17 Apr

Removing Malware from Your Android Device

We all know that computers can get infected with malware, but did you know that your phone or tablet can as well? Yes, it is in fact true. And just because you have a new fancy Android device, doesn’t mean you’re immune. So if your phone or tablet starts acting funny and you suspect malware is responsible, it’s time to take action with these six steps.

The lowdown on Android malware

First off, let’s just put some things out there and clear the air. One, getting any type of malware on your Android product is actually incredibly rare. Two, when you see pop-up ads prompting you to buy a virus removal app, don’t freak out. This doesn’t automatically mean your device is infected. In fact, buying one of these apps could actually download malware instead! This is because malware is only contracted via apps you install on the device, which means the safest way to avoid it is to only install apps from the Google Play app store. If you must buy one outside of this, it’s wise to do your research first.

Before we get to what we think is the best solution, there are alternative ways to remove malware that should be noted:

•Use antivirus apps from Google Play – a lot of these are free and will detect and remove malicious apps, but some have a tendency to report apps as infected when they’re actually completely fine. Just be careful with the removal process.

•Perform a factory reset – if there’s a virus on your phone, this is a surefire way to remove it. However, in doing so you return your phone to its original factory settings. That means you’ll lose everything you’ve added that isn’t backed up.

With that out of the way, let’s get to the recommended option below.

How to remove malware

1.Turn safe mode on: To do this, access the power-off options by pressing the power button, then press and hold Power Off. This gives you the option to restart in safe mode. However, this doesn’t work with all models of the Android phone or tablet. If it doesn’t work with your device, a quick Google will pull up model-specific instructions. And what’s the point of turning on safe mode in the first place? Simple – it prevents any malware from running.

2.Search for the infected app: Do this by opening Settings and then Apps. Once you’ve done this, be sure you’re looking at the Download tab (since the infected app can only be something you’ve downloaded), and then start searching for the suspected app. If you don’t know the app’s name, it’s likely something that looks out of place.

3.Uninstall the app: Yes, it’s really that simple. Just click on the suspected app and uninstall it. Then you’re done. However, if the name of the app is grayed out and you can’t even tap it, it means the app has given itself Device Administration Status. In this case, follow the next three steps below.

4.Remove Administrator Status: Do this by tapping on Settings and Security, then Device Administrators. Simply uncheck the infected app and hit Deactivate on the next screen.

5.Uninstall the app: Now when you return to the Apps menu, the infected app will no longer be grayed out. Simply uninstall it.

6.Restart your device: This takes it out of safe mode. Now your phone will be malware-free.

Want more ideas for Android and IT security? Don’t hesitate to give us a call today at 1-866-BIT-WISE or send us an email at sales@eitnetworks.net.

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06 Mar

Android Users Get a Robot!

It’s a beautiful sunny Thursday afternoon as you lounge on your beach chair in the Bahamas. You feel the warm ocean breeze on your skin while you attend a work meeting at your office in upstate New York. You tease your coworkers about the snowstorm they’re experiencing as they…wait a minute. How can you be in the Bahamas and at an office meeting in New York at the same time? Sounds too futuristic? Maybe not. The new telepresence robot that pairs with Android tablet may make this scenario a reality sooner than you think.

What is a telepresence robot?

A telepresence robot is a remote controlled mechanism you can utilize when you cannot physically be somewhere. It uses a video enabled device that allows you to see and be seen, giving you a physical presence while you’re somewhere else in the world.

The telepresence robot that pairs with Android is not the first of its kind on the market, but its price and key features may make it more mainstream and accessible. Both iRobot and Double Robotics have wheeled versions that were released in the past few years. The latter pairs with the iPad and navigates its environment using a Segway.

What’s the deal with the Android version?

The Android tablet version that couples with the telepresence robot is called Origibot and is currently being crowdfunded on Indiegogo. Yes, that means there is a chance it may not see the light of day. However, after raising almost 70% of its $18,000 goal in less than a month, people are clearly excited about the tech behind it. There are twenty-four days left, so chances are high that the Origibot will become a reality.

