Android antivirus apps are useless — here’s what to do instead

Google Play

It seems like you can’t go a week without one security firm or another producing a statistic illustrating just how much Android malware there is in the wilds of the internet. More often than not, these reports come with a few reminders that the company’s own security suite can protect you from these nasty bits of code, which is true some of the time. However, Android is by its very nature more secure than a desktop computer, so maybe you don’t need these security apps. You’ve probably already got what you need.

The scare tactics

The most recent Android malware report comes from Check Point, which says nearly one billion android devices have critical vulnerabilities in the underlying Linux kernel. Shocking and upsetting, right? It’s a legitimate security issue, but the reporting is, as usual, overly breathless and dramatic. The PR certainly makes it seem like your phone is ripe for infection, but the real situation is much more nuanced.

The latest QuadRooter scare is actually a set of four issues known as CVE-2016-2059,CVE-2016-2504, CVE-2016-2503, and CVE-2016-5340. They are rooted in the Linux system code provided by Qualcomm to partners like Google. The way this is presented by many mainstream reports, you’d think Google is in panic mode and rushing out patches. In fact, the Android security model is much more mature now. Several of these vulnerabilities are already patched in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), and the others will be soon. As OEMs build new updates, they’ll include updated patch levels, which you can see in your software info.

We’ve all been programmed by PC malware, which can sneak onto your system simply because you visited the wrong website with a vulnerable browser. These “drive-by downloads” aren’t feasible on Android without a pre-existing infection. On Android, you have to physically tap on a notification to install an APK downloaded from a source outside the Play Store. Even then there are security settings that need to be manually bypassed.

What if a QuadRooter app were to make it into the Play Store before then? Google’s platform has the ability to scan for known malware when it’s uploaded. There’s also a human review process in place for anything that looks even a little bit questionable. Google just started doing this a few months ago, mainly as a way to keep copycat apps and obvious scams from slipping through the cracks.

Google Play

The solution pushed by AV companies is to install a security suite that manually scans every app, monitors your Web traffic, and so on. These apps tend to be a drain on resources and are generally annoying with plentiful notifications and pop ups. You probably don’t need to install Lookout, AVG, Symantec/Norton, or any of the other AV apps on Android. Instead, there are some completely reasonable steps you can take that won’t drag down your phone. For example, your phone already has antivirus protection built-in.

What you should do to stay safe

Your first line of defense is to simply not mess around with Android’s default security settings. To get Google certification, each and every phone and tablet comes with “Unknown sources” disabled in the security settings. If you want to sideload an APK downloaded from outside Google Play, all you need to do is check that box. Leaving this disabled keeps you safe from virtually all Android malware, because there’s almost none of it in the Play Store.
There are legitimate reasons to allow unknown sources, though. For example, Amazon’s Appstore client sideloads the apps and games you buy, and many reputable sites re-host official app updates that are rolling out in stages so you don’t have to wait your turn. If you do take advantage of this feature, the first time you do so a box will pop up asking you to allowGoogle to scan for malicious activity. This is known as Verify Apps and it’s part of Google Play Services on virtually all official Android phones. Google has confirmed that QuadRooter is detected and disabled by Verify Apps. So, even if your device is lagging on security updates, you shouldn’t have to worry.

Users have been rooting their Android phones ever since the first handsets hit the market, but it’s less common these days. The platform offers many of the features people used to root in order to acquire. Using rooted Android is basically like running a computer in administrator mode. While it’s possible to run a rooted phone safely, it’s definitely a security risk. Some exploits and malware needs root access to function, and otherwise it’s harmless even if you do somehow install it. If you don’t have a good reason to root your phone or tablet, just don’t open yourself up to that possibility.



[Source: Extreme Tech]

Google removing support for Chrome Apps in Mac browser by 2018

The company has declared that starting in late 2016, newly-published Chrome apps will only be available to users on Chrome OS. Existing Chrome apps will remain accessible on all platforms, and developers can continue to update them.

However, by the end of 2017, the Chrome Web Store will no longer show Chrome apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux. By early 2018, people on these platforms will no longer be able to load the apps at all.

All types of Chrome apps will remain supported and maintained on Chrome OS for the foreseeable future. Additional enhancements to the Chrome apps platform will apply only to Chrome OS devices.

Google claims that only one percent of Mac and Linux users actively utilize Chrome packaged apps. Developers are encouraged to migrate the apps to the Web, and invited to participate in a process to select APIs for migration.



[Source: Appleinsider]

Android apps on Chromebooks: don’t assume immediately magic

Android Apps Chromebooks - Chrome OS

Nicely, gang, it’s actually occurring: the entire Google Play store of Android apps is beginning to reveal up on Chromebooks.

We first heard approximately the circulate throughout Google’s I/O buildersconference closing month. And whilst the capability to install Android apps might not be present for maximum Chromebook users until later this 12 months, Google is now inside the midst of making the function available at the advanced development channel of its Chrome OS running device (most effective on the Asus Chromebook turn for the time being but with different decided on devices set to observe sometimequickly“).

