Protect Your Android Apps From Unwanted Access

April 18, 2016

… and, MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-016)

Recently I have been paying special attention to folks who have Android smartphones (and tablets) and I am noticing that the majority do not have their phones locked down (either with a pin code or pattern lock). I highly recommend that you get into the security setting on your devices and lock them down; preferably, with a pin code so that when your phone is turned “on” or awakened out of its’ sleep mode, a code (that you pre-designate) is required to access and operate the phone. You will not realize the importance of this “slight” inconvenience, until your phone is misplaced.

To take this a step further, there are apps available that allow you pass code protect individual apps to prevent apps from being launched on your phone (or tablet) in the event you hand off the device to someone else, such as your kids. An app locker that I have been testing out is called Avira Applock+. What I like about Applock+ is that it is very easy to setup; and, it specifically focuses on securing access to your apps (and not a bunch of other stuff is bundled with it). An included powerful feature in the FREE version is the unlimited remote device management, where you can remotely lock and unlock apps on your managed phones (as many as you like!) from Avira Online Essentials – your online dashboard.

Avira Applock+

 AppLock+- screenshot

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

A Surge Protector For High-End Home and Professional Workstations – Here is a surge protector that is highly recommended.  It is the Belkin BE112230-08 12-Outlet Surge Protector that is a #1 Best Seller at Amazon. This surge protector is built to protect professional workstations, laser printers, telephones, home-theater systems, and everyday household electronics. While it is recommended for heavy duty devices, it can also be used to protect other household electronics as well without problem.

Belkin BE112230-08 12-Outlet Surge Protector

Belkin BE112230-08 12-Outlet Surge Protector

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Q-Dir  Windows 10 Emulation

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Google Calendar Keeps Getting Better And Better – You may not have noticed; but, as of this month, a new feature has been implemented that will allow you to create reminders in your calendar. 

Just like on Android and iPhone, you’ll get the following:

  • Reminders stick around – If a reminder isn’t completed, it will appear at the top of your calendar until you mark it done.
  • Reminders work across Google – Reminders you create in Inbox, Keep, and the Google app will also show in Google Calendar.
  • Reminders sync with mobile – Reminders created in mobile show up on the web and vice versa. So you can stay on track from just about anywhere.

To read more on this, CLICK HERE

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How To Install Windows Without A Bootable Disk — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-013)

March 28, 2016

How To Install Windows Without A Bootable Disk – Typically, to install Windows you will need some type of bootable media (such as a DVD or USB drive). To get around this often cumbersome process there is a new product recently released called WinToHDD.

WinToHDD is a handy and useful Windows software that allows you to install or reinstall Microsoft Windows without using a CD/DVD or USB drive. With this All-in-One Microsoft Windows Setup application, you can easily reinstall Microsoft Windows, install Microsoft Windows onto disks other than the one where your Microsoft Windows operating system is installed, or clone current Windows OS installation (Windows vista or later) to other disk.

WinToHDD

I first came across WinToHDD at I Love Free Software, where they have authored a quick tutorial on how to use WinToHDD and the precautions to take…

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

Love Scrabble??? – If so, check out the 5 Best Scrabble Games For Android @ Android Authority. All of these scrabble takeoffs can be played against other opponents.  If you are looking for a scrabble game that you can play solo against your device, check out my favorite, called Classic Words Solo

 Classic Words Solo- screenshot

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Find Out Who and What Is Connected To Your Wireless Network – To rule out the possibility of someone piggy backing off of your wireless network, download and run (portable app) Wireless Network Watcher

Wireless Network Watcher is a small utility that scans your wireless network and displays the list of all computers and devices that are currently connected to your network. For every computer or device that is connected to your network, the following information is displayed: IP address, MAC address, the company that manufactured the network card, and optionally the computer name. You can also export the connected devices list into html/xml/csv/text file, or copy the list to the clipboard and then paste into Excel or other spreadsheet application.

