How to Backup Data on your Android Device in 2022

phone services

Restoring data on Android device can be a lifesaver. It can be done directly from your phone to a Google account.  You need to know the proper steps to backup data in order to protect valuable information.   The data restoration process is different for various Android phones and versions.  

Let’s check out how phone data is stored: 

  • When backups are uploaded to Google servers, they are encrypted with the help of the password of the Google account. The phone screen lock password is ideally used to encrypt the data so that it can be backed up properly.  

The backup data is deleted in the following scenarios: 

  • When you do not use your device for 57 days. 
  • When you turn off the Android Backup. 

So, let’s learn step by step the procedure of the automatic restoration of the data on the Android device: 

Back up Content 

Back up photos and videos – Backing up the pictures and the videos involves the following ways: 

  • Installation Backup and Sync. 
  • Uploading photos from the browser 

Things to know when uploading photos: 

  • Whenever you delete a photo or video from the computer that was previously backed up to Google Photos, it will still be saved in Google Photos. 
  • When you remove the photo or video from Google Photos, it should be removed from Google drive or your computer itself. 
  • The uploads can be much slower as it uses more storage when backing up to Google Photos and Google Drive. 

First Step: Setting up of the Google Drive for Desktop:

  • Make sure to download and install Google Drive for the desktop on your computer. 
  • Then, you need to sign in to your Google Account. 
  • After, you need to click the folders or the pictures you wish to back up. 
  • Finally, click the Done button. 

Where is the data stored on the Android phone? 

All the applications consist of the default data directory. In the data directory, one can easily store the data. 

Where exactly is the data stored on the mobile phone? 

  • Random-access memory, also known as, RAM, is the phone’s central operating memory and storage. The phone stores the data in RAM, which is being used actively. 

How can one access data on the Android Phone? 

  • One can access the private files with the help of GUI: The Android Device Monitor from the menu includes the Tools/Android/ Android Device Monitor in the android system. Then you can easily navigate the File Explorer tab, the data, and the app package name. 

Command Line: You can also transfer the file to the device or pull the file from the device concerning the ADB. 

Add a backup account 

There are various steps involved in the addition of the backup account: 

  • First, open the phone settings applications, 
  • Then, tap the system 
  • Further, tap your back account and then add an account. 
  • If needed, enter the phone number, PIN, pattern, or password. 
  • Sign in to the account whenever you wish to add. 
  • Switch between backup accounts 
  • Manually back up data & settings 

Switch between backup accounts 

Let’s understand how to switch between the backup accounts: 

  • The first step is to open your phone’s setting application. 
  • Tap the backup account. 
  • Tap the back account you wish to use for backups.

What is the Manually backup data & settings? 

Manually back up data & settings 

It is possible that you can misplace the phone or drop it in the water and lose everything. But there are several ways to backup Android devices. It can be done manually. Whenever it is installed, it is required to make sure that the photos are automatically set up in the files. The steps to sync the images to Google photos are:

  • Open the Google photos app. 
  • Now press on the profile image in the top right corner. 
  • Tuned to select the photos settings. 
  • Move on to the Backup and sync. 
  • Also, make sure to upload the size and select the preferable upload settings. 

 By following these simple steps, one can easily store the data or keep a backup on an Android phone. Knowing how to backup and restore data will give you the peace of mind that you will always have access to important information. 

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How Will Android Apps Work on Windows 11?

close-up View of The New Microsoft Windows 11 Logo on Computer Screen

With the news that Android applications will be available on Windows 11, users can expect to find Android apps available for download with a few terms and conditions to apply.

Let’s look at how this integration will roll out and why it may not be the solution we hoped for.

How will Android apps be available on Windows 11?

Rather than relying on a version of the Google Play Store optimized for Windows, Android applications will be available on Windows through the app store maintained by Amazon. This arrangement brings a few challenges with it, however.

