The Connection, Inc Blog

The Connection, Inc has been serving the New Jersey area since 1992, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Tip of the Week: Simple Fixes to Common Android Issues

Tip of the Week: Simple Fixes to Common Android Issues

As capable as the Android platform is, there are a few significant shortcomings that can negatively influence the user’s experience. Here, we wanted to offer a few tips to help you eliminate or avoid these shortcomings as you work with your mobile device.

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Your Business Needs a Well-Structured Mobile Device Policy

Your Business Needs a Well-Structured Mobile Device Policy

Smartphones are basically the most popular piece of technology ever. They can be used for much of the computing that people deem necessary. It’s no surprise that since they pay over $1,000 for these devices that your employees are going to take them everywhere, including your office. There was a time when employers were horrified by this fact, but today smartphones can just as easily be used for work as they are for distraction. 

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When Securing Your Smartphone, Some Options are Better Than Others

When Securing Your Smartphone, Some Options are Better Than Others

Today’s smartphones are equipped with assorted ways that users can authenticate their identity, from the now old-fashioned PIN to basic biometrics. However, while these options are available on a wide range of phones, not all of them are equally secure. Let’s look a bit closer at these authentication measures to find out which is most effective.

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Google and Apple Pushed a COVID-19 Exposure Notification Setting to Your Phone. Here is Everything You Need to Know

Google and Apple Pushed a COVID-19 Exposure Notification Setting to Your Phone. Here is Everything You Need to Know

Many users are noticing or just starting to hear about Google and Apple’s initiative to work with local governments to provide an easy way to help users prevent getting infected with COVID-19. The idea is that, if a local or state government wanted to build an app for users that would tell them if people nearby have been tested positive for COVID-19, they would get a notification on their phone. 

This, of course, raises many questions and concerns about privacy, but a lot of people are being warned that this has been forced onto their phones already, and that just simply isn’t the case. Let’s take a look.

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Tip of the Week: Spotting Potential Mobile Malware

Tip of the Week: Spotting Potential Mobile Malware

Chances are, you not only have a smartphone, but that smartphone is also currently within arm’s reach. With these devices playing an increasingly important role in our personal and professional lives, these devices have proven to be a lucrative target for hackers to pursue. This week, our tip is meant to help you spot the warning signs that an application is hiding an attack.

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FBI Warns About Banking Scams

FBI Warns About Banking Scams

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, many people are avoiding human contact by turning to the Internet and mobile apps. On a national scope, mobile banking alone has seen an increase of 50 percent over just the last few months. In what certainly is no coincidence, the Federal Bureau of Investigation recently put out a warning that identified banking apps as likely targets for hackers.

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Smartphone Addiction and Its Effects

Smartphone Addiction and Its Effects

Nowadays, most of us use smartphones; and, yes, probably most of us use them more than is healthy. There are those, however, that have come to depend on their mobile device so much that it completely dominates their lives. As people become even more attached to their phone, the impact this behavior has on their lives becomes more and more detrimental. 

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Alert: Hackers Target Mobile Banking Apps, Warns FBI

Alert: Hackers Target Mobile Banking Apps, Warns FBI

More people than ever are utilizing the conveniences of the Internet and mobile apps to avoid unnecessary human contact during the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, mobile banking alone has increased by 50 percent over the last few months, nationwide. In a recent PSA, the FBI warned that hackers are likely to be targeting mobile banking apps.

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Smartphone Malware Is a Serious Threat

Smartphone Malware Is a Serious Threat

We all know how important it is to protect your desktop and laptop computers from malicious threats. Installing antivirus and security software is one of the first steps you take when you get a new computer, and for good reason. An unprotected device is at great risk. With that said, a lot of users don’t think about the threats that target their most-used devices, their smartphones.


Malware and other cybersecurity threats are not a new thing to smartphones and mobile devices, but they don’t tend to get the same attention as threats that target Windows. This might be because, for the most part, mobile device malware is a little less common, or at least a little less intrusive. That doesn’t make it any less of a problem though.

You might also feel a little less at risk simply because of your relationship with your device. Our smartphone is often with us day and night, at work and at home. Combine that with the fact that most users use their smartphones in a sort of echochamber, they might not be directly exposed to threats as often as they are on a PC. We’ll get to more on this shortly, but first it’s important to break down the risks based on whether you have an iOS or Android device.

iPhone Malware

Apple may tout iOS as being the safest mobile operating system on the market, but it has never been completely safe. The biggest risks are only a problem for users who have jailbroken iPhones, meaning they ‘hacked’ their own device to allow themselves to bypass Apple’s built-in security restrictions. If you haven’t done that, you are avoiding a lot of risk. The other risk, which is less common, involves a more major type of risk called a zero-day hack. Zero-day hacks target devices that haven’t received a security update after the security update has been released to the public. 