The Origibot is roughly 29.5 inches high, made from both aluminum and stainless steel, and moves around on wheels. Also, it comes with an optional arm and gripper. According to its creators, the Origibot can fill your pet’s bowl with water, carry drinks, water your plants, and even bring Grandma her meds! Unfortunately, there is no artificial intelligence involved, so the idea of having a fully functional robot butler is still only a dream- a dream that needs to be realized in our lifetime….

From a business perspective, an Origibot can take your place at the office if you’re a telecommuter. Then you’ll literally have a physical presence for meetings while you’re at home on your sofa or taking care of another matter. Until someone invents a flying car that runs off of oxygen, working remotely is the best way to save on fuel, as you will make less trips to the gas station.

How does it work?

Simply attach your Android tablet to the Origibot. Your tablet then connects with another Internet-enabled device that you control, through the company’s secure Cloud service.

Your connected device acts as a remote control for the Origibot, while the tablet allows you to see and hear what is happening in the space your Origibot occupies. Just think of the possibilities. If you use this robot and buy your groceries online, you’ll never even have to leave your house again. It’s a hermit’s dream come true!

The advantages of Origibot

There are other telepresence robot options available, but what makes Origibot different is its price. If you pledge in advance on Indiegogo, you can get an Origibot from anywhere between $329 and $599, depending on the version. Once it hits retail, that price is projected to rise to $499-$899.

Compared to its competitors, this is extremely affordable – iRobot and Double Robotics both cost over $2,000. If you want a telepresence robot, the Origibot will save you over $1,000. You could buy a lot of groceries with that. Or pizza.

The other difference is its size. The metal bar of the Origibot’s body is just a few inches in diameter and the wheeled base is 12.5 by 14 inches. This will make it easy to get through narrow places or maneuver around people. It would be perfect for serving up pizza at a party you cannot attend in person. Just make sure someone cleans the gripper first.

While we do not specialize in robotics, we at EIT Networks can help set up your Android device for business use. To find out about the services we offer, contact us today at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net.

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20 Feb

Tablets: More Than Just Entertainment Devices

Think your tablet is only useful for your favorite Youtube videos, social media updates, or handheld gaming? Think again. Since their introduction, tablets have been synonymous with entertainment but, when properly incorporated into your business, they can boost productivity and help your business thrive. For SMBs, adapting tablets into your work environment can even open up new business opportunities.

You already know that tablets are flexible in use, portable, and make great devices for entertainment. But you can make your tablet contribute much more to your business practices too; it’s just a matter of selecting the right applications and accessories to get the job done. Here are some strategies to turn your tablet into a powerful productivity tool.

Out with the games

Yes, we use tablets to play games. From typical Angry Birds to Valve’s Portal series, there are so many fun games to play. However, for the sake of your business, you need to get rid of all such distractions from your work tablet. Burying the games in folders won’t help when you know they’re there. So if you don’t want to be tempted to play a game instead of working, delete the game. Sure, solving puzzles with portals and physics is fun, but you should do so only once work is done. After you accomplish your business goals, you can celebrate your huge success with a slice of cake, and then kick back to enjoy some entertainment. With all the work you get done, it will be hard for your boss to overstate his or her satisfaction. “This is a triumph!” he or she will exclaim.

In with the work-friendly apps

The pre-installed apps such as calendar, calculator, email, clock/timer are all useful tools you’ll want to have at hand. These are great for quick information checking. But your tablet has the potential to do more than telling you the time or helping with numbers. Just head over to the app store, browse through over a million available apps and take your pick. Here are a few popular ones to get you started:

•Dropbox – This app lets you store, synchronize, and share files online. You can gain access to your files or share them with your colleagues anywhere, anytime. And what’s more, it’s safe! With Dropbox installed, your tablet becomes a powerful device that enables you to bring up anything you might need for references while working. Alternatives include Google Drive and OneDrive.

