After a long winter, it’s time to throw open the windows and let the fresh air in. But first, you need to do a good Spring Cleaning to wash away the grime that has accumulated. Here’s our favorite tips that go beyond the ordinary vacuum and dust routine. Choose the ones you want to do, and don’t forget that your mobile devices can use a good cleaning too (see tip #10)!
Starting from the top down:
- 1. Dim light fixtures and dull lamps. See the gleam again from your light fixtures. Get a soft microfiber cloth or duster and wipe away dust from ceiling lights, fans, and table lamps. I even use a vacuum attachment on lamp shades.
- 2. Greasy window treatments. Dirt, dust, grease, and bacteria collect on draperies, blinds, verticals, and shades. It is recommended to have your fabric window treatments dry-cleaned every 5-7 years. For metal or plastic blinds, you can take them down and wash them with dishwashing soap in a bucket of water or a solution of half water, half vinegar. Clean wooden blinds with a soft dry cloth wear a pair of cotton gloves or old socks and wipe the slats down.
- 3. Dusty bookshelves. A dusty old library sounds like a romantic notion, but it’s not good in your own home.Working from the top down, remove books and decorative objects from one shelf at a time, dust and return. Maybe you’ll find some old books that are ready to donate while you’re at it.
You walk by it every day:
- 4. Grimy doors, knobs, and handles. Grubby hands and jumping dogs can make your doors pretty awful looking, but because you are walking in and out, you don’t even see the grime. Give knobs and handles a quick wipe down with your favorite cleaner and some paper towels. Make your front door welcoming again by cleaning it inside and out with warm, soapy water. Dry it with a soft cloth.
How does that get there?!
- 5. Crumby kitchen drawers. I can’t ever figure out how the crumbs get in there; but spring cleaning is a good time to remove everything, wipe out the drawers and return only the items you still use.
- 6. Upholstered furniture. After a season of snuggling on the sofa with the dog and a good movie, stick your hand between the cushion and you’ll find old popcorn and plenty of dirt, sticks and leaves. I even found a dead lizard! Get out the vacuum attachments and vacuum upholstered furniture, including under and between cushions. Fluff and rotate cushions and pillows.
- 7. Underneath the rugs. You’ll be surprised what’s under there, so move the furniture off the rug and vacuum underneath. You may want to take your rug outside and give it a good old-fashioned beating too.
- 8. Underneath beds and behind furniture. Dust bunnies as big as the cat are hidden away, so make an extra effort to get the vacuum way up under there. Allergy sufferers have enough to deal with when the pollen comes, so help them out by minimizing dust.
You will feel cleaner, too. Trust me.
- 9. Scummy shower and tub walls. Soap scum builds up after a season of long, hot showers. Choose your favorite cleaning product and leave it on for at least 10 minutes before scrubbing down the tiles.
This is the easiest one!
- 10. Spring Clean your Mobile Devices. We may not be great at washing windows and cleaning floors, but we know how to Spring Clean you Android device! Over time, unnecessary data, system caches, gallery thumbnails, installation files, and residual files can accumulate on your smartphone and tablet. You can regain performance and speed when you clean away all the grime with our free app, Avast GrimeFighter Safe Clean for Android. Install Avast GrimeFighter free from Google Play.
I bet you would be lost without your smartphone. It’s your lifeline to contacts, emails, and personal information, not to mention all those apps that you use for fun, entertainment, and business. You probably have bought something using your phone, so your credit card information is there, as well as your account log ins. In other words, it would be disastrous to lose it to a thief or be infected with a data-stealing app.
Keep reading for some solid tips that will help you secure your Android smartphones and tablets.
1. Install security software
Protect your smartphone or tablet from malicious attacks. Malware targeted at Android devices is increasing daily, and we project that it will be at PC levels in the next 4 years. Even though malware is not likely to affect you (yet), avast! Mobile Security & Anti-theft protects your device , plus it helps you locate your device if it is lost or stolen.
TIP: When you upgrade to avast! Mobile Premium you get a feature called Password Check. This feature keeps nosy people and data thieves from snooping around your messages or emails. After 3 wrong attempts to break in, your phone is locked.
2. Use trusted stores to install apps
Malware may not be a huge threat yet, but cybercrooks are using apps in subtle ways, so you need to be aware of what you’re downloading onto your device. The major app stores like Google Play and Amazon are the safest places to go for apps. These have rigorous vetting procedures, so they are reliable sources. The ones you need to watch out for are the unregulated third party app stores predominantly from the Asia or the Middle East.
TIP: For an extra safeguard on your Android device, stop the installation of apps from unknown sources. Go to Settings>Security and uncheck the Unknown Sources option. Check the Verify Apps option to block or warn you before installing apps that may cause harm.