To be sure, that is an early and stillhardround-the-edges model of the attempttherefore its appearance handiest at the Chrome OS development channel, that’s designed for builders and early adopters to attempt out new capabilities as they’re being organized. but nonetheless, I cannot assist however suppose masses of tech-loving folks are going to approach this new functionality with expectations of instantaneous magic.

allow me cross in advance and break it for you now: There isn’t always going to be any form of first rate “ahah!” moment of surprise whilst you first come upon the Play keep on a Chrome OS tool. much more likely, there is going to be a feeling of: “Oh. it’s it?” because huge as the characteristic is — and as we have mentioned earlier than, it truely is a big deal — you have to look at it from a broader attitude if you want to comprehend its real significance.
“This pass is in the long run about blending two platforms together
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Bringing Android apps onto Chromebooks is first and foremost about lessening a Chromebook’s limitations. the largest immediately benefit is that it will permit Chrome OS users carry out duties which can be currently impossible on the platform — such things as having access to Microsoft’s complete suite of office utilities, the use of completely featured photo editors, and making and receiving video calls on Skype (some thing the corporation‘s net app bafflingly does not allow).

these items genuinely aren’t magical in and of themselves — because guess what? jogging any given Android app on a Chromebook is quite a lot similar to going for walks it on an Android tool. It is not a few wild new revel in that’s gonna blow your mind the second you strive it.

What it is going to do, even though, is make Chrome OS extra versatile as a platform and therefore greater possible as a primary computing surroundings for extra peoplehuman beings like me who in general use net apps however still have a handful of wishes (just like the occasional beginning of a document with Microsoft’s tune changes formatting in place or the superior enhancing of a multilayered photograph) that webbased utilities can not conveniently cope with.

what is crucial to don’t forget is that this circulate is in the end about mixing systems together — taking acquainted entities and permitting them to overlap in a manner that advantages both. it is approximately increasing the usefulness of Chrome OS through bringing a chunk of Android into its dimension — and in doing so, broadening the platform’s attraction and giving it a new degree of life. That might not supply the kind of instant thrill new-feature-seekers hope to locate, but on the quit of the day, it’s going to % a miles more significant and a waysachieving advantage.
Google honestly has its work reduce out for it in relation to making Android apps run easily on Chromebooks — from getting developers to update their apps for complete compatibility to figuring out a manner to take away the confusion of having two overlapping app markets on a unmarried tool. What we are seeing now’s simplest the start.

If the agency manages to make this enjoy a great one, although, this reputedly mundane first step may want to mark the start of some thing transformative. You just need to step again and have a look at the massive image to comprehend the scope of its significance.

Google ditches location-sharing feature in map apps

Google on Wednesday released an upgraded version of its popular maps app for Android-powered smartphones and tablets

Google on Wednesday released an upgraded version of its popular maps app for Android-powered smartphones and tablets that ditches a Latitude feature that let people share locations with family or friends.

Google on Wednesday released an upgraded version of its popular maps app for Android-powered smartphones and tablets that ditches a Latitude feature that let people share locations with family or friends.

The new software began rolling out at the online Google Play shop, and a version tailored for iPhones and iPads will soon be available at the Apple App Store, according to Google Maps director Daniel Graf.

“The new Google Maps for mobile builds on the design we released for iPhone last December and improves on it with a few useful search and navigation features,” Graf said in a blog post.

“It’s a new mapping experience that makes exploring the world and getting to the places that matter to you a lot faster and easier.”

A Latitude feature that let people automatically share their locations with friends using GPS capabilities in smartphones will be “retired” by August 9 along with the ability to “check-in” at spots being visited, according to Graf.

“We understand some of you still want to see your friends and family on a map, which is why we’ve added location sharing and check-ins to Google+ for Android,” Graf said, noting that it would soon be added to gadgets powered by Apple’s mobile operating system.

Google+ is the California-based Internet titan’s online social network, which it has been gradually weaving into its array of online services.

Enhancements to the new version of Google Maps include being able to see reports of trouble on selected routes and being automatically offered better ways to get to selected destinations.

Google also customized a version of Maps specifically for tablets.

“As more of us use mobile phones and tablets in our daily lives, information that’s useful to you isn’t just about what you need, but also where you might find it,” Graf said.

Google is tops in online maps and navigation, but Apple has been refining its own mapping software for iPhones and iPads, and Facebook is keen to follow members increasingly accessing the social network from mobile devices.


Office 365 is king of business web apps, but Slack is growing fastest

Office 365 is king of business web apps, but Slack is growing fastest

Which is the most popular business app used online? Unsurprisingly, it’s Office 365, the subscription version of Microsoft’s productivity suite, according to some new research which details the most-used web apps.

These figures were revealed by Okta, a firm which produces software to manage employee logins to online services. The company found that among its customers, Office 365 was king of the enterprise cloud apps, followed by, Box, Google Apps for Work, and in fifth place was Amazon Web Services.

Okta also made an interesting observation regarding Office 365 and Google Apps both being used within the same organisation. Indeed, data showed that over 40% of companies use both of these services due to preferences for one or the other in different departments.

Not slacking

As for the fastest growing business app, that was Slack, which witnessed a growth rate of 77% in the second half of 2015. We can expect Slack to put in a very good showing this year, by all accounts, as it’s continuing to pick up the pace with “no sign of slowing down just yet” Okta says.

Adobe’s Creative Cloud also had a good year in 2015, growing its user numbers by 44% according to the report.

One final nugget on business security for you: Okta found that 30% of organisations are now using multi-factor authentication, a number that still needs to increase in an ideal world.

[Source:- Techrader]