Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on 9-11. Volunteer today

Bits & Bytes

Most Popular


Protect Your Smartphone From Viruses

Check out these tips to keep the bad guys out of your favorite all-in-one device

Use Your Head!

Software is a valuable defense against smartphone scammers and thieves, but it's not foolproof — you still have to use your head. Here are some important points to keep in mind:

Use your phone's locking feature. Your phone gives you the option to require inputting a PIN or password before gaining access. Yes, it's a pain, but if you find yourself frantically patting your pockets for a lost phone, you'll be glad the lock is enabled.

Don't fall for fraud. Many of the same caveats I laid out for Facebook users here hold true when using your smartphone online. Avoid too-good-to-be-true offers. Don't trust questionable sources — if you need to contact your bank, for example, go directly to their own website address, or make a phone call, rather than clicking on a link in a message. Make sure you have a secure encrypted connection when using Wi-Fi — the browser bar will indicate whether or not the connection is secure.

Check permissions when installing an app. Every time you install an Android app, you get a pop-up window explaining what phone features that program will be able to access. Don't just click OK — give it a read. Is there any reason a game should have permission to send text messages, for example? Should a recipe app have permission to access your contact list? A little common sense will go a long way toward avoiding serious security problems.

Read the reviews. While Google doesn't test apps before making them available in the Android Market, it does let users review apps they've tried. Take a look at what others have experienced with a given program before downloading and installing it on your phone.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Social Networking

Step-by-step instructions on how to use some of the Web's most popular networking sites. Go


How to Use Your PC

Guides covering everything from setting up your desktop, to getting the most out of Excel. Go


Protect Your Digital Life

Keep your computer secure, your web surfing safe, and your inbox spam free with these tips. Go


Discounts & Benefits

Geek Squad Computing

Members save on Geek Squad services with Geek Squad® Tech Support & Guidance for AARP® Members.

AARP Discounts on ADT Companion Services

Members get 20% off NEW installation and activation of ADT® Personal Emergency Response System.

AARP Discounts on Consumer Cellular Phones and Plans

Members save 5% on monthly service and usage charges with Consumer Cellular.

Member Benefits

Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change. Join Today


computer questions and tips

Computer Questions & Tips

Pick up some handy how-tos from this savvy group of techies. Discuss


Freebies Group

Favorite Websites & Freebies

Share your top sites for interesting information, helpful resources — and free stuff! Discuss