PC PAL is the UK's award winning Computer, Laptop, Mac & Smartphone support specialists, with experienced, qualified & local Computer Engineers based in your area. We are a name that local people have come to recognise and trust. Please take a moment to read our feedback from our loyal customers, or find your local PC PAL Engineer.
Newsletters 28th February 2016 2075

Welcome to the PC PAL Newsletter - February 2016

A big 'thank you' again to those of you who have been in touch with your positive feedback about our most recent newsletter featuring housekeeping tips. It's always good to know we are providing useful tips and advice!

This month we are dedicating our newsletter to inform our customers (and their friends & family of course!) about the world of Smart Phones and Tablets - in particular on how to stay safe when using these clever little devices.

Most of us own either a Smart Phone and/or a Tablet computer and those who do tend to hold them close to their hearts. We use them for keeping up to date via Facebook, Linked In & Twitter, checking our emails and communicating with friends and family. They are great for listening to our music, taking snapshots of our lives and more importantly, even ordering that cheeky pizza on a Friday evening when we are just too tired to cook!

As much as we love them, it’s important to implement some basic security steps in order to stay safe and not get bitten by the unexpected. In this newsletter we have highlighted some of these steps including the importance of setting 'passcodes', keeping our phones up-to-date and being wary of malicious wireless networks.

On behalf of our entire PC PAL Team, we hope you find this newsletter interesting and informative and if you would like to satisfy your need for more tech news, please look no further than our blog : www.pcpal.co.uk/blog

Tips on keeping safe on Smartphones and Tablets

Tip 1). Update your device software

Updating your device's software to the latest version of iOS, Android or Windows Mobile can be the easiest way to make your device more secure.

Apple do release more frequent updates for iOS, whereas Android updates are released by Google for their own devices fairly regularly; but for devices from, say Samsung and HTC, you may have to wait quite some time.

Microsoft, like Apple, manufacture their own devices and software so the updates for Windows Mobile should be fairly regular too.

Updating your Smart Phone or Tablet can take upto an hour so please allocate suitable time and make sure your phone is plugged into mains electric for the duration of the update process (to ensure the battery doesn't run out halfway through the process).

Tip 2). Use a lock screen pin number or passcode

Make sure to use a lock screen pin number or passcode to limit who can access your Smart Phone or Tablet; most devices let you set a 4 or 6 digit pin number - some you can set a much longer passwords and there are a number of devices now with fingerprint recognition.

On some devices, the act of setting up a passcode encrypts that device (meaning your data will in theory be safe from hackers). This makes it extremely difficult for anyone else to access your personal data without knowing that passcode.

Some other devices have a setting that will erase the phone of all personal data if it detects too many failed attempts to access your device. This can be particularly helpful if you have lost your Smart Phone or Tablet and are worried about its contents getting into the wrong hands.

Tip 3). Install antivirus software

Installing antivirus software on your Smart Phone or Tablet is one way to make sure the Apps you are installing on your device are safe.

This is mainly important on Android and Microsoft devices as they have a more open app system that can make them more susceptible to viruses.

Apple's iOS on the other hand has a more closed system so this does make it much more difficult to get a virus on an iPhone or iPad (but not impossible in theory).

This is a very common question we get asked by customers in regards to security on Smart Phone or Tablet. So just to recap, if you own an Android or Mircosoft device, install some antivirus software. If you own an Apple device then there is currently no need to add Antivirus protection.

Although unrelated to this newsletter and as we are on the subject about security software, it may be worth you checking you have suitable Internet Security on your PC, Laptop and Apple Mac. If you have any concerns please contact you local PC PAL engineer for advice.

Tip 4). Beware where you are installing your apps from 

Downloading and installing apps from untrusted sources that are not on the official Apple App Store or Google Play Store can lead to problems like viruses or malware being installed which can lock you out of your device and could even mean it needs to be reset back to factory settings losing any important pictures or documents that are not backed up.

Both Apple and Google try and check the apps on the stores to make sure they are virus free, with Apple operating a very strict and robust approval basis. But look out for any unsolicited emails offering the latest Apps for free or bargain prices compared to recommended prices - there is usually a catch!

Tip 5). Connecting to malicious Wireless Networks 

We have all been there, away from home, with no mobile signal and in need of some internet access. Our handy little devices can connect to local wireless networks in any area and enable us to hop onto the internet and check for that important email or booking information.

However, remember to take caution when doing this as malicious or rogue wireless networks do exist. By connecting to these wireless networks, all of your browsing and email data could be being monitored.

The architect of these networks might be trying to sniff out passwords and card details - even online banking access credential. They can also deploy fake websites capable of phishing for the same information by tricking you into visiting a legitimate looking (but completely fake) website which is designed to snare your valuable passwords.

As a rule of thumb, try to connect to wireless networks that you can trust and when in doubt, simply don't use them or check with the venue first. Do not log into online banking or your email though unless you are confident you have joined a trusted Wi-Fi network.

Connecting to Wi-Fi networks provided by hotels, cafes and restaurant should be ok (as long as you follow the above advice); however there is no guarantee as these are public Wi-Fi networks being used by complete strangers and could be exploited to.


PC PAL is the UK's award winning Computer, Laptop, Mac & Smartphone support specialists, with experienced, qualified & local Computer Engineers based in your area. We are a name that local people have come to recognise and trust.

Please take a moment to read our feedback from our loyal customers, or find your local PC PAL Engineer.

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