WTAM 1100 – Smartphone Emergency Alert Settings

Play Audio – WTAM 1100 Newsradio – Tech Tuesday – October 21st, 2014

WTAM 1100 Newsradio Cleveland OhioEmergency alerts on your smartphone often surprise people when they go off, but often they’re one of the quickest ways to get rapidly changing news out to a local public. Enabled by default, these settings can be checked or changed within the settings of your device.

Android: Open your Settings app, then look for the Wireless & Networks heading. Tap More… and scroll to the bottom. Finally, tap Cell Broadcasts.

iPhone: Tap your Settings app, then scroll to select Notifications. Look for Government Alerts at the bottom of the list.

Windows Phone: Open Settings, then Applications. Select Messaging, then Emergency Alerts.

These emergency alerts will help provide early warning about imminent danger, but what if you want more information about potentially hazardous weather in your area? The Red Cross Mobile Apps provide can help with everything from tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and wildfires. They also include general safety apps for first aid for you and your pets.

WTAM 1100 – Blackberry Passport

Play Audio – WTAM 1100 Newsradio – Tech Tuesday – September 30th, 2014

WTAM 1100 Newsradio Cleveland OhioWhile the smartphone news has recently been dominated by iPhone and Android, the recently announced BlackBerry Passport may interest some with it’s promise of being an “office on the go” device.

Some of the key features of the Passport:

  • Blackberry PassportPhysical Keyboard – The Passport combines a physical keyboard and a line of changing screen-based keys above that will make heavy email and messaging users happy.
  • Battery Life – BlackBerry is claiming 30 hours during normal use with its 3460mAh battery, providing cordless productivity while away home or the office.
  • Large Screen – A unique 4.5 inch square screen provides a large viewing and touch area for emails, work documents and websites.
  • BlackBerry Hub – An app that keeps your conversations in one place, including BBM, email, phone and social media.
  • Android Apps – The phone not only runs BlackBerry World apps, but Android apps from the pre-installed Amazon Appstore.

WTAM 1100 – Fake FBI Ransomware Comes to Android

Play Audio – WTAM 1100 Newsradio – Tech Tuesday – August 26th, 2014

Fake FBI Warning Ransomware on Android SmartphoneAccording to a recent New York Times article, Android devices are a new target for “ransomware”. These malicious software apps act similarly to the fake FBI virus scams that have been attacking Windows PCs for years.

Fortunately, there’s several actions you can take to help protect your Android smartphone or device from these scammers and their malware apps.

Stick With Trusted App Sources

Android devices generally come setup for downloading apps from a trusted app store, like the Google Play Store. For extra security, you’ll want to avoid changing the settings on your device that allow 3rd party apps to be downloaded from the official app stores.

Sometimes called “sideloading”, allowing apps to be installed from less trustworthy places on the Internet increases your chances of accidently loading malware onto your device.

Keep Updated

Just like your computer, your smartphone’s operating system and apps need to be updated periodically. It’s important to keep watch for system update notifications as they come up. You can also check for system updates by visiting Settings, then About (or About Phone), followed by System Updates.

For app updates, visit the Google Play Store app, then the Play Store icon. Select My Apps to view your downloaded apps and any available updates. You can also touch the Menu button to check the “Auto-update” option to keep that app automatically up to date.

Practice Safe Internet Habits

A common attack method, known as “phishing” on the Internet, isn’t technical, it’s psychological. Scammers will create fake websites, pretending to be your bank or shopping site. They’ll send you emails asking you to sign in and provide your account information, which they’ll then use to access your account on the real sites.

For more information on how to protect yourself, check out this article on how to avoid getting hooked by a phishing scam.

Some malware attacks come in the form of banner ads designed to look like a security warning telling you viruses have been detected. The error will ask you to download and run what it claims is an antivirus app, but is really the scammer’s software waiting to load onto your device.

The same safe Internet habits you follow on your computer work on your mobile devices as well. If you do find yourself falling victim to one of these attempts, here is what to do if you are scammed.

Security Software

The rapid growth in the number of Android devices being used worldwide has made the platfom a growing target for malicious software makers. Keeping your settings in check, your system updated and avoiding unsafe behavior will often be the most powerful ways to protect your device. To help take your protection further, security software makers have made a range of protection products for the Android platform.

The good news is that many of the major security software suites, like Webroot’s SecureAnywhere Internet Security include Android security apps that you can install on your device in addition to their Windows PC or Mac coverage.

If you still have questions on how to best protect your Android device, or need help with a potential malware issue like viruses or spyware, speak to a Geek Squad Agent online at geeksquad.com/chat or at the Geek Squad Precinct located at your nearby Best Buy.