Trending December 2023 # How To Protect Your Android Phone From Stagefright Exploit # Suggested January 2024 # Top 15 Popular

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If Stagefright sounds like a scary name, that’s because it is. Stagefright might just be the biggest exploit yet to have been discovered in Android. It stretches back to Android 2.2 Froyo, affects a vast majority of Android phones (around 900 million) and works via MMS. The recipient, in this case, doesn’t need to do anything. If they’re using Hangouts or the default Messaging app, the app will automatically download and process the MMS for playback. And that’s all the exploit needs to infiltrate your phone.

Stagefright is a core library in Android used to play multimedia files like MP4 videos. The reason Stagefright is so scary is because it makes the process of sending malicious code to an Android phone really easy. This malicious code can be anything the hacker wants it to be. Here’s a video of how the exploit works.

How to Check the Vulnerability of Your Device

Google has already patched the bug in the latest Android release (so if you’re using the flagship Samsung and Moto phones, you should be fine), but the problem is that not everyone is always running the latest version of Android. You’ll need to rely on the manufacturer to push an update.

The company that exposed the bug, Zimperium, has also released a simple app, Stagefright Detector, for testing if your phone is vulnerable. Just download the app and start the test. In a couple of seconds you’ll have your answer.

If you’re vulnerable, keep an eye out for the latest updates and upgrade as soon as possible.

Also, try the following solutions.

How to Protect Yourself from Stagefright

Unfortunately, because Stagefright is so deeply embedded in Android OS, there’s no tool to just disable the feature. Instead, we’ll need to use workarounds.

We know that the exploit is only activated when the MMS is downloaded automatically on your device. Let’s disable that feature.

Messenger by Google: if you’re using Google’s Messenger app, tap the three-dotted-menu button and select “Settings.” Go to “Advanced” and disable the “Auto-retrieve” option.

Messaging: If you’re using an older version of Android, it probably came with the Messaging app installed. Tap the “Menu” button, then “Settings”, find the “Multimedia (MMS) messages” section and uncheck “Auto-retrieve.”

No matter which SMS app you’re using, there should be this option somewhere in the settings. Look for it and disable it.

If you’re really paranoid, you can just disable text messages from unknown contacts if your SMS app supports the feature.

Now the app will no longer auto download MMS.

If you live in an area where MMS messages are still prevalent, just don’t open the MMS messages from people you don’t know.

This is your best defense right now – that is until you get the patched update. If you want to take matters into your own hands, you can just root your phone and install CyanogenMod (or other CM-based ROMs) to make sure you get prompt security updates. CM has already fixed the bug in the nightly version, and it should be out in the stable release soon.

The Android Security Debate

Khamosh Pathak

Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer. He’s always trying out new apps, tools and services. He is platform agnostic. You’ll find an iPhone 5 and a OnePlus One on him at (almost) all times.

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How To Remove A Virus From Your Android Phone

Viruses and malware are out there for every system. Don’t delude yourself into thinking otherwise, especially on Android, where just a few years ago it was reported by F-Secure that 97% of all mobile malware was based on the Google-owned platform. Most of these aren’t conventional PC-style “viruses,” however, but dodgy apps supported by scareware or poorly programmed in a way that negatively affects your device.

That all sounds a bit doom-and-gloomy, but don’t worry, because our guide here will help you steer clear of the bad stuff.

Remove a Virus Using Safe Mode

If you are suffering from unexplained power outages, a fast-draining battery, or other issues since downloading an app or a bunch of apps, you should first boot to safe mode where you can remedy the problem. In Safe Mode the OS won’t load any third-party apps you downloaded, and if you find your phone is working okay when you’re in Safe Mode, then you more or less know that you have an app that’s causing mischief.

The following is how to get into Safe Mode.

If your device is on: hold the power button until the boot options appear, then touch and hold the Power button until your device boots to Safe Mode or until you get asked whether you want to reboot to safe mode.

If your device is off: hold the Power button until the phone logo appears on the screen, then hold the Volume Down button until you boot into Safe Mode.

You’ll know you’re in Safe Mode by the small “Safe mode” label that appears in the corner of the screen. Now that you’re in Safe Mode, you should hopefully notice that your device is running smoother, faster, and is no longer blighted with scareware messages telling you to call premium numbers to protect your device. This, by extension, means that a third-party app was causing all those problems before.

A good rule of thumb here is to delete anything that isn’t from a developer you’re really familiar with. If you just downloaded a random game you found in the Play Store on a whim, or some obscure shopping list app that not many other people had previously downloaded, start by getting rid of those.

If you have time on your hands, delete one app, boot your device normally, and see if it’s working normally. If it’s not, go back into Safe Mode and repeat this process until you notice the problem stops (once you find it, make sure to give it a scathing review or even report it to Google by tapping the “Flag as inappropriate” button on its Play Store page).

