’re in the right place.
Let’s first unfold the meaning of a “hardlocked” phone, the circumstances that result to it, and how to know if a phone is hardlocked.
What Does Hardlocked Mean?
Hardlocked, as a technical term, means that your phone cannot be SIM unlocked anymore.
If you got your phone from a service provider through a postpaid contract, your phone is likely to be SIM locked to them. This means that you can’t use any other SIM in your phone apart from which that came from your current service provider.
Normally, it is allowed to SIM unlock your phone once you are off your 2 or 3 year postpaid contract. However, if your phone is already hardlocked, you wouldn’t be able to SIM unlock it anymore.
On the other hand, if you bought your phone directly from the manufacturer your phone is by default, factory unlocked and can be used with any carrier all over the globe, as long as it can work with their network. Note that, a phone designed to be used for a GSM network won’t be able to work with a CDMA network. So, make sure that your phone is compatible to the network type of the service provider you want to switch to.
How Do I Know If My Phone is Hardlocked?
First thing you have to check when unlocking your phone is its unlock eligibility. It’s important for you to check whether your phone is already unlocked or hardlocked, because this helps us determine the right course of action and it also guarantees your refund.
If you want to know if your phone is hardlocked. Here’s how:
- Simply insert a non-accepted sim to your phone.
- If you have to remove the battery of your phone, make sure to turn it off properly before removing the battery.
- Once turned off, carefully remove the back cover and then the battery.
- Carefully remove the sim card from sim tray. Sim tray can be very easily damaged, so do not move or pull out the sim tray.
- Pull the sim card out safely by pushing it down and sliding it out of the open end of the sim tray.
- Insert the sim card of your preferred carrier or any non-accepted sim card.
- Put the battery and phone cover back.
- Turn it on and wait for a sim unlock prompt.
There are older phone models which do not greet you with a SIM unlock prompt if you insert a non-accepted sim. If you don’t see a sim unlock prompt, check if you are getting signal bars or if you can make a call. If you can make a call or send a text message successfully with a different sim then, your phone is probably SIM unlocked.
On the other hand, if your phone isn’t receiving a signal or if you can’t make calls or send a text message, then it’s highly likely that it is still SIM locked.
Note that this is just one probability, as mentioned earlier, your phone won’t be able to pick up a signal from a carrier that isn’t compatible to it. You can rule out this possibility if you ask your new/target carrier their network-type and if your current phone model can work with them.
What Makes a Phone Hardlocked?
A phone can be hardlocked for so many reasons. It could be:
- A carrier requirement
- A form of protection (as some old phones are)
- A Product of your own doing.
Mobile manufacturers all over the world have specific agreements with mobile communication service providers. Some of these agreements meant that your phones must be used exclusively by the vendor or the mobile service provider. This is the reason why some phones can’t be SIM unlocked because there was no way to do so.
On the flip side, these hardlocked phone agreements are no longer allowed in most countries as government laws are being tailored to address the needs of the masses. By being able to unlock your phones, you are being given the freedom to choose your own provider and thus the mobile industry is made more flexible and the service providers provided competitive prices.
Now, if your phone falls on the latter category, your phone will only be eligible for unlock if your carrier allows you to enter a sim unlock code. If there’s no way you can enter an unlock code, then your phone must have a different unlock method such that of T-Mobile and MetroPCS where a Device Unlock app is installed and needs no code to be unlocked.
On the other hand, if you can’t enter the unlock code because your phone restricts you to do so, it’s probably because you entered the wrong code too many times and used up all the unlock attempts. Using up all your unlock attempts is one of the main reasons why your phone could be hardlocked.
If you ever thought of trying your luck and enter random digits on that sim unlock prompt, always make sure you don’t run out of chances. If you otherwise had the phone as a gift (hand-me-downs), or if you bought it online, you can ask the previous owner if they tried doing a SIM unlock before. Simple details saves you time and, of course, it sets expectations correctly.
