Category Archives: privacy

How to turn off screen overlay in Android Marshmallow

You open your Android App for the first time and are interrupted by a screen overlay message – a feature called ‘Draw over other apps’. What does this screen overlay message mean? This actually allows part of an App to display over the top of other Apps.

Facebook Messenger is one such App that uses a screen overlay. Apps need your permission to use screen overlays as sometimes they can cause problems, or could trick you into granting it permission to do something you might not want. If you are using Android Marshmallow and you have just installed an App and are greeted with the following dialogue:

“Screen overlay detected. To change this permission setting, you first have to turn off the screen overlay in Settings > Apps” – Click on OPEN SETTINGS

You should now see a list of Apps that use the ’Draw over other apps’ feature. You can tap on any App that is listed to turn off the screen overlay permission.

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How to locate and protect your lost or stolen iPhone

findmyiphoneIf you lose your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and you don’t have another iOS device, you will find the following information very useful. If you intend on removing your device from your Apple account, Activation Lock will be turned off, which will allow someone else to activate and use your device.

If you decide to erase your device, you should contact your wireless carrier so they can disable your account and prevent calls, texts and data use.

The following will only work if you enabled Find My iPhone (including iPad or iPod touch).

  • Sign in to https://icloud.com/find on a Mac or PC with your Apple ID and Password (Don’t check ‘Keep me signed in’}
  • You will also get an email from Apple to tell you about your iCloud sign in
  • Click > All Devices – you will see a list of iOS devices that are either offline or connected to the Internet
  • Select a device to view its location on a map. You can play a sound, activate Lost Mode or Erase iPhone
  • Turn on Lost Mode – this will allow you to remotely lock your device with a passcode, display a custom message with your phone number on your missing device’s Lock screen, and monitor your device’s location*
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Use SuperSU to control your Android root settings

supersuUpdated: Controlling your root settings is very important, especially as it opens your Android device up to the threat of malware. if you are familiar with rooting you will know that you can tweak and modify the way your Android software and hardware behaves. Granting apps root allows you to have vastly more control of your device and apps than without.

You should though be very aware that allowing your Android device to have root access does come with an element of security and privacy risk. Given the risk, SuperSU is often used by modders to control Android root settings on a per app basis.

What is SuperSU? SuperSU allows for advanced management of Superuser access rights for all the apps on your device that need root. It’s that simple!

I’m going to assume you already have a rooted device and that you have an intermediary knowledge of device rooting using SuperSU developed by ChainfireXDA. SuperSU allows for advanced management of Superuser access rights for all the apps on your device that need root.

IMPORTANT: This is the updated SuperSU privacy policy from CCMT, which is effective August 29, 2016.

Here is a quick guide using SuperSU v2.78 SR1, on how to control your Android smartphone root settings:

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How to disable Android app Device admin rights

Updated: If you use an Android device and regularly download and install apps from the Google Play Store, you may have noticed that some apps require device admin rights to be disabled before you can “Force stop” or “uninstall” an app. Device admin allows developers to create security-aware apps that are mainly useful for enterprise settings. These settings (or policies as they are referred too) may stop a user from installing or uninstalling an app for example.

I’ve started noticing quite a few Android mobile security apps are employing device admin rights to their consumer apps. The main reason for doing this is that the AV vendors want to lock down their app in the event some malware looks to disable or remove their security app, but it is also to with defining a generic security standard for mobile security app development.

Glancing through developer forums it’s clear to see (and I’m one of these) that not being able to kill an app because it is using up large amounts of CPU or RAM time, isn’t that useful to us end -users. Apps and operating systems do have memory leakage and probably always will from time to time. So, how do you disable device admin rights for a particular app so that you can enable ‘Force stop’; ‘Uninstall’; ‘Clear data’; ‘Clear cache’; and ‘Clear defaults’ from within App Manager? It’s actually very simple folks:

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How to setup Google prompt 2-Step Verification (2SV)

Google securityGoogle recently introduced a new setting for 2-Step Verification (2SV). They are hoping the new setting called ‘Google prompt’ will make it easier for more people to use multi-factor authentication security. Currently, 2SV allows you tap a Security Key (such as the U2F YubiKey) as well as entering a verification code sent to your mobile phone. You can also use the Google Authenticator app.

Google prompt allows you to approve by tapping a ‘Yes’ prompt that will pop up on your mobile phone. You can access 2-Step Verification from your computer, Android device or iPhone, but only if you have a Google account. In addition Android devices will require the latest Google Play Services (2SV is part of Play Services) and iPhone 5S or later the Google Search app.

It’s important to note that the Google prompt setting is designed as an alternative second step to either using a Security Key or receiving a voice or text message.

The process below is the same whether you use an Android device, iPhone 5S (or later) or computer.

How to enable Google prompt

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