10 apps you may not have come across, but will want!

Searching for the most efficient and apt app is overwhelming.  Here is a list of Android apps that are effective in a specific field. Enjoy!

1. Security and Anti-Virus

Security is a touchy subject and debates about safety of the Android system occur regularly. If you are on the look out for a good anti-virus app, Mobile Security & Antivirus, then Avast is your answer. It keeps you safe from malware threats and is a superb virus detection software. It searches through your browser history, micro SD cards and internal storage space. In addition, it employs anti-theft features like location tracking which work even if your device isn’t currently in your possession.

Security, Protection, Anti Virus, Software, Cms

2. Camera App

This one is for those of you who take photographs very seriously, but prefer capturing moments through your smartphone. Manual Camera app allows more control over the phone camera than other apps. The majority of the camera apps are designed to make photography as easy as possible for users. However, this results in not so professional looking pictures. Experienced photographers may feel more at home with this app. It provides a range of settings such as shutter speed, focus, white balance, exposure compensation that most camera apps don’t offer. In addition the app also lets you save images in the lossless RAW format, which offers completely new possibilities for further processing.

3. Television and Movies

An excellent app for watching TV shows and movies is the Hulu. A free service app that relies on advertisements for revenue. It has a range of shows available without subscription, you will need to pay a subscription fee to access all content.

4. File manager

Apart from ES File Explorer, Solid Explorer has rich-features and is highly accessible due to a crisp Material Design UI. It enables users to navigate two separate folders simultaneously and drag content from one folder to another. Other features include hidden folders, ZIP, RAR archive extraction and customization through icons, colour schemes and themes.

5. Weather App

There are numerous weather apps available that are more accurate and visibly pleasing than the pre-installed ones on your device. An all time favourite is the Weather Bug app. Totally free, it includes weather forecasts, severe weather alerts, widgets, and live weather.

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6. Messenger App

There are a few contenders in the market, such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Evolve SMS offers more than just messaging, but full multimedia support including audio, video, and gifs along with message archiving, customizable notifications, and password protection.  Surprisingly it is not quite heavy as compared to other brands in the market. Some may have had issues with MMS, but otherwise it is perfectly stable.

7. Fitness and Lifestyle

The 7 Minute Workout app is a great app that focuses on a short, but high intensity routine that aids weight loss and improves health.  This app does not ask for height or weight, neither does it track your overall progress. Although it lacks in features, it makes up for it in simplicity. All you need to do is, go through the list of exercises and tap the start button.

8. Cloud Storage

Storing personal data online rather than risking it on fragile hard drives. Copy is a lesser known cloud storage that is worth every dime. Users get 15GB of free cloud storage just for signing up and you can upgrade to 250GB or 1TB as per your needs. May have some bugs for some but overall agreement from the rest.

9. Android Keyboard

One of the fastest and accurate typing is Fleksy. Many people have adopted this app mainly because it is clever and when you get used to the keyboard, you realise how useful some of the smaller details are. Some of the extensions include the invisible keyboard, make sure you experiment with this app.

10. GPS and Navigation

HERE is Nokia’s own map app. It provides everything you would expect, including turn by turn navigation, search and satellite imagery. The best feature of this app is that it works offline. You can download maps of the entire country and use them the way you would online.  If you are a frequent traveller and want to save on data usage this app is indispensible.  The only disadvantage is that you have to register to download maps, however it is totally free.

5 super easy security tips for WordPress newbies

Are you a blogger? Did you just start out with WordPress? Don’t you absolutely love it?!

We do, too! But there’s one problem – WordPress sites are notoriously lacking when it comes to security. Fear not, we’re here to help out. Here’s a few simple DIY tips to help improve your blog security:

Run the latest version of WordPress

This is the simplest first step to improving security on your blog. WordPress is making continuous attempts to get their security features up a notch. And you can only benefit from this if you have your blog updated to their latest version.

 

WP update versio

 

Update your Themes and Plugins

Having the latest version of WordPress alone is not enough – you have to update your themes and plugins to the latest available version in order to minimize your site’s vulnerability to security attacks.

 

WP plugins update

 

  • Only get your plugins and themes from well-known sources

As far as possible, download your themes and plugins from WordPress.org since they will already have been thoroughly scanned before being listed in their directory.

Remove Inactive Users

Inactive users on your WordPress site, especially Administrators who have the ability to modify content, are possibly one of the weakest points of entry –  because unfortunately, most users tend to choose weak passwords.

If you absolutely need to keep inactive users in your WordPress database, change their role to ‘Subscriber’ in order to limit their actions.

Add a CAPTCHA on your WordPress Login page

Adding a simple Captcha to your WordPress login page is another great way to minimize the chance of a bot/script gaining access to your site via a brute force attack.