How to Avoid Getting a Dodgy App Next Time

Unlike on PC, the vast majority of “antivirus” apps for Android, even from the biggest security software developers, don’t offer the same level of security you’d get on PC. Also, don’t believe that just because you download apps exclusively from the Play Store that you’re safe. Malicious apps regularly get past Google’s defences and are downloaded by users in the millions. Try to stick with apps that have plenty of reviews, high review scores, and are from well-known developers. (Malicious app developers tend to clone reputable apps, then pass them off under a different developer name, so be wary of those.)

If you’re not a confident Android user, try not downloading apps (or APKs) from unknown sources.

Always read the permissions that apps request of you. If a note-taking app wants your contacts’ information, or a simple game is requesting use of your camera, think twice before accepting.


Be careful with what you download, and always do your research on an app and developer before committing to the download – read reviews, see what other apps that developer has made. Thankfully, conventional viruses that replicate themselves using users’ devices are a non-entity on Android, but scareware and apps that can have a terrible impact on your Android experience are everywhere, and you need to be ready for them.

Robert Zak

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.

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Protect Your Facebook Account From Hackers

Whether you are a fan of Facebook or not, you surely recognize that it is immensely popular worldwide. While most of us use the social network for its intended purposes, many people out there are using it for malicious reasons. How can you protect your Facebook account and keep hackers away?

First, take all possible technical steps, as outlined below, to keep hackers out.


Choose a password that is hard to guess yet easy to remember. There are many ways to do this, but one easy one is the phrase method. To use this method choose a phrase that includes numbers. Change the first letter of each word to upper case. Switch commonly used characters to symbols, add numbers, spaces (yes, a blank space is considered a character in passwords) and punctuation at the end. For example, “G3t To Th3 St@dium By 1 O’clock!”

Alternatively, for a shorter version use the first letter of each word with the proper case. Use numbers whenever possible, and add the end punctuation. Using this method, the phrase, “Get to the stadium by 1 o’clock!” would become “Gttsb1o!”.

If this is still sounds too complicated, you might want to switch to using a password manager to manage and generate a strong password.

Email Address Disable apps

Another way hackers can access your account is through apps. These apps are those you permitted to log in through your Facebook account. So clear your account of any apps you don’t use, especially if you don’t recognize the app!

Unrecognized Login Alerts

If you want to make sure no one is logging into your account, enable “Get alerts about unrecognized logins.” With this, you can choose if you want to receive these notifications via Facebook notifications, email, Messenger, or your phone. Whenever you log in from a different place, you will receive one of these messages. Some extra notifications far outweigh having no idea that someone else is in your account.

Two-Factor Identification

Two-factor identification makes it impossible for hackers to get through. After you enter your username and password, it sends a security code to your phone that you must enter to gain access. No one will be able to log into your account without physical access of your phone.

Encrypt Notification Emails

Check Email History Person to Person Tricks Hackers Use on Facebook

Even if you completely lock everything down using all of the methods above, hackers will still try to find a way into your account. If they can’t breach your security, they will try to trick you into giving them the access. The following are some ways these rats may try to infiltrate.


Don’t respond to any post in your newsfeed or on your wall asking you to verify your credentials or  your password. Facebook won’t ask you to do that, especially not publicly.

Apps and games

While there are plenty of legitimate and useful apps being used on Facebook every day, there are many that are just fronts for scams. If a friend asks you to try an app, message them verify they sent the request before you install it.

Emails External Links

Beware of links appearing on your timeline or newsfeed. Even if someone you know sent the link, remember that they could have been hacked. If your friend is sending out uncharacteristic links, let them know someone may have hacked them and that they need to change their password. Also, keep an eye on your timeline for any posts that may not have been from you or a friend.

Friend Request

Lastly, be very cautious when accepting friend requests from people you don’t know in real life. There are good reasons for allowing these requests because of shared interests or mutual friends, but before you do, check out their account. See how old it is. If it’s only a few weeks old, it’s probably a scam.

Look at the photos on their timeline to see if they look authentic or if they’ve been downloaded from somewhere else. If their links are spammy and not what you see from most people, it’s probably best to decline the invitation.

If you enjoy using Facebook, enjoy it safely by keeping these safety tips in mind.

Tracey Rosenberger

Tracey Rosenberger spent 26 years teaching elementary students, using technology to enhance learning. Now she’s excited to share helpful technology with teachers and everyone else who sees tech as intimidating.

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How To Make Your Android Phone Look Like A Windows Phone

Windows Phone is dead. It’s been a long time coming, what with Microsoft’s mobile platform being born with the fatal defect of “Not Android or iOS Syndrome.” The Windows Phone had some noble ambitions, trying to fuse itself seamlessly with the PC version of Windows, but in the end it just didn’t get enough support. However, there are some things from the Windows Phone that are worth keeping, and luckily many of them are available in one form or another on Android.

