How-To: Prevent Malware on Android

The Android Market has produced thousands of good quality apps, there’s no denying that. Yet, some applications have slipped through the cracks and provided viruses and theft of data from devices. Google has cracked down on this before, yet for some reason, it continues to happen, and more and more users have their devices severely impacted.

It’s easy to prevent these “bad apps” from making their way onto your device. The first way would be to avoid downloading any application that offers you downloads, like wallpapers and ringtones. Some apps can be trusted (I personally like Zedge’s app for downloading these things). Be cautious of who the developer is for each app that you want to download, and of course, read the user reviews and ratings!! Chances are, if the reviews say it’s malware…it probably is!

On that note, looking at the application name alone should help avoid downloading malware. If you’re looking at an app called “FrEe RiNgToNeS and WaLlPaPeRz!!!11!,” it might be a little bit sketchy. My general rule–if it’s grammatically wrong, it’s probably wrong for your device.

Also use caution when downloading apps from the Internet. The only OFFICIAL hub for apps on Android is the Android Market. It was established to create a safe environment for developers to post their apps, and for users to download them. The Amazon AppStore was also designed with this in mind. Downloading apps from the Internet and pushing them to your device is permitted (except on AT&T), but not generally recommended. Sure, the Android Market has some things that slip through, but it’s generally a lot safer than downloading from a site called “getyoappshere.com.”.

My next bit of advice involves text messaging and email. With texting, make sure not to subscribe to those stupid texting programs, like for daily jokes or horoscopes–you never know when they might send you a link that you don’t want to open! With email, take extra caution not to open attachments that you wouldn’t open on your main computer. Only trust attachments from those you know and trust. Otherwise, don’t open it.

Finally, it never hurts to add a security system to your phone. There is an amazing mobile security program called Lookout Mobile Security, that will help you identify threats and eliminate them before they cause harm to your phone. It’s available for free in the Android Market, so make sure to download it and make sure your system is safe.

By following these steps, you should be able to prevent having your mobile life compromised. Hackers are starting to move away from PC viruses and focus more on mobile viruses, which dramatically increases the chances of getting a mobile virus. Follow my advice, and practice the same safety you would utilize on your PC, and you should be able to avoid ending up having your information compromised.

20110807-111101.jpg

Advertisements

App Attack!: Slice It (Android)

The hit iOS game Slice It has finally made it to Android. The game became an instant success on iOS when it launched last year, and developer Com2Us has brought the same experience to the Android Market. Does this version live up to the superior iOS version?

To throw a spoiler out right away–no. Don’t get me wrong, the game is just as addicting and fun as ever, but there are several issues with the Android version that leave a lot to be desired. The game has a couple of flaws, however, that really downgrade the experience from something that could have been much better.

The basic premise of Slice It is pretty self-explanatory. You have a shape drawn onto the screen. You then have to slice the object into equal portions. As you progress through the different levels, you will notice that you have to create more and more equal pieces, and it gets progressively harder and harder. This is a great thing, and also not so great too, due to the smaller sizes of some Android hardware. But more on that in a minute.

20110807-095329.jpg

The game is absolutely addicting, as I mentioned above. Failing a level just makes you want to keep on trying until you get it right. It is easy to pass each level, but only your accuracy in creating each equal slice will enable you to get a 5 star rating on each one. It can get very difficult, even on some of the easiest levels, and that, again, is due to the smaller sizes of some Android hardware.

As I mentioned above, the size of most Android hardware is going to make this game extremely difficult at times. Even on my 4.3″ Evo 3D, I was having a hard time with accuracy, which often leads to failed levels and poor scores. I feel like this is much easier to play on a tablet device (which, I have the iPad version and like it much better). In order to achieve perfect accuracy in each level, you’re really going to have to be extremely careful, and on the smaller screens, it’s not going to be easy.

20110807-101227.jpg

There is one major flaw that makes me not want to play the Android version of this game over yhe iOS game. This version is ad-supported. Big time. There are ads everywhere, in between levels, at the bottom of your screen, sometimes as you’re playing a level. The ads are frustrating, and there is no excuse to the amount of them. This is something that has become a pretty big problem with Android games (Angry Birds and Words with Friends are other great examples), and hopefully developers will start to realize that people will actually pay for these games. In contrast, the iOS version is only $0.99. Very worth the price.

20110807-100215.jpg

Overall, the game is good, but also extremely annoying thanks to the ad-supported mess that comes with it. For $0.99 in the iOS App Store, I feel like you’ll get much more and be able to enjoy the game. If you don’t mind the ads, the game is available for free in the Android Market.

20110807-102214.jpg

Announcing the Digital Lust Google Music Giveaway Spectacular!

Greetings, internets!

I have returned from an unannounced, week-long vacation with some great news for my readers! I’ve gotten into Google Music, and I have 3 invites that I am very excited to give away!

That’s why I am announcing tonight my Google Music Giveaway Spectacular! All this week, we’re giving readers the chance to let their voices be heard, and get something in return! To enter, all you have to do is post a comment, on any Digital Lust post except for this one. Comments need to be well-thought out responses to the post, not a simple “I want the Google Music invite.”. Posts should also be at least 50 words or longer.

On Friday, August 12, 2011, I will announce the winners of the contest. Winners will be selected based on the quality of the content written in their post.

But wait! Theres more! I also have hundreds of Google+ invites to give away too. So, to make things even more enticing, all entrants to this giveaway will receive a Google+ invite, just for making a post (as long as it follows all rules listed both above and below). Everyone gets one. Winning!!!

Now that we have the basics down, let’s take a look at the official rules.

Official Rules
1. Comments posted must be 50 words or more, with relevant responses to the post you have selected to write about. Simply stating “I want a Google Music invite” in your post will disqualify you from the Google Music invite, as well as the Google+ invite.

2. Due to the friendly nature of Digital Lust, anything deemed inflammatory or inappropriate will not be tolerated, and will immediately disqualify you from both parts of this giveaway.

3. All posters must ensure that their Gmail address is listed in either their profile, or somewhere in their post. Failure to provide a Gmail account will disqualify you from the giveaway. Gmail accounts are available for free at <a href="http://www.gmail.com. It takes only a minute to register, and is the only email address permitted for use in this giveaway.

4. Promotion of any other website or product is strictly prohibited in all Digital Lust comments, and will disqualify entrants. Exceptions to this include links to other WordPress blogs that are listed ONLY in their profile (do not include these links in your post).

5. Contest opens August 7th, 2011 at 9:30pm EST and closes on August 12th, 2011 at 5:00pm EST. Winners will be selected after the closing time and will be announced shortly thereafter. For Google+ invites, winners will receive shortly after their post is approved.

I’m looking forward to reading your comments and responses. Be sure to check out Digital Lust all this week for some awesome features that I have planned, and especially check back on Friday evening for the announcement of the winners!