Android security basics for all device owners

Android security basics for all device owners

This is a guest post from our friends over at TechWarn

The most popular mobile operating system in the world is Android, with more than 2 billion monthly active devices. One of the reasons as to why Android is so popular is because of its flexibility, particularly on application platforms. Android users are not confined to Google Play Store when it comes to downloading apps. They are able to easily download apps that are not included in the app store by using third-party app banks.

The kind of openness demonstrated by Android enables developers to work in an environment that is more relaxed with respect to regulation. However, this flexibility results in some form of abuse that allows some bad applications in the form of malicious APKs to enter the system. For this reason, hacking and other cybersecurity threats are also prevalent in the Android ecosystem. It is important to note that Android is built with practical and powerful features that you can use to ensure that your device is secure. Below are tips to help you know how to protect your Android device.

Android VPN

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) helps you safely connect to the internet by hiding your online actions and your location thereby removing any security or privacy threats. Android VPN works to deliver an internet connection that is secure by using private servers located in remote areas. When you connect to a VPN, all the data moving between your Android device and the website is encrypted to reduce access to your online information. This means that even hackers will be unable to access this information.

For you to browse online safely, you need a VPN that operates on Android phones or gadgets. VPNs have become popular because of the increasing number of cases of data theft through malware attacks or hacking. Most of these attacks occur on Wi-Fi networks that are not secure. If you are a frequent user of public Wi-Fi, you have to undertake measures to ensure that your online activity is secure over the connection. The good thing is that all Android devices are compatible with an Android VPN.

Antivirus Software

Android devices are becoming increasingly susceptible to various forms of viruses and malware. Ensure that you install antivirus software in your Android device in order to protect yourself against malware attacks and other forms of cybersecurity threats. In the event of a malware attack, the antivirus app on your Android device will intercept malicious attachments and links before the malware is installed in your device. It is important for you to install a credible anti-malware app in your Android device for it to effectively scan and eliminate viruses and malware.

On Device Encryption

Most people have sensitive information like emails, contacts, and financial information in their Android smartphones. You should use on-device encryption to protect this information from being accessed by snoopers and hackers. Do this by going to ‘Settings’ then to ‘Security’ then to ‘Encrypt Device’ and follow the prompts to encrypt your Android device. On-Device Encryption ensures that the information in your Android device is protected when you lose your phone by scrambling the data stored in your phone so that nobody will be able to access your personal information.

Two Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication is a Google feature that is not specific to Android. However, if you use Google services, you need to know that the overall security feature of the device is connected to your Google account. Two-factor authentication helps you to secure your phone by enabling you to lock down Google services. For you to activate it, you need to log in to your Google account and go to ‘Security’ then to ‘2-Step Verification. Every time you want to access your account, you will receive a verification code through voice calls or SMS.

The popularity of Android has made it a leading target for hackers. Due to the sensitive data stored in your Android device, you need to ensure it is secure. Protect your Android with the above tips.


Tablet VS. Laptop

Tablet VS. Laptop

Many people wonder if a laptop or a tablet will serve their needs. After all, tablets are easy to use, very portable, and internet-capable just like a laptop. However, not all tablets share the same functionality. Depending on your needs, a laptop may provide a better computing experience. If you’re trying to decide if you want a tablet vs. a laptop, this guide will help.

What Kind of Tablet?

Many tablets look the same but may perform differently depending on their operating system. Before you decide on a tablet vs. a laptop, you should know the functions and limitations of the devices available. Tablets like the Apple iPad and those running Android use mobile operating systems derived from the interfaces on smartphones. This type of tablet is designed for touch, prioritizing simplicity. Windows 8 tablets can run many of the same programs as full computers and are compatible with the same types of files. Windows RT is another option that is optimized for tablet use. The biggest difference between the two is that Windows RT tablets can only use apps made for that specific operating system.

When Are Laptops Better?