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UniExtract2 – Some of you geeksters out there may have heard of UniExtract (or Universal Extractor), that allows you to  extract files from a wide variety of archive files, including ZIP, ARJ, LZH, as well as MSI and EXE files created using various installer packages (such as Nullsoft, Wise, Inno Setup, etc). I primarily use it to decompress installer packages, when possible. Universal Extractor 2 is an unofficial updated and extended version of the original UniExtract by Jared Breland (that is currently in development). It brings several hundred changes including community-wanted ones such as a batch mode, auto-updater and scan-only-functionality.

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Kingston Digital DataTraveler SE9 64GB USB – What I love about this USB drive is the price and that it will attach easily to your key ring.

Kingston Digital DataTraveler SE9 64GB USB

Kingston DTSE9 Flash Drive

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A Sampling Of Some Of The Most Popular Articles At What’s On My PC — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-03)

January 18, 2016

A Sampling Of Some Of The Most Popular Articles At What’s On My PC – Each week on the blog I try to provide an array of topics through the Geek Squeaks’ theme. This week I was brain dead and for the life of me nothing was jumping out to get my juices going. In an effort to give myself a jump start, I decided to list some of the most popular articles at What’s On My PC. This not only got my juices going; but, it made me come to the realization that I need to re-think how I am titling my blog articles and still keep within the parameters of my Geek Squeaks’ way of life where I post multiple topics (with one main topic as the attention grabber). As a result, I am going to implement this change to see where it takes me. To get started with this week’s post, I changed the title format; and to get my juices going, I have listed a sampling some of the most popular articles at What’s On My PC. Always remember, you can perform a search to find various topics, software, etc… In the 8 years that I have been blogging, there is a good chance that if you are looking for something, I have covered it in some form or another.

Symptoms of a Failing Computer Power Supply – I discuss some of the symptoms you may experience that could indicate that your power supply is failing. This article was published back in 2010, which seems like yesterday, and much of what is reflected is still applicable today.

Shutdown, Sleep, Restart or Logoff Your Computer Using the Keyboard – Here I did a post about the built in keyboard shortcuts that you can use to shutdown, sleep, restart or logoff your Windows computer. This article is applicable to Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 users. I still get a ton of hits on this one.

Locating Your Software License Keys – Did you know that if you do a complete reinstall of the software on your PC, you will need the product license keys (or serial/registration information) for the software that you had paid for? If you did not know this, then this article will guide you on the various software options that are available that will help you out.

An Easy Way to Get the Serial Number and Disk Drive Information of Your Computer – If you follow the command prompt steps that I have reflected in this article you can get the serial number and disk drive information of your computer.

Get the last FREE version of FastStone Capture – If you do not know what FastStone Capture is, then you are missing out on some good software. This screen capture program, at one point was freeware; however, you now (current version) have to pay for the software (shareware). This is one shareware program that I recommend buying. If you do not wish to buy it, you can still grab the last FREE version.

What does the “G” represent in 3G and 4G? – There is a high probability that you own a cell phone. If so, you have probably questioned, “What is all of this 3G and 4G talk about?”. This article will help you out with this.

MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

A Package Of More Than 180 Portable Freeware Utilities (for Windows) – If you are the techie type, you probably have heard of the NirSoft utilities. Did you know that these utilities can be downloaded as a package and conveniently launched using what is called the NirLauncher. The NirLauncher package includes variety of tools that you may need for your daily computer use, including utilities to recover lost passwords, to monitor your network, to view and extract cookies, cache, and other information stored by your Web browser, to search files in your system, and more… This is a “must have” for the tech toolbox.

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An OS That Will Turn A PC Into An Android PC – I came across a new open source OS (operating system) that can be installed on a compatible PC or run from a flash drive called Remix OS that will turn a PC into an Android based PC. What this means is that you can run the same apps through the Remix OS that you do on your Android based phones and tablets. I will be keeping an eye on this…

Video – How To Install The Remix OS

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Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker – If you do not own a wireless bluetooth speaker, you do not know what you are missing. Today, I came across an Amazon deal for people like me who is rough on things. It is the Photive HYDRA Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, that is shockproof and waterproof. At the time of this posting, the pricing was unbelievable ($39) with great customer reviews.

