3 BEST VPNS FOR ANDROID

Summary:  Using the internet on an Android phone or tablet with the default settings leaves you very vulnerable online.

It means hackers can gain access to your personal information and control your device. A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, will protect your Android device.

A VPN encrypts your presence online so that someone cannot remotely put malware on your smartphone or tablet, download apps, or steal personal details.

To be fully protected online when using Android, get Express VPN today.

 

 

NOT USING A VPN IS DANGEROUS

My Android smartphone started doing some really weird things last year.  It began to download apps all by itself.

When I started flicking through the home screens on my phone I noticed random app icons that were never there before.

I certainly never downloaded them and I have no idea how they got there. Even though I deleted the apps from the device, new apps kept reappearing every few days.

It was through a friend I realized my Android phone had been hacked and I needed protection.

Infiltrating an Android device is actually more straightforward than you might think.   For example, if you regularly use public Wi-Fi, it is easy for a trained hacker to gain access to your device.

Some common signs that your device has been hacked include:

  • Battery being drained quicker than usual due to malware
  • Internet data is being used up quicker than normal
  • Apps are being downloaded without your consent

If any of these issues are happening to your Android device then you need to take action.  You should run an anti-virus and clean your phone, but this is just a reactive measure.

You also need to be proactive to stop it from happening in the future.

MY 3 BEST ANDROID VPN RECOMMENDATIONS

There are so many VPN services out there that claim to be the best.  However, I speak from personal experience on what the top 3 services are for Android operating systems.

I take my security very seriously now.  After my device was hacked last year, I went through several VPN services before I found one that I was comfortable with.

I want to help you guys protect your data and your information and this is why I have decided to share my top 3 recommendations with you.

#1 EXPRESS VPN – 9.5/10 – THE BEST VPN FOR YOUR ANDROID DEVICE

Express VPN should be your first choice to protect your Android device.

They have over 100 VPN locations in 78 countries, which provides you an incredible number of options regardless of your location.

Express VPN also provides its users unlimited bandwidth, unlimited speeds, zero logging of your Internet activity, ease of use and their reliability is through the roof with 99.9% uptime rate.

Needless to say, Express VPN is a reliable service that is perfect for your Android.

Express VPN is affordable, only $8.32 a month with a 12-month subscription and they offer a 30-day money back guarantee.

You also get world-class live chat and email support 24/7, and Express VPN boasts an impressive average response time of under 30 minutes.

Downloading the app and using the service is super easy, too. Since we are concerned with security we have to mention how Express VPN protects you, with 256-bit encryption.

The experts at Express VPN provide this high level of encryption to ensure your security and privacy.

When combined with their speeds and customer service, it’s easy to see why Express VPN is our top choice for your Android.

To get the best protection and service available for your Android, check out Express VPN here.

#2 IPVANISH – 7/10 – HARDER TO USE ANDROID APP

IPVanish also have an Android app but it is not as easy to use as Express VPN and also has a slow customer support team.

I have friends who are not great with new technology. It takes them a while to figure out how to use different apps and software.

With Express VPN they could open up the app and be secured in seconds.

It is much harder to use the IPVanish app. If you don’t have a lot of time to spare then you should get the Android software from Express VPN instead.

Another problem with IPVanish is that their customer service is really slow. I had issues installing the app on my Android device and need to contact their support team.

It took hours from submitting my support ticket to receiving a reply. With Express VPN I had a response in minutes and a solution to my problem within the hour.

If you want to use a reliable and simple Android app that will allow you to use the internet anonymously then get Express VPN.

You can visit the IPVanish website here.

 

– See more at: https://securethoughts.com/3-best-vpns-android/#sthash.p2u8ZsKL.dpuf

4 Myths About Mobility in the Workplace

small-business-lender

The use of mobile devices for business can no longer be ignored. It’s changing the way business is done and that’s proving to be a positive thing. While many organizations have taken this development in stride, others are turning a blind eye to the inevitability of business mobility. Research and statistics show that technology brings many advantages to the table, and70% of professionals will work via smart, mobile devices by 2018. Why leave your professionals in the dust? Let’s debunk some of the major myths regarding mobility in the workplace.

Myth #1: Your employees will be less productive.