One of the main complaints people have about their current computers is usually that they’re not fast enough. The need for speed can be a big issue if you’re into high-end gaming or use high-performance video or photo editing software. In the laptop vs. desktop debate, the question of speed boils down to price. Some high-end laptops are very competitive when it comes to speed. But if you’re willing to pay the price, there isn’t a laptop out there that can keep up with a high-end desktop. It’s all about the specs mentioned above, as well as high-performance motherboards and cooling systems available in desktop systems. If you’re looking for top-of-the-line speed and have the cash to spend, a desktop is the way you’ll want to go.

What Will You Use it For?

In general, you’ll want to choose a laptop vs. a tablet if you need to do more than check email and social networks or watch videos and play games. Laptops are best for real work, even if that work only includes creating Office documents. Most laptops are more powerful than tablets and have larger internal storage. There’s far more software available for laptops vs. tablets (with the exception of Windows 8 tablet PCs) and greater file compatibility for documents, music, images, video, and more. The web browsing experience is arguably better on laptops vs. tablets, especially now that Adobe no longer supports Flash for tablets and other mobile devices. Though tablets are often lighter than laptops, there are many ultra-thin, light computers (such as ultrabooks or Apple’s MacBook Air line) that give you the portability you need without sacrificing performance or functionality. If you want the best of both worlds, consider a hybrid PC: a Windows tablet with a keyboard dock that turns it into a laptop when connected. Still, even hybrids may not always give you the power or storage space you need.

Choose Based on What You Need

Before deciding between a tablet vs. a laptop, think about what you need to do with it.

Get a tablet if:

You already have a laptop or desktop computer and want a companion device. Your needs are very basic: checking email, posting to social networks. You want something purely for entertainment: movies, TV, music, eBooks. You’re looking for a device that’s very simple and easy to use.

Get a laptop if:

You’re shopping for a primary computer and want something portable. You need a device for work, school, designing, creating content, or anything that requires high performance. We hope these guidelines help you solve your tablet vs. laptop conundrum, and be sure to check out our full laptop and tablet buying guides for further information on each form factor. Article Content from

Create an email signature onto your iPhone

Create an email signature onto your iPhone

Today’s email signatures contain a lot more than just your name and contact details. Links to websites, Facebook, Twitter account and the ubiquitous legal disclaimers along with your company’s branding give clients the information they need.

Many of you have this on your main computer email system but when it comes to your mobile devices “sent from my IPhone” is as flash as it gets…

Not only can you have the same email signature on your iPhone/iPad but you can create multiple email signatures for each account that you access (business/personal/rental etc.).

Either send yourself an email message from your computer or device that already has the desired signature set up on it or check you’re sent items for one.

  • Open the email in the Mail app on your iPhone/iPad.
  • Tap and hold down on the signature in order to bring up the blue selection tool. Move the anchors so you have the entire signature highlighted.
  • Tap on Copy.
  • Press the Home button to return to your Home screen.
  • Launch the Settings app.
  • Tap on Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  • Scroll down to Signature under the Mail section.
  • Tap on the account you’d like to add the signature to if you have multiple signatures set up Per Account.
  • Delete the contents.
  • Tap and hold in the signature field to bring up the selection tool again.
  • Tap Paste in the popup menu.
  • You may see a strangely formatted version of your signature but here’s the magic…
  • Shake your iPhone briefly and tap Undo in order to remove the automatic formatting Apple may have done.
  • This will bring back any colors or other HTML content that may not have shown up in the original paste. Et Voila.

If you want to know more call us on 0800 878 878 or email

Developing an IT Strategy

Developing an IT Strategy


Developing an IT strategy sounds like it’s probably a fair amount of work and perhaps for little tangible benefit in the short term, so why bother? Because having an ad-hoc approach to IT systems means things are not usually as efficient as they could be when planned, we have all probably heard the quote “we don’t plan to fail, but we fail to plan”.

