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Home News There’s a major Android bluetooth security flaw. Here’s how to fix it

There’s a major Android bluetooth security flaw. Here’s how to fix it

Looks like it’s time to check if you have an Android security update available to your phone. A new security flaw has been discovered in Android — and this time, it uses Bluetooth to allow access to your phone.

The flaw, called BlueFrag, takes advantage of Bluetooth in Android 8 and 9, and it basically allows hackers to execute code on your device. The result? Hackers can fully access anything stored on your phone, and install malware without your knowledge.

Of course, this sounds a little scarier than it actually is. Because it uses Bluetooth, would-be attackers have to be within Bluetooth range of your phone, which is around 33 feet. Hackers also need to know your device’s Bluetooth MAC address — though that address is relatively easy to figure out.

Still, the flaw isn’t something you would want to be vulnerable to — and thankfully, there are ways to guard against it. The February 2020 security patch comes with a fix to the flaw, and devices running Android 10 are already safe.

And don’t assume that you’re safe if you’re running a version of Android older than Android 8. The researchers who discovered the bug said that they tested it on devices running Android 8 or later — so it’s entirely possible that the flaw can be found in older versions too. The flaw itself does exist in Android 10, but thanks to changes in how Android implements Bluetooth, it’s not exploitable. Still, it’s worth keeping up with security updates as they’re made available.

Of course, not everyone will be able to install the February 2020 security patch or the latest version of Android because of how old their phone is — and if that’s you, and you’re worried about this hack, then you may want to limit your Bluetooth use. You could, for example, try and turn Bluetooth off whenever you’re not actually using it, or switch to wired headphones and other devices instead.

While it’s always a good idea to protect yourself as much as possible from exploits like this, it’s currently unclear how many hackers are actually working to take advantage of the flaw — and we’re betting the number is pretty low.

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Ting Buyer’s Guide (October 2020)

Many people know about the big name wireless service providers of Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. This is for good reason – they advertise everywhere and they basically own the airwaves.What about those random brands that you might have seen in the store but don’t really know? What’s the difference between them and the more popular carriers? Are they a risk or gamble? Are they too good to be true?Cheap cell phone plans that use the T-Mobile networkWhich major prepaid carrier has the best $40 rate plan?Let’s take a look at a relatively newer carrier, Ting. This guide will serve to help you understand what the MVNO offers and how it stacks up against others.About TingLaunched in 2012, Ting finds itself in the increasingly crowded segment of low-cost, no-frills alternatives. Ting was one of the first in the industry to popularize the pay-for-what-you-use structure.Does Ting support GSM or CDMA?Ting’s service uses the Verizon and DISH networks for CDMA coverage and T-Mobile for GSM, but it operates with its own plans and features. You can check potential coverage ahead of time, even checking expectations based on the phone you currently own.Finding unlocked phones with support for GSM is much easier as the selection is larger. Moreover, if you travel internationally, the GSM-based devices will work just fine, and without requiring any major changes.Tell me about Ting rate plansTing doesn’t have conventional rate plans where customers pick from a number of options. Instead, they’re charged based on usage in a postpaid manner.You can visit Ting’s website to calculate your bill based on estimate usage. Start with the number of lines you might want or need, add in approximate talk and text, and then figure out the data.Perfect for minimal needsIt’s worth pointing out that Ting has exceptional rates for those who don’t need much from their phones. If you’re on Wi-Fi most of the time and don’t require much data, you’ll find Ting’s plans work great. But, get into 8GB-10GB, or more per month, it gets rather costly.A family of four sharing 1,000 minutes talk time, 2,000 texts, and 15GB data would spend $200 per month. That’s $50 per line and nowhere near what you can get from other carriers.What about multiple lines?Ting lets you add extra lines to your plan for just $6 per month. Keep in mind that you’ll pool everything together, including text messages and talk minutes.Tips for buying a used phoneSelling a phone? Do these things firstWhere can I buy an unlocked phone?You can set alerts and caps in the Ting Dashboard, and create limits on individual lines. This is peace of mind for parents who might be otherwise worried about a child using an exorbitant amount of data for streaming HD video.Are there any other Ting features worth noting?Ting users can benefit from calling more than 60 countries at no additional cost. All minutes are counted the same whether it’s US, Canada, Mexico, UK, Puerto Rico, or a bunch of others.Ting offers a cancellation-fee reimbursement if switch from another service provider. You’ll get back 25 percent of whatever it costs for you to leave your carrier, whether an early termination fee or a balance remaining on your phone. Reimbursement is capped at $75 in credit on your account.What about Ting handset selection?As mentioned above, Ting allows for both GSM and CDMA phones.  If you’re interested in bringing your own, check your existing phone IMEI to see whether it’s compatible with its service.For those who want to purchase a phone, Ting has a fairly well-rounded selection of devices. Looking at it today we see new and notable models like the Samsung Galaxy S10+, Moto G6, and LG Stylo 5.Ting offers a small selection of phones, however it’s comprised mainly of Samsung and Apple, with a few LG and Motorola models sprinkled in. For what it’s worth, it does offer the iPhone 11 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S10+, and Google Pixel 4a.

Shop AG Deals! These are some of the top deals this week

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iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Cases Buyer’s Guide

Apple announced the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro this week, and pre-orders opened on Friday, October 16, with