•Skype – Most businesses are starting to take advantage of the features Skype offers. Need to discuss something with your teammates? You can get in touch with them by using the instant messaging or group call features. Skype also allows you to share files with your colleagues with a simple drag-and-drop function.

•iWork – If you’re an iPad aficionado you’ll find that iWork boosts your productivity, with three combined apps – Keynote, Numbers and Pages – that can act as your entire office suite whether you’re in the office, at home or on the road.

Organize your home screen

You can focus more on work with a well-organized page dedicated solely to productive apps. Make sure all of your work-related apps are on the home screen. The key is to keep the home screen simple and clean. While you can organize it in any way you wish, it’s best to try out a few different schemes before settling on the one you’re most comfortable with.

Get a Bluetooth keyboard

One of the major disadvantages of a tablet is the lack of a physical keyboard. When you need to handle several documents or do a lot of writing, using the tablet’s on-screen keyboard probably isn’t a good idea. Luckily this drawback can be overcome with a portable Bluetooth keyboard. This way you can easily respond to emails or edit documents. So invest in a Bluetooth keyboard to improve your overall tablet experience and productivity. You’ll probably find it soon replaces your laptop.

The tablet trend is in town, and many businesses are already benefiting from these devices. But are you ready to take the plunge? Get in touch with us at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales2eitnetworks.net to see how tablets can help your business.

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12 Dec

Facebook Goes to Work

At work, the Internet is both a great tool that enables more efficient work and a massive distraction to many, especially those who are active on social media. Check with any employee and you can probably guarantee that they have accessed Facebook while at work. While this can irk some employers, Facebook is tackling this issue head on and is developing a new social network just for businesses, potentially called Facebook at Work.

What is Facebook at Work?

In late November, Facebook announced that they are developing a new social network which may be called Facebook at Work. As you can guess by the clue in the title, this is going to be a business-oriented venture that will bring the popular social network, or elements of it, to the workplace.

For many businesses, this popular social network is not really a part of every business operation. Sure, marketing and sales may use this platform, and others, as a way to reach out and connect with customers, but few organizations are known to use Facebook internally as a communication and social network for employees.

Those who do use the network in the office often use their personal accounts and have noted that they would like an easy way to separate work from personal life, while still remaining on the network. Many businesses would also prefer that employees didn’t bring their personal lives and Facebook accounts to the office because this can lead to breaches in privacy and even important data being compromised, especially if a personal account is hacked.

The best way to think of this new platform is that it is Facebook strictly for work. While it is still in the development stages, some interesting details have emerged. There is no official name for the network, thus far, but sources at Facebook have noted that the codename for the product is Facebook@Work.

What Facebook@Work will look like

From what we can tell, the network will look and work much the same as the existing version of Facebook. Users will be able to create profiles, join groups, post on each other’s News Feeds, and even send messages using the popular Facebook Messenger. Where it will differ is that it will have collaborative tools that allow users to share and work on the same documents.

This network will be completely separate from the personal Facebook site, with users having a different password and username. Information between a personal and work account will not be shared either. This should make the network more secure, or at least minimize the use of personal accounts for work-related tasks.

What we don’t know

We do know that Facebook@Work, or Facebook at Work, is currently being developed by a London-based branch of Facebook who seem to be also acting as the main testers. However, we are unsure at this time if the network is being developed strictly as an internal network, which will be used only within a company, or if it will be more like LinkedIn, where it will allow you to connect with similar professionals.

Interestingly enough, Facebook has been using its own network and various groups as a major part of their own internal communication tools amongst departments. For example, when an employee joins a new department they are added to a secure group and group chat where updates are posted, questions are asked, and work is supposedly assigned and agreed upon. It could be that the company is developing something along these lines for external release too.