Although, our team here at UnlockBase would want to help you with a hardlocked phone, it’s most likely going to end up still locked. We do have other methods of unlock that don’t need code entry, such as the Cable Unlock Software, but we still need to confirm the unlock eligibility of your phone as this method doesn’t work with hardlocked phones.
If you pursue to try unlocking your phone even after confirming it is hardlocked using our services, we won’t be able to guarantee that it will be SIM unlocked successfully and this will also disqualify you of refund.
- Google is collecting data about you through your phone.
- Phishing comes in so many forms.
- Never trust your password to anyone, not even your phone.
- Use Password Managers.
- Change your passwords regularly.
- Add an extra layer of lock to your phone.
- Clean your browsers more often (than your house).
- Don’t just click “OK” or “I agree” absentmindedly.
- Employ 2FA (2 Factor Authentication) for all withdrawals (and on all your online accounts).
- Check the fidelity of your Social Media accounts.
- Create A Guest Wifi Network.
- Install a Firewall on your computer or on your home network.
- Use a VPN to hide your ass.
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi.
- Install manufacturer updates when needed.
- 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.
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:
- Go to Settings
- Google Location Settings
- Switch slider off on both Location Reporting and Location History
- Delete Location History
- 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:
- Go to Settings
- Location Services
- Swipe slider off on all apps or select apps you want it disabled (e.g Google Maps)
- System Services
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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:
- Go to Chrome app
- Tap More History
- Tap Clear browsing data
- Go to Browsing history
- Uncheck any other boxes you don’t want to delete.
- 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.
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:
- Go to Settings
- Tap the Gear icon
- App permissions
- 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:
- On you computer, left click on Chrome
- Hover your mouse on the top right, click More (it looks like 3 bullets in a line)
- Click Settings
- Scroll down and click Advanced at the bottom
- Under “Privacy and Security” click on Content Settings
- Change the permission you want to update.
If you are using Android or iOS on your gadget, here’s how you get there:
- Open Chrome
- On the top right, click More (it looks like 3 bullets in a line)
- Hit Settings
- Under Advanced, tap Content Settings (iOS) or Site Settings (Android)
- Tap on the permission you wish to change.
- 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)
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:
- Go to Settings
- Sign in on iCloud
- Tap arrow on Apple ID
- Tap Password and Security
- Tap Turn ON Two-factor Authentication
- Go to System Preferences
- Sign in on iCloud
- Click Account details
- Click Security
- 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.
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:
- Go to Settings
- Click Security and Login
- Click Where You’re Logged Into
- You will see your login history’s dates, places, and device used
- If it wasn’t you, click “Not You”
- Click Secure Account
- 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:
- Turn log in alerts.
- Update your password often.
- Enable 2FA
- Choose 3 to 5 friends to contact if your account is locked out.
- Be vigilant with friend requests.
- Don’t click suspicious links.
- 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
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.
- Open browser.
- Enter your Router’s IP address.
- Enter router’s login information (username and password)
- Once logged in, look for the keywords Network, Guest Network, or Guest Access and click on it, or
- Click on “Allow Guest Access”
- Enter your preferred Wifi name on the SSID box.
- Enter your preferred Wifi password for your Guest network.
- 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.
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.
A VPN or a Virtual Private Network is a medium or a service that serves two purposes:
- To remotely connect to your company/home computer
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you are a #Millennial you have certainly witnessed the mobile evolution right before your eyes. Childhood days were the start of a booming mobile technology and we’ve seen how the Teletubbies antenna was used by Nokia to help our parents’ phones get a signal to send a text message.
You’ve also probably knocked some of your toes with the same Nokia phone when you dropped it on the floor. It’s hilarious these phones are so heavy that they dent the floor instead of breaking or getting scratches.
It’s also funny to think that despite how Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony changed their shapes, colors, and technology, Apple stayed the same and just changed sizes! There were other minor changes of course, but nothing drastic really changed for Apple on the outside.
So much about that, let’s go through the 9 most epic mobile phones of your childhood you wished still looked cool ten years later.