Today, your employees will actually be less productive if they’re chained to one location, without the option for mobility. The fact of the matter is that work productivity is a management problem, not a technology problem. 90% of business communications stretch far beyond the local workplace – so why limit employees to that local workplace? Imagine that an employee has to leave the office for a meeting or to make a sale. It’s counterproductive for that employee to head back to the office to complete and submit a form, and it’s not good for your customer service if employees in the field can’t access necessary data or complete deals on the spot. Business mobility strategies actually save time and can ultimately increase sales by giving employees the tools they need to make quick decisions. These capabilities also improve a business’ reputation.

64% of employees conduct some sort of business after hours at home. The magic of cloud computing and mobile devices is that they allow people to complete business tasks from any location, at any time. This actually increases productivity, allowing your employees to produce the same quality of work while away on a business trip or otherwise working remotely.

Myth #2: Mobility will make your business less secure.

Of course, as with most technology, there is risk associated with business mobility. But, as with most technology, risk can be addressed.

As you implement mobility into your business, you simply need to focus on risk management and security. By paying attention to Mobile Device Management, analytics, encryption, authentication and strict policies, you can implement a mobile strategy in a risk-free way.

Many studies show that employees are already using smart devices for work, with or without company approval. Rather than ignoring this fact or expecting to put a stop to this trend, address it by creating a company-wide policy. This should include the acceptable use of devices, security measures, technical standards, etc. Check out this article for guidelines on how to do BYOD the right way. This can (and probably should) be something that employees are required to sign off on. It should also be accessible to employees at all times.

Though employee policies tend to fall to the Human Resources department, this is a process that should include the IT team and others with a knowledge of technology and mobility. By combining policies with training on the importance of data security and user diligence, the risk of business mobility becomes no greater than that of other business initiatives.

Myth #3: All mobile devices are the same.

You may be thinking, “Well of course they’re not all the same,” but too many businesses today are treating all devices equally. People use different devices for different reasons. Compare the typical use of a laptop vs. smartphone vs. tablet. Of course there is overlap, but one policy won’t necessarily cover the essentials for all of these devices. They might each require unique management strategies, so a business should address that when moving forward with a mobility strategy.

Myth #4: Business mobility is optional.

The fact is that mobility is a huge part of the business world already. Almost 1/3 of enterprise data is accessed through mobile devices today. Organizations ignoring this fact might find themselves falling behind. Today, a great business strategy practically requires a mobility strategy, as it factors into employee productivity, company collaboration, business profits, customer service, marketing and much more. And any business expecting to grow will need to give employees the ability to access business data on the go. The trend towards mobility is driven by a desire for greater productivity and flexibility. To ignore it would be counterproductive for a business.

Don’t let your business down. Mobility in the workplace is important. By debunking these popular myths, we hope to help businesses adopt a mobility strategy that is both effective and safe.

Bring your Own Device

Whether it’s vacation season or not, the demand for mobility in business in general has been growing steadily, fueling the adoption of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement. If your business is ready to embrace the rewards of BYOD (think happier, more productive employees), it’s time to get serious about mitigating the risks that come along with allowing personal devices to access your company network.

Let’s explore BYOD’s evolution; take a look at the risks and rewards of embracing BYOD; and then take a deeper dive into how to balance it all so that you and your employees can enjoy the best of both worlds. If you want to see our interactive webinar where we discuss BYOD, visit our community post here.

BYOD 1.0

BYOD 1.0 is roughly defined as occurring from 2009 to 2012, but you could argue that it all started back in 2007 when more and more business professionals began switching from their BlackBerry® devices to the newly-introduced iPhones®. When BlackBerry ruled the business mobility scene, security was much easier for the Information Technology (IT) department.  IT purchased, distributed and managed the devices for employees. At this stage, IT only had to concern itself with protecting two things:

1) The device itself and any data stored on it. (Known as Mobile Device Management, or MDM.)

2) The connection between the device and the corporate network. (Known as Virtual Private Network, or VPN.)

While this may seem easy as compared to today’s BYOD challenges, it actually caused frustration for both IT and employees, and here’s why. With BYOD 1.0, it was all or nothing, meaning IT had to protect the entire device and any data and activity on it. There was no way to hone in on the company data and leave an employee’s personal data and activity alone.

Employee Complaints

Most people don’t want to have a phone for work and a phone for all the other times. It’s too much of a hassle! So what naturally happened was company-issued BlackBerries and other devices were used for both work and play. (As someone who had a BlackBerry back in the day, I’ll admit to this!) But that meant the company could invade your privacy whenever it wanted. And, if you left the company, the IT department would ‘wipe’ your device, so along with all your company data and applications went your personal data (photos, etc.) and apps. It’d all be gone.

