Welcome to Screaming At Electric Sheep, my blog about my love of Android. Many Android blogs go on about the seriously awesome technical things you can do with Android, and while I will go on about the things you can do, I’m hoping to be less technical focused and more focused on a variety of things you can do even if you aren’t all that technical. Android is a very flexible system, so even folks that might not feel at home rooting a phone or flashing a mod can still take advantage of the multitudes of cool things you can do with the operating system.
I am a lover of techy things; I buy new games, try new systems, upgrade my devices…and I fail at it quite a bit. My failure, however, can be your windfall: there but for the grace of god go I, and you can laugh along and vow never to do those things and, hopefully, enjoy some of the things I bring to you weekly on my blog.
By day I am a technical project manager for the tech industry working in a consulting company: I basically get technical people to work well together daily, every day. I manage the occasional schedule, but I spend a lot of time ramping quickly on technology, so in my spare time I like to take it slow and really put the tech I love to use through its paces.
When I got my first Android phone I burbled at all the cool stuff it could do out of the box, plus all the cool stuff I could download…but I also remembered the 90’s, when I used to tech support, and people were just waiting for burblers like me to hand them the keys to the kingdom. My inaugural post, then, will be about having safe fun with your Android device.
A little over a week ago, the ‘Net was a flutter with the pitter patter of heavy heart beats as Android users learned about a nasty bug that could specifically target the (current) flagship Android phone, the Samsung Galaxy S3. My iPhone friends were grinning as they explained the exploit: clicking a link could allow code to run on your device that wipes it clean, making it a fancy paperweight.
I have one such amazing phone, who came to live with me in all her pebble blue goodness in May this year. Her name is Grace. I was considerably less worried about Grace because, as a safety girl, the first thing I’d downloaded onto her when I got her home–before birds of any type of anger or location–was an anti-viral program. I’m a huge fan of Lookout Mobile Security, though there are lots of good programs out there. Lookout was one of the first to provide protection against the wipe exploit. However, my real love for them comes from their weekly emails (you can tell them if you want to receive emails or not) that calmly indicate that things are “okay” at the top of the email in green (or, let you know immediately if they are not and what you can do or it has done to deal with the situation).
I have also had some good experiences with AVG’s Antivirus Free – I used it while Lookout was making their services available for my tablet. Both programs (and many good anti-viral programs) are free; I actually went ahead and purchased the full version of Lookout myself because of their additional premium services, but that’s not really necessary to get good protection on your device.
For free, any anti viral program should:
- Block malware, spyware, and trojans
- Scan each app downloaded to make sure it is safe
- Schedule daily or weekly antivirus scans
- Provide auto-update options to keep your virus definitions current
- Scan new files on your SD card/device
Whether you use either of the programs I’ve suggested, or do your own research–which I always recommend–you should have a good, trusted anti-virus on your Android device, so you can relax and enjoy the plethora of downloadable coolness that the platform has to offer.