We don’t know exactly when this network will be introduced, but you can be sure that it will be debuted sometime in 2015, possibly with a rollout in the next year. If your business uses social platforms, or is looking to integrate social media in the near future, this business-oriented social media platform could be worth keeping your eyes on.

Stay tuned as we will be covering this further in the future. Meanwhile, if you have any questions about how best to utilize Facebook in the office please contact us today at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net.

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04 Dec

Android Tablet Gift Guide

With the festive season in full swing, this year, as in recent years, one of the most popular gifts will be the tablet. If you are considering giving a tablet as a present this season, and more specifically an Android tablet, you will quickly find that the selection is overwhelming. Here are some tips that can help you zero in on the right one.

Consider your budget

The great thing about Android is that there are tablets available for a wide budget range; from the ridiculously affordable, yet highly praised, Amazon Fire HD 6 (USD 99 on Amazon.com), to the top-of-the-line Samsung Galaxy Tab S (USD 350-400 in stores). You firstly need to set your budget.

Look at reviews online

There are a ton of websites dedicated to reviewing tablets and other mobile devices. Take for example the well known Engadget, or Trusted Reviews. Sites like these generally give a good overview of the new and most popular devices out there. Pay close attention to the criteria used though, as some review sites tend to only look at basics such as battery life and design, without going too deep into the actual usability.

It is also important to look at actual user reviews. The best place for this is Amazon.com, as almost all reviews of devices on the site are submitted by users. While some reviews may be overly positive or negative without actually revealing reasons, generally speaking they provide an accurate real-life picture.

What will the tablet will be used for?

Many tablets offer special features and functions aimed at different types of users. For example, some offer increased security and encryption that is ideal for the business user, while others may offer features such as pen support which turns the tablet into a drawing pad. If the recipient is likely to be using the tablet for work, then your search should focus on specific, business-oriented devices.

Who will be using the tablet?

Tablets running Android 4.4 (KitKat) and Android 5.0 have the ability to establish different profiles for different users. So, if you know that the tablet will be used by a variety of people then it would be best to purchase a tablet incorporating either of these versions.

If you know that children will be using the tablet, there are a number of apps with features that set the tablet up for children. For example, some will block the Google Play store, and any apps that are deemed unsuitable for children. It might be a big help if you install this beforehand.

What is the technical ability of the user?

It’s true that almost every tablet is designed to make it simple to pick up and figure out. But some tablets are aimed more at specific users than others. Take for example Google’s Nexus line, which is aimed at users who want a simple tablet experience and the most up-to-date software. Users with more tech experience generally find the Nexus line more preferable.

Other tablets come with super simple setups and many popular apps pre-installed, which could make them more suited to users who may not know much about Android, or simply just want to pick up their tablet and go.

Look at durability and features

As with most tech-related purchases, you generally get what you pay for. So, if you want a tablet with top-of-the-line features like a great display, fast processing speeds, and LTE/Data connections, you are likely going to have to pay more.

A good starting point is to look at the questions you answered above about who will be using the device and what they will be using it for, then look for a tablet with features that support or enable this and that has positive reviews. While it may be tempting to stick with brand new tablets only, be sure to look at those released in the past year to year and a half as well. For example, the terrific Nexus 7 tablet (2013 version) is still a great option for many users, not to mention the fact that it is available at an affordable price. Manufacturers like Samsung also have a number of great tablets available with a wide variety of features.

Almost above all else, the overall durability of the device is important. If you purchase a tablet with flimsy construction, there is a good chance it will soon break or fall apart easily. Again, online reviews often focus on the build quality, so these could be a good starting point. Also going to the store and physically trying the devices out could go a long way in helping you pick the best one.

If you receive a tablet for Christmas this year, contact us at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net to find out how we can set it up for your business or home network. If you are a business owner, give your network the gift of 24/7 monitoring this Christmas season!

