Guest Article: How to Keep Your Smartphone Secure When Using Public WiFi

wifi

Caroline Black from Secure Thoughts shares some tips on how you can better protect your mobile data using public networks.

Public WiFi can be an easy access point for hackers to obtain your personal information. Whether you’re on your tablet, laptop or smartphone, the risks remain the same: some creep could be around the corner or even at the next table spying on your online activities, lurking on your accounts and taking down your login and banking information. It’s likely that there are many personal details stored on your device, whether you know it or not.

Smartphones especially come with risks because you are always logged into one of your accounts (as required by the operating system). It’s also easy to forget to log out on the websites you visit and many users save their passwords for a simpler way to access the pages later on. Anyone who sneaks their way into your smartphone can easily find this information, whether they physically have your device or if they’re hacking into it through an unsecured network.

So how are you able to prevent this from occurring anyways? Avoiding public WiFi is not an option for many smartphone users, especially when they’re on the go. So instead of ditching the public WiFi, consider securing your device. Here’s how you can do just that:

Check Your Accounts

Besides keeping an eye on your account activity on a regular basis, you should avoid saving your passwords on your device. Sometimes your web browser will ask you if you’d like to save your passwords, though you could have also stored them in a memo on your phone. Whichever might be the case, you should never store your passwords on your smartphone. Continue reading “Guest Article: How to Keep Your Smartphone Secure When Using Public WiFi”

Will Apple Ever Kill the 16GB iPhone?

It’s that time folks. We’re getting close enough to the launch of a new iPhone for the rumor mill to kick into high gear. Around this time last year, many were praising the merits of sapphire for phone screens, only to have Apple omit that particular lifestyle feature.

Now with the 6S and 6S+ on the horizon, iOS fans are wondering if we’ll see improvements to storage.

This generation, Apple took a great step up for their mid-tier iPhone. Instead of spending $100 to bump up your phone to 32GB, you would receive a whopping 64GB. Unfortunately the base model iPhone remained at 16GB, which is a bit lean for a modern smartphone. Even 32GB can feel a bit cramped these days.

We’re expecting improvements to the camera, likely resulting in larger photos and video files. Phones are often a primary device for storing music, our apps are getting more demanding, and OS updates require a certain percentage of your storage to be unused and available. We ask a lot of our smartphones, and lacking the ability to upgrade the storage on an iPhone means users have to monitor their geebees very closely on that first tier iPhone. Continue reading “Will Apple Ever Kill the 16GB iPhone?”

Microsoft Rebrands ‘XBox Music’, Now ‘Groove Music’

microsoft groove musicGoogle and Apple recently made some noise about their streaming radio offerings, and now it’s Microsoft’s turn. While their core XBox Music Pass service wont be changing radically, it will be getting a Windows 10 face lift, with some more intuitive controls, better integration with OneDrive for storing your music collection in the cloud, and eventually an updated app will be released for iOS and Android devices.

Plus it’ll get a new name, moving forward as “Groove”. You can catch the full details and pricing below, or sign up now by installing the Windows 10 Insider Preview.

Continue reading “Microsoft Rebrands ‘XBox Music’, Now ‘Groove Music’”

Google I/O 2015 – Google Updates Photos App with Unlimited Free Storage

At their developer conference today Google unveiled a new Photos app focused on improving search and organization.

Without having to tag or manually identify faces, the new Photos app will group photos for users automatically based on people in the photos and locations pictures were taken.

Editing tools will be built in to the experience, and users can produce videos out of the content shot from their phones easily.

New sharing features will deliver full resolution pics to anyone regardless if they use Google Photos or Google Plus with no restrictions on who or where you can share those photos.

Most exciting is the support on the back end for these cloud sync services. Starting today Google Photos will enable unlimited storage for free on iOS, Android, and on the web. Pictures are saved at up to 16MP quality and video will be saved at 1080p.

This makes Drive and photo sync on Android a lot more valuable and makes Google Photos more competitive against OneDrive and Flickr photo sync.

You can see Google’s teaser vid, and read their full press release below!

Continue reading “Google I/O 2015 – Google Updates Photos App with Unlimited Free Storage”

Google FINALLY Combines Google+ Photos and Drive Cloud Storage

It’s been a perplexing division. Uploading photos online to services like Google+, you get a bucket of cloud storage to use. Using a service like Drive, you get a bucket of cloud storage to use. Why have these been separate buckets?

Google is finally addressing and rectifying this division. Announced via the Google Drive Blog, now you can open your Drive app on Android and iOS, or jump into a web browser, where you will now find a new menu option for Photos. This also means you’ll have better tools for organizing your photos in folders.

After relying on services like OneDrive and DropBox, it seemed such a simple solution to organize files online, and now Google is finally joining the club.

You can read Google’s full press release below.

Continue reading “Google FINALLY Combines Google+ Photos and Drive Cloud Storage”

Amazon Cloud Drive Offers Unlimited File Storage for $60 a Year

amazon cloud drive logoThe cloud storage wars rage on.

Amazon quietly announced today a new tier of storage which might interest folks out there with a LOT of data to back up. For $59.99 a year you can now have unlimited file storage through Cloud Drive. This joins their current unlimited photo plan which costs $11.99 per year.

It’s a hot strategy right now, priced competitively against DropBox’s 1TB for $9.99 a month plan, and Microsoft hasn’t fully activated unlimited cloud storage for their One Drive service yet, which is paired with an Office 365 subscription for $99 a year, but many users (myself included) have access to a 10TB bucket to back up our files there. For folks who might not need all the benefits of Office 365, Amazon’s solution looks like it could be a solid alternative.

More info on Amazon’s Cloud Drive page.

Microsoft Updates Office for Android with Dropbox Support

microsoft office android app update somegadgetguyWe wrote about this partnership last month, but it looks like Microsoft and Dropbox are finally moving forward as cloud storage BFF’s.

In an update pushing out to the Office app for Android, one of the new features allows users to connect their Dropbox account to edit any Office compatible files stored there. Microsoft has also improved support for high resolution displays, hopefully making this app a bit more accessible to a variety of phone owners.

Now we’re just waiting on Dropbox’s side of this bargain, which was to release a native app for Windows Phone…

Microsoft Office Mobile for Android (Google Play)

Amazon Gives Prime Subscribers Unlimited Photo Storage

amazon cloud storageFollowing on the heels of Microsoft delivering unlimited cloud storage for Office users, Amazon is getting in on the no-limits game.

Starting today, Prime subscribers get unlimited photo storage, even while uploading full resolution photos. Using Amazon’s Cloud Drive app, you can set up automatic back up and uploading on Android and iOS, but even pics manually uploaded through your browser will count.

The stock free file storage for non-photo uploads remains at 5GB.

Not a bad little perk for Amazon’s yearly subscription service.

Amazon Cloud Drive