The problem with iOS security is that there aren’t a lot of ways to prevent the issue, and you are really at the mercy of Apple to keep your device safe. They certainly want to keep their reputation, so trusting in them to do so isn’t invalidated.

Android Malware

Android is in a different situation. There are a lot more risks for Android devices, simply because there are many different manufacturers making and supporting the operating system. For example, Samsung uses a slightly customized version of Android, and if you have a Galaxy Note 10, you’ll get the latest updates to Android on a different schedule than Google’s Pixel. 

Android is also more open and flexible than iOS, which is why a lot of users prefer Android over iOS. If you want to install an application that hasn’t been vetted by Google, you can. You can also jailbreak an Android device, which, similar to jailbreaking an iPhone, can override some of the built-in security restrictions.

Even installing apps off of the Google Play Store can sometimes lead to malware being installed. Google has had to play cat-and-mouse with app developers to keep threats off the marketplace, but it has become clear that it really comes down to the user being careful with what they install.

That isn’t to say you should abandon Android or restrict your employees from using Android devices to access company email or other apps. Many long-time Android users never experience malware - it depends on how you use your device.

How to Protect Your Smartphone from Malware

Rely on that Echochamber - We mentioned this earlier, but both Android and iOS feature their own app stores. Although Android devices can install applications that aren’t on the Google Play store, most modern devices make it a little harder to do so, or at least add an extra step warning users that it might put their device at risk.

If you don’t jailbreak your phone, and you only install applications that are thoroughly vetted, positively reviewed, and come directly from the Apple App Store or Google Play, you will greatly reduce the risk of infecting your device.

Don’t Get Phished - Many threats these days don’t even rely on infecting a certain device to get things going. Instead, they rely on the end user to slip up and make a mistake. Phishing attacks are a prime example of this. A user will get a legitimate-looking email from a bank, online store, or other common online account and be asked to submit their login credentials. This email is actually spoofed and made to look real, and upon logging in, the password will be sent to a cybercriminal instead.

Install Anti-malware - Most antivirus and anti-malware software providers have Android apps. It’s not a bad idea to have something running on your phone to help protect you.

Establish Device Security Policies - If you are a business owner and your employees use their personal devices to check email, review documents, and communicate for work, it’s a good idea to establish a mobile device policy. You can require users to enable device locking, encryption, and other security features. This gets set up on your network, and when they sign in to their email on their device, their device has to comply with your company’s requirements before they can get access to anything.

We can help you protect your company data, including helping you establish centralized mobile device security policies. If you want to learn more, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (732) 291-5938.

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How Your Smartphone Keeps Your Data Safe

How Your Smartphone Keeps Your Data Safe

Smartphones are the predominant mode of communication, as well as now being the devices most used to access the Internet. With so much depending on the modern smartphone, it has become one of the largest, and most competitive, markets of any consumer item. As a result, manufacturers are building devices with software that is able to encrypt the phone against unauthorized access.

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Secure Your Android During the Holiday Season

Secure Your Android During the Holiday Season

Android is a very common operating system on mobile devices around the world, and because of this, you won’t be surprised to hear that hackers are always trying to one-up security developers. If your business takes advantage of Android devices like smartphones or tablets, you’ll want to consider these 11 security tips that will help keep your organization safe.


Be Wary of Connected Apps
How many apps have you granted access to your Google account? Sometimes you’ll need them for a single instance, and others will have you continuously returning to them for use. If you no longer use them, it’s wise to cut them off from your Google account simply because the more connected your account is, the more likely it is to be compromised. To edit your account’s permissions, go to https://myaccount.google.com/permissions.

Maintain Your List of Connected Devices
Every time you log into your Google account with a new device, it’s added to a trusted list. This list needs to be updated and changed frequently to ensure that your account is only accessed by approved devices. You can check which devices can access your Google account by going to https://myaccount.google.com/device-activity. If you see a device that’s not familiar, remove it and change your password as soon as possible.

