10 Tips To Tighten Security On Your Android Device

Posted by Harshad

10 Tips To Tighten Security On Your Android Device

10 Tips To Tighten Security On Your Android Device

Posted: 30 May 2013 06:01 AM PDT

Smartphones have come to define us by being the portal to our online identity and as such should be treated with care and secured against any wrongdoing online (hacking) or offline (stolen). If you are not careful, losing your smartphone may mean more than just a loss in contacts and phone numbers. We’re talking about your social media accounts, your synced files, important documents, your emails, photos and messages.

Your entire information is traceable and downloadable and may be shared all over the World Wide Web if you are not careful enough.

(Image Source: HDW)

While we’d love it if people don’t mess around with other people’s personal information, putting morale aside, this is the virtual world where thieves and hackers hide behind anonymity and are hard to trace. There is no one better to protect your own data, than you. We hope these tips and tricks will be of help in that endeavor.

1. Do Not Save All Of Your Passwords

Many users tend to save their passwords to online services and sites on their device, never once thinking about what it would mean to a person who got their hands on the phone. Avoid having all important passwords saved in your device particularly when it comes to banking or payment apps.

2. Use Android In-built Security

If you are running on Jelly Bean, you can have a screen lock and encryption enabled to further enhance your security. There are many types of screen locks available for you to choose from such as password, pin, pattern and face unlock, available in your Android settings. Even when setting pins or pattern locks, try not to make it easy for hackers to guess your password.

3. Lock Your Apps

It is necessary to lock your apps, especially the ones holding private information that you wish nobody but you could see. This is a second layer of security to prevent anyone from using your lost device particularly if they have managed to bypass your locked Android.

You can use a free app like App Lock for this exact purpose. The idea here is not to lock every single app in your device, just really data-laden ones like your email apps or file managers.

While you at it, avoid using a combination of a pin or pattern lock that can be traceable from the smudges of your screen (Yes, it is traceable).

4. The importance of app permissions

Before you begin installing an app from Google Play, a list of requested permissions will pop up to show you what permission the app requires. Apps require permissions to do things but not all of them are necessary.

Always read through the permissions to make sure they make sense and correspond to what the app actually does eg. an alarm app does not require a permission to access your text messages. This is a real important step because not all apps in the Play Store are safe.

While you’re at it, make it a habit to read the comments as well as the rating of the app that you are going to download. This helps you understand more about what the app really does without trying it out firsthand.

5. Securing Your Network

One of the most important thing in protecting your Android is to secure your network. Try to avoid using public WiFi whenever you want to do something important like doing your banking online. As long you are sharing the same network with the public, they can easily sniff out your packets and translate it into actual data of your private information i.e. your passwords.

You can protect your information by using apps like Hideninja VPN so that your outgoing connection is always encrypted, making it harder for anyone to sabotage your data. If you suspect that your device is being attacked, WiFi Protector can help fend off these attackers. To further enhance your network security you can apply settings from SecDroid but note that this app is only for rooted phones.

Network Security

6. Use Mobile Security App

It will make your job easier to have an app that handles most of your security issue. Find a mobile security app that you are comfortable using, for example: Lookout Security & Antivirus and avast! Mobile Security. Even with a security app, you shouldn’t let your guard down as Android malware is getting stronger and more rampant, which brings us to the next tip.

7. Create Multiple User Account To Protect Privacy

If you own an Android tablet and have to share it with a sibling, a spouse, or your kids, having multiple user accounts will help each of you protect your privacy. In Jelly Bean for tablet, there is an option for you to create multiple user accounts. You can create another general account for anyone who wants to use your device. The option is under the Settings > Users section.

8. Prepare A Backup Of Your Data

A backup of your precious data is a must-have in the day and age of smartphones. Picture the worst case scenario where your Android device has been stolen or hacked. The last thing you can do is perform a remote wipe (see #10). Without a backup, you will lose all your information in your device.

Even if you could retrieve your stolen phone, chances are that hackers that have managed to access your device will render it useless. If you have a backup however, you can still restore your Android device back to its original state. You can choose to backup important information to the Cloud, your desktop or even to a flash drive, for insurance.

