Hardware Software

Android security overview

I will edit this over time but I wanted to have the thread up to start with.

Overview objectives:
– Stop camera from saving GPS to photos.
  – This is in your Camera App Settings, not System device settings.
– Device Settings:
  – Lock Screen and Security:
    – Set lock mode and passcode to unlock device.
      – Password, PIN, Pattern, Swipe, None.
      – Biometrics. Face, Iris or Fingerprints
        – I do not use or particularly like any of the biometric means for device locking.
        – App Shortcuts: Define what apps can be used while phone is locked (IE Phone calls and Camera)
        – Find my mobile. Anti-theft and traacking options for your phone.
          – Remove controls: Allows phone to be remotely controlled via your Samsung account
          – Google location service.  Allow GLS to give more accurate location info to where your mobile is.
          – Send last location.  Allow your phone to broadcast last location when battery hits a certain level of charge.
        – Encrypt SD Card.  Your files on the SD card will only work with your phone.  If phone is reset to defaults, you will not be able to read the encrypted files anymore and would have to re-format the card.
  – Secure Lock Settings
    – Secured lock time
    – Auto factory reset. After 15 failed passwords (will also erase all your data on phone)
    – Lock network and security. Prevents disabling Wifi and mobile data when your phone is locked, to make someone stealing your phone easier to track by device.
  – Notifcations.  Choose to hide notification messages on lock screen.
      – Define what apps can put notifcations on the lock screen.
      – Hide content of message on lock screen from displaying. (Highly suggested to be on)
      – Notification icons only.  Just show app icon without details, on lock screen.

– Device Settings
  – Location
    – Turn GPS on or Off.  Besides privacy and tracking being less accurate, this can save a large amount of battery life.  Turn this off when not needed for directions.
    – Google Location History.  You can disable this from saving where you have searched and have been.
    – Google Location Sharing.  Can share ‘Real-time location’ with someone of Google.
    You can turn both of these off and GPS maps will still work fine.  The sharing and history are not needed, just GPS being turned on.

– Device Settings:
  – Apps.
    – See installed apps
      – Review and define App-specific system-level Permissions granted to device.
      – Decide if you wish to disable some apps completely or uninstall them.
      – Review battery usage and mobile data use, per app.

– Device Settings:
  – About phone.
    – Shows phone number, model, serial number and IMEI.
    – Software Information.
      – Show Android version
      – Android patch level
      – Various system level information.


OS X screens and updates

I have done some maintenance on Mac laptops before and have a Mac Mini myself.  I haven’t had any issues with the Mini, but I did with a 2015 Macbook Pro.  Initial issue was some screen damage that looks like a residue stuck on the screen.  Turns out that was an issue with some Mac models, including the Macbook Pro 2015 model due to the anti-glare coating they used.  Fortunately, since they got their laptop at an Apple store, they had 4 year coverage and the repairs were free.  There is also a recall / free replacement for the logic board.  That repair was $575, before the cost was zeroed out because a warranty repair.  The new screen was crystal clear again and the laptop continues to soldier on.  We got this repaired in January of this year.

Item NumberDescriptionPriceAmount Due
S1586LL/ALabor Charge, PBG4/MBP15″$ 100.00$ 0.00
S5741LL/AFlat Rate 2 Repair Charge MBP15/MBP17$ 475.00$ 0.00
Total (Tax not included)$ 575.00$ 0.00

Lo and behold, I was visiting a couple days ago, and the same MacBook Pro (2015) rebooted to give the following error:
[auth] failed to write file <private>
At the bottom of an error log display.  if you have an nvidia MacBook Pro 2015) and update to 10.13.4, you’re gonna have a bad time.

I followed the suggestion to select the Boot Disk option, then to pick the Mac Hard Drive to have it boot normally.  This 10.13.4 issue looks to have just started again the other day (5/30).  Hopefully an update will address this, because a recovery log screen is pretty daunting, especially for someone who does not normally see error logs, as I will generalize and say is the case for many Mac users who do not work in tech.  Needless to say they were happy when I got it to boot back up and she will continue delaying the prompts to install updates on OS X.