Droid Support - Worried About Security Issues (Part 1)

10/17/2012 2:29:40 PM

I keep hearing about the various security problems associated with Android. I carry a lot of information on my phone, both personal and work-related and I'm concerned that this is going to be put at risk if I happen to install the wrong app, or if I stumble upon the wrong website. Is the risk overstated, or are there things I should be doing to make sure that my data remains as safe as possible?

A It is true that there have been some malware issues with certain apps in Google Play, albeit ones that have been dealt with very quickly, but there are no security issues on Android that common sense cannot overcome. First up, you need to consider how you look after the phone and what you do to make sure your information doesn't fall into the wrong hands. You should try to use the pattern lock for the best protection and ensure that you are using a screen protector so not to leave the pattern showing on the screen. Make sure that you use hard-to-crack passwords on all your important accounts and use different passwords for each. In short, these are the exact same principles you should be using on all your computing devices. If you want to take things further, go to Settings>Security and look for the encryption option. This feature will let you fully encrypt each of your accounts and requires a PIN to be inputted when you need access, but it is very secure and should offer great peace of mind.

Description: Don’t forget obvious security methods

Don’t forget obvious security methods

You should also be careful when installing new apps; only install the ones you need and make sure that you carefully read the permissions required before installation, especially if you are choosing more obscure apps from unknown developers. It's also worth noting that the overwhelming majority of malware incidences occur with pirated versions of apps rather than those downloaded from official stores, so don't put your phone and data at risk in this way. There are few problems on Android and you should not worry too much. But taking some precautions will quickly build your confidence in the platform and how it works and should enable you to get much more out if

I spend forever converting movies... help!

I seem to spend forever converting movies for my LG Android phone. I have a long train journey to and from work and can go through a whole movie each day. What's the quickest way to convert movies and TV series for watching on my phone?"

A It is admittedly a weak area on Android and a lot of manufacturers are taking it upon themselves to install video players on their devices that support a full range of video formats. If yours is lacking, there are some very useful solutions that could make your life a lot easier. If you are converting video files from various formats, you may want to avoid that altogether by looking at the way you are playing the films. MX Player is a good example which offers compatibility with SubRip(.srt), MicroDVD(.sub/.txt),

SubViewer2.o(.sub), MPL2(.mpl/. txt) and PowerDivX(.psb/.txt) among others, and in our tests we were able to play every format we threw at it. Also built in are advanced features such as subtitle scrolling, CPU optimisation and other small tweaks designed to make the most of your mobile video watching. Although do note that if your phone has a slower processor it might struggle to keep up with files optimised for TV-sized displays (especially if they are HD), with stuttering video or audio sync issues. On the conversion side, we would strongly recommend Handbrake ( which will convert long videos extremely quickly. With a good amount of RAM and a fast processor, a full-length film can be converted in minutes and the clever queuing feature means that you could convert multiple episodes of the same TV series and have them all ready for your commute. Also, it will naturally output the conversions in a format that should work on all Android devices with no problems. With these solutions, you can dramatically cut down your conversion times.

Description: Handbrake

Handbrake is extremely quick at converting movies for mobile devices


Hints and tips

Get more from your Android phone with our handy hints

1.    A better fix

Most Android phones come with the GPS satellite option set to off. Go to Settings>Location services to turn it on and achieve much better location fixes. This feature uses more battery, but the benefits are clear.

Description: 1. A better fix

2.    One button saves money

If you use a limited mobile data plan, go to Settings>Data usage and tick Set mobile data limit. You can then move the red bar on the graph to where you need and ensure that you do not bust your plan and fall foul of usage charges.

Description: 2. One button saves money

3.    Don't kill your battery

Live wallpapers look great and add lots of personality, but they can eat up the battery more than any other app. Take a look at Settings>Battery to see if yours is worth keeping in comparison to the battery life used.

Description: 3. Don't kill your battery

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