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20 Nov

Google Calendar Gets a Big Update

For many business owners with Android devices, Google’s Calendar app is one of the most useful to have installed. With the update to Android 5.0, the company has also been updating their apps to make them not only look better, but more useful too. This has led to a new version of Calendar being launched with some great new features.

The idea behind the new Google Calendar

According to Google, the new Calendar app has been designed to truly help make lives easier. With the older version of Calendar, you have to take time to copy and paste information like location, phone numbers, and details into each event. This leads many users to simply skip adding important information when they create new events on their mobile devices.

With the latest version of Google Calendar, Google aims to make the creation of events and addition of information far easier. To do this, the new app has some useful features including:

Events pulled from Gmail

These days, when you book a flight or confirm a meeting, etc. you usually receive an email with a confirmation number and some contact information. In the new Calendar, events like this will be pulled automatically from Gmail emails and added to Calendar, along with relevant information.

For example, if you book a flight to attend a conference, you will see a new Calendar entry added with the flight information. Beyond this, events will be updated in real time, so if there is a delay with the event or you are sent an email update, Calendar will update this information automatically.

Assists

This new feature allows you to quickly and easily create group events. Now, when you create a new event and begin to type in information, Calendar will make suggestions based on what you are typing.

For example, if you want to set a meeting with John at Starbucks around the corner you can start typing: ‘Meet’ and Google will come up with a list of suggested events. Tap Meeting from the drop-down menu and this will pop up in the text box. The drop-down menu changes to allow you to select more options, such as With. Tap this and enter the first letter of a name, and then select who to invite. The drop-down menu will change again and allow you to select a location by simply typing a few letters.

From the demo we have seen, this works quite well and definitely speeds up the creation of events.

Schedule View

This is a new view that has been designed to provide you with an in-depth view of the events you have scheduled. According to the Google blog, this view “includes photos and maps of the places you’re going, cityscapes of travel destinations, and illustrations of everyday events like dinner, drinks, and yoga.”

Essentially, this view makes it easier for you to see what is going on at a quick glance. Many mobile users find Schedule View particularly useful as they do not have to navigate their main calendar, which can be tricky to read when you have a wealth of events planned.

How do I get the latest Google Calendar?

As of the writing of this article, the app is available on the Google Play store for all Android devices running Android 4.1 and higher. You should be able to get the app by updating the existing Google Calendar app. If you do not have the app, you can find it by searching for Google Calendar from the Google Play Store app.

If you are interested in learning more about Android, contact us today at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net to see how our systems and experts can benefit your business too.

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07 Nov

Simple Tips on Wireless Security

Wireless technology has never been more popular, as evidenced by the vast number of wireless electronic devices that can connect to the Internet or local network. The freedom that this technology affords is quite appealing to most. It is liberating to access files, play music, watch videos, or communicate with others online without being tied down to one desk in your home or office. As with most technological conveniences, however, this freedom comes at a higher cost. With all of this information zipping back and forth through the air, how do you protect your network from hackers or nosy neighbors? Here are some simple steps to get started.

Note: This article is geared towards a home or small office network. Many of these ideas can be used for larger businesses, however.

1. Change the default username and password on your router

Routers come with a default username and password. Cybercriminals love default settings. Fortunately, changing the login info is easy. Just access your router (by using a web browser and the router’s IP), find the login settings, and change the defaults to something unique. Concerning the password, make it fairly complex (like bUnn1es@reCute1324). Internet villains have some powerful tools at their disposal, so do not make it easy for them. You probably will not access your router that often, in which case you will not have the chance to memorize your username and password. Therefore, make sure you write them down and store them someplace safe!

2. Change the SSID (also known as Wireless Network Name)

If your router uses a default SSID (like “linksys” or “netgear”), change it. The default Pre-Shared Key (PSK) may be based on this default name, making it easier for cybercriminals to break in. If they see a list of network names, they are more likely to try to hack the ones with a default name in hopes that the PSK has not been changed. If this is the case, the network name is essentially providing a portion of the wireless password, and the bad guys can run software that attempts to obtain the rest of it.

