Friday, 18 November 2011

Mobile Banking

If the Internet made online banking easy, the proliferation of mobile devices and apps have made connecting to your bank even easier. Mobile phones and devices now let you connect to your money from virtually anywhere. While banking online from your computer has risks, connecting from a mobile device has its own unique challenges.

Here are some important things to remember when using a mobile telephone or device to conduct online banking.

-First, password-protect your mobile device. Most phones and tablets allow you to set a password that must be entered in order to use the device. We walk you through that process in a previous Security Matters episode.

-Verify the mobile banking app is legitimate. Most banks allow you to download their application directly from their website. If an app looks suspicious to you, don't download it. If in doubt, call the financial institution directly or visit a local branch.

-If your phone is stolen or lost, immediately notify your bank. They can help assist you in changing your mobile banking profile.

-Monitor your accounts regularly. Any suspicious activity should be reported to your bank as soon as possible. The great thing about mobile banking is that you can monitor your account quickly and easily. If you check your account often, you'll be able to spot any potential fraud sooner rather than later.

-Don't disclose sensitive information via text message or email. Delete any text or email that contains anything like account numbers, passwords, or confirmation codes.

-Finally, remember to logout of your mobile banking app when finished. While most banks log you out automatically after a period of time, always err on the side of caution.

Keep these tips in mind when banking from your mobile device.

Learn more about online security and privacy on our website, at

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Galaxy Nexus Will Recognise You

Google have announced that their latest phone will be manufactured by Samsung and known as the 'Nexus'. The launch will be in November, and details of the specification have begun to emerge.

The most eye catching and original feature is the inclusion of facial recognition technology. The Nexus will use a camera on the front of the device to recognise the face of its rightful owner, and unlock.

At the heart of the device will be a powerful 1.2Ghz processor. The Nexus will ship with the Android 4.0 operating system - dubbed 'Ice Cream Sandwich'.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011


Secret alcoholism? There's an app for that.

Well not quite - these phoney iPhones are a cunning ruse to allow the secret drinker to tote a few measures of their favourite beverage around with them unmolested by bouncers or corporate policy. One big advantage of swapping your real phone for hip flask in disguise is at least you wont be calling anyone and embarrassing yourself once you have had a few!

If you like this idea you should visit the website of the designer Dhanai Holtzclaw.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Picking the Right Android Launcher

Have you ever read a review of an Android phone that takes points off for a weird or cumbersome user interface (UI)? If so, I strongly recommend you flame that reviewer for being incredibly ignorant, short-sighted, or perhaps just plain biased and misleading. Most likely, the reviewer is an iPhone user.

Any self-respecting Android user knows that you are not stuck with the UI you are given. And no, I don't mean that you have to "root" (the equivalent of "jailbreak" for iPhones) or do anything complicated of that sort. With androids, you can change UIs by simply going to the Android Market and downloading a new launcher.

Most launchers are free, and some will even increase your phone's performance from the original UI left in by your manufacturer. The only problem with launchers is, since there are so many, deciding which one is best for you and your phone.


Zeam is one of the leanest launchers on the Android Market. It requires almost no space to download and uses the least amount of memory of any other launcher I've tried. Zeam is great for people who just want a simple, fast launcher that works as soon as you download the app. While you can customize its appearance and flow to a certain extent, it is not nearly as customizable as its competitors.


Those looking for a more feature-rich launcher should try out the ADW Launcher. ADW allows you to add and subtract screens, customize your docking bar, and customize your application drawer, as well as tweak many other details. ADW also has a very large amount of these for the launcher available in the Android Market for free. Just download one and try out your phone's new look.

While ADW allows for huge amount of customization, this level of control can easily become confusing or overwhelming. I recommend watching tutorials and reading guides about setting up and customizing ADW; you will have a much better experience with this launcher if you spend some time getting acquainted with the UI.

GO Launcher EX

GO Launcher EX appeared to be the happy medium between Zeam and ADW. It worked great out-of-the-box, but I also didn't feel too limited in terms of customizability. Like ADW, I could swipe dock buttons, add and subtract home screens, and download custom themes for the launcher. Performance-wise, I found GO Launcher to run a little smoother on my phone that ADW, and on top of that, I also really liked GO Launcher's native widgets built specifically for their launcher.

Bottom Line

I ultimately decided to stay with GO Launcher EX although it was extremely close between that and ADW. I liked the sleek feel of Zeam, but wanted a launcher with a few more bells and whistles; I still think Zeam is a great choice for people with older phones that tend to run a little choppy.

Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online degrees. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031

Monday, 20 June 2011

Enthusiasm For Pay-by-Phone

The psychological attachment to physical cash seems to be waning. Coins and notes are dirty, and often inconvenient. It has been necessary to use mobile phones to pay for parking in some places for a while now. According to a recent survey by the polling organisation YouGov, the appetite for using mobile phones to pay in a variety of settings is growing.

An astonishing 1 in 4 British consumers are interested in using their phone to pay for goods as an alternative to cash and cards. As many as 1 in 10 believe that they are likely to be on board when 'wave and pay' technology goes live. This is in spite of concerns that there may be technical issues with the new service.

The use of so-called Near Field Communications or NFC to make payments is expected to be trialled in a variety of settings over the next few years. There is confusion amongst consumers as to whether their current handsets will be compatible with the systems, 36% have no idea whether their phone would be capable of making payments.

As to the perceived benefits of NFC payments, the front runner is convenience. A total of 87% of those polled gave convenience in paying as a reason they would be adopting the technology. Speed of pay payment was seen as something that could be improved by NFC. A similar number believe that it would be easier than carrying cards and cash.

Of those that pan to pay with NFC devices 29% are optimistic that it could help them keep track of their money better. This has been the motivation behind the massive take up of mobile banking in recent times, but some of the same concerns apply to the new technology. Concerns over security and fraud would be an issue for 56% of consumers.