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10 Common Smartphone Mistakes That Expose You To Security Risks

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10 Common Smartphone Mistakes That Expose You To Security Risks 1

Smartphones have unarguably evolved into an irreplaceable part of our daily lives . Think of  how many times do you use your phone  in a day? Quite a lot times I guess . With such an important device that’s a vital part of our daily lives, I must say I’m quite shocked and surprised by the mistakes and errors people make on smartphones and unnecessarily expose themselves to security risks.

Here’s a quick list of the most common mistakes people make

1.Not Locking Your Phone

It may seem like stress to type in your screen lock password or draw your unlock pattern any time you want to use your phone but this is one  the easiest ways to prevent unauthorized access and/or use of your phone.

Hackers can crack any screen lock security with some given time, but this step gives you  a basic form of first level security that will prevent most people from accessing your phone.

The best type of security code for smartphones are  PINs or  more preferably passwords .

Screen patterns  can easily be hacked. Set your
phone to lock the screen after one minute of being idle.

2.Not Turning On The AntiTheft Feature On Your Phone On

Not all smartphones come with this but with this option, the phone has a second layer of security. I once sold a Tecno H3 to one of my friends, I forgot that I set the AntiTheft feature on. Even after he flashed the phone, the AntiTheft feature was still in place. He couldn’t use the phone until I unlocked it. One good thing about the anti theft feature is that once your SIM is removed, the app will anonymously send an SMS with the next sim card that’s slotted in the phone to the number that you selected as security numbers.

Once your phone gets stolen, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Except of course your pictures..

3.Joining Public Wi-Fi Networks

Some people are fond of doing this, joining any Wi-Fi network they see forgetting that this is also a major security risk. Information and data transmitted over public Wi-Fi networks are visible to anybody on the network if they know how to view it.

Hackers can easily steal your details  and remotely access your smartphone. If you have to connect to a public Wi-Fi network, make sure you’re using a VPN like Droid VPN or TUNNEL BEAR VPN . VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and is a method to connect to websites securely . Otherwise, use your mobile data network.

4.Not Having An Antivirus Installed

Some people will go to great lengths to make sure they have the latest and most up-to-date antivirus for their PC but the protection for their smartphone is Zero .  85% of  most smartphones do not have security or Antivirus apps pre-installed  . Only a number of smartphone users  install antivirus and other security software.

I recommend  Bitdefender , AVG and Avast to secure your Android phone .

By installing an antivirus on your smartphone, you also avoid transferring a virus to your computer via USB which is a common problem these days.

Some damaged memory cards may have the shortcut virus that replicates itself many times in a PC as shortcuts to programs but this can be fixed with Smadav PC Antivirus.

5.Forgetting or Refusing To Install  Updates

Most Smartphone manufacturers use software updates to improve functionality and to fix security gaps. In general, you should accept updates to your phone’s operating system as soon as you are notified. If you don’t have enough data try subscribing and updating your phone.

The same goes with applications on your phone. Make it a habit to regularly update the software running on your smartphone.

6.Not Verifying Your Apps Before Installing
Only few people verify applications before they download and install them. By verification , I mean  carrying out some basic research before installing an app.

Many smartphone users download and install applications that come packaged with malware that gives a remote hacker root access.

Most recently users have been hit with the Quadrooter and Gooligan Malwares.

Quadrooter constantly shows pop-up ads and installs apps without permission. All this can be avoided.

I think where the problem lies is mainly with Android phones because of  the relaxed rules required to host an app in the Play Store. iPhone users are safer due to Apple’s closed wall policy.

7.Clicking On Any Link You See
It’s generally more difficult to spot a fake login page on a smartphone than on a computer. Furthermore, shortened URLs make it extremely difficult to detect illegitimate addresses. The best way to stay secure is to avoid clicking on suspicious links sent via SMS or instant messaging apps.

8.Jailbreaking or Rooting
I know many  hard-core rooters and jailbreakers pe will probably bash me for this one. However, the fact remains  that non-rooted Android devices and non-jailbroken iPhones have a certain level of security that limits the amount of access a user has to vital parts of the phone’s operating system. Jailbreaking or rooting gives you access to hidden system settings that allows you to do much more with your phone.

Everything comes with a price and the price you pay for that is greater security risk.

I’m not saying you should avoid rooting your phone. All I am saying is that if you choose to do that, make sure you know what you are doing.

