BlackBerry 10 (applicable to Z10 and Q10 and the latest OS version 10 and 10.1) comes with a useful integrated parental control by default. No need to download or purchase a third-party product, parental control will meet all your needs.
If your kids grab your device and attempt to use it you can setup and manage phone and SMS restrictions as well as app usage. There is also a restriction for the BlackBerry World as well as content restrictions. One feature missing though is a blocking option for email account access. It would be most useful to use the Parental Control password for accessing all email accounts. BlackBerry?
How to access Parental Control:
- Tap > Settings icon
- Tap > Security and Privacy
- Tap > Parental Control
Note: You can also use Universal Search and type PAREN and Parental Controls will pop up
Next up, from Parental Control, toggle > Parental Controls > On
Enter a password and reenter that password to confirm. This password locks the Parental Control application, so your child cannot change the settings. The latest OS version 10.1 by default provides a recovery question/answer. I suggest you use it. My suggestion is that you store your password in BlackBerry Password Keeper.
If you happen to own an Android mobile or tablet in the past few years, and you like delving into your device to look for ways to improve its performance, then you might have heard of the term “bloatware” or “crapware”. These particular terms have been used in the PC world for some years with regards free and paid software.
You may have also heard of these been commonly referred to as “pre-installed apps”. Following on from my previous post, NQ Mobile have a little gem in NQ Mobile Security (NQMS)* called ROM App Manager (isn’t available for tablets). I’ve tested this tool and therefore like to recommend using it instead of Bloatkill, mainly due to its simplicity. NQMS is actually a free app.
*Visiting this post on your mobile? Press and hold the link, then tap ‘Open With Play Store App’ to download from Google Play Store.
Did You Know: NQMS includes ROM App Manager, which allows you to uninstall system and non-system files.
NQ Mobile Security (NQMS) has a useful tool called App Manager. If you have don’t have root access you can do the following:
- Open NQMS and swipe to the left and you will see the > Tools menu.
Carriers (mobile networks) and manufacturers (and some third-party developers) often include pre-installed apps, but in most instances these apps offer little or no benefit to you or your Android device. In fact in most instances they end up being useless. These pre-installed apps generally clutter your system and in some instances degrade the performance of your mobile device i.e. draining your battery for example.
These pre-installed apps are referred to as ‘bloatware’. Bloatware apps are usually installed to encourage you to use a manufacturers app, but most non-tech users don’t even use these apps, let alone know they are there. If they did, they would realise they were useless in the most part. Note: Almost all stock configurations of Android come loaded with bloatware, but it you have a Nexus, you are lucky because these devices do not.
Freezing and or removing Android bloatware
So how do you go about disabling/freezing the pre-installed bloatware? In many instances users will simple “freeze” the app rather than risk uninstalling, which might cause a system issue i.e. bricking or some other type of instability. When you uninstall an app , the app is completely removed from for device, but the pre-installed apps are not (in most instances) available on the Play Store, if you decided you needed them again.
Android firewall apps will block access to mobile networks and Wi-Fi by IP address only (Linux iptables). I’ve been unable to find an Android firewall app on the Play Store or third-party market that is able to block a bluetooth or GPS connections as well. A downside right now is that Android firewall apps will not allow you to set restrictions on multiple Wi-Fi access points, but they do provide you with additional security and privacy to ensure against data leakage.
Android firewall apps CANNOT block certain apps by specific permissions. You will need an app like PDroid Manager, which allows you to manage privacy settings to do this.
Which Android firewall apps? I decided to test a root and non-root firewall. Visit the Play Store to download and test DroidWall and Mobiwol. DroidWall requires root access while Mobiwol doesn’t. These apps were tested on a Samsung Galaxy S3 running Jelly Bean 4.1.2 with root access and one without. If you use SuperSU, you will need to grant access to DroidWall.
Before you download, install and test these firewalls, it’s important not to run two firewalls at the same time. Always uninstall one before installing the other.