Organize Your Devices in Google Play
Every time you make a purchase in the Play Store, you’ll be given a list of devices that are connected to your Google account. You’ll then choose the device that you want to install the app on. This same list is used to find your device if you happen to misplace it. To remove a device that you no longer use from the menus, just uncheck the box for Show in Menus. You can also assign names to your devices so that you can find them easier at a later date.

Activate Find My Device
On that note, Google has a system set up that lets you find your misplaced devices. Open the Settings app and locate the option for Google. You can then select Security and then Find My Device. Make sure that the setting is toggled on. Furthermore, you want to make sure that your Location settings are turned on so that you can locate the phone in the event you misplace it. If you access the Find My Device tool in your web browser, you’ll be able to ring your device or find your phone in case you lose track of it.

Use Android’s App-Scanning System
You don’t need a third-party security app to scan your applications for suspicious activity. Google has this feature built into the Android operating system. To set this feature, simply go to Settings and navigate to Security & Location. You’ll see the option for Google Play Protect. Make sure that the option for Scan device for security threats is checked. This sets up an automatic scanning system that can run in the background and make sure your device isn’t threatened. In fact, you’ll hardly notice it’s there, unless you encounter a legitimate issue.

Reconsider Your Approach to Downloading Apps
No technological system is perfect, so you should always be wary when downloading any app for use on your Android device. Consider where the app came from--even if it’s from the Play Store. You never know when you could run into something threatening. Often times, you can check the app’s permissions before downloading it as well, which is a great way to make sure you’re not being tricked into giving access.

Check Your Security Basics
Do you lock your device when it’s not in use? You should have at least a PIN in use for when you set your phone down for a moment. Preferably, you want to take advantage of biometric technology that allows only you to access the device. Make sure that you have at least something standing in the way of any unauthorized access in case you lose your phone while in a public setting.

Watch Your Smart Lock Passwords
Google will frequently save passwords to the device to make it easier for you to go about your business, but this isn’t necessarily safe. You should frequently check which passwords are being saved. If you don’t periodically update it, you might encounter complications when accessing an account.

Do You Have Two-Factor Authentication?
Speaking of security for your Google account, two-factor authentication is one major way you can keep unwanted users out of your account. By using Google Authenticator, you can create single-use codes that must be used alongside your password for access to your Google Account. There are other options available too, but you will want to speak with an IT service provider to make sure that your 2FA solution is business-grade.

Run a Google Security Check
Google has a built-in security checker that can give you an idea of how you’re doing in terms of protecting your account from unauthorized access. To use it, go to this link: https://myaccount.google.com/security-checkup

Do You Need Third Party Security Apps?
While the security of the Android operating system is a great start, you may find yourself wanting more. If you’re still not satisfied with the quality of your mobile device’s security situation, you can always reach out to a managed service provider like The Connection, Inc, who can recommend solutions designed to keep your business secure.

For any lingering questions, thoughts or concerns about mobile security, don’t hesitate to reach out to The Connection, Inc at (732) 291-5938.

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Tip of the Week: The Only Feature Android Oreo Is Missing Is the Cream Filling

Tip of the Week: The Only Feature Android Oreo Is Missing Is the Cream Filling

The latest version of Android, Oreo (version 8.0), was released earlier this year. Has your phone received the update to it yet? Either way, you’ll want to know what features it has, including how it can help you get more done. Here are five of the many new additions offered by this update to Android Oreo operating system.

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Lessons Your Business Can Learn From the Galaxy Note 7 and 8

Lessons Your Business Can Learn From the Galaxy Note 7 and 8

Samsung fans are getting geared up for the release of their new smartphone, the Galaxy Note 8. Even though it might seem as though the technology world has moved on from the exploding Note 7, you can be sure that Samsung is still feeling the reverberations from last year’s debacle that resulted from the now-infamous exploding of their much-anticipated Galaxy Note 7.

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3 Ways to Prevent a Smartphone Thief From Also Stealing Your Data

3 Ways to Prevent a Smartphone Thief From Also Stealing Your Data

While it’s certainly a bummer to have your smartphone stolen, it’s even worse if the thief accesses your data. To help prevent this nightmare scenario, security professionals have developed some clever solutions.


Enter the Wrong Password and Have a “Theftie” Taken
Having smartphones equipped with front-facing cameras has led to the cultural phenomenon known as the selfie. For thieves that steal a smartphone and enter the wrong lock screen password, a device equipped with a “theftie” security app will take a less-than-flattering picture of the thief in action, and then upload the picture to the device’s cloud storage account or email inbox.