Here are the tools and apps that will keep a piece of that Windows Phone magic alive, long after it’s gone to the great mobile market in the sky.

Launcher 8 WP Style

The name of this app may be all over the place, but don’t let that deter you if you’re looking for a convincing tile-based interface, harkening back to the “glory” days of Windows 8. While the tile stuff didn’t really work out on desktop, it works very nicely on touchscreens, and you get all the joys of changeable tile sizes, Windows theming, and live tiles as well, which dynamically flip over to let you know when someone’s trying to contact you or when you’ve received an email.

SquareHome 2


If you use voice assistants, then you’ll be aware that they largely define your mobile experience. Google Now (or Google Assistant as it’s come to be known) is Android all over, and if you want to truly get that Windows Phone experience (with the perks of Android’s customizability and Play Store, of course), you need to get Microsoft’s digital assistant, Cortana. It has much the same functionality as Google Assistant, is regularly updated, and syncs up nicely with Windows, too.

Here’s our guide to replacing Google Now with Cortana on Android.

A.I. Type Keyboard

A.I. Type Keyboard isn’t specifically designed to recreate the Windows Phone feel, but it has so many customization options contained in it that you can do just that. A couple of the free themes in this app are “Windows 8 Tablet Theme” or “Windows Phone 7 Theme,” which accurately mimic the dark look of the keyboards found on Windows Phone devices. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a designer, you can even customize the existing theme to your liking!

Microsoft Office

The trifecta of Microsoft Office apps – Word, Excel and PowerPoint – came to Android a couple of years ago, and it’s safe to say that they’ve been a great success. The polished look and feel of these apps makes them the very best that you can get on Android, and frankly their wealth of features puts Android’s native office suite – Docs, Sheets and Slides – to shame. A real masterclass of app design, this suite shows that even though Microsoft has bowed out of the hardware game on Android, it has a bright future on the software front.


With this lot, you’ll be able to pay fitting tribute to Windows Phone using your Android device. There was a lot to be said for Windows Phone, but it really didn’t cut it in the apps department, so here you get the best of both worlds. Even if you’re not that into Windows Phone (hence you’re on Android), it’s fun to tweak things, right? So do give it a go.

Robert Zak

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.

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How To Use Wireless Adb On Your Android Phone?

How To Use Wireless ADB On Your Android Phone?

Also Read: How To Optimize Battery Performance on Android

How to Use Wireless ADB on Android?

The primary method for using ADB entails connecting your Android device to the PC through USB. But as we are utilizing ADB wirelessly, you need to ensure that a few things as stated below –

Connect your Android device and PC to the same Wi-Fi network.

Ensure your Android smartphone is running Android 11 or above. If not, update it to the latest version.

On your PC, download the most recent version of the Android SDK Platform-Tools

Enable Developer options on your Android device –

Step 01: To enable the developer option on your Android smartphone, first open Settings:

Step 02: As Settings open, find and tap on About phone.

Step 04: This will allow the Developer option on your Xiaomi or POCO Android device. The chances are that you are using an Android device of a different brand and model. Follow the step below to establish ADB wireless connection on your Android –

Also read: How To Recover Data From An Android Phone With a Broken Screen.

Enable Wireless debugging on your Android smartphone –

Step 05: Go back to Settings, scroll down, and tap Additional settings.

Step 06: On the next screen, find and tap on Developer options on the next screen.

Step 07: After entering Developer options, scroll down to the bottom of the screen, and tap on USB debugging to enable it. After enabling it, tap on Wireless debugging.

Step 08: Now, it will ask you for your permission. Check the Wi-Fi network your computer and Android device are connected to. After confirming, tap on Allow.

Step 09: It will successfully turn on the Wireless debugging mode on your Android device. Now you can move on to use wireless ADB on Android.

Step 10: If you use an Android device of a different brand and model, follow the step below to turn on the Wireless debugging –

Step 11: Now tap on Wireless debugging. On the next screen, tap on ‘Pair device with pairing code’.

Step 12: Here, an IP address, port number, and a Wi-Fi pairing code will be displayed. Remember to note it down, as it will be asked in the next steps.

Use Wireless ADB on Your Android Device –

The main step is how to connect your Android to a wireless ADB device. Follow the instructions below to use ADB wirelessly after configuring it and connecting your Android smartphone to your PC.

Step 13: Before we jump onto the next step, first download SDK Platform Tools on your computer.

Step 14: A zip file will be downloaded. Find this file and paste it where you can find it easily, and then extract it.