9.Not Switching Off Bluetooth

You’ve probably not heard of the terms bluejacking , bluebugging or bluesnarfing. These are  situations where  hackers can gain access to your phone using your Bluetooth connection.

Using this method, the hacker only needs to be at just about 30 feet away from you and you’ll never  ever know what just hit you. Within a matter of seconds, a Bluesnarfer can steal details such as confidential information and even login data to various sites. So, unless you are transferring or receiving a file,  for God’s sake switch off your Bluetooth connection.

10.Storing Sensitive Data On Your Phone
I don’t  understood  people  store ATM card PINs, bank online passwords, sensitive images/videos and other such sensitive data on their phones. If your phone is stolen, it wouldn’t take a geek to know  that a four digit number stored as a phone contact is a PIN to one of your accounts. With more analysis , a clever crook can mess up your life.

Make sure you check yourself and make sure you’re not doing any of these things to save yourself from security risks.

Michael Ajah is a Computer Science Student of The University of Port Harcourt and a Chelsea Fan. He loves RnB and a little mix of Trap Music. An awesome tech reviewer and analyst. Email - [email protected]

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iPhone 11 – Is there anything left to announce?

Isaac Godwin

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iPhone 11 – Is there anything left to announce? 2

iPhone 11 – Is there anything left to announce? 3

It is still months before Apple unveil their next iPhone, but that has not done enough to avert the ton of leaks online.

The release for the iPhone 11 is set for September this year. Apart from the aesthetics and designs, not much is known about its specifications.

Although there have also been rumors of the iPhone 11 spec sheet, history has severally proven those type of speculations to be unreliable.

Here are the leaked photos. What do you think?

iPhone 11 – Is there anything left to announce? 4

iPhone 11 – Is there anything left to announce? 5

iPhone 11 – Is there anything left to announce? 6

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Huawei Ban In The US – The Domino Effect And What Is Really Going On

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Huawei Ban In The US - The Domino Effect And What Is Really Going On 7

I’ve been following up the Huawei ban by the Donald Trump and administration and to be frank with you, I really hope this ban is reversed because the effect is something I would call a “Domino Effect”. Can you just picture a pack of dominoes falling ?

Huawei ban

I believe you get the picture now, that’s what Donald Trump just set off and I really hope this doesn’t escalate. The US got into a trade war with China and The Huawei ban was a result of the crossfire. This move is affecting a lot of companies not just Huawei and it would slow down a lot of improvements in the tech sector globally.

 Huawei Ban In The US - The Domino Effect And What Is Really Going On 8

Huawei is the second largest smartphone company in the world coming in right below Samsung and just above Apple. They even made an excess profit of $100b some time ago and this money comes in from their various buinesses. Huawei happens to be the biggest Chinese brand in this position globally and it’s really disappointing that this is coming just right after the Samsung Fold issue and people were looking towards the Huawei Mate X as the next foldable device to look forward to , even Android Q now natively supports foldable phones but now it’s seeming like we all will have to wait for another foldable phone to get us excited again.

What Huawei Has To Do With The Trade War

Huawei doesn’t make just smartphones, they make a lot of things from laptops to servers to telecom materials and now they have developed 5G.

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Yes you read that first line well, Huawei has developed 5G and is working on improving data download speeds and also fixing the problems that come with such speeds . 5G is not just advanced 4G LTE as many people feel, 5G is actually a whole lot faster. You can download a 2 hour movie on 5G within 3.6 seconds.

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Yes.. it’s that fast and with the growing number of driver-less cars , smart homes and inter connected devices, 5G would actually make life a whole lot easier. Doctors can even perform surgeries in a location from an entirely different part of the world. The benefits are just too numerous.

The US was actually the first to develop 4G and it added about $100b to their GDP and created over a million jobs. If they had pioneered 5G first, they would have added $500b to their GDP and created almost 10 times the amount of jobs they created. I get the fact that Trump is a businessman but there are better ways to do settle this rather than accusing Huawei of being a pawn of the Chinese Government.

 Currently, Donald Trump is literally like a frustrated driver in Lagos Traffic getting annoyed that someone overtook him in traffic after he did the same a few moments ago .The major issue Trump is using to cover up here is that he fears that the Chinese Government would use the 5G network to spy on other countries and personally I feel this is just a bit overblown.

