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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A GREAT Site For Parents Of Teenagers — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-011)

March 14, 2016

A GREAT Site For Parents Of Teenagers – I am going to start this off by saying, teenagers are masters of deception. With each generation of teenagers, comes with it a whole new set of complexities. This is nothing new; however, with the advent of the internet where there are numerous avenues of instant communication (through social media and texting), a “good teen” can end up being enticed to make bad choices that can ultimately impact their future. As a parent, when we discover there is something wrong (and we are deceived) we start reaching out for information and solutions; often going to the internet as a resource. This in itself ends up being quite stressful and confusing.

P.U.R.E.

If you are a parent of a teen (or a soon to be teen), I found a great resource called P.U.R.E (Parents Universal Resource Experts), that you definitely need to visit; AND, if you are not a parent of a teen I encourage you to visit the site to get a feel for the complexities that our young people are being exposed to. For example, I started looking for resources at P.U.R.E that were related to the internet and computers and here is a “small” sampling of what I found:

To be honest, I am glad I am not a parent of a teenager in today’s world. If I were, I would be checking this site out to educate myself in an effort to help prevent my “good teen” from making bad decisions. Part of it is learning just exactly what is going on in their world.

Parent’s Universal Resource Experts, Inc. (P.U.R.E.™) was founded in 2001 by author and parent advocate, Sue Scheff. Since that time, P.U.R.E.™ has provided over 50,000 families with valuable information and resources for their at risk children and teens. These are teens who are struggling with peer pressure, experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and are simply good kids starting to make bad choices.

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NEW Outline Tool In Google Docs – This past week Google Apps announced the launch of an “Outline Tool” that will be very helpful when navigating complex documents with many pages. The tool is displayed in a pane on the left side of the page, which will allow you to quickly jump to a page, via headers. I have tried this with a lengthy training manual I had put together and it is awesome.

Hmmm… With this added feature and Google’s strong search capabilities, I can see me possibly setting up a notebook (like Evernote and OneNote). Will have to play around with this more. To read more about this NEW feature — CLICK HERE

Google Docs Outline Tool

B12.png

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Difference Between Portable And Installer Software – You will often see here on the blog where I write about various software programs or apps. As a matter of fact, if you go to the Downloads page you will find a good sampling of FREE software that includes Portable Apps and Installer Software. If you often wondered what difference is between portable software and installer software, I encourage you to visit the The Windows Club to read their recent posting “Difference between Portable and Installer edition software“.

The Windows Club – Difference Between Portable And Installer Edition Software

Portable and Installer edition software

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Turn Any HDMI Supported Device Into A Computer – Take the ASUS CHROMEBIT CS10 Stick-Desktop PC, plug it into a HDMI device (i.e. TV), and you have a Chrome OS based computer. With the built-in bluetooth, you can pair a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Powered by the latest Chrome OS, Chromebit CS10 boots up in seconds and delivers Full HD graphics performance. Together with 2GB of memory, 16GB of eMMC storage, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and both USB and HDMI ports…

ASUS CHROMEBIT CS10 Stick-Desktop PC

ASUS Chromebit CS10

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Where To Get Windows 10 Update Details — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-07)

February 15, 2016

Where To Get Windows 10 Update Details – Windows 10, like all previous Windows versions, is recipient to numerous updates that are circulated by Microsoft. These updates are necessary to improve the operating system and keep our computers safe. Microsoft, this past week, beginning with the February 9th update, announced that they have launched a web site detailing the contents of the Windows 10 updates. The site will regularly refresh, as new updates are released. According to Microsoft, “You’ll see a summary of important product developments included in each update, with links to more details”…  If you are someone who is into troubleshooting computer problems, knowing where and how to get to this site may be helpful. I don’t know about you; but, I have seen updates go awry and actually cause problems. Knowing the contents of these updates will be a helpful in solving these problems. To get to the Windows 10 Update History web site — CLICK HERE.

Windows 10 Update History

win10

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

A NEW Gmail Feature To Make Email Safer – When using Gmail, if you receive a message from, or are about to send a message to, someone whose email service doesn’t support TLS encryption, you’ll see a broken lock icon in the message. What this is basically telling you is that the email, while in transit, is not encrypted and if intercepted could be read. To learn more about this feature, visit the Official Gmail Blog.

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Microsoft Garage – The Outlet For Experimental Projects – One of my passions is software (especially FREE software). As a matter of fact; trying, testing, and learning about software paved my way into information technology (as a hobby and career). If you are like me and love software (and apps), make sure you check out Microsoft Garage where you will find Workbench Projects (with many being, not only Windows based, but Apple and Android based).

Microsoft Garage

Creating a laser etched and lit rapid prototype in the Makers Garage.

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Computer Wizard

(courtesy of The Meta Picture)

cool-computer-genius-quote

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Farbar Tools To Fight Malware – Farbar is a malware fighter who helps people with malware removal on a variety of security forums.  He has incorporated his own experience and other malware fighters into some useful tools to assist helpers in removing malware. 