Step 15: Now go into the folder named platform-tools.

Step 17: In the address bar, type in cmd and hit enter. It will open a command prompt.

Step 18: As the command prompt opens, type in the ADB pair followed by the IP address and then hit enter.

Step 19: You will be asked to enter a pairing code. To connect your Android device to your computer, type the pairing code given in the Wireless debugging option (refer to step 12) and hit Enter.

Step 20: As seen in the screenshot below, the successful pairing window will appear on both your PC and phone. This indicates that you have successfully established an Android wireless debugging connection.

Step 21: On the main Wireless Debugging page, you can see the IP address of the Android smartphone on this page.

Final Takeaways –

One of the most common misconceptions about ADB is that it can only be helpful when rooting Android. But it proves to be useful for many essential aspects. Android Debug Bridge enables wireless app deployment and debugging from your workstation for Android 11 and higher versions. Without physically attaching your device via USB, you may, for instance, deploy your debuggable app to several remote devices. By doing this, dealing with concerns with typical USB connections, including driver installation, is no longer necessary.

Next Read

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Mridula Nimawat

How To Install Windows From Android

USB flash drives are very useful, but not everyone has one, and it is not always possible to lay your hands on a Windows recovery disk every time you want to install Windows on your PC.

Thanks to DriveDroid, you can install Windows from Android. It only takes a few minutes to set it up.


Before you proceed with this tutorial, ensure that you have the following things in place:

A rooted Android device (Magisk and SuperSU work well for this – always back

up your device before rooting)

4.5GB or more free space on your Android device

The Windows ISO file


First, you need to install DriveDroid or DriveDroid Paid on your device. Launch the Google Play Store app on your device, search for “DriveDroid” and install from there. It’s important to note that the current free version works best with Android 9 devices. However, it’s still one of the best options, despite not being updated for a while.

Once you have it installed, you can run the USB setup wizard to configure the application. Hit “Setup” to begin.

It will verify that your device has not been blacklisted. Tap “Proceed,” then grant the app root access.

Next, connect your Android device to a PC using a USB cable.

You need to choose from a list of USB systems for handling USB. Most devices will work with the first available USB system.

Finally, open the file manager on your PC and confirm whether your device is mounted as a USB drive or CD drive. This indicates that your device works well with DriveDroid. You may close the Wizard and proceed with the rest of the tutorial.

If your device doesn’t show up at all, head back to the previous page and try other USB systems until one works.

Create a Bootable Windows Image

Once you have scaled the initial setup, creating a bootable Windows ISO on your Android device should be a walk in the park.

Follow the below-listed steps and make sure your device remains connected to your PC before continuing.

Download the latest Windows 10 ISO file or Windows 11 ISO file and move it to your device’s internal storage or SD Card.

Launch DriveDroid and hit the “+” button at the bottom of the screen.

Select “Add image from file.”

Name your image and tap the magnifying glass icon to select the path of the ISO file. Once done, tap the checkmark at the top to save.

Your Windows image should be mounted now. A notification will appear on your phone indicating the the image was successfully mounted.

Finally, reboot your PC and boot from the Drive where your Windows ISO is mounted.

You may need to enter the boot menu if your PC isn’t set to boot from external devices or disks first. During the boot process, press F8, F11, or Del (the button varies based on your PC) to access the boot menu. Choose the UEFI option with a name that usually starts with Linux File-CD.

That’s it! Windows should boot normally, and you will be able to continue the installation process from there.

Frequently Asked Questions 1. Will this cause any data loss on my Android device?

It shouldn’t. As long as you perform the root process correctly and have ample space on your device, you shouldn’t lose any files, apps, or settings. However, always back up your device first. If you’re worried, consider using an old Android device instead if there is one available.

2. Will DriveDroid let me boot other operating systems?

Yes. It’s actually designed for letting you boot Linux systems directly from your Android device so that you don’t have to install them on your PC. For example, if you wanted to give Linux a test drive before creating a dual-boot system on your PC, use DriveDroid to install a Linux distro on your Android device and boot directly into it by connecting your Android device to your PC via USB.

If you’re not sure which Linux distros to try, check out some of the best Linux distros for Windows users.

3. Can I delete the Windows ISO once I’m finished?

Absolutely! Once Windows is successfully installed on your PC, you no longer need the Windows ISO on your Android device. Feel free to delete it to save space.

4. Is there a big difference between DriveDroid and DriveDroid Paid?

While I personally had no issues with the free version of DriveDroid on Android 12, some users have reported having better success on Android 11 devices using the paid version.

5. Will DriveDroid let me run Windows from Android?

While you can run Linux systems, you can’t run Windows fully from Android using DriveDroid. This is only to start the installation process. This works the same as creating a recovery or installation media on a DVD or USB drive.

Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

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