Iphone Anonymous Selfie Hoody Taking Photo Phone

Mobile Matrix Blog – December, 2017

Nowadays, a person’s cell phone is very likely to contain information about literally every aspect of their lives. Photos, emails, texts, social media accounts, banking apps, physical locations, daily routines, and even medical information can be accessed through an individual’s mobile phone. As a result most people are very protective of their devices, but thanks to ever evolving technology it is no longer necessary to have the phone itself to access its information. Mobile phone hacking has become a thing, and a thing everyone needs to be aware of. Over the month of December, Mobile Matrix Repair will be publishing blogs focused on mobile cyber-security, and how consumers can protect themselves and their information.

12/27/17 – Phony Cell Towers and The Stingray

In the age of wireless communication, electronic signals permeate every aspect of our daily lives. Communication is literally all around us. We like to believe our messages and phone calls are safe and secure. But are they? In order to gain access to online methods of communication, some sort of compromised user security must be in play – a hacked password for instance, or some other inadvertently divulged information. So what about mobile telecommunications and text messaging? Can these signals be compromised too?

Unfortunately, they both can and are.

The Stingray by Harris Corp is a surveillance tool that has been used covertly by law enforcement for almost two decades. Stingrays, along with other cell phone signal simulators, work by forcing cell phones to drop their connection to legitimate signal towers and to connect to the false towers instead. The user is seldom if ever, are aware of the change as all of their unencrypted phone and text messages are intercepted and monitored, along with information on who the user was communicating with. Harris Corp has fought tooth and nail for years to prevent knowledge of the device from being revealed to the public claiming that awareness would tip the scales in favor of criminals. Meanwhile numerous court records indicate the device has been used repeatedly without warrants over the years. This constitutes a civil liberties and right to privacy nightmare as the devices can be used to target activists, protesters or anyone else the authorities see fit with no oversight at all.

The best way to protect oneself not only from Stingrays but also from any interception of their messages and calls is to use encrypted phone and text messaging apps, of which Signal is one. It’s free, and available for both iOS and Android operating systems. Most tech savvy individuals are moving away from unencrypted communications as technology becomes increasingly accessible and affordable.

Mobile Matrix Repair is open from 10AM to 9PM in Hanes Mall. Find us on Facebook and Instagram!

12/20/17 – Facial Recognition: What It Is And What It Isn’t

So you’ve gotten your Galaxy S8, or your iPhone X and you’re delving into its mysteries and secret, next level nuances and you quickly get around to its facial recognition capabilities; particularly the ability to open your phone and even pay for goods and services just by looking at it. It’s the stuff of science fiction dreams and identity theft nightmares, and it is here. It’s here for good.

So what is facial recognition and in terms of security for your mobile device, what are its advantages and drawbacks? First seen as a feature on the born to lose Galaxy Note 7, the biometric technology that drove its then bleeding edge facial recognition abilities have migrated over to the Galaxy S8 and Note 8. The feature is actually part of a larger suite of highly individualized security measures which also boast iris and fingerprint scanning capability. Less secure than either of those measures, facial recognition is still a highly prized commodity for an on the go society that just happens to have been weaned on spy movies. The tech works by way of the front facing camera, and maps out the reasonably unique curves and contours of the human face. Since it has been shown that the camera can be fooled by a photograph, Samsung maintains that the most reliable way to secure one’s phone remains password, pin, or pattern recognition measures.

“Hold our beer,” said Apple and swaggered to the center of the room. Not to be undone, Apple has indeed upped the ante with FaceID, a facial recognition technology they claim is so powerful it can be used to drive their Apple Pay technology. Apparently FaceID can see through glasses, a new haircut, and even facial hair thanks to their highly touted TrueDepth camera technology which include both dot projector and infrared lenses. All that photographic muscle is used to create a precisely structured matrix map of your face with more than 30,000 individual points of reference. Apple is more than willing to bet your money on the security of its tech, but it should also be noted that the same technology is used by its Animoji software, and turns you into a cat.

So what does this mean to mobile phone users of today and tomorrow? It means that biometric technology will occupy a greater and greater role in security and e-commerce in the mobile phone market. If security measures can be created, someone somewhere can hack them so don’t rely on fancy gadgets, keep it simple and keep your information safe.

Mobile Matrix Repair will be open for extended hours through the Christmas holiday! Find us at Hanes Mall Monday through Saturday from 8AM to 10PM and 8AM to 9PM on Christmas Eve!

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

12/15/17 – The Next Big Thing In Cell Phones – The Razer Phone

Razer has released a mobile phone clearly aimed at the swiftly growing mobile gaming demographic with their eponymous Razer Phone. This phone is bleeding edge tech, with a 5.25” 120 Hz LCD display that claims to be able to provide the fastest refresh rates and most seamlessly flowing graphics available  on the mobile phone market. The phone boasts a sound system powered by Dolby Atmos technology and an adapter for headphone tech that’s THX certified. The whole thing is powered by a 4,000 mAh battery designed to keep all that GPU muscle running all day, and is capable of Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ charging technology to get players back in the mix with a minimum of charge time. Simply put, this phone is a beast.

