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Mobile Apps That Would Make The Pentagon Proud

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Apps these days go far beyond fun games and finding a great restaurant. These extremely useful apps seem a little like something out of a spy movie. Nevertheless, this technology can really be helpful if you lose your phone, want to create hidden accounts or snap a stealth photo of the person who stole your iPad. After all, there is no such thing as having too much security for a device that holds some of your most sensitive information.

Find My iPhone 1. Find My iPhone

Forget cell phone insurance. Next time you lose your phone, simply track it on a map to pinpoint its exact location and go there to pick it up. It’s easier than you think with the Find My iPhone app.

This app has a ton of great features. You can display a custom message to the screen of your device, sound an alarm that will go off for up to 2 minutes, or even remotely wipe all of your personal data if there’s no chance of getting the actual device back.

This app also has a feature called “Lost Mode” that works with your passcode to display your phone number on the lock screen for the good Samaritan to call you once they find your phone.  It also tracks the various locations you phone might travel to if it happens to be stolen.

Editor’s note: This would be great to download before the next NMX, since lots of cell phones are misplaced during the course of the conference.

2. GadgetTrak

Whether you lose your iPhone or it gets lifted by a thief, you greatly increase your chances of getting it back if you have GadgetTrak. This app allows you to initiate tracking so you can pinpoint your device. You can even take a picture of the thief to help the police catch the criminal. Similar to the, Find My iPhone app, it also provides you with detailed reports about the location of the device and allows you to data wipe your device, which provides a piece of mind to those who save their banking information on their devices.

The app also has something called “SIM change detection.” This feature alerts the owner whenever the thief attempts to add his friends to your contact list. This feature should make finding your device much easier.

GadgetTrak is available on all your devices, not only your phone or tablet. And is designed to encrypt both your photos and contact information. As an added bonus, GadgetTrak is the, “first and only mobile security solution to be enterprise certified by AT&T,” according to the GadgetTrak website.

3. Stash: Private Photos, Videos, Docs and Browsing

Stash is a fantastic app if you want to make sure no one knows what you’re doing what you’re doing online via your phone. They’re the self-proclaimed “most advanced private media and download manager in the App Store.”

You can use Stash’s private web browser to download media directly to your library and make sure it’s all cloaked. You can create hidden accounts that are only accessible if you use a secret gesture, transfer photos and other media wirelessly, and utilize the boss button to immediately hide whatever it is that you’re doing.

4. Safe Eyes Mobile

This is the app every mom has been waiting for and is the “first internet filter for the Apple iPhone.” With Safe Eyes Mobile, you can ensure that your children are not exposed to inappropriate content, from websites to ads and more. The app allows you to block things like pornography, violence, certain websites, etc. You can even use the app to enforce time limits across devices.

This app was recommended by Parents.com for cyber-bullying safety, and is a great app for those who have youngsters that access the Internet. It was a Mom’s Choice Gold Award Winner in 2011.

What apps do you use to make your phone more secure? Leave a comment with your recommendations!

5 Tips I Learned From a Security Breach on My Blog

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I’m writing this post from an offline blog writer because my blog is being restored back to it’s most recent backup by my hosting company. My FTP password was compromised and someone went in and deleted my entire blog. Everything that they could delete, they did. Fortunately, my hosting company has a backup from 3 days before so I won’t lose everything.

Please learn from my experience and take a few precautions.

1. Backup many times. Don’t rely solely on your hosting company, although do check with them to be sure they do backup and how often. I also did a daily backup through WordPress, but I made one mistake. I have the backups saved in a folder in WordPress. That is gone now too. Have the backups emailed to you. Set up a separate email account just for your backups.

2. Change your FTP password often. I have never changed mine because if I did, I’d forget it. I will be changing mine more often now.

3. Delete FTP accounts you don’t need. I’m not sure how they got into my FTP. My main account that I use has a very secure password, although I never change it. But I didn’t realize that I had 15 other FTP accounts set up. Each time I set up a new email, a new FTP was created. I never thought to do anything with those. They were very old and probably didn’t have secure passwords. I deleted all of them.

4. Use an offline blog writer as another backup. I use Quamana on my Mac and Windows Live Writer on my PC. I don’t always write offline, but I go in weekly and sync the blog posts so I have another backup of my work. This is also helpful if you do not have Internet access and you want to work.

5. Use very secure passwords. Use a password that looks more like this, iue*#3]2Eki6 than like this, momblogger26. I know that the first password is harder to remember, but the second one is way too easy to figure out. You need to use a combination of letter, symbols, numbers and both small and capital letters. I do have mine all written down in a notebook and I also use Last Pass to store passwords online so I only have to remember one secure password to get into Last Pass.

These are 5 things I learned in the last few days after going through a security breach on my blog. What other tips do you have for making your blog secure?

Four Lessons to Learn from Sony’s Security Breach

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As many of you may know, Sony’s PlayStation Network was recently hacked, which is a major problem since many users had saved their credit card information to buy games online. The service is still down, and some users are entering into a class action lawsuit against Sony, claiming negligence since their personal information wasn’t properly protected. No hacker group has laid claim to the initial attack, though this past weekend, Sony seems to have thwarted another attempt to hack their network, according to reports, this time from a group of people angry at how Sony handled the security breach.

Sony’s PlayStation Network might seem impossibly huge compared to the membership sites that most bloggers run, but there are some important lessons to learn no matter how many people are a part of your community. In fact, some of these lessons are helpful for bloggers who don’t even have paid membership sites – they’re just lessons in customer service and building a community.

Lesson #1: Be honest.

Sony’s problem may have been caused by negligence (I’ll let the courts decide that), but the reason people are so angry about it is that it took several days for Sony to alert people that there had been a problem. Instead of being able to cancel their cards immediately, users were unaware of the problem, leaving their information open for the taking.

Lesson #2: Fix problems thoroughly.

One of the things that Sony is doing right, in my opinion, is that they are taking time to make sure the system is super secure for users before putting it back online. While people are certainly grumbling about how long this is taking, the PlayStation Network is extremely vulnerable to attacks right now, and if they rush to put it back online before it is completely ready, there could be another problem either immediately or in the near future. One major security problem is bad enough – two would be beyond disastrous.

Lesson #3: When there’s a problem, eat the users’ costs – and give them some extra freebies.

Sony is offering free ID theft protection to all users who had their information compromised. They didn’t stop there, though – they are also giving users free content and a free month of premium membership when the system comes back online. If you mess up, especially when there’s money involved, you have to not only reimburse you community, but you must also give them something even more. It’s the cost of doing business – when you mess up, it’s going to be expensive if you want to keep your fans.

Lesson #4: Don’t get complacent when it comes to user experience.

This problem happened for Sony because their system wasn’t probably secure. It might have been in the past, but the world evolves, and Sony got complacent. That’s a strong lesson for any blogger – once you’re popular and you’ve made promises to your readers, you have to continually set the bar higher and higher. If you get complacent, problems will occur.

Dealing with problems is never fun, but if you’re a business owner, they’re going to happen. Hopefully, you can take away a few of the lessons learn from Sony’s problems and apply them to your own issues to you continue to provide the best user experience possible, even if there is a major problem.

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