Developing an IT strategy allows for appropriate planning to occur, which helps removes quick decisions when systems fail and you need a replacement PC immediately.

How you arrive at a correct software, hardware, and communications strategy for your organisation can reduce your stress levels, and probably more importantly impact on how effective you can be in meeting customer demands. Selecting an accounting solution in the same manner as buying a dish washer can prove to be dangerous.


Before any strategy can be developed you need to know what systems you currently have in place and where you want (your business) to be in the next one to three years. This means documenting who is using what equipment and then identifying what software and hardware needs to be addressed, and when.

Doing a mini IT audit should identify what age is the current equipment is, what equipment is under warranty, what operating systems are in use and what software systems are in use.

It’s useful to also identify any equipment that is critical to the running of your organisation, what can’t you live without?

In looking at where you need to go it’s good to review what areas of growth you are seeing, review how your IT needs are changing, what areas are not working smoothly or need to be more robust.

Naturally Technology Solutions are able to help discuss and plan this process with you.


Then it’s a process of deciding how you are going to get from A to B. Setting a budget and a time frame to establish the work, do you want to operate while upgrading, say, a workstation every two months or do everything during a quiet period?

Can you implement things gradually to minimise disruption? It’s always better to manage change when it comes to IT, so where possible avoid making lots of change all at once. Equally you don’t want the inconvenience associated with leaving things too late and dealing with a crashed system – especially if you haven’t been diligent with backups. If you can plan things to upgrade your accounting system at a different time to changing your laptops or email systems then most of the time that is going to allow for a smoother transition.

Once you have a plan it also allows you to allocate where existing equipment might go. E.g. if users are upgrading to laptops it might mean a workstation becomes available to be used elsewhere or perhaps even be a hot-spare that can be kept for use in an emergency.

It’s also important to communicate the IT strategy to other decision makers in the organisation, to ensure everyone understands the plans and processes.

Here at Technology Solutions we are here to help and guide our clients to find the best solution that suits the individual budget and direction of the business.

To discuss how Tech Solutions can help plan your I.T. needs call us on 0800 878 878

Benefits from using dual monitors

Benefits from using dual monitors

Dual Screen Monitors

Utilising a second monitor is proven to improve your productivity. First of all what is a dual monitor setup? Computers & laptops these days can support more than one monitor – think of the second (or third) monitors as just a physical extension of your existing screen. If you are moving windows between the monitors as something disappears from one screen it appears on the adjacent screen.

The biggest advantage for anyone is increased productivity.

There have been a number of studies performed over the years that have attempted to calculate the change in productivity from using multiple monitors. According to a study done by Jon Peddie Research, productivity increases by 20 to 30% when using multiple displays.

The Pfeiffer Report from 2005 (testing the impact of large monitors and/or multiple monitors) found that improved productivity could even result in an ROI of thousands of dollars per year.

A study conducted by the University of Utah and NEC found 10% increases in productivity and 20% reduction in errors (plus reduced stress) for test workers that were using multiple monitors.

However, research also shows that productivity gains max out and eventually decline when size becomes too big.

So while the exact amount productivity increases might be up for debate, the fact that productivity increases with dual screens is certain.

Sharing data is easier

It’s rare that we just work with one program open these days – yet we often lack the ability to view more than one program. If you are working from a number of data sources, having the second screen to display content means less moving windows around to access the information that you need.

Work tasks often require comparison, such as comparing different versions of a design, testing in multiple browsers, financial numbers or document revisions. In these situations it’s easier, quicker, and generally more effective to compare side-by-side using two screens rather than flipping back and forth constantly.

It’s Easy

Extending your computer to a second screen is actually easy, although to some people it sounds like it would be more difficult or involved than it really is. If you’ve been wanting to try a dual screen set up but have been putting it off, there’s really no reason not to give it a shot.


