Tag Archives: apps

[Infographic] The ultimate student app guide

Study Medicine Europe and Avira: The ultimate student app guide

If you would like to be efficient, it is all about organization. There are a lot of apps which can help you to organize yourself – but what apps do you need to succeed in your studies? This student app guide provides you with the best possibilities to organize yourself. Starting your life as a student […]

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The Apps That Most Frequently Appear on Companies’ Blacklists

Apps installed on smartphones and tablets are considered to be one of the biggest risks for companies today. And for good reason. In addition to diminishing the performance of the devices themselves, they can become the gateway to mobile and corporate tablets for cybercriminals.

Because of this, IT departments should be wary of employees downloading certain apps on their devices that may pose a risk, whether because of their popularity or their vulnerabilities.

A recent study looks at the applications that have been most banned by companies around the world, and the result is not surprising: although its popularity began more than five years ago, Angry Birds is the most vetoed mobile app to today.

After surveying technology leaders from nearly 8,000 companies around the world, the report’s authors concluded that globally the game has been declared the number one public enemy of corporate security. No wonder, bearing in mind that the sequel to the game, ‘Angry Birds 2’, was infected a couple of years ago by malware that affected iOS devices.

The ban of Angry Birds on corporate devices shows that, today, mobile phones and business tablets are used interchangeably for professional and personal matters. On the other hand, BYOD (‘Bring Your Own Device’) has become a trend that, either because of the vulnerability of certain applications or of employees’ own personal devices, can jeopardize the security of any company.

To carry out the study, its authors took into account both Android devices and those with iOS or Windows Phone as operating systems. In this sort of blacklist, other applications that veer more toward the personal than the professional follow on the heels of Angry Birds, Dropbox and Facebook: platforms like WhatsApp, Twitter or Netflix are also among the ten most banned applications in the business world.

Another notable conclusion of the study is that among the prohibited applications there are also some that would seem right at home in a corporate environment. However, even these are considered by many companies to be a danger to their security. Such is the case of Skype, Outlook or Dropbox itself, which, after a leak that compromised millions of passwords, seems to have fallen out of favor of late.

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HackITAll hackathon – 60 students, 20 teams, 3 winners, 1 Polly

HackITAll hackathon - 60 students, 20 teams, 3 winners, 1 Polly

“HackITAll” is hackathon held each year by the LSAC (Automatic Control & Computers Student’s League). 2017 was the second edition of this event and Avira was happy to be the sole sponsor. HackITAll took place on March 18-19, 2017, and was a classical 24-hour hackathon. It brought together 60 IT students, most of which are […]

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The Dark Side of Shopping Apps

Are shopping apps safe?

As we shoppers get better at identifying scams, cybercriminals are having to create new ways to try and steal our money. Effective PC security tools like Panda Safe Web can identify and block fake websites before scammers have a chance to trick us.

But increasingly we are shopping from our smartphones and tablets instead of desktop PCs. Realising this, cybercriminals have begun to develop a range of mobile-focused attacks designed to steal personal data and money.

So when you do fire up a shopping app on your mobile phone, how do you know it can be trusted?
Here are some tips.

1. Only download apps from official sources

Both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store use a very strict approval process to protect their customers. Whenever an app is submitted to one of these official stores, it is checked to ensure that it is not infected with malware, and doesn’t take personal data without your permission.

For iPhone users this is great news – every app they can download has been checked to ensure it is safe. Especially as Apple devices cannot install apps from anywhere else but the App Store.

Android users on the other hand are not limited to the Google Play store – they can download and install apps from virtually anywhere. Although this is much more flexible, not all app stores or websites apply the same security checks. Cybercriminals exploit this weakness by tricking Android users into downloading infected apps from email attachments or fake app stores. Once installed, this malware allows scammers to steal credit card details, or to encrypt your files so you cannot access them without paying a ransom.

When it comes to downloading shopping apps you must ensure they come from the official app store – otherwise you could be inviting cybercriminals onto your phone.

2. Install a mobile Security tool

You wouldn’t dream of leaving your PC unprotected against malware – so why ignore your mobile phone? Just this week mobile hacking hit the headlines again as government officials tried to highlight the risks.

It is absolutely essential that Android owners install a mobile security tool to protect themselves against fake shopping apps. Panda Mobile Security scans installed apps to detect malware and alert you to potential problems before your data can be stolen.

Using Panda Mobile Security you can also control what each app does, preventing them from accessing your data, or from triggering your camera or microphone. You can also prevent apps – good or bad – from uploading your information to the cloud, adding an additional layer of protection.

Stay alert

As well as installing security software on your mobile phone, you need to treat apps, web downloads and email attachments with caution. In the same way that you don’t open attachments from people you don’t know on your PC, you shouldn’t download unknown apps from untrusted websites.

As our phones become an important part of our shopping habits, criminals will devote more of their time and effort to attacking them. So it pays to protect yourself now before they attack you.

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The Ten Apps that Bog Down Performance on Android Smartphones

The Android operating system is the undisputed king of smartphones. According to the latest data from Kantar Media, Android continues to enjoy a solid lead in market share. Companies and individual users alike are turning to Android as their principal OS for their devices.

Despite the success of this operating system, we have all complained about our smartphone at some point or other. Maybe the battery doesn’t last an entire day on a single charge, or it’s drained our mobile data usage too quickly, or it’s running low on storage space. Yes, we should all probably take a breather and stop complaining so much, but it’s also good to know that in most cases it’s not the phones themselves that are lagging, but rather the apps that are the main drivers of smartphone performance issues.