Depending on which theftie app you go with, some pictures will even include a map of where the picture was taken. Newer versions of iPhone come with the theftie security feature. If your smartphone doesn’t have this feature, then you can download it easily enough from any app store.

Use the Wrong Gestures and Get Locked Out
One security technique currently under development is the ability to identify unauthorized users by how they interact with the phone. Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have successfully used the technique in trial runs to lock out unauthorized users in as little as 13.8 seconds (which isn’t enough time for a thief to access sensitive files).

The idea behind this clever security feature is that every user interacts with their own phone in a unique way. To determine if the user is authentic or not, the technique takes into consideration a variety of factors, such as the pressure, frequency, and speed of touch for the application used, how much electricity is used, and the previous 30 seconds of recent history. Seeing how a thief would be unfamiliar with the layout of a stolen phone, they would navigate the device in ways that are uncharacteristic of the phone’s owner and subsequently be locked out. On average, researchers have found that it takes 35 touches for the feature to lock out a thief.

Remotely Wipe Your Device’s Data
This last mobile security solution should only be turned to if you’re absolutely sure that your phone is stolen. When activated, this procedure will remotely wipe all of the personal data on the device, essentially leaving it with only the data that was on the device when it was brand new.

For mobile devices connected to your company, the best way to remotely wipe a missing device is through your mobile device manager. If you don’t have this solution, or if you don’t know how to use your MDM tool to remotely wipe your device, then reach out to The Connection, Inc for help. Also, depending on your phone’s service provider, you may be able to have your provider remotely wipe the stolen device by simply calling them and confirming your identity.

Considering how valuable your data is and how devastating it would be if it ended up in the wrong hands, it’s easy to see how being proactive about backing up your device’s data to the cloud will end up saving you a lot of trouble, should your device become lost or stolen. The Connection, Inc can assist you with this, as well as with other security measures that will keep your data safe in a worst-case scenario. To learn more, call us today at (732) 291-5938.

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Use Your Smartphone With the Lights Off and Risk Temporary Blindness

Use Your Smartphone With the Lights Off and Risk Temporary Blindness

You may have heard of digital eye strain. The Vision Council defines it as “the physical discomfort felt after two or more hours in front of a digital screen and is associated with the close to mid-range distance of digital screens.” As annoying as this condition is, in some cases, it has actually developed into something far worse, like temporary blindness.

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Your New Galaxy Note 7 Has a 1 in 42,000 Chance of Exploding

Your New Galaxy Note 7 Has a 1 in 42,000 Chance of Exploding

If you have the most recent addition to Samsung’s growing collection of smartphones, we hope you haven’t grown too attached to it. The company is recalling the Galaxy Note 7 on reports that the batteries explode. This event is largely considered one of the more high-profile recalls in the history of consumer technology.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Reasons Why “Dumb” Phones are Smart for Business

Tip of the Week: 4 Reasons Why “Dumb” Phones are Smart for Business

The benefits of utilizing smartphones in the workplace are many and obvious. Yet, it may be in the best interests of some companies to ban smartphones altogether, and instead go with older-model flip phones. As counterproductive as this sounds, more companies are saying “out with the new in with the old.”

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Tip of the Week: Can’t Name that Song? These 3 Apps Can!

b2ap3_thumbnail_identification_application_400.jpgListening to the radio is a great way to pass the time during your morning commute, especially if you don’t have a CD player or an auxiliary port in your vehicle. While listening to the radio, you might hear a catchy tune that you want to look up later. Now, thanks to various smartphone apps and technology solutions, you can do it while listening to the song.

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Tip of the Week: Android Makes it Easy to Block Telemarketers

b2ap3_thumbnail_block_calls_400.jpgEveryone gets unwanted calls from unsolicited numbers on their smartphone. It’s a part of life. What matters, though, is how you deal with these callers. While a pretty comprehensive solution to this problem can be contacting your provider, some more recent models of Android smartphones have the ability to blacklist phone numbers built right into the device.

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Tip of the Week: Notifications are What’s Draining Your Battery, Not Open Apps

b2ap3_thumbnail_dont_close_apps_400.jpgWe’ve all run into the trouble of keeping our smartphone’s battery preserved for as long as possible. Many people think that the apps themselves are what bogs down the battery and drains its charge, but we’re here to tell you that this is not the case. Instead, let’s determine what really drains your device’s battery.

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Hazlet, New Jersey 07730