Backup your site

We cannot stress enough on just how important this is. Please backup your site! And not just every once in a while. Do it predictably, on a schedule. Do this to save yourself from having to wake up one day to find out all your data is gone. When you have scheduled backups, and your site is compromised, you’ll be able to restore it to a version prior to the damage with ease. Choose an automated solution like VaultPressBackupBuddy, or WordPress Backup to Dropbox for simple backups and with built-in restore options.

Do you know of any more super easy security tips for WordPress? Let us know below!

 


Anisha Sawant

 

 

Whatsapp is bringing Encryption to the masses!

For the past couple of months, the biggest story from Silicon Valley has been about Apple vs The FBI. The company’s refusal to unlock an iPhone used by a mass shooter triggered off a major debate on civil liberty vs national security. But yesterday, three guys in California made the scope of that debate seem rather small.

Brian Acton and Jan Koum, founders of Whatsapp – an online messaging service, now owned by Facebook, and used daily by over a billion people around the world to trade messages, make phone calls, send pictures and videos – along with Moxie Marlinspike – coder, cryptographer and founder of Open Whisper Systems, revealed that the company has added end-to-end encryption to all forms of communication on its service.

Users will also be able to verify their encrypted messages by scanning a QR code or reading a code aloud. This is to ensure messages are being sent and received by the correct users. Marlinspike’s technology is called the Signal Protocol.

 

 

This means that for any group of people that uses the latest version of Whatsapp – whether it’s 2 people or 10 – the service will encrypt all messages, phone calls, photos and videos shared among them. This will work on every phone that uses the app – from the latest iPhones and Android phones to old school Nokias.

What’s the big deal?

With end-to-end encryption in place, not even Whatsapp’s own employees can read the data sent across its network. In other words, WhatsApp has no way of complying with, say, a court order demanding access to the content of any message, phone call, photo, or video traveling through its service. Like Apple, WhatsApp is, essentially, blockading the government, but on a much larger scale – spanning roughly one billion devices worldwide.

Also, unlike Telegram – a messaging service built by a Russian entrepreneur – Whatsapp’s e2e encryption is on by default – and it cannot be turned off. This means data security is not optional – it has been a strong principle in the tech world which Whatsapp will now strictly follow.

Acton believes that building secure products actually makes for a safer world, though many people in law enforcement may not agree with him. With encryption, anyone can conduct business or talk to a doctor without worrying about eavesdroppers.

The Backdoor Brawl

The FBI and government agencies have called for companies like WhatsApp to allow for a backdoor in their encryption schemes, available only to law enforcement. There’s even been talk of a law that requires these backdoors. But slipping a backdoor into an encrypted service would defeat the purpose: you might as well not encrypt it at all. A backdoor would just open the service to abuse by both government and hackers. Besides, if you did add a backdoor, or remove encryption from WhatsApp entirely, malicious users would just go elsewhere. In the age of open source software, encryption tools are freely available to everyone.

In a blog post on Whatsapp’s website, the founding duo have said this:

“The idea is simple: when you send a message, the only person who can read it is the person or group chat that you send that message to. No one can see inside that message. Not cybercriminals. Not hackers. Not oppressive regimes. Not even us. End-to-end encryption helps make communication via WhatsApp private – sort of like a face-to-face conversation…

…Encryption is one of the most important tools governments, companies, and individuals have to promote safety and security in the new digital age. Recently there has been a lot of discussion about encrypted services and the work of law enforcement. While we recognize the important work of law enforcement in keeping people safe, efforts to weaken encryption risk exposing people’s information to abuse from cybercriminals, hackers, and rogue states.”

Marlinspike shares their views about data security being akin to communication during simpler times – “In some ways, you can think of end-to-end encryption as honoring what the past looked like,” he says. “Now, more and more of our communication is done over networks rather than face-to-face or other traditionally private means. Even written correspondence wasn’t subject to mass surveillance the way that electronic communication is today.”

For Jan Koum, this move is a bit more personal – “The desire to protect people’s private communication is one of the core beliefs we have at WhatsApp, and for me, it’s personal. I grew up in the USSR during communist rule and the fact that people couldn’t speak freely is one of the reasons my family moved to the United States.”

When asked about reports that terrorists used WhatsApp to plan the attacks on Paris in November last year – reports that politicians have used to back calls for a backdoor – Koum doesn’t budge. “I think this is politicians, in some ways, using these terrible acts to advance their agendas,” he says.

Source: Wired US

WhatsApp, more than anyone so far, has taken encryption to the masses. And the company did this with a very tiny group of people. It took a team of only 15 engineers to bring encryption to the company’s one billion users – a tiny, technologically empowered group of individuals engaging in a new form of resistance to authority, standing up for free speech across the digital world.

Silicon Valley strongly stands for online privacy. World governments now have to worry about something much bigger than one locked iPhone. What are your thoughts on private digital communication across the globe?

 


Anisha Sawant