Farbar Tools

@

Bleeping Computer

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A Gravity Defying Levitating Bluetooth Speaker – The ICEORB Portable Wireless Floating Bluetooth Speaker is one of the Amazon Launchpad products that is a floating Speaker Orb spinning above a magnetic base… Am I buying one of these?  No, but this is pretty cool…

ICEORB Portable Wireless Floating Bluetooth Speaker

ICEORB Portable Wireless Floating Bluetooth Speaker

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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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Quick Links

Today’s Deals

12 Days of Deals

Last-Minute Deals

Year-End Deals

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-36) FEATURING — Control What People See About You On Google Services — and MORE GREAT STUFF

November 16, 2015

Control What People See About You On Google Services – If you are a subscriber to any of Google’s services, it is important to know that you can control what people see about you at aboutme.google.com. While you are there, click on the privacy checkup where you can review and adjust what data Google uses to personalize your experience, and update what information you share with friends or make public.

Google About Me

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Safely AND Quickly Hide Files and Folders – If you are looking for a way to hide a file or folder, then take a look at WinMend. I can tell you that I have used WinMend for the past several years and I have never lost a file.  The WinMend site states it, like this; “While ensuring the absolute system safety, this application can quickly hide files and folders on local partitions and/or on removable devices. The hidden files/folders will be safely hidden whether the drive is accessed in another operating system on the same computer or reinstalled on another computer”. I have added WinMend to the downloads page, located under the FREE SOFTWARE swarm…

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Using The Disk Cleanup Tool In Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 – Cnet has a nice tutorial (click here), on how to clean up the junk in Windows using the built-in cleanup tool. The tutorial covers each aspect of what the tool removes and cleans from your system such as the browser thumbnail cache, system files, system restore files, the hibernation cache, and the recycle bin.

Cleaning up system files

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A Tool To Reset And Repair Windows Update Related Components – The Windows Club posted this article, Reset Windows Update to default in Windows 10, that features using the Windows Update Component Tool (aka Reset Windows Update Agent) to reset and repair the components to the Windows Update service. The tool itself is available from Technet – click here

Reset Windows Update 1

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MORE Quick Links To Amazon Holiday Deals – As you probably have noticed I have an obsession with Amazon and the challenge of locating their best deals. As Christmas gift giving (and receiving) nears, I really go on the hunt to bookmark links to their holiday deals.  Below is my latest collection to share with you.

Quick Links

Today’s Deals

Cyber Monday

12 Days of Deals

Last-Minute Deals

Year-End Deals

Black Friday

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-31) FEATURING — Android 6.0 Marshmallow — and MORE GREAT STUFF

October 12, 2015

Android 6.0 Marshmallow – If you currently have an Android supported device (smartphone or tablet) there is a possibility that you may be entitled (for FREE) to the newest Android OS called Marshmallow. I currently have a Nexus 5 smartphone, which is a Google based phone, and I received the upgrade this week. My Samsung Galaxy Tab S (tablet), I will have to do some research to determine when and if this device will receive the upgrade. You may have to do the same thing. Again, the OS upgrade is called Marshmallow.

Marshmallow

After receiving my upgrade, I had minimal knowledge as to what the new features were. I went on the hunt and found what I was looking for (to educate myself) at the official Android Marshmallow site (at Android.com). There you will find the complete features list by clicking on “All Features” at the bottom of the page. If you are wondering, Google names their operating systems using a confectionery theme. Below is a complete listing:

Cupcake (1.5) – Donut (1.6) – Eclair (2.0–2.1) – Froyo (2.2–2.2.3) – Gingerbread (2.3–2.3.7) – Honeycomb (3.0–3.2.6)[a] – Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0–4.0.4) – Jelly Bean (4.1–4.3.1) – KitKat (4.4–4.4.4, 4.4W–4.4W.2) – Lollipop (5.0–5.1.1) – Marshmallow (6.0)

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If You Are A “LastPass” Subscriber You May Want To Read This – LastPass is an online password manager where your passwords are stored in an online encrypted vault. They have been bought out by LogMeIn (a company specializing in remote desktop management). If you visit the LastPass blog you can read more about this announcement and the various comments that indicate that people are not happy with this move. This is another reason why I do not store my passwords online and instead use local software to manage my passwords. If curious of what I use to manage my passwords, CLICK HERE..

.LastPass_&_LogMeIn

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How To Hide A File Inside A Picture – I have to give credit to BetaNews for showcasing this little app called Free File Camouflage that is easy to use that gives you the ability to hide files inside a typical jpeg image. What attracts me to this software is that it is small in size (portable); thus, a nice addition to my tech toolbox.

Features:

  • The software can be used with the main interface or via the explorer “send to” context menu (the first time you only need to select a directory with some images).
  • All the files are encrypted using AES and hidden inside an image.
  • What happens if someone tries to open a camouflaged image? Well… nothing! He will only see an image!
  • This software is also useful when you want to send an exe via email. Currently many email providers (or companies proxy) don’t allow this.
  • Recently also GMail has disabled the support for attaching a zip file (even if protected with password) with an exe in a draft message.
  • With Free File Camouflage you can send via email whatever you want!

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Anker CD Slot Mount Car Mount Phone Holder – This is a unique method to mount a phone holder in your vehicle that is made by Anker. There are many variations of this method available by different companies; however, at the time of this blog post, the Anker CD Slot Car Mount Phone Holder was listed at being under $10…  

Anker CD Slot Mount Car Mount Phone Holder

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