IT Complaints

IT did not want to see any evil or hear any evil. In fact, IT did not want to be bothered with an employee’s personal data and apps! To them, this only introduced a new challenge: how to protect the device from potentially harmful web browsing by the employee.

In short, BYOD 1.0 left both employees and IT wanting. Enter BYOD 2.0.

BYOD 2.0

From about 2013 on, we’ve been living in the 2.0 version of BYOD. The biggest difference between BYOD 1.0 and BYOD 2.0 is the ability to provide security to only the company’s data, apps and network access and leave the employee’s personal data, web browsing and apps alone. This has been accomplished by changing the focus from device protection to application protection. Remember Mobile Device Management, or MDM, from 1.0? That has now been replaced by Mobile Application Management, or MAM. With BYOD 2.0, both groups are happy. Employees are no longer concerned with their company infringing on their privacy. IT is also happy because they can now focus making sure the business’ data, applications and network are all locked down and secure.

Weighing the Risks and the Rewards

If you want your staff to be happier and more productive, BYOD is definitely the way to go. Studies have shown:

  • Employees whose companies embrace BYOD work up to 20 additional hours per week, unpaid1.
  • 92 percent of these newly-mobile workers “enjoy their job flexibility” so much so that they are “content” with working the additional hours.
  • On top of that, 42 percent of business professionals would like “even greater flexibility for their working practices.”
  • Companies realize cost-savings in two ways: reducing or eliminating the capital expense of purchasing mobile devices and reducing or eliminating the monthly service costs.
  • When companies embrace BYOD, the IT department is re-branded as innovative and forward-thinking, which many times carries over to the entire organization’s brand.

Those are all positives, but here are the downsides:

  • 76 percent of business professionals believe that BYOD introduces serious risks2.
  • Only 39 are prepared to mitigate the risks.
  • 59 percent of organizations had increased malware infections over the past 12 months because of unsecured laptops, smartphones, and tablets.

Overcoming  ‘Different’ Challenges

Back in BYOD 1.0, there was typically one kind of device, from one vendor, serviced by one carrier. But that’s when IT bought, owned and managed everything. Now that employees are brining different brands of smartphones, tablets and laptops, which they purchased from different places, and running them on different carriers’ networks, the complexity has multiplied. While it may seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. All you have to do is create what’s called dynamic policy enforcement which gives you flexible security over company data and applications.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

As with everything else in life, it all depends on who you are. Based on how complex your data storage and data center services are, you’ll require different types of mobile device security. Here’s a quick cheat sheet:

  •   Have a traditional data center set-up? Control access with a VPN gateway.
  •   Use an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) public cloud offering, (such as Amazon EC2)? Control access with a VPN  gateway and secure applications by hosting them on virtual servers.
  •   Use a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering? Skip the VPN but still enforce identification and authorization to access corporate data.

It’s no longer enough to secure the device itself. If employees are using their own devices to access your network, you need a solution that extends beyond data and apps on devices into wherever you store your company’s data, whether that be in cloud-based services such IaaS or SaaS, or in your own data center.  Look for a mobile device service provider who combines mobile and access management into one service. And look for a provider who can offer all the security you need, including authentication and authorization, data-at-rest security, and data-in-transit security, among others.

The Key Lessons

  • Determine your company’s BYOD goals before worrying about the risks.
  • Don’t let your employees become secret hackers.
  • If your IT team has no idea what harboring rootkits, keyloggers , data-at-rest and data-in-transit security are, hire an expert.

Your employees want to use their smartphones and other personal devices for two things: 1) they want to store and use your company data outside of work, and 2) they want to conduct business, which often requires accessing your company network and services (think email!). As you’ve seen, the rewards are great but the risks can be, too if you don’t know how to properly secure your company’s proprietary information and safeguard against employees accidentally introducing harmful malware into your network. Knowledge is power so they say, and it certainly rings true with BYOD. The more you know, the more you can balance the risks and rewards and reap all the benefits without worrying about the unwanted repercussions.

 

Sources:

1. 2012 Mobile Workforce Report from enterprise WiFi access firm iPass

2. Poneman Institute/Websense survey