 Photive HYDRA Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

Photive HYDRA Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

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Geek Squeaks (#2016-02) FEATURING — Great Reference Book On Upgrading And Repairing PCs — and MORE GREAT STUFF

January 11, 2016

Great Reference Book On Upgrading And Repairing PCs – If you are contemplating a career as an IT Professional or you are an IT Professional, you may want to consider purchasing the 22nd Edition of Scott Mueller’s Upgrading and Repairing PCs. Get “practical answers about PC processors, mother-boards, buses, BIOSes, memory, SSD and HDD storage, video, audio, networks, Internet connectivity, power, and much more. You’ll find the industry’s best coverage of diagnostics, testing, and repair—plus cutting-edge discussions of improving PC performance via overclocking and other techniques.”.  Also, be sure to check out Scott Mueller’s online Upgrading and Repairing Forum.

Upgrading and Repairing PCs

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Boot Failure Troubleshooting Flowchart – Since I started out today’s post with a book on upgrading and repairing PCs, I thought I would throw in this Boot Failure Troubleshooting Flowchart that you may find of interest. There is also a book on this as well — CLICK HERE .

 Boot Failure Troubleshooting Flowchart

Boot Failure Flowchart

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Use Disk Space Organizing Software To Keep Your Computer Clutter Free – Using disk space organizing software can help you keep your computer from turning into a junkyard by visually showing you what files and folders (and where) are consuming hard drive space.  To help me in this situation I use the portable app called GetFolderSize. There is also a full install version if you are not into the portable apps. GetFolderSize works as a disk analyzer that lets you see a folder tree where you can easily locate files and folders that you have “lost” and cannot even search for because you have forgotten what you named them! I have added GetFolderSize to the Downloads Page, listed under the portable apps swarm.

GetFolderSize

GetFolderSize

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Fast Free File Shredder – Another portable app that landed in my lap is OW Shredder. This portable app is an advanced security tool which allows you to completely erase secret data with all drive traces from your hard drives by overwriting it. Individual files, free disk space and entire volumes can by erased. I have also added this portable app to the Downloads Page

OW Shredder

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Turn An Android Device Into A Home Video Monitoring System – If you have a tablet or an old Android phone lying around, you can put it to good use and turn it into a video surveillance camera by using the Android app called AtHomeCamera. This app is worth a try before you go out an buy and expensive setup. All platforms are supported, including Windows PC、Mac、iPhone、iPad、iPod, Android phone, Android tablet and Smart TV. Used together with AtHome Video Streamer, you are able to keep an eye on your home when you are outside, and receive alerts right away in case of any incident!

AtHomeCamera

 AtHome Camera - Home Security- screenshot

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-42) FEATURING — An Easy To Use Backup Program — and MORE GREAT STUFF

December 28, 2015

An Easy To Use Backup Program – Nearly every home based computer user that I have encountered do not backup their personal files. Most of what files people have stored on their computers they feel are files that are unimportant; until the moment comes that they lose those files. An example being, many people store family pictures on their computers. At the moment they may seem unimportant; however, when the computer fails (and it will), all of the sudden you realize that you lost precious memories. If you fall into this category, which most likely you do, please take the time to purchase an external hard drive (click here) and establish a backup plan. Finding an external hard drive and connecting it is the easy part. Finding a software solution is another matter. To help you along, a software solution that I use is called

To help you along, a software solution that I use is called Bvckup 2. If you visit the site you will see that it is software that you have to buy; however, to get around that option, if you scroll down to the bottom of the page where the download button is located, you will see “Looking for the last beta?”.  If you click on that link you can download the last beta version of Bvckup, which is FREE. By trying out the beta, you may be encouraged to purchase the software; however, I have found the beta’s of BVCkup 2 to work perfectly fine for our purposes. Bvckup 2 is easy to use (and learn) and it does not compress, encrypt or FTP files. It’s not a two-way sync nor is it a full system backup software. It simply makes a copy of your personal files from your computer to a designated location on the external hard drive; AND, the best part (by default), Bvckup will automatically perform these backups for you in real-time.

