Google expands Android’s ‘Verify apps’ feature for security

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Security is something very important these days. And Google is taking the extra step to give the massive amount of Android users it has safe. Android already has the ‘Verify apps’ feature. What this does is scans applications from outside sources and not from Google Play. But now, Google will make the ‘Verify apps’ feature continually scan your device for applications that are rather suspicious.

Chances are you will not ever be affected by a suspicious application, though. Google says “that fewer than 0.18% of installs in the last year occurred after someone received a warning that the app was potentially harmful.” So if you are downloading applications from somewhere other than the Play Store, just proceed with caution.

Source: Android Official Blog

Updated LastPass app now autofills passwords in Android apps and mobile Chrome browsers

LastPass

LastPass, a fantastic password manager, has updated their Android application to create a much better experience across the Android OS. The new app will now autofill passwords in on your mobile applications, as well as the mobile Chrome browser. Autofilling passwords are already handled by Chrome, but if you use LastPass, you already know that it’s a slightly more secure, easier to manage option.

The biggest advantage now is the autofill option in applications. As long as you’re on Android 4.1 and up, whenever you open an app that has a username and password field, a pop up will appear that will let LastPass fill in your information. Since very few apps offer the ability to save passwords, this will definitely save you a lot of typing.
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Firefox Beta for Android gets updated to support Firefox accounts, data sync

firefox sync

Mozilla’s “Firefox Accounts,” introduced earlier this year, was created to help sync all data used between the Firefox browsers on your computers, smartphones, tablets, etc. This information includes passwords, browsing history, bookmarks, settings, open tabs, etc.

Now, support for Firefox Accounts has come to its Android beta app. You’ll be able to turn on the feature by tapping on the message that will appear when you open up a new tab while using the updated app for the first time.

Hit the break below for the full changelog as well as a link to the app in the Play Store.


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White House may drop BlackBerry after testing Samsung, LG smartphones

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President Obama, it may be time to put down your beloved BlackBerry. Both the White House’s internal technology team and the White House Communications Agency have started testing smartphones from Samsung and LG. Also, the United States Department of Defense is also testing other devices. A Samsung spokesman would not confirm any of this; however, they did say the company is interested in the government sector. LG decided to just deflect any knowledge of the situation.
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Updated Skype application promises to save more battery life

skype

Many Skype users prefer to stay logged out of the service on their phones and tablets while not video chatting because of a fear of drained battery. If you remember, Google admitted that the Nexus 5 battery is currently experiencing faster battery drain due to the camera communicating with apps such as Skype.

Skype just updated the Android app to version 4.7, which will hopefully alleviate the situation. Just one other change includes message notifications in group chats being turned off by default.

Battery life is precious these days, so anything Skype can do to improve the situation is good news.


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Developer claims Samsung is using a backdoor to access user data, but security expert disagrees

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If this claim is true, Samsung has some explaining to do. According to the folks that develop Replicant, Samsung has “remote access to data.” Now that is a very large claim to be making. So what do they mean? To do this, Replicant says that Android’s largest hardware manufacturer is utilizing two processors as a backdoor to gain user information. The applications processor handles all of the usual functions; however, the other is for the communication coming to and from the handset.
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Samsung partners with Microsoft to access Windows services using Knox

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The past week has seen a couple big announcements from Samsung regarding their Knox security architecture, like the ability to run apps outside of Knox yet receive benefits of secured data and Common Criteria certification. To really help users capitalize from their Samsung devices, Samsung has announced yet another development for Knox, support for a variety of Microsoft services.
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KNOX embedded devices from Samsung receive mobile industry’s first Common Criteria certification

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At the RSA Conference 2014 in San Francisco, Samsung has announced select Galaxy devices that have KNOX embedded on them have received Common Criteria certification as assessed by Gossamer Labs. The Common Criteria certification is described as a “gold standard” for security, demonstrating compliance with a predefined set of security requirements. By meeting this standard, Galaxy devices with the certification can provide additional assurance to enterprises that the devices are acceptable for use in accessing “high-value information assets.”
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Samsung’s Knox 2.0 provides better app data security and brings a new cloud-based store

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Samsung has announced today the next step for its Knox security suite. With Knox 2.0, apps no longer have to be run within Knox. Instead, many apps from the Google Play Store can now operate with Knox to secure app data. Samsung has also launched the Knox Marketplace — a cloud-based store that allows managers to remotely install apps on employee devices. So far, Box and GoToMeeting have joined the Knox Marketplace and Samsung says more companies are actively working on adding their apps. While the Galaxy S 5 ships with Knox 2.0, other Knox-ready devices will be upgraded when they receive the Android 4.4 KitKat update.

Hit the break for the full press release.
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