For one, Amazon’s Appstore offers remarkably few apps compared to the other marketplaces. What’s worse, this lack of apps is particularly apparent regarding the productivity-based software you’d expect to find. Naturally, there aren’t any of Google’s applications, and many famous business applications like Trello, Slack, and Asana are missing. LastPass, 1Password, and Bitwarden are also absent as far as password management solutions are concerned. Many Microsoft programs don’t appear either. While Outlook, the all-in-one version of Office, and OneNote are there, others aren’t. Major banking applications aren’t there.

Exacerbating this issue is that many of the apps available aren’t correctly maintained, far outdated compared to the versions present on the Play Store.

Why is this the case?

The root of all of these issues is Google Play Services, a key component to many applications’ operations. Google Play Services enables an application to handle purchases, use location data, push notifications, and various other functions.

Naturally, this makes Google Play Services critical to the functionality of Android applications and a challenge to host on more than one app store and why many titles are missing from Amazon’s. A developer effectively has to reinvent the wheel to put the same application on Amazon’s Appstore. Otherwise, the application breaks.

So, with developers simply not focusing their efforts on optimizing their applications for all platforms, these deficits will be reflected in the applications available on Windows 11.

Will this change?

Perhaps, provided that app developers focus on making their applications available through Amazon’s Appstore. In the meantime, you can count on 4Corner IT to equip your team members with the tools they need to function efficiently.

Give us a call at (954) 474-2204 to learn more.

Are Apple’s Devices Really More Secure?

front of apple store with apple logo from outside of store. apple's devices

For the better part of four decades, Apple has bragged that their devices are more secure than PCs. Additionally, hackers don’t bother building threats specifically for their operating systems because their security is so superior. For this reason, Apple has routinely refused advances from law enforcement to share workarounds so that police can get into phones. Apple’s rationale for this constant refusal is that it would undermine their ability to keep the most secure personal computing devices, secure. Federal law enforcement officials went ahead and developed their own workaround and the findings may surprise many Apple aficionados. Let’s take a look:

The Discovery

After years of trying to go through Apple to gain access, they finally worked it out in 2020. In 2021, cryptographers published Data Security on Mobile Devices: Current State of the Art, Open Problems, and Proposed Solutions, which is a position paper that looked to answer three questions:

  1. What security measures are currently in place to help deter unauthorized access to user data?
  2. How do modern devices allow unauthorized access?
  3. How can mobile security be improved to prevent unauthorized access?

Researchers analyzed both the newest Android and iOS platforms. They found that neither of them had security preparations that functioned any better than the other. Any person with the right equipment, and the inclination, can in fact, access the OS on either device. This may come as a shock to those people who have been lauding Apple’s devices to be impenetrable.

Before you trash your iPhone, the researchers did “find a powerful and compelling set of security and privacy controls, backed and empowered by strong encryption” in iOS. However, the tools presented were not used frequently enough to ensure security is maintained.

Android’s issues were exacerbated, in comparison to Apple’s, due to the vast amount of manufacturers that make Android-run products. They found that many devices lacked communications with Google, resulting in slowly implemented updates. Also, resulting in inconsistencies in some devices’ security and privacy controls.

These are just the hardware and software vulnerabilities. In the rest of the report, the researchers detailed the specific vulnerabilities for each platform.

Weaknesses: Apple’s Devices

One of the iPhone’s best features is that it allows users to securely store data to iCloud. According to the researchers of this report, that isn’t all the data Apple takes possession of. When initiated, iCloud takes control of a lot of other data that is sent to Apple. There it is accessible by all different types of entities, hackers and law enforcement included.

This problem is exacerbated as the defenses put forth by Apple are less effective than initially thought. Analysis of this relationship led researchers to suppose that a tool that has been around since 2018 allows attackers to bypass integrated protections to guess user passcodes.

Weaknesses: Android’s Devices

On the other hand, researchers found Android had some serious issues with its local data protection. An example of this can be found in Android’s lack of an equivalent to Apple’s Complete Protection encryption, which leaves Android more open to breach. This is why the FBI can effectively access data from either platform without help from developers.