Bvckup 2

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Turn Your Android Smartphone Into A Digital Bubble Level – Our smartphones have many other purposes other than making calls and texting. For example, did you know you can turn your smartphone into a bubble level that comes in handy when you need to make sure a picture is hung straight on the wall, or a length of lumber is level, etc… If you search the Google Play store you will many bubble level apps available. The one that I settled for is an app developed by a company who actually makes levels, called Rigid. The app that they have developed is called Rigid Digital Bubble Level. This app features a calibration mode that will allow you to use this app in three views: Bubble View (the standard bubble level you’re used to); Horizon View (a horizon line that twists as you rotate. Enable the camera feature in this view to level things from afar.); and, Flat View (placing the phone on a surface activates this view where an optional beep can indicate how level the surface is without needing to look at the screen.)…

Rigid Digital Bubble Level

Cover art

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A Gizmodo Field Guide To 9 Google Now Voice Commands to Take Control of Your Smartphone – I am sure, if you own a Google based Android phone, you have used the “ok Google” feature where you speak to your phone by saying “ok google” and then tell (speak to) the Google Now Assistant to perform searches, etc… I am still trying to get used to this, but when I do use it I am really amazed of the accuracy and the results. Along with performing searches there are other commands you can give. Gizmodo has put together a nice field guide to “9 Google Now Voice Commands To Take Control Of Your Smartphone” that you need to learn. Commands such as turning your wi-fi on/off; the flashlight on/off; read text messages; etc…

9 Google Now Voice Commands
To Take Control Of Your Smartphone

9 Google Now Voice Commands to Take Control of Your Smartphone

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verykool Sleek, Contemporary Unlocked GSM Phones – I was focused on smartphones when I visited Amazon and what I came across is a smartphone brand that I have never heard of (called verykool). What caught my eye and made me look more than twice was the unbelievable super low pricing. Based on the low number of customer reviews (which, by the way are high ratings), verykool must be a newcomer at Amazon. I will definitely be keeping an eye on this smartphone brand that just may change the whole landscape of things when it comes to smartphones.

 verykool

verykool

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-40) FEATURING — Use Qwertycard To Generate And Keep Track Of Passwords — and MORE GREAT STUFF

December 14, 2015

Use Qwertycard To Generate And Keep Track Of Passwords  – As computer and internet users, where we log into numerous accounts, we are still failing to keep our information safe. From experience of helping others, I find that most people use weak passwords and will use the same password to log into numerous accounts. On top of that, most folks will write down those passwords and keep them near the computer. An easy solution to all of this is what is called a Qwerty Card. I had heard about these cards in the past; and, just recently I came across them again on Tech Crunch. How this works is that the card reflects the QWERTY keyboard and each letter on the keyboard is assigned a unique character. When you purchase a card, you are given a unique base code. To generate a really strong password, you first type your base code, then your own password, then use the Qwerty card to generate the coding for the website name. You can also simplify this process and still maintain a strong password by reducing the number of steps. To learn more on how this works, either visit Tech Crunch or the actual site that sells these cards (click here)…

Qwerty Cards

picture of qwertycard

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EncryptOnClick Is Like Hiring Your Own Highly Experienced Data Security Guard – I nearly forgot about EncryptOnClick, until I saw that the developer recently updated it. If you want a simple, easy to use encryption program, this one is definitely a keeper. After you install EncryptOnClick, you can copy the contents of the install directory over to a flashdrive (to make it a portable app). Very nice program, that is FREE (that uses 256-bit AES encryption). You can encrypt individual files or entire directories.

EncryptOnClick

EncryptOnClick

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Google Drive Rolling Out New Search Experience – Drive lets you search across all your files, regardless of the device they came from. To make that easier, you can use these new ways to find your files: Narrow your search to a file type from the search box on Android, iOS, and the web. Open advanced search instantly from the search box. Access recent files or search Drive from the home screen using 3D Touch on iOS. Search Drive using the iOS search bar without opening the Drive app.

