How to Encrypt Your Phone Data on Android

If your phone falls into the wrong hands, unless your phone is protected by some kind of lock such as a pattern or password, it will be very easy for that person to make use of your data. They will easily be able to access your email accounts, social networking sites, make purchases etc.

A screen lock is surely the first step but that’s hardly going to put off a determined thief. The SD card could be removed or the phone could be connected to a computer and the data copied. Fortunately Android has an option to encrypt the data on your phone. Unfortunately this simple security tip is often overlooked.

Before you encrypt your phone

Be very sure before you start. Removing encryption will mean resetting the phone to factory settings.

Also remember to fully charge your phone. The encryption of your phone will take a couple of hours. Also do not use the phone while the encryption is taking place as it will erase some or all your data.

This feature is available from Android 2.3.4 onwards.

How to Encrypt your Android phone

  • Go to “Settings” and click on “Security”.

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  • Go to “ENCRYPTION”

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So now, if you have an SD card, you can either encrypt both or either one. I personally would suggest you move all your personal data to the SD card and encrypt that alone. This will help your phone regarding the speed issue. And if you are encrypting your phone, it’s necessary to set a password or pin.

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After this, the encryption is ready to begin. Sit back and let your phone get secure.

Do you use any other encryption tip for a phone? Do drop in your comments.

[How to] Unlist Your Phone Number on TrueCaller App

Websites like TrueCaller easily allow people to lookup the name of the person to whom a phone number belongs to. It behaves mainly like a global directory. Truecaller itself has some useful apps too on Android and iPhone. The android app actually displays the name of person if the phone number that you are receiving a call from is not saved in your contacts.

But what if you do not want Truecaller to list your phone number? In the interest of privacy, Truecaller has an option to unlist your phone number.

TrueCaller Unlist

How it works:

  • Visit Truecaller’s unlist page and type in your details.
  • Enter the right captcha and your phone number becomes unlisted.
  • I was surprised that it did not send a confirmation code or something on the phone but then it makes sense. If it does not ask permission before listing them, they do not need to unlist them either.

Though unlisting your number is useful for privacy, TrueCaller can be very useful to get notified of numbers which give you those spammy marketing calls which you wished, you had not answered.

Do drop in your comments.

Link: Truecaller Unlist

Enable Two- Step Authentication for Twitter

Twitter_new_logo.pngToday, Twitter has rolled out an update that allows users to add a phone number to the account. The idea is simple. Every time a users signs-in there is added code that is asked. That code is sent to users via a text message.

So even if someone manages to guess a password, they would not be able to get the verification code from the users phone.

How to activate Twitter’s two-step authentication feature

  • Visit your Twitter profile on the browser and sign-in. Now on the right-hand corner you will see a gear shaped symbol.
  • Hover over it and it shows you the options to look up settings. Under Settings >> Account users can see a new option to titled Account Security.

account-security-cropped

  • We can add a phone number and also select the option to turn-on two step verification.

Here is a nice video demo by Twitter to help their users out

With this step Twitter joins Google and Dropbox in offering two-step verification for better security.

Do drop in your comments.

How to enlarge locked Facebook profile pictures

After Google plus, we finally found a way by which you can enlarge a profile picture of locked Facebook profile pictures album. People on Facebook lock their profile pictures so that it can’t be misused by their friends or any other Facebook user. Obviously anybody will not use a small 160x160px picture anywhere because faces on such a small picture are hardly visible. But what if someone can enlarge it up to 720x720px? Let’s see how you can do it.

1. Open a profile with lock profile pictures album for example this profile:

https://www.facebook.com/ninakaur28?fref=ts

2. Now right click on the profile picture and click “Copy image URL”. For example the URL of image for the above profile link is:

https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-ash4/c96.36.448.448/s160x160/314224_4552785855326_321076708_n.jpg small facebook profile picture 3. In the above link change 160×160 with 720×720, so your new link will be:

https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-ash4/c96.36.448.448/s720x720/314224_4552785855326_321076708_n.jpg enlarged facebook profile pictureThats it, you can also give this trick a try with any Facebook profile with locked profile pictures. Please note that by this post we don’t want to give a new option to profile stalkers to invade user privacy and misuse their pictures. This post is just to aware people that your profile picture is not safe even if it’s locked.

Happy Facebooking. :)

Chrome 25: Will Stop Sneaky 3rd Party Extensions

Google’s Chrome browser will soon crack down on sneaky installation of extensions. In a blog post, Google has confirmed that the external extension deployment will be disabled by default. This will actually shut off a major security loop-hole in the Chrome browser. Currently, third-party developers can actually install hidden extension to Chrome, without the user’s knowledge.

This happens because Chrome uses Windows registry mechanism for extension deployment. This can be used by software developers to install hidden extensions directly into the browser. So once Chrome’s version 25 is deployed, users will possibly a prompt to review the extensions being installed.

Chrome 25 - Cleanup Extensions

 

It will also show a prompt every time a extensions which are not from the Chrome webstore is being installed.

Chrome 25 - Cleanup Extensions

Is Chrome a year late?