The question is not so much in the quality of this next level mobile device, but in the probability of their target audience to pay top dollar (prices start at $699.99 USD) for it. Going by the numbers, mobile gaming technology, outside of the realm of gaming laptop and console tech, hasn’t exactly set the sales world on fire; the vast majority are gone and forgotten. Further, both iOS and Android platform driven games have proliferated for the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy line and drive a brisk but competitive slice of the gaming market. For the Razer Phone to make a dent in that market, they’ll need to have a very strong and attention grabbing marketing hook.

Razer thinks they’ve found that hook in alliances with big names in the world of gaming studios to create content specifically designed to take full advantage of the Razer Phone’s graphics capability. Some of the more notable franchises intended to make use of the 8GB of RAM available are Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XV and Bandai Namco’s Tekken. While the phone certainly seems to be optimized for mobile gaming, it remains to be seen if that will be enough to carve out a slice of a non-gamer focused market dominated by Apple, Samsung, and Huawei.

Mobile Matrix Repair is excited to announce our extended holiday hours! Find us at Hanes Mall in Winston Salem, NC from 9AM to 10PM Monday through Saturday and 11AM to 7PM on Sunday!

12/14/17 – The Repeal Of Net Neutrality: What It Is and What It Means For Mobile Data Users

The subject of net neutrality and its looming demise has been forefront in the news in recent days. From doom criers lamenting the apparent end of a free internet to Ajit Pai and the FCC he leads claiming the move will actually benefit consumers, everyone has an opinion on net neutrality. Social media users are being encouraged to blitz their elected representatives with emails, petitions, phone calls, and actual visits if necessary to make their voices heard. Despite all this, many Americans remain rather blasé about the possibility of paying for services going forward they already enjoy for free. Sadly, a large portion of Americans don’t really understand what network neutrality is, or what it means for them, their budgets, and the free exchange of information over the internet.

Network Neutrality is typically defined as the principle that internet service providers or ISPs should treat all online content equally without blocking or slowing down specific websites on purpose, or allowing companies to pay for preferential treatment. What this means is that you shouldn’t have to pay more to access one website or web service over another and that your data transfer speeds shouldn’t be slowed down or “throttled” by your ISP for any reason. Now, this idea, while laudable, isn’t absolute. Network congestion, spam, legal and security issues all factor into why unfettered net neutrality can’t reasonably happen. There have to be restrictions in place for the good of consumers, but that’s not what is in jeopardy here.

If AT&T decides that it wants to slow down speeds for users who access Netflix as opposed to say, DirecTV, which it owns, on their phones, it essentially penalizes consumers who prefer Netflix over DirecTV. If net neutrality rules are repealed it will be perfectly legal. AT&T, along with Comcast, has already gotten into hot water for questionable internet speed and access manipulation. Comcast quickly walked back promises to voluntarily uphold net neutrality once it became clear that the repeal of the Obama era rules was a real possibility.

If this repeal is allowed to go through, consumers can expect to feel it in their wallets and pocketbooks, in addition to suddenly finding themselves unable to easily access some information according to the whims of their powerful corporate service providers.

We at Mobile Matrix Repair are committed to supporting the freedom of our customers to access the vast amounts of information the Internet has to offer without the interference of corporations interested only in their bottom lines.

12/10/17 – Risk Vs. Reward: The Dangers of Public Wi-Fi Hotspots

In today’s connectivity driven world, stable bandwidth on the go is worth so much more than its weight in gold. People use their mobile devices to orchestrate most details of their lives. From the email you send to that prospective employer, to the Uber you contact to get to the interview, to the company website you research on the way, none of it is possible without connectivity. But connectivity costs money, and data overage charges on your phone bill aren’t fun. Being able to log onto the Wi-Fi network at the restaurant, or supermarket or mall you happen to be in can be crucial and all of us have used those hotspots in the past. Despite its convenience, public hotspots can be a dangerous proposition and open you up to possibly being hacked and having your identity stolen.

The fact is, someone with the proper knowledge can acquire the software needed to procure login information for email, banking sites, or just to access any number of closely guarded personal details. This is particularly true on public hotspots that don’t require a log in. This leads us to the first of our recommendations for surfing safely in public without driving your mobile data charges through the roof.

If the last thirty years of pop culture and current events have taught us anything, it’s that you’ve got to be careful where you plug in your port. Public wireless networks are, by their very nature, risky to use indiscriminately. Most reputable public service outlets, hotels, restaurants, bars, gyms, coffee houses and the like will usually have Wi-Fi for guests that require a log in and/or password to tap into. If you can just drop onto a network, it’s wise to tread carefully on that network. The second recommendation is to be very careful what information you divulge on public networks regardless of required passwords. No email passwords, no banking passwords, not even social media. Even with secure public hotspots it can be difficult to be sure of exactly who has access to any information transmitted over that network.