Snapchat, Spotify… even Clean Master

You can check for yourself which applications are most detrimental to the performance of your device. Accessing the Settings menu of your mobile, you can consult the consumption of each app in Power Saving Mode, look at the RAM that each application consumes in Memory or consult the amount of space they occupy from the option Internal Storage.

Be warned that there are some applications in particular that will hamper the productivity of your phone. These include social networks, such as Snapchat, the rising star among millennials, or the dating service Tinder. Spotify, the music streaming app par excellence; Line, a rival instant messaging service to WhatsApp; or Amazon Shopping, which conveniently lets you make purchases from the ecommerce behemoth, are other famous services that cause our phones to slow down.

Google Sheets, the spreadsheets application that many companies use to share and edit documents in a collaborative way, also figure among them. You’ll probably be surprised to hear that Clean Master, which is designed to clean out and optimize your phone, also consumes a lot of resources. Of course, other famous apps that we couldn’t live without also consume large amounts of battery or RAM, as is the case of Facebook, Instagram and Google Maps.

Some tricks to improve performance

There are some steps you can take to improve the speed of your Android phone. One is to uninstall the apps you do not use from the Application Storage menu. You can also delete the data that the application has downloaded or clear the cache to speed up the processes.

Another, somewhat more cumbersome, alternative is to enter the Android developer options from the Settings menu, About Phone and Software Information (you’ll have to press Build Number seven times) and disable animations.

On your business phone, make sure you are using applications in a way that does not needlessly consume resources and that you are protecting your device with the cybersecurity solution that best suits your business.

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Only 3% of the Apps on Your Company iPhones are Secure

Since the 1st of January, the iPhones in your mobile device fleet are even more secure. Or, at least, they should be based on Apple’s most recent requirements for developers. With the beginning of the new year, all apps that haven’t incorporated the App Transport Security (ATS) function will be unable to offer updates through the official store.

With the ATS system, Apple is attempting to force developers to offer apps that manage data more securely. This new characteristic requires, among other things, all web connections from the app to use an HTTPS protocol.

That way, the information will travel exclusively on an encrypted network, avoiding the most common risks. Paired up with the right protection, this measure taken by Apple could turn iPhones into one of the best options for company mobile devices.

Starting January 1, the iPhone that make up your company’s mobile fleet are even safer devices. Or, at least, they should be based on Apple’s latest demand for application developers. With the start of the new year, all those who have not incorporated their App Transport Security (ATS) tools will not be able to offer updates

But it’s not as simple as it may seem on the surface. For now, developers are not quite dancing Apple’s tune. In fact, a recent study has revealed that only 3% of the 200 most downloaded apps for iOS have already implemented ATS.

This figure is disconcerting. Some other conclusions of the study are also worrisome: about 83% of these 200 popular applications have completely disabled ATS and 55% still allow the use of unencrypted HTTP connections.

Moreover, among the popular apps that have not yet embraced the Apple system are some corporate tools that are common in company mobile phones, such as Microsoft Office products, Facebook and even WhatsApp.

The truth is that Apple is not cracking down too hard on developers in the application of these new rules. In fact, before January 1, developers were able to request justified exceptions that exempt them from adhering to ATS.

Since the beginning of the year, users have been able to continue to use these applications that are frankly not as safe as they should be. The only penalty imposed is to be banned from updating your app until you comply with ATS.

Accordingly, your employees should look for alternative applications that have adopted Apple’s latest security feature. Otherwise, they will not only be using unencrypted connections to deal with corporate data, but will also have their mobile devices plagued with un-updateable programs unable to incorporate changes against future vulnerabilities.

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Where the leading apps keep your company’s data


The current digital economy revolves around data. Giving up our data is the price we pay for signing up for free internet services, as the companies who provide these services use this personal information in order to fine-tune ads paid for by their true clients: advertisers.

Data is the Internet’s oil. Unlike this limited fossil fuel, however, data is increased in quantity every day. In 2013, it was reported that 90% of the world’s data had been generated in the two previous years, in other words, between 2011 and 2012. The trend has not shifted since then. The companies and countries who control the world’s data reserves will have, as with petroleum, a highly valuable resource on their hands.

90% of all the data in the world in the year 2013 was generated between 2011 and 2012

So, where is the majority of the digital era’s black gold stored? For now, the winner is, by far, the United States. 63.5% of services analyzed by Jorge Morell, expert in the terms and conditions of these kinds of companies, store their data in the US.

A far cry from that figure, weighing in at 1.9%, it appears that Europe has not jumped on the bandwagon of Big Data, so for now it looks like the American domination of the digital market is here for the long haul.

For a more detailed look, 58% of the most visited websites in a country like Spain, the subject of Morell’s research, do not reveal where they store their users’ personal information. As of now, they are not obligated to do so, so many of them make no mention of it in their terms and conditions.

Among those who are transparent in this regard, the clear winner is, again, the United States (36% of all analyzed services), although it is rarely cited as the only one. The ambiguous “and other countries” is thrown into the report haphazardly, as well as the tags Canada, China, or the vague “Outside of the European Economic Area (EEA)”.

When data crosses the pond, companies are legally bound by the Safe Harbor or Privacy Shield agreements to declare where it is stored, hence the fact that national companies are more likely to keep this information a secret.

However, all websites that until now have been silent will soon be required to declare openly the country in which their users’ personal information is stored. The new General Regulation of Personal Data Protection, with which all countries in the EU will have to be in accordance starting in May 2018, will make it compulsory that companies who maintain operations in Europe reveal the whereabouts of their personal data storage for all users, whether companies or the general public.

Such being the case, we shall soon be able to answer with greater certainty the question, “Where do the leading apps keep your information?” For now, we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that in most cases your personal information ends up in or passes through the United States at some point as it bounces around the net.

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