This step man not apply to newer routers that come with a unique SSID and PSK out of the box, but it will not hurt anything to change those as well. Also, if you set a long, complex PSK (see step 3 below), you will make it incredibly difficult to hack in, even if you are still using a default SSID, but if you can deter a hacker just by changing the SSID, why not do it? Another benefit of having a unique name is that it ensures you will not share a default SSID with a neighbor, which could cause confusion.

3. Enable WPA2 security and set a strong passphrase

This is probably already enabled on your router, as WPA2 has been around for quite some time, but you should check it to make sure. The older security protocols (WEP, WPA) have been around a lot longer and have some serious security flaws. WPA2 is not airtight, but it is the best option to use at the moment. Once you have enabled this feature, set a strong, unique PSK passphrase. As an example, something like “dGup@158$*Pld” would work splendidly. Just make sure you write it down and store it in a safe place!

This example may seem excessive, but a weak passphrase can be more easily cracked by a brute-force attack (using software that repeatedly tries various passwords until one of them works). It is best not to take chances when it comes to security. As always, changing your password/passphrase periodically is a good practice.

4. Update router firmware regularly

As routers age, they become more vulnerable to attacks. Router manufacturers issue firmware updates that can help make your router more secure, among other benefits. There is always a risk involved in updating firmware, however, but it is still a good thing to do. Never update firmware when there is an above-average risk that you may lose power, such as during inclement weather. Losing power during a firmware update could turn your router into what is fondly called a “brick.” Fortunately, firmware updates do not take long to apply, so the chances of losing power during that brief time is very slim. If you have any concerns, however, plug your computer and router into a UPS (uninterruptible power supply, not the shipping company….) before attempting a firmware update!

5. Disable WPS if not needed

Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) is a simple, convenient way to connect wireless devices to your network. On newer routers, you merely press a button on the router and a button on the device, and the router will automatically give the device a required 8-digit PIN; there is no setup involved whatsoever. Devices can only connect up to five minutes after the button is pressed, which makes it fairly secure. However, some older routers may not have this feature, which makes them susceptible to brute-force attacks. Using this method, a hacker can guess your PIN in less than a day.

There are differing opinions about WPS, but the general consensus is that it is best to disable it and set up your devices manually. This is more of a hassle, but it will undoubtedly make your network more secure. If needed, check with your router’s manufacturer to see what they have done to make WPS more secure, such as adding a lockout policy to combat brute-force attacks. Some companies have ditched the term “WPS” and have come up with something else that essentially does the same thing but with more security (such as QSS from TP-LINK).

6. Deny wireless devices access to router’s web-based utility

You do not want just anyone to make changes to your router. Go into your router’s web-based utility and find where you can change who has access. It may be in “Local Management” under the “Security” tab or something similar. Do not allow all computers on the LAN to access the router’s web-based utility. Instead, input the MAC addresses for the computer(s) you will be using for access, and only allow those computers access. A really good hacker can find a way around this, but the more roadblocks that are in the way, the safer the network is. The more steps a cybercriminal has to go through, the more likely he or she is to give up and move on to another network.

7. Disable UPnP

Universal Plug and Play is a feature that is on by default in most routers. The basic premise is that it allows programs on your computer to open ports, allowing for NAT traversal when needed. The problem is that UPnP has no built-in authentication, which could pose a security threat. For instance, if you get malware on your desktop, it could use UPnP to open a port indefinitely and send information to nefarious individuals. That could never be good! There is a lot more that can be said about UPnP, but it falls outside the scope of this article. Just know that it could be an issue. If you choose to disable it, and a needed program stops functioning, just utilize port forwarding for that specific program.