Finally, the most reliable way to lock down your info when surfing public networks is with the help of a Virtual Private Network. VPNs are technology that allow for the encryption of transferred information over a public or semi public network as it would be over a private network. This allows users to send and receive information as securely as if they were on their own home networks. There are many good programs on the market that offer this sort of protection, and if you spend lots of time surfing on public networks, this is the solution for you.

Mobile Matrix Repair is excited to announce our extended business hours for the month of December! We’re open from 9AM to 10PM Monday through Saturday, and 11AM to 7PM on Sunday.

Find us on Facebook and Instagram!

12/7/17 – The Tap Keyboard

A cracked screen on your mobile device can cause any number of malfunctions and issues, but one of the most unpleasant is the misery it makes trying to tap out a message, email or text. Sliced fingers are really awful, and who wants to talk on a blood stained phone? One remedy to this is set to begin taking preorders over this Thanksgiving/Black Friday holiday, and it’s a revolutionary idea. Startup Tap has created a virtual keyboard apparatus that mimics old school brass knuckle weapons and is designed to move your keyboard off of your mobile screen and onto practically any surface you can physically reach. The wearable tech will detect the movement of your fingers and transcribe those movements through its interface and onto your device via Bluetooth. The Tap Wireless Keyboard comes packaged with a variety of games all intended to get users up and running on the interface. Tap understands that it will take users sometime to move past the deeply ingrained use of a QWERTY keyboard, even a virtual one. They do however, also believe that the practical applications for people who are vision or movement impaired more than make up for the time it will take to catch on in the tech market. For anyone who’s ever read a William Gibson novel or watched Ghost in the Shell, (the anime not that awful movie) will delight at what this might mean for augmented and/or virtual reality. Tap is retailing for $130.00 and as stated earlier, will begin taking preorders over the holiday season. If you can’t wait for this new tech to make it to your door, visit Mobile Matrix Repair at Hanes Mall and get your damaged mobile phone or table screen repaired today!

12/5/17 – What’s The Next Big Thing In Cell Phones?

So you’ve gotten your greedy little hands on the new iPhone X, and that pesky little predictive text glitch aside, you’ve had lots of fun and are already ready for the next bleeding edge device. Or maybe your current phone is a few years old or more and you’re ready to upgrade to a newer model. Either way, you’re wondering what’s the latest mobile phone technology out there, right? Well look no further! It seems to biggest cell phone advancement is going to be in the field of bendable cell tech. According to Bloomberg, users can look forward to smartphones that will fold out to become tablets hitting the market in the not so distant future. In fact, Samsung filed a patent in 2016 that some say represent the prototype of this game changing piece of tech. The tech giant, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, appears to be ready to launch the revolutionary product sometime in 2018 under its Note brand. The phone would feature a folding display that allows the device to go from smartphone to tablet with ease, and will supposedly create a new, cutting edge niche in the cell phone technology market. The downside is that the device is expected to be extremely hard to get; it is expected that the Galaxy X as it could possibly be called will see a limited run in a single territory. That territory will most likely be its native South Korea.

12/4/17 – Apps And Jailbreaking Your iPhones

In 2015, more than 225,000 Apple accounts were compromised thanks to a piece of malware knows as Keyraider. The Chinese program was targeting iPhones that had been modified by way of the process known as “jailbreaking.” Thankfully the majority of iPhones were safe since jailbreaking is only possible by way intentionally circumventing restricted areas of the phones file systems. It left the phone user’s information completely vulnerable to hackers by way of malware programs masquerading as entertainment apps. Having access to a user’s email account alone could have a domino effect wherein all of the accounts that email is linked to; banking accounts, mobile phone carriers, and social media accounts; are now in the hands of someone other than the user. This is the holy grail of identity theft opportunities and a financial nightmare waiting to happen. Questionable apps can open users to a host of malicious processes, most of which are intended to steal personal info like passwords and bank numbers.

So how do users protect themselves?
The first step is easy, don’t jailbreak your phone. Restrictions on what your phone can access are there for a reason, and trying to get around them generally doesn’t end well. Next, you’ll want to do an audit of the apps on your phone, and what information those apps have access to. Take note of what apps access personal info such as your photos, social media pages or your GPS information. Limit the number of apps you use, and when using banking apps always have the most updated version. Vary your passwords, have strong passwords, and keep a list of them, preferably a hard copy; somewhere else. If you use a lot of public Wi-Fi hotspots, invest in a mobile VPN, and above all use common sense.

Obviously, there’s no way to catalogue the list of steps one should take to protect themselves from mobile cyber-attacks, but there are ways to limit one’s risk and exposure. We hope this blog helps you make your identity that much harder to steal.

Mobile Matrix Repair is excited to announce our extended holiday hours! Find us at Hanes Mall in Winston Salem, NC from 9AM to 10PM Monday through Saturday and 11AM to 7PM on Sunday!

Find us on Facebook and Instagram!