9. Track Your Lost Device

So you have a backup already but you really want to get your lost device back. Well, as the smartphone industry would have it, your phone is built to be trackable, via GPS. The catch is, you have to enable GPS on your phone for it to be tracked. Fret not because, there are plenty of device-tracking apps for Android that can help you locate your lost or stolen device, some can even turn on the GPS on your phone remotely.

10. Enable Remote Wipe

So you are at the point where you have everything installed and ready to go. But, you still need one last feature – the ability for you to wipe your device remotely. This is necessary, especially when you are sure that your Android is lost (forever). There’s no crying over spilt milk now – we can only prevent them from turning it into cheese.

I recommend 3CX Mobile Device Manager because it is free and easy to use. You can sign up for the account here and let just hope that the day you need to use their remote wipe feature will never come.

Remote Wipe


Express Yourself Through A Photo With PicStamp

Posted: 30 May 2013 03:01 AM PDT

There are many types of photo editing tools in the App Store. Some photo editing tools let you cartoonize your photo while others allow you to apply effects. Then, there are tools which allow you to add texts to your photos as a watermark or a way to caption their photos.

Other than applying effects and texts, now you can also add stamp templates on your photos with picstamp.

intro image

picstamp is a photo-editing app for iOS devices which allows you to choose stamp templates and put additional info on your photos – imagine putting a tweet on your pictures. And get this, picstamp is Instagram-ready so it just takes a tap to share it on your account.

Adding Stamps To Your Photos

To start, download and install picstamp on your iPhone. Then, run the app.

You’ll be presented with a straight user interface where the only functional icon is the camera icon. Tap on the camera icon to take an image and it will ask for permission to access your photos.

allowing access to photo gallery

You can choose to take a new photo or you can choose one photo from your photo gallery. Then it will bring you to a page to choose your template. Swipe left or right on the template bar to see more templates.

choose photo and choose template

After settling with a template, tap on ‘Next’ and there will be pop-up asking if you want to connect picstamp with your Facebook account.

connect with facebook

Customizing Your Stamps

Now, you can edit the template that you have chosen.

To make the template bigger tap on the ‘arrow’ icon and pull it up to make it bigger or down to make it smaller. You can place the template some place else by pressing on the ‘arrow’ icon and dragging it to your desired spot.

resize template move template

You can also edit the template by tapping on ‘Edit’ on the bottom bar. There are two tabs for editing, one is ‘Style’ and another is ‘Text’.

edit template

On ‘Style’ tab, you can choose to show the avatar not. Without the avatar, all you got is text.

on and off avatar

With the avatar on, you can change your avatar image. Tap on the image icon and it will let you choose an image from your photo gallery to replace the current avatar.

replace avatar image

You can also change the color of the text on the template by tapping on ‘Color’. If the color you want to choose is not available, press on any color for a few seconds and a color palette will pop. Use the color palette to create your custom color.

change text color

And lastly, you can adjust the opacity of the stamp.

adjust template opacity

To change the text on the stamp, go to the ‘Text’ tab and edit the text on the template. Tap on the text space to start editing the text.

edit text

Edit Your Info

Under the ‘Settings’ icon is where you can edit your personal info. Your personal info is used to prefill the stamps, so you don’t have to do it for every single stamp you use.

more settings

Tap on ‘Your Info’ and fill in your name, age, location, phone number and others.

tap on your info

You can also connect to the app via Facebook account by tapping on "Use Facebook Info".

use facebook info or manually edit your info

When you’re done editing tap on ‘Settings’ and then tap on ‘Done and it will bring you back to the photo page.

Share On Instagram

As stated earlier, picstamp is designed to specifically work well with Instagram.

To share your photo on Instagram, tap on Export and tap on Send to Instagram. picstamp will automatically save a copy of your photo in your ‘Camera Roll’.

export to instagram

Tap on ‘Open in Instagram’ to open the photo on Instagram where you can apply your filters.

open in instagram

Fill in the caption and other info like how you usually share a photo on Instagram and tap on ‘Share’. With that you’re done and the photo you edited on picstamp is shared on your Instagram account!

share on instagram


picstamp is a fun app to use but there are a few limitations. One, you can’t share photos to Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest or other social platforms. You can only share photos directly to Instagram.