So What’s The End Result?

Ultimately, both mobile OSs are much more open to data breaches than either manufacturer is willing to admit. It’s never a good practice to assume your data is safe; especially with the default data protection developers have in place. It just goes to show that there is no such thing as impenetrable security, and it is on the users (or the organization) to actively accept these results and do what they need to do to secure their data more effectively.

To do this, you will need to manage these devices with a mobile device management platform and have your employees sign onto a Bring Your Own Device policy. This way your organization is covered in ways that individual devices and mobile platforms simply can’t.

If you would like more information about Bring Your Own Device, mobile device management, or any other platform that helps keep your organization’s data secure, give the IT experts at 4Corner IT a call at (954) 474-2204.

The Android Botnet that Victimized Consumers and Advertisers

the android botnet that victimized consumers and advertisers

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Unfortunately, over 65,000 users neglected to observe this time-honored adage and proceeded to download a “free” app. It came with the promise of, among other things, a free pair of tennis shoes. Before it was all over, the online criminals had spoofed over 5,000 Android apps. They, in turn, downloaded an ad fraud botnet onto on over 65,000 devices. The botnet was also responsible for more than 2 billion bid requests. Yes, that’s billion, not million.

When Did It All Start?

The attack, now codenamed TERRACOTTA, began in late 2019. A family of apps listed on the Google Play Store offered users an opportunity to download an app in exchange for a free pair of tennis shoes. In some cases they even offered items such as event tickets, coupons, or expensive dental treatments. For those who opted for the tennis shoes as their free gift, all they had to do was fill in their name along with their address details. Then, select the shoes they wanted and in 14 days’ time, the shoes would be mailed to their front door. Incredibly, there were no strings attached. 

Since initially many users gave the apps a glowing 5-star review, others were likely encouraged by such positive feedback and eager to download an app and then part with their personal information. As time passed and not a single user claimed they received free tennis shoes, the 5-star reviews understandably turned negative. 

How Did They Do It?

The ad fraud botnet used in all the apps silently loaded ads in the background. This is what made this family of apps completely different from other apps that have used somewhat similar tactics in that they bombarded users with unwanted, but obvious ads.

The entire family of apps used in the exploit were not reported to the Google Play Store as being supported by ads. Since no users ever reported seeing any unwanted ads, the apps were able to do their work under the radar. Further analysis showed no monetization mechanism and the analysis confirmed that no ads were ever shown to users. Using these clever ploys, the apps were able to deceive users on Google Play Store. That is, until the final week in June 2020.

Exploiting Advertisers

In addition to defrauding the average user, the apps also contained malware that deceived advertisers. Beyond the 14-day window of shoe delivery that of course never occurred, the apps acted as a delivery platform for other functionality that initially remained dormant.  

Eventually it was discovered the other functionality consisted of a customized Android browser. It was packaged beside a control module written in the popular React Native framework. After being loaded on the phone, the customized Android browser was used to create deceitful ad impressions. These were then purchased by advertisers who bought them in the digital advertising ecosystem. 

Expert Exploitation

Those committing the fraud made use of several techniques that allowed their malware to remain undetected for quite some time. Their clever 14-day “waiting period” allowed them to leave an app (that had no real functionality) for an extended period of time on countless phones. By waiting a lengthy period rather than immediately exhibiting bad behavior, it made it much more difficult for users to connect downloading the malware-loaded app with unwanted behavior that occurred much later. The lengthy waiting period also negatively affected cybersecurity analysis. This is because the apps required observation for an extended period of time in order to detect the exploitive behavior. Those in the anti-virus community were not prepared for malware that remained dormant for such a long period of time. 

A Botnet Cautionary Tale

The clever exploitation described above should be a cautionary tale for companies who may not be well-versed in how to effectively train their employees to spot such deceitful malware. If you would like more information on how to protect your company’s portable devices and other hardware and software from exploitation, please contact us.