1. Nokia 5110 (1998)
We all know Nokia 5110 was one of the sturdiest phones ever created. You could throw it to someone’s face and get them injured. That’s how big, chunky, and sturdy they are! Nonetheless, we all love the colors which, as mentioned earlier, made them really looked like they are the Teletubbies.
Not to mention the love-hate relationship we had with the antenna.
This phone will always be part of every #millennials childhood because of its playful colors and replaceable casing. I’m sure you’ve had at least two Nokia 5110 casing on its entire lifetime. Changing those casings were like dressing up a doll!
And oh, the nostalgic monophonic Nokia Tune! And oh, the nostalgic monophonic Nokia Tune!
Buying yourself a phone on that era probably cost a fortune, because just like now, mobile phones continue to be a sign of social status and sophistication. Oh what fun would it be to unlock your Nokia 5110 now and use it for a show?
It’s going to be a #NokiaNostalgia !
2. Nokia 3310 (2000)
Every single millennial kid out there would agree Nokia is part of their childhood. In fact, we can say that Nokia once ruled the mobile world because at a particular point, they were able to sell over 126 million units worldwide!
We’re talking about a time when only the first world countries had convenient access to the internet and when mobile phones were only called Nokia – the golden millennia 2000. Of course, there were other phone manufacturers, but Nokia trumped them all worldwide.
Motorola, Blackberry, and HTC already existed at this time. Technically speaking, Motorola started the mobile phone technology but at that time, it was Nokia who was killing it (even in third-world countries).
Snake was one of the most popular (if not the only) mobile phone game at the time. I can only imagine the frustration of a game over when your Snake ate its own self!
It was also this time that the phones had customizable names and welcome messages (which you probably changed every time you get a new inspiring quote from your teacher).
Nokia also made it more fun when they allowed users to edit the ringtone and make it sound like your favorite love song – Right here waiting, Two Less Lonely People, etc. Agh, there were so many things you can do if you loved music and if you loved playing around.
And of course, we would miss the time when we never actually run out of battery even for 2 days! I’d gladly unlock my Nokia 3310 any time of the day, only if it is still a cool option as a backup phone when I’m travelling!
3. Blackberry 6200 (2003)
If you didn’t knew, Blackberry had been rocking the mobile industry ever since it started. And since then, they didn’t appeal to the wider audience but to those who are in the business niche.
It’s a rather small niche but they were successful in ruling it. Just like the saying, “it doesn’t matter if your the best, it matters if you’re the first,” (I’m sure I heard that somewhere).
Speaking of being first, it is also the first to have an email-centric approach, so yeah, you’re Mom and Dad probably spent a fortune to have the convenience of a Blackberry.
It’s funny because Blackberry made the impossible possible, quite literally, in putting a full QWERTY keyboard, which you only see on your lengthy computer keyboard at home.
Nonetheless, this made Blackberry stand out from the crowd of mobile phones which are fighting for a generic market.
4. Motorola i730 (2004)
2004 was the year of the flip phones. You surely can’t miss the glossy looking Motorola i730 flip phone. It has the push-to-talk feature that lets you play with friends as if they were walkie-talkies from the future! (Did you even knew about that back then?)
This phone was also the real thing because it had a true GPS functionality. You can’t get lost with this while travelling can you?
This feature makes this phone the ultimate travel companion since Qualcomm said they developed and tested the GPS assisted tech to locate the user within feet from their actual location (mindblown).
Qualcomm really made stalking easier for the government or any other entity for that matter. Just great.
Anyways, getting stalked can be done in just a matter of seconds nowadays. You can’t deny the fact that you’ve stalked at least one person’s social media account (aight?).
After all, isn’t that what it’s made for?
5. LG Chocolate (2006)
This phone will literally make you want to lick it to bits. LG Chocolate really looked like a chocolate bar with a keypad and a screen. How did you manage to not bite it when you’re craving for a chocolate?
I’ve mentioned chocolate three times in a single paragraph, but it just doesn’t stop there. (I swear I’m going to try my best to help you curb the craving)
The LG Choc***** came in different flavors, err, colors. In the US there are four different colors which are: (1) Light Green for Mint Choc, (2) White for White Choc, (3) Pink for Strawberry Choc, and (4) Red for Cherry Choc.
