Six (6) Android Games You Should Play Now not Tomorrow

Got a new device? You need to get some new games. Here are some quick recommendations for great Android games. Some are familiar from other platforms. Some are free. Some are paid, and some have specific hardware requirements. All are listed here.
1.  Minecraft Pocket Edition
Why it is great: Minecraft is an entertaining block-building and survival game. You can play either in creative mode where you build and invent things in your own randomly generated world or you can play in survival mode where you use your wits and resources to survive against the creepers who come out at night.
Note – this does not connect with your main Minecraft account if you play the computer version of the game.
Play for yourself or keep it around to entertain kids. (Turn off in-app purchases if you do this.)
Minecraft is a paid app ($6.99) but you can find occasional sales, in-app purchases run from $0.50 to $1.99.   More »
2.  Lara Croft Go
Based on the popular Tomb Raider series and developed by Square Enix, Lara Craft Go is a relatively simple but very addictive puzzle game you can take with you. The puzzles are designed for short bursts of play, so pull it out in the doctor’s office waiting room or while riding the bus home.
Lara Croft Go sells for $4.99 but is occasionally on sale for $0.99. It allows in-app purchases. If you like this game, you can also check out Hitman Go, which is also from Square Enix.  More »
3.  Buttons and Scissors
This is a free puzzle game where you try to cut matching color buttons off of a square of denim. Mechanically this feels similar to Bejeweled, but not completely the same. The logic puzzles offer great challenges for players of all ages.
The other big advantage to this game is that it does not require any connectivity. You can play this game on devices that aren’t connected to Wi-Fi or in that signal dead spot.
Buttons and Scissors is a free download but allows in-app purchases.  More »
 Did you want to try out the new trend in adult coloring books, but you don’t want to carry around coloring pencil and a coloringb book? Try out this app instead. It’s appropriate for kids or adults, and while it’s not the same as coloring in an actual coloring book, it is still very satisfying.
Mandala Coloring Pages is free (with ads) but also allows in-app purchases.  More »
Yes. You can play an Android version of Portal. This is a real console game. As such, it requires a real console. This version will only work on the Nvidia Shield version of Android TV.  The Nvidia Shield starts at around $199 but allows you to stream movies and play Android games on your TV.
Portal starts at $1.99 but this is “introductory pricing.”  More »
If you have a phone with a fast processor and terrific screen display, you can take it for a ride with this virtual reality game. This is a first-person shooter where you aim at balloons. You’ll need Google Cardboard. This is an inexpensive accessory that you can either make or buy for around $15 and will turn your phone into a virtual reality device. Obviously not a game you can play while waiting in a doctor’s office (unless your doctor is awesome) but a fun novelty game to play by yourself or after having one of your friends try on the headset.
VR Cardboard Shooter 3D is a free download.  More »

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 a commission if you choose to purchase said product. The opinions on this page are our own.
 We do not receive payment for positive reviews.

5 steps to protect your data transmissions


 5 steps to protect your data transmissions

Connecting to public wireless (Wi-Fi) hotspots has become routine for many of us – you can find public wireless networks almost everywhere – in fast food chains, libraries, parks and urban hotspots, as well as in your home. They have liberated us from our desks and made it possible to work on the go – and they’re often free. But do they guarantee your safety?

The advantages are obvious

The use of Wi-Fi hotspots for wireless internet access is set to reach a total of 120 billion connections in 2015, due to growing support from major broadband internet service providers (ISPs).[1] Wi-Fi hotspots have become a service which is used by businesses as a competitive differentiator to attract customers to other product offerings, layered on top of core offerings. Notebook PCs account for most connections, but the rate of smartphone and tablet access is increasing rapidly.

But beware: “public hotspots” have been called that for a reason. They are open networks and therefore vulnerable to security breaches. They cannot guarantee your safety. When you connect to an unsecured Wi-Fi network, anyone on the same network potentially has access to your computer and to all your internet activities. They can snoop around in your emails and see what you’ve been doing on the internet, without needing your password. This applies to all hotspots – even to those that require pay-per-hour or monthly subscription fees. These are almost always unencrypted, so all your emails, passwords, security codes and other information can be visible to hackers lurking on the same network.

So it’s up to you to keep your data safe from prying eyes. These 5 tips will help:

5 ways to keep your data secure

1. Use encryption and https
If you have to send personal information when you’re on public Wi-Fi, then only send it to websites which are fully encrypted. You’ll know which these are by looking at the beginning of the resource locator (URL): if it has https at the beginning, it’s encrypted (the “s” stands for “secure”).

You should also protect your own files, or at least those which you’re intending to use on public Wi-Fi, by encrypting them, so they will need a password to open and modify them.

Protect your emails messages in public by selecting https or another secure connections option in your account settings. Most systems use https when you log in with your password, but some systems, for example some local software, switch back to plain http after authentication because they can more easily transmit advertising. In this case, motivated hackers on the same network potentially have access to your computer and can view the unencrypted internet traffic that you send. So make sure you know what system you’re using, and select the https or other secure connection option in your email account settings if your email provider supplies one.

2. Install a firewall
A firewall protects networks against all file-sharing, and protects your PC by acting as a barrier against all incoming information, blocking anything which is considered a potential threat. Normally, at home your firewall is down, because your home computers need to share your Wi-Fi connection and your files. But when you’re in public, on an open network, you must ensure you put up a firewall, to guard against potential hackers. All Windows operating systems come with a firewall already installed, so you just have to check it’s turned on.

3. Get VPN
For added safety, you should consider using a virtual private network (VPN) that puts encryption between your device and the internet, even when you’re using unsecured networks. You’ll have to pay for VPN service, but it’s worth it if you frequently use Wi-Fi. If your business doesn’t have its own VPN, you can download and install the software free.[2]

4. Turn Wi-Fi off
When you’re not working on it, turn off your Wi-Fi capability, in case your notebook connects to a potentially dangerous hotspot without your realising it. If your notebook doesn’t have a Wi-Fi hardware button to disable the Wi-Fi adapter, you can disable it using your operating system.

5. Use your common sense

  • Avoid transactions that require a lot of personal information, for example shopping and banking
  • Avoid giving credit card, insurance or social security numbers
  • Create different usernames and passwords for different accounts so if one is hacked the others stay safe
  • Cookies remember usernames and passwords, making data breaches easier. So before you connect to a public Wi-Fi hotspot, delete your browsing history and your cookies
  • Log out of websites when you’ve finished with them
  • Configure your PC to let you approve access points before you connect
  • Disable your file and printer sharing when you’re out of the office

If you follow these simple steps, you can help ensure that using Wi-Fi stays the huge benefit it’s intended to be, making you more mobile, more independent and more efficient. And if you don’t? Let’s just say: “better safe than sorry”.

Disclosure: This page may contain external affiliate links that may result in us receiving
 a commission if you choose to purchase said product. The opinions on this page are our own.
 We do not receive payment for positive reviews.

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