This update to Chrome is actually surprisingly late. Currently we are on version 23 so it should a while before Chrome 25 is rolled out. Mozilla had announced something similar almost a year ago. But then Mozilla had also faced a major issue thanks to Microsoft pushing its Skype toolbar.

The toolbar caused many browser crashes for Firefox users. Mozilla finally added the Skype toolbar into the official Firefox block list. A few months later Firefox by default stopped allowing silent installations of add-ons. That was back in August 2011, so it seems Chrome is almost a year and half late.

Well its better late than never. Do drop in your comments.

How to reset your BlackBerry ID password [Direct Link]

Are you trying to login to your BlackBerry ID from your smartphone and getting a wrong username/password error again and again? Then it’s always a good idea to reset you password after 2 or 3 unsuccessful attempts or else your ID will be blocked. We will tell you how you can reset your Blackberry ID password in just few steps.

BlackBerry Password Reset

  1. Click on this link for your PC or Phone’s browser. This will open the password reset page. Alternatively you can click “Forget Password” link given on the login page.
  2. Enter your username i.e. your BlackBerry ID E-mail and then enter the image verification code. After that click submit.
  3. Now check your E-mail mailbox by logging in to your E-mail account and open the password reset mail. Don’t forget to check your spam/junk mails if it’s not there in your inbox.
  4. Click on the “Password Reset Link” given in that E-Mail after the text “To change your BlackBerry ID password, simply visit”. This will open a new page. Enter your new password twice on that page and click Submit.
  5. Now try logging in with your new password. In case you’re getting an error please drop a comment below.
(via BB Help Blog)

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Fix File Permission on Linux/Mac Server

Over the time, file permissions get messy on a linux/mac server. It really annoys (me) to see static files like images have 0755 i.e. executable permission set for them.

You can use following commands to fix permissions:

find . -type d -print0 | xargs -0 chmod 0775
find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 chmod 0664

I found many scripts and tools to do this job. IMHO, above command does what we really need!

For WordPress

Ideally, on a wordpress site, no files under “wp-content/uploads” directory should be executable. In case of WordPress multisite, it will be “wp-content/blogs.dir” directory.

Its better to fix file-permissions periodically on your WordPress setup.

How to check if your system is safe from Alureon/ DNS Changer or not?

Finally its 9th of July i.e. Malware Monday when there’s a risk that thousands of PC worldwide (including India) may lose their internet connection due to a virus called Alureon or DNS Changer Bot. Alureon is a malware designed to redirect the traffic to fake websites in order to steal user information such as financial transaction info or personal stuff like usernames, passwords e.t.c.

Alureon will also change the DNS of a system and redirect it to another server without any warning due to which that system won’t be able to access internet.

To check if your computer is infected or not; the DNS Changer Working Group created a list of websites which will tell you whether your PC is safe or not. One such website is http://www.dns-ok.us/.

Click on the website and it will tell you the status of your PC. If its GREEN your PC is safe but if its RED, your PC is possibly infected and you may lose your internet connection.

dns changer malware

Here’s the list of websites where you can check if your PC is infected or not. To be on a safer side we suggest you not to make any online transaction or download any unknown file from the internet on July 9th 2012.

Link: DNS OK

[Online Tool] Check if Your LinkedIn Password was Leaked!

LinkedIn had a security breach yesterday which led to more than 6 million passwords being leaked. LinkedIn’s response to be honest was initially quite slow and guarded.

At such times usually it is better for a company to over-communicate rather than stay quite. Finally they have confirmed that about 6.5 million passwords were leaked from their website. These were hashed passwords, meaning they were encrypted. (Read more about it here)

There is an online tool called LeakedIn which allows users to find out if their passwords is among the 6.5 million leaked ones.

Just type in your password and click on ‘Check’ button. If you password was among the unfortunate ones, it will display that your password was leaked and cracked.

Whatever the outcome, it still is a good idea to change your password of your LinkedIn account. Also if you are using the same password somewhere else, change it to be on the safe side.

Password Tips!

Internet users often under-estimate the necessity of creating strong passwords and also changing them frequently. Here are some related articles that could help keep your passwords safe.

If you have doubts about your LinkedIn password do try out LeakedIn tool and drop in your comments.

Link: LeakedIn Checker

Facebook Introduces Anti-Virus Marketplace

Yesterday in a post about security, Facebook introduced what it calls a Anti-Virus Marketplace. It reccomends and links users to download from a list of anti-virus software.

The five software that Facebook recommends are McAfee, Microsoft Security Essentials, Norton Anti-Virus, Sophos AV for Macs and finally Trend Micro Internet for PCs and Macs.

A majority of these anti-virus software are free while a couple of them are free on a 6 months trial basis. There are some notable exceptions in this list like Kaspersky, BitDefender and AVG Anti-Virus.

The pessimist in me would probably say Facebook has just found another way to sell more advertisements but fact is personal computers are usually not as well protected as they should be. So if Facebook is recommending free anti-virus to users and giving them a single page to access it, I guess it is beneficial.

Will Facebook start selling software?

Facebook earns a lot of money by showing advertisements and also through online gaming. But this landing page for anti-virus is curiously named Marketplace, which makes be suspect that they might get into selling software in the future.

What are your views on Facebook’s recommended list of anti-virus? Do drop in your comments.