3. Use a PIN or password and lock your apps
Your Android phone has its own security settings, so we recommend that you set a PIN number with a strong number code to the lock screen. To set your PIN go to Settings>Lock screen to set a pattern or passcode.
TIP: Use avast! Mobile Security App Lock to set a PIN for apps you want to keep private, like online shopping and banking apps. You can lock any two apps with a PIN/gesture using our free product; get unlimited app locking with the Premium product.
Your world is on your mobile devices and PC: Your family photos, home videos, documents and emails. Unfortunately, you can lose it in an instance. For those folks who haven’t backed up their files, that means disaster. Today is World BackUp Day. Be prepared. Backup your files on March 31st.
Did you know?
- 113 cellphones are lost or stolen every minute of every day
- More men (60%) than women (47%) frequently back up their data
- Women are more at risk than men if their smartphone is stolen or lost, because they do not protect their personal data and information as well as men do.
Malware is a growing threat to the Android platform, but because of the small size of our devices, loss and theft is still the bigger threat. Men are more careful about the safety and security of their cellphones than women. We learned that curious fact from an avast! survey conducted last summer, Lost or Stolen Smartphone: The Consequences are Bigger for Women Than for Men.
avast! Mobile BackUp is available for Android phones and tablets and comes in two different versions.
- 1. The standalone free version provides you with basic backup options: Contacts, text messages, pictures, and call logs.
- 2. If you would like to backup music, video, and apps, then you need to buy the Premium version. This can be done later, from within the free version.
Get free avast! Mobile BackUp from Google Play. After you install avast! Mobile BackUp, your current data will be backed up to your AVAST Account and Google Drive.
Back up your PC
avast! BackUp is an online backup and recovery service that allows you to backup your entire computer or select sets of data or individual files you want to back up. You can choose the storage capacity you need, and for a few bucks a month, rest assured that your files are safe in case disaster strikes.
Try avast! BackUp free for 30 days. During that time, you’ll get 25 GB for your files.
March 31st is World Backup Day. Take the pledge now, then take action:
I solemnly swear to backup my important documents and precious memories on March 31st.
Thank you for using avast! Antivirus and recommending us to your friends and family. For all the latest news, fun and contest information, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Business owners – check out our business products.
Congratulations to Steve L. from the USA who won Round 1 of the AVAST #SecurityTip contest being played now on the AVAST Facebook page. He answered this question about helping kids stay safe when they are using their home or school computers:
Steve’s answer covered some of the basics that every computer user should remember:
#SecurityTip 1) Never share personal information with strangers online. 2) Never share or reuse your passwords.(Ask parents for help to make a good one that you can remember) 3) Never click on links in emails from people you don’t know and try to make sure the people you do know actually sent you the links in emails from them.
The first prize for best answer was a Nexus 7 II tablet and a 1-year license for avast! Mobile Premium. Five participants also won a 1-year license for avast! Internet Security after gathering the most votes. Congratulations to:
- Ghazala S. from Oman
- Muhammad H. from Pakistan
- Maira A. from Pakistan
- Imran R. from Pakistan
- Kamil R. from Pakistan
Check out the best of Round 1 that were highlighted on our Facebook page in this blog post.
Round 2 begins today
Round 2 has just started, and this week a new Nexus 4 smartphone is up for grabs. Head over to the Facebook app and answer this question about keeping your mobile devices safe,
To celebrate the new version of our top-rated avast! Mobile Security along with the new avast! Mobile Premium, AVAST and Android Police are giving away 9 new Nexus devices. You have one week to enter the contest to win one of these great Android phones or tablets:
- 2x Nexus 4 8GB
- 2x Nexus 4 16GB + bumpers + charging orb (2 bundles)
- 1x 2012 Nexus 7 16GB
- 2x Nexus 10 16GB
- 2x Nexus 10 32GB
Getting your name in the hat is easy – just go to the AVAST/Android Police contest page and answer a simple question:
What do you value most about your phone?
This can be a tricky question, so here are some examples of good answers:
- The device itself
- Text Messages
The International Mega Giveaway will run for one week and end at midnight (PST) on August 31st. Visit Android Police now to enter!
How to download avast! Mobile Premium
avast! Mobile Security and avast! Mobile Backup are FREE downloads in the Google Play store and can be used stand-alone as free versions or be upgraded to avast! Mobile Premium for access to all premium features. avast! Mobile Premium is available for $1.99 per month or $14.99 per year. Download and install on your Android device now.
Thank you for using avast! Antivirus and recommending us to your friends and family. For all the latest news, fun, and contest information, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram.