8. Ensure that your router cannot be accessed remotely

This option is usually off by default, but you might as well check it while you are changing settings on your router. It can usually be found under a tab named “Remote Management.” If enabled, it allows you to access your router’s web-based utility from any device with internet access and a web browser. You still have to input your password, of course, but it is just another way for unwanted guests to try to access your network. Also, chances are that you will never need this feature.

9. Place your wireless router near the center of your home/office

Unless your wireless network is located inside a huge faraday cage, you will probably end up with the signal bleeding out through the walls of your home or office. Placing your wireless router/access point at the center of your building, however, can lessen this problem. It may not be possible for everyone to do this, but if you do have the option, go for it! By the way, if your wireless network is inside a huge faraday cage, you can safely ignore this entire article….

10. Get a new wireless router

If you have an old router that does not utilize modern security protocols or for which the manufacturer no longer produces firmware updates, it may be time for an upgrade. Yes, this involves spending money, but it may be necessary to maintain proper network security. Unsupported routers are just like an operating system that is no longer supported by its maker; it becomes more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Experts recommend replacing your router every 4-5 years, even if it seems to be functioning just fine. For one thing, it is better to replace it while it is working than to wait for it to quit and then have to buy a new one. When there is no rush, you can research routers to find the best option for your budget and network needs. If your router goes down, you will probably run down to the local Buy More (fictional) and hastily grab the first router you see!

There is a lot more that can be said about wireless security, but these are some simple changes you can implement to make it tougher for unwanted individuals to access your network. If you are interested in how EIT Networks can provide network security, 24/7 monitoring, and many other services for your business, call 1-866-BIT-WISE or email us at sales@eitnetworks.net.

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29 Sep

Spotting fake Windows Phone apps

For Windows Phone users, the Windows Phone Store is where you go to get the apps for your device. While there is an ever growing number of apps available, there have been reports of fake and malicious apps making their way onto the store. As such, it is a good idea to know how to spot them and what you should do if you discover one.

To begin with, we should make clear that app store hosts like Microsoft do have strict security measures in place that strive to keep malicious software off of stores and therefore users’ devices. That being said, there is always a chance that an industrious hacker can subvert these security controls and get their app onto the online stores. To counter this, here’s four tips on how you can spot fake or malicious apps.

Look at the name – If you are looking at an app on the Windows Phone Store, always look at the name of the app. Some malicious software that has made its way onto the Store has had a spelling mistake in the name. If in doubt, do a quick search on the Internet for the app and the correct spelling. Should nothing turn up, it may be a good idea to avoid it.

Look at the publisher information – All apps for Windows Phones require that the developer/publisher includes information about the app and themselves. If you are looking to download what seems like a popular app, take a look at the listed producer or developer, and then search on the Internet for their site. If the developer of the app appears to be different, or there are differences in the spelling, it is best to avoid installing it.

Look at social media stats – On the Windows Phone Store, below the install information, are counters for social media likes and shares. If the app information states it is a popular app and yet there are no social shares, then this may indicate it is actually fake. You should therefore err on the side of caution.

Look at comments – Lastly, look at the comments/reviews of the app. The Windows Phone Store uses stars to provide a quick overview of how much people like each app, but if you read comments you can quickly get an idea of exactly what people say about specific apps. If you see words like Fake, Doesn’t work, etc. then it is a good idea to skip installing it.
While it can help to be able to identify apps, you should also know how to report apps that you believe are malicious or fake. You can do so by:

Opening the app’s page on the Windows Phone Store.
Scrolling down and clicking on Report concern to Microsoft.
Selecting from a list of complaints. Note: Pick the one that is most appropriate to the issue, for example if it is a fake app then select Misleading app.
Pressing Submit.

The plus side of the Windows Store is that Microsoft does usually act quickly to remove identified apps, so the actual chances of you downloading one are fairly low. But, it is always better to be safe than sorry. If you are looking to learn more about Windows Phones and how they can fit into your organization, contact us today at 1-866-BIT-WISE

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