The Effects OF 5G and Why The West Is Scared

Now most of our communication systems already have some sort of encryption in place so I really feel it’s not something that we should be worried about . The only major concern here is the power it comes with and the security concerns have gotten into the UK. The UK already set up a panel to investigate Huawei and make sure there isn’t any security  breach or backdoors in the system.

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Like it or not, the future of warfare would be totally cyberwarfare, if someone can shut down the communication systems of a country with the touch of a button, the resultant effects would be definitely catastrophic.

I believe you now understand why western governments are scared. I also understand this but I still feel the decision to ban Huawei was rather too hasty even though one Huawei executive was arrested sometime ago for a case related to espionage but I still feel it isn’t enough to pin Huawei completely and start a Huawei ban

Huawei CEO Responds To The Huawei Ban

I followed up an interview where the Huawei CEO was asked to give his views on the Huawei ban is facing at the moment and here’s what he had to say –

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“I’m very grateful to the US companies, they’ve grown with us for the past 30 years and made a lot of selfless contributions, they taught us how to walk. Most of my consulting enterprises are in the US for example IBM and many others, Secondly we have received great support from these companies and it reflects
the conscience of the US Firms in this crisis”

“2 or 3 days ago I received a call saying that the US companies are working to solve the crisis by reaching out
to the US Government regarding the ban on Huawei. There a re 4 types of regulations. We are not seasonal control, we received entity control this means whatever US companies are selling to Chinese Companies need to get permission. ”

“Even though the entity control is there the inside of the company would not be affected.
The US is a country with an adequate legal system so US Companies have to abide by the law and so does the entity list. So this affects both US companies as well.”

“We are not quite prepared for our low-end products because we think they will die out soon so those might be affected but our high end products won’t be affected at least 5G won’t be affected. Other companies won’t be able to catch up with us in the next 2-3 years”

“If Google cuts off the support to Huawei it would affect Huawei significantly even though Google is still a good company and we’re working on it to find a solution as soon as possible.”

How The Huawei Ban Would Affect Huawei

Now this ban would actually affect Huawei in two major ways and unfortunately these are the major parts of their company as a tech company – The software part and the hardware part.

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The Huawei Ban Software Problem

Google has already revoked their Android License so Huawei can’t use any of their products on future devices. No Gmail, Youtube, Playstore and others. Now these apps are already part of a core Android users mobile experience and you can hardly find a good replacement for that apart from users within China who don’t depend on it.

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So basically that on it’s own poses a major challenge for the mobile division of Huawei. Although Huawei has two options in this part to use AOSP (Android Open Source Project) without Google Services or simply create their own OS.

Huawei has already been rumored to be working on their own OS for smartphones , HongMeng OS and according to one of their executives the OS was supposed to be launched this year. If you can recall one of the Huawei GT smartwatches didn’t run on Android Wear but was still a great smartwatch.

Was that actually HongMeng OS?

Well I can’t say for sure but I have a feeling it might be.

In the PC division, there’s the Windows issue, Huawei makes Matebooks which all run on windows. Windows is a Microsoft Product (A US company). So Huawei would still have to chose an OS for their new laptops as well.

The Huawei Ban Hardware Problem

Although Huawei probably has the ability to make a few of the hardware they buy from other companies, if not all but it would still affect them badly. Corning, Intel, Nvidia, Synaptics and Snapdragon are all US Companies and they can’t do business with Huawei immediately after the 90 day period when the ban goes into the effect .

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These companies all contribute to Huawei’s products in one way or the other. Huawei has confirmed that they have 3 Months worth of supply stored in their company from each company they buy from, which means Huawei actually prepared ahead of time.

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I was confident Huawei would be able to make their own chipsets for their smartphones since they already made it -the Kirin Chipset. Now ARM, a UK based company that makes the components for most of the smartphone processors have also pulled out of supporting Huawei because their production plants are based in Houston Texas. So this still poses a major threat to the development of Kirin Processors.

What lies Ahead for Huawei – HongMeng OS  Or AOSP ?

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Huawei as basically two options, to use AOSP without Google apps or use a brand new OS – HongMeng OS that is said to make Android apps 60% faster . Hauwei is a big company and has the capability of making the OS a major competitor in the tech market and with so many restrictions  at the moment the future seems to point towards HongMeng Os and even though I want the restrictions to be removed , I can’t wait to see the new OS.

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