Another partial-limitation is on every photo you edit using picstamp there is a ‘#picstamp’ watermark on it. The only way to not have the watermark on your photo is to buy their Premium Template Pack for $0.99. To buy it, tap on ‘Settings’ and then tap on ‘Watermark’.

upgrade picstamp by purchasing it

A pop-up will ask if you want to purchase the stamp templates. The purchase will give you more templates to choose from and a watermark-free stamped picture.

Showcase of picstamp Photos

Not sure if you want to give picstamp a try yet? Check out the photos from the picstamp Instagram account.

picstamp example photo 1

example photo 2

example photo 3

example photo 4

example photo 5

example photo 6


Goodsie – Easy Way To Build Your Own Online Store

Posted: 30 May 2013 12:01 AM PDT

E-commerce is becoming a big online industry, making many people wanting to start their own online store to sell their goods. Even physical stores are taking it to the Web for brand exposure, extending a digital arm into the world of online commerce. Not a fan of codes? It’s fine because you can fall back on tools like Goodsie, to do all the coding for you to have your very own online store.

Getting Started

Goodsie makes it really easy to start up your online store. All that is needed is a store name, an email, your name and a password. After entering all your details for your store you are presented with a flat UI dashboard to manage your newly created store.

One of the main parts of managing an online store is of course, adding and managing the products you want to sell. Apart from having fields for description, titles and price, Goodsie also has some rare features in their product manager such as SKU, an option used to keep track of all your profit margins, and not to mention the ability to add extras like wrapping, color, etc.

Styling Your Store

Nowadays the style of your store is pretty important. The Goodsie store designer is as simple as can be. You can customize the page layouts, backgrounds, colors, fonts and effect, or add your custom logo for the site. There are also design features for products and details, but with all these ‘customization’, there is a problem.

One of the few, or perhaps its greatest weakness is that Goodsie does not allow those that are able to dig into designing full layouts to even touch the default design. In the long run, Goodsie will lose an overwhelming number of tech-savvy store owners.

The Little Extras

But when it comes to the extras, Goodsie makes up for it, going a bit further than other e-commerce services with awesome and useful extra features.

The extra features of Goodsie starts with its statistic dashboard that gives you all of the information that you need from your store including the amount of visitors, actions from the visitors, average time spent on the store, common actions, searches, links to your store, countries and sources of the traffic.

Last but not least we have two other extra features which is the ability to use coupons for your online store and products being sold and the ability to accept credit cards using Stripe Payments.

Up to 55% of shoppers want multiple payment options and will abandon their cart if the option is not there to pay by the channels they are most comfortable with. Thus having Stripe integrated into your store is a big plus compared to other services.


Goodsie has two plans, Standard, which is $15/month and Premium which is $40/Month. The premium account can give you a few more features. Let’s take a look at what the premium account can give you:

  • Inventory email notifications
  • Insightful sales analytics
  • Targeted email marketing system
  • Multiple user accounts and permissions
  • Shipping label solutions by ShipStation

Personally, I believe that the premium account is overpriced.

Should You Try It?

Here’s a summary of the good and the bad of Goodsie.


  • Simple and easy-to-use dashboard.
  • Ability to accept multiple payment options using Stripe.
  • Coupon Codes feature.
  • The extra details within the product information. (e.g. gift wrapping, colors)


  • The site styles may be a bit too simple for some people.
  • The account plans are on the pricier side.
  • There is no ‘free’ account type.


Goodsie has some useful and unique features but if you are looking for really awesome design, you may find it lacking in that aspect. I’m hoping that there will be improvements in this area, hoping that Goodsie will eventually allow designers to play and experiment with the design side of things.

For the most part, I recommend Goodsie for storekeepers that are looking for a simple easy to use e-commerce service especially, for those that are just starting out in online business and ecommerce.

Will you be using Goodsie?



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