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Tech life boo-boos

Tech life boo-boos
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First Published: Tue, Apr 26 2011. 09 05 PM IST

Stay alert: Don’t be lax when it comes to the security of your gadgets.
Stay alert: Don’t be lax when it comes to the security of your gadgets.
Updated: Tue, Apr 26 2011. 09 05 PM IST
Battery bloopers
No matter how smart your smartphone may be, never forget it has a very dumb battery. So don’t be haphazard in your recharging habits. Avoid recharging it until the battery is totally dead or almost drained of power. Don’t top it up if you see it down to 40-50%, or whenever you find yourself near a charger. Doing so will lower its overall efficiency. Typically a good battery should give you 250-300 complete recharge cycles before its staying power starts waning. But only if you take good care of it.
Of naive smartphone-wallahs
Not only does your smartphone get you instant access to your family and friends but due to its advanced computing abilities and Internet connectivity, it is also a repository of your personal data—in fact, quite often a major part of your entire digital life. Have you ever thought of the implications of your contact list falling into the hands of a conniving individual? The repercussions of losing your cellphone today can be a lot more serious than they were a few years ago. So don’t ever leave it unprotected. Beef up its security settings by putting a pin code lock on it at the very least. For better protection, install a phone security app.
Also, the simplest way to backup your phone’s data is usually via accompanying software, such as Nokia PC Suite or Ovi Suite, or iTunes, for example. Or you can use an Internet address book syncing service such as Everdroid (for Android), Microsoft My Phone (http://is.gd/fJYWv), Mobyko (www.mobyko.com), Syncfriend (www.syncfriend.com), or Anywr (www.anywr.com).
Installing everything that comes your way
Stay alert: Don’t be lax when it comes to the security of your gadgets.
Just because you’ve managed to lay your hands on some free software that sounds interesting doesn’t mean you should install it—just for a lark. This holds true for applications, games, toolbars, widgets, extensions, etc. Even if you uninstall it later there are chances that the program will leave behind some remnants that are difficult to detect and expunge. The meaner, cleaner and leaner you keep your entire software set-up, the faster your PC stays.
For those who are anti-antivirus
No matter how secure you may feel by disallowing other people to plug their USB drives into your PC or laptop, merely being connected to the Internet, browsing and receiving mail/attachments makes you vulnerable to virus attacks, spyware, malware, bots, identity theft, root kits, child safety issues or threats, spam and all kinds of digital marauders. So set up a firewall. Install an antivirus program. Be it Norton 360 or PC Tools or AVG Free 2011. At the very least, ensure you have Microsoft Security Essentials (www.microsoft.com/security_essentials), a free anti-malware service for Windows PCs, installed.
Caution: cybercafé ahead!
Never be nonchalant about using a cybercafé just because you have a complicated password. Or have picked a corner seat where no one can peek at your login information. The machine could have a keylogger, a clipboard logger or similar spyware installed to capture and save whatever you type in. Always avoid any sort of financial transactions on a public terminal. 
For cybercafé and public Internet locations, carry a USB pen drive that has Neo’s SafeKeys (www.aplin.com.au) on it. This mouse-based keyboard program stalls keyloggers by allowing you to mouse-click your password on an on-screen keyboard instead of typing it out—thus stalling a keystroke trapper from recording your login details. Your password with SafeKeys keyboard appears within a “******” mask. You simply select the “******” and drag-drop it on to the password box of your online login form. Another good option is Anti Keylogger Shield (http://is.gd/Ae7EUE).
Ensure you’ve logged out of all your accounts, and clear the browser’s history and cache. Also, before you log in always keep your eyes peeled for checkboxes that say “Remember my password” or ”Remember my email address”. It will take only a second to uncheck these but it could save you a lifetime of grief.
Write to us at businessoflife@livemint.com
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First Published: Tue, Apr 26 2011. 09 05 PM IST
More Topics: Technology | PC | Smartphones | Mobile Phone | Back-up |