6. Motorola RAZR v3 (2006)
Motorola RAZR v3 is one of the phones which are truly to die for during 2006. I can guarantee you that’s without exaggeration because this particular Motorola is looking so lovely and sleek- it totally slayed all the other flip phones during its time.
It was an excellent trendsetter and it came in so many colors and designs, that you’d sulk in a Motorola store for days because of confusion. (I’d totally ship one right now)
This flip phone was thin and lightweight, however, this meant this phone is going to break once you drop it. This started the era of classy phone cases to keep the phone from scratching or at least give an extra layer of protection.
This year was truly fun and amusing for mobile phones because you can get neon-colored leather covers and pastel colored cases. Remember how it looked so cool to flip open your phone when someone calls?
However, this was also the era when phones became so fragile and break so easily. On the lighter note, this year became the best year for Apple and it changed the mobile history since then.
7. iPhone 3G (2007)
There’s a saying that if iPhone divided the history of mobile; Before iPhone and After iPhone.
Being a teenager during the time iPhone was born gave every millennial the capability to tell the history of iPhone since 3G up to iPhone X, simply because you were there and you experienced every single change firsthand. And mind you every millennial knows the accurate reason why it’s called an iPhone.
So why? It’s not my Phone, it’s not your phone either. It’s iPhone. Duhh.
Ever since the iPhone 3G, companies like Samsung, Motorola, HTC, Blackberry, had to up their game as well. First of all, the design of the iPhone looked like it came from 50 years after compared to all the other phones which existed at that time.
Although, the price of an iPhone is arguably more expensive compared to other phones, it made Apple a symbol of sophistication and even wealth! And still, over a decade later not everyone can afford a flagship iPhone.
Steve Jobs really did a good job at making our teenage years extra cool because of the iPhone, the iPod, and the iPad.
8. Samsung BlackJack II (2007)
2007 was really a bad year for Samsung, especially for the Samsung BlackJack II. This was supposed to be an awesome year of cellphone designs but here comes Apple raking all the attention.
Samsung tried to make this a good comeback with the BlackJack II. It had everything a teenager would be looking for a phone; a GPS, a huge battery, bigger screen, bigger memory and an SD card slot, a high- resolution camera, a full QWERTY keyboard, a music player, and BLUETOOTH. (Who doesn’t love bluetooth on 2007?)
It also had this sophisticated Blackberry look with a spinning jog wheel which was a huge plus at that time. Remember when you hated the 4-sided Ok and navigation button because it sounded on every click?
IMO, this phone would’ve been a huge hit had the iPhone 3G released a year later, but I guess Samsung’s timing wasn’t that good. Nonetheless, it continues to be iPhone’s closest competitor.
9. HTC Hero (2009)
This is HTC’s third shot at making phones, and well, HTC Hero didn’t disappoint. This phone is so peculiar because you don’t normally see a phone with a chin (curved bottom). It adds a lot of novelty and it’s obviously making people curious.
It was a good fit for an average hand and who wouldn’t like how convenient it was to your fingers to press those buttons at the lower part of the phone? We were used to always adjust our hand and fingers to the phone, but this time HTC figured out how the phone can also adjust to how our fingers and hands are made.
It also had an awesome trackball to avoid the disappointment of Android fans.
It had the back, home, and search buttons conveniently at the curved edge for your chubby hands to easily access. For the industrial design alone, HTC already won the hearts of all Android fans.
There you have it folks. If you have that #Millennial vibe in you why don’t you sport your old phones and have fun with it? For sure, it’s going to create a lot of fun and nostalgic conversations among your friends. It is also cool to show off your childhood gadgets once in a while, so why don’t you give this a go?
By the way, if you plan on making your phones fully operational with a different network, you can have it SIM unlocked. It’s super affordable and convenient, and of course, it’s going to bring new exciting memories.
Have fun will yah?