The new features will be rolling out in the coming weeks…

Read About Google Drive’s New Search Experience

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Speaking of Google Drive – Here is The Only Google Drive Guide You Will Ever Need… The guide covers: Navigation: Supported File Types | Accessing Google Drive | Storage Space | Working with Google Drive | Desktop Clients | Uploading Files & Folders | Downloading Files & Folders | File Size Restrictions | Creating a New Document | Sharing Files & Folders | Collaborating | Accessing Files Offline | Organizing Your Drive | Tweaking Your Layout | Third Party Apps | Troubleshooting | Drawbacks of Google Drive…

The Only Google Drive Guide You Will Ever Need

Google Drive will sync documents with Microsoft Office

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MAPS.ME – GPS Navigation & Map (Android) – Get detailed maps of any country in the world (that can be downloaded) and are optimized for your phone or tablet. This is an Android app called MAP.ME… If you need a GPS unit for your car; by using your Android smartphone, this is a great option. Recently upgraded to include walking directions…

MAP.ME

 MAPS.ME - GPS Navigation & Map- screenshot thumbnail

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A Terabyte Internal SSD Drive (by Samsung) – I am starting to see the much larger SSD drives come down in price. If your are in the market for a SSD Drive you may want to take a look at the Samsung 850 EVO 1 TB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD

Samsung 850 EVO 1 TB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD

Samsung SSD Drive - 1TB.png

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-34) FEATURING — Samsung’s 18.4″ Galaxy View Tablet (can pre-order now) — and MORE GREAT STUFF

November 2, 2015

Samsung’s 18.4″ Galaxy View Tablet (can pre-order now) – Yes you are seeing that right. Samsung has developed an 18.4″ tablet called the Galaxy View that is in comparison to carrying a portable TV around; AND, that is exactly what I think Samsung is thinking in regards to this hugeous tablet. The pricing on this ($599) is a little steep for my pocketbook; however, if the price were to come within reason, I may consider the Galaxy View for home-based usage.

There are mixed reviews on this, from CNET’sSamsung has just taken the wraps off the best tablet we may have ever seen”, to the Verge’s “Samsung might’ve just priced itself out of success”… The Galaxy View is slated for release on November 6th and can be pre-ordered now… To see all the specs — CLICK HERE — scroll down the page and then click on “See All Specs”.

Samsung Galaxy View

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Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard for Computers, Tablets and Smartphones – The Logitech K480 is an excellent bluetooth keyboard, that works great either as an external keyboard for a Mac or a PC desktop system, or as a keyboard for a phone or a tablet. You can use this device to connect up to three Bluetooth wireless–capable computers or mobile devices. If this is something you may find of interest, check out Logitech’s Immersion Guide that will tell you everything you need to know about this keyboard.

Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480

You aren’t limited to a single device, so why should your keyboard be?

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How To Bypass Android’s Secured Lock Screen – If you do not have your Android smartphone (or tablet) locked down, I suggest that you take the time and lock it down. For example, to use my Nexus 5, I enter a pin number in order to operate the device.  The ONLY problem I see with locking down your device is the chance you forget the pattern, pin or password that you used. Well, don’t fret, I came across this article,7 Ways to Bypass Android’s Secured Lock Screen.  A lot of folks don’t want to lock down their devices due that it is an inconvenience; however if you ever lose the device you will soon learn that you wished you had taken the precaution of securing it.

Android Security

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Display A Host Of System Information-Type Data On Your DesktopBGInfo is a system information tool (portable app) that is very useful for people who manage numerous systems. BGInfo automatically displays relevant information about a Windows computer on the desktop’s background, such as the computer name, IP address, service pack version, and more. The information that BGInfo displays can be edited, as well as the font and background color. Stick this tool in the startup folder on your computer to display the system information each time the computer boots.

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