Congratulations on your wonderful gift, and Merry Christmas! You are wise to think about security for your tablet, because cybercrooks are producing malware for these devices in increasing numbers.
avast! Mobile Security prevents malware and viruses on Android devices at no cost to you. You get Anti-theft protection, remote control and remote memory wipe, plus privacy reports, anti-spyware, network management, Web protection and a firewall. avast! Free Mobile Security is available for download either via Google Play (Android Market) or our website.
Once you have downloaded, do not forget to set your PIN Recovery in the ‘Settings’ section. The PIN Recovery feature is the way to get access to your device in case you lose or forget your avast! PIN. You have to set it in Settings or on the avast! Portal. You can use the avast! Portal for controlling your device remotely in case it is stolen. For this operation your device must be paired with your avast! account – if you do not have one, please sign in on dedicated pages.
Have fun with your new Galaxy tablet, and please share avast! Antivirus with your friends. Happy New Year!
It’s time to win again from avast! Antivirus. Play our new “Member Gets Member” game on Facebook for a chance to win one of the season’s most desired new gadgets – a Microsoft Surface tablet with Windows 8 Pro. Along with these cool tablets, we’ll be giving away 200 licenses for avast! Internet Security.
This game begins today, Tuesday, December 4, 2012, with a new round beginning each Tuesday in December. That’s four chances to win!
Here’s how to play the game:
To start, click on the “Member Get Member” tab on the avast! Antivirus Facebook page. Accept the app by providing a few pieces of information like your name and email address. Make sure you use a valid email address so we can contact you if you win. As always, your data is completely safe and will not be shared.
Once you do that, you’ll see a shape with your picture in the middle. Click on a bubble to invite your friends to “Like” our page. As your friends like our page, the bubble will turn orange and you will earn points to win a cool new Microsoft Surface tablet! As you fill in a level, you earn bonus points and a new level is opened up. The higher the level, the higher the number of points awarded for each accepted invitation and bonus points for completing the level.
That’s it. Simple and fun.
So hurry up, and start inviting your friends – round 1 has just started. We will be tallying up the points and giving away our first Microsoft Surface tablet and 50 licenses for avast! Internet Security next Tuesday. I hope your name will be on the list!
Eight months after the wildly popular release of avast! Free Mobile Security, we are pleased to launch avast! Mobile Security 2.0 for Android smartphones and tablets. Adding to its already feature-rich anti-malware and anti-theft capabilities, the latest version of avast! Mobile Security 2.0 is sure to be the best free security solution for Android on the market. You can download it from the Google Play store.
“The free-but-full-featured Android antivirus and anti-theft app has become the highest-rated security solution on Google Play store with a score of 4.7 stars,” said Ondřej Vlček, CTO of AVAST Software. “We protect over 8 million active devices now and we are growing by 1 million active devices per month,” added Vlček.
avast! Mobile Security 2.0 uses the same award-winning antivirus engine as avast! Antivirus products for PC and Mac and is constantly updated with a mobile version of our virus database and latest virus definitions. avast! Mobile Security 2.0 seamlessly integrates the most stealthy anti-theft component in the marketplace: Immediately upon detecting a threat, avast! Anti-Theft jumps into action without alerting thieves to its presence.
avast! Mobile Security 2.0 includes the following new features:
- Remote functions through the web portal - allows you to remotely control your avast!-equipped device(s) from the web. The web portal offers full control of the device to remotely locate, lock, or wipe your lost phone, sound an alarm, SMS and call forwarding, and a lot more. Access the interface on my.avast.com.
- Improved tablet support – with the popularity of Android tablets such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire and the Samsung Galaxy Tab, AVAST has worked to provide better compatibility with these devices, along with delivering a specific user interface tailored for the larger tablet devices.
- Network meter – review your data usage consumed by each app, individually for WiFi, 3G, or roaming networks.
- avast! Widget – from your device screen, the avast! Widget provides you a quick view of your overall security status, and the ability with one tap to access the main avast! Free Mobile Security interface, to run a malware scan of your installed apps, or bring up a dashboard of device health information such as CPU usage, memory usage, and SD Card free space.
- SiteCorrect™ – in a new feature unique to AVAST, our web protection will now detect common URL typing mistakes and can redirect you to the site you intended to visit.
- Custom name for Anti-Theft – this name is used to disguise the app from thieves’ eyes (e.g. label it “Dodo Gadget”)
- Real-time protection of apps – scan installed applications on their first execution
“We’ve now made the avast! Mobile Security product even better, and continue to keep the solution totally free,” commented Vince Steckler, CEO of AVAST Software.