There are some disadvantages of having multiple screens:

Potential for Distractions

Probably the biggest disadvantage to having more than one screen is the added risk of distractions. It’s easy enough to get side-tracked when you’re working with just one screen, and even more so when you add to it. For some people using the second screen to keep email open all the time is a timesaver not having to re-open a window to check on new mail, for others it may be a distraction from the task in hand.

Lack of Desk Space

Unfortunately, the amount of available space of a desk can easily be a hindrance when it comes to getting set up for maximum efficiency.


Remember it’s not about how a second screen (or big screen) can make us work faster, but rather how working on a small screen slows us down. Remember the desktop screen on your laptop (or PC) is a metaphor for your physical desktop. If your desktop was replaced with something the size of an A4 piece of paper how hard would that be to work efficiently? Very.

Can we afford to be slowed down in our work?

Given the lower cost of monitors these days, and the number of hours we are often in front of them the ROI is huge even when taking the lower end of the productivity gains into account.

All these studies demonstrated that using only a single display — especially if it’s a small laptop display — can really be an anchor that drags on your productivity. Using an extra monitor can help you to more quickly and easily do your daily computing tasks.

Beyond this empirical data, the anecdotal benefits of using an extra monitor are legion on the internet.

Finally, people enjoy having an extra monitor: And happy employees are productive employees.

In fact, if you are still sceptical we are so certain that you will benefit from using a second monitor, particularly if you currently only use a laptop screen, that we will come and set one up for you to use for a couple of weeks – if you don’t like it we will take it away. No cost to you. How can you loose with that?


Dell completed a whitepage showing the benefits:

Pfeiffer report

So if you’re in need of some help with planning some upgrades, or even just some free friendly advice, get in touch with us, 6-370 8093.

To discuss how Tech Solutions can help call us on 0800 878 878 or email

Should you provide Free Wi-Fi to your Customers?

Should you provide Free Wi-Fi to your Customers?

In an ever more connected world is there an advantage to offering wi-fi to your customers? To answer that you need to ask yourself a couple of questions:

  1. Would you have the opportunity to gain more sales by having your clients spend more time at your business? Many people may think no, Louis Rosas-Guyon, president of R2 Computing, a business technology consultancy in North Miami, Fla., says yes. Rosas-Guyon, whose company has installed 142 Wi-Fi access points for small businesses, says most small business owners have little to lose by doing so. “Connectivity and Internet access are rapidly becoming second nature to us all,” he says. “Humans are becoming far more digitally social animals and there are significant business advantages to this new trend.”
    Coffee shops can obviously benefit, Motels are another option.. But imagine you have a customer sitting waiting for something in your business, perhaps a vehicle service or an accounting report, if you have free wifi the chances are that person is going to sit down at your business and do something on their phone/tablet/laptop. Are they surrounded by advertising for your suppliers or your services? Suddenly you have a captive market that is taking in that info. You can also advertise via your hotspot login page. Not many businesses wouldn’t benefit from that.
  2. Are your competition potentially stealing your customers by providing wifi where you are not? You may not realise it but more and more people are looking for free wifi to help decide where they go for services, especially if they are likely to have to spend any amount of time there, don’t let your competition beat you to that market

What can we offer for a Wifi solution for your business?

Technology Solutions has the equipment and the know how to set up a low cost, easy maintenance, simple management solution for offering free wifi to your customers.

For as little as $130 + GST plus labour we can have a wifi hotspot available to your clients which is fully isolated from your business network. This can mean that anyone in your business can connect to the open wifi network, and they’ll be provided with a login page which can give you the opportunity to provide advertisements or logos for your business, they can then select an option to activate free internet for x MB’s or enter a user/pass combo provided by you via an easy interface

In the end, you have to ask yourself, can you afford to not provide wifi to your customers?

So if you’re in need of some help with wifi, or even just some free friendly advice, get in touch with us, 6-370 8093.

To discuss how Tech Solutions can help call us on 0800 878 878.