11 Ways Technology Will Keep You Safe

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istock

Advancements of modern technology are actually making us safer—not only can new forms of password protection help to safeguard our digital files and documents, advances in voice recognition and gesture control also create a heightened degree of security for our devices and homes.

1. DATA ENCRYPTION KEEPS YOUR INFORMATION FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

As remote computer hacking becomes a greater concern, the marriage of data to a local hard drive—or better yet, to a small set of drives—can be the best course of action for any individual or company hoping to keep information safe. Hardware- and software-based data encryption systems encode your information so that only authorized parties are able to retrieve and read it.

2. TRACK DOWN AND LOCK YOUR COMPUTER IF LOST

You can safeguard all the prized data you have stored on a particular computer even if the device has been misplaced. New free apps (like Prey) and paid software (like LoJack) allow you to locate your missing device and lock your hard drive by phone or Internet on a trusted second device.

3. FINGERPRINTS REPLACE PASSWORDS

Traditionally, access to a secure personal computer is granted via a typed password. Now, many devices come equipped with an option to unlock with a fingerprint scan. Hackers might be able to guess your password, but it’ll be pretty tough for them to reproduce your fingerprint!

4. AS DOES FACIAL RECOGNITION

For another (and arguably even more impressive) option, the Intel Security True Key™ app can actually memorize the mathematical structure of your face and grant access to your files following facial scans. Minute details like the distance between your eyes register with your computer’s memory, enabling it to discern between your visage and somebody else’s.

5. USE YOUR MOBILE DEVICE AS AN ADDITIONAL MEASURE

To double down on the security of your personal files, make sure that you can only access one of your devices with another of your devices. The True Key app also allows you to program your cell phone to act as a “key” needed to unlock your laptop or tablet.

6. APPLY THESE PASSWORD SUBSTITUTES TO YOUR FRONT DOOR

The beauty of such security upgrades is that they are not exclusive to your laptops and cell phones: True Key will one day enable you to gain entry to your home.

7. LOCK YOUR DOORS AND ARM YOUR SECURITY SYSTEM REMOTELY

Say you left the house in a rush, forgetting to lock your doors or arm your home security system. Both tasks can now be done via mobile phone. This also comes in handy for house sitters, dog walkers, or any other trusted parties who might be stopping by while you’re not home. Keep the doors locked all day until the friend in question is scheduled to arrive, and then allow access as simply as flipping a digital switch.

8. RECEIVE ALERTS OF UNAUTHORIZED ENTRY

In the event that an intruder does manage to breach your front door, ADT home automation technology can send immediate alerts to your mobile device—whether you are in the house or miles away at the time of break-in—allowing you to take the necessary precautions to ensure your and your household’s safety.

9. IT CAN WORK FOR YOUR CAR, TOO

The same remote locking and unlocking capabilities applied to your computer or household could soon be available to your car. True Key is even working toward applying fingerprint and facial recognition technology to car security.

10. WIRELESS CHARGING

Connecting your phone to a strange charger, wire, or outlet can prove dangerous, as there is no shortage of means that hackers and thieves use to interlope computers and apprehend data. The integration of wireless charging technology, possible through the electricity-sharing capabilities of metal coils, into storefronts and business sites all across the world not only reduces the risk of connecting to a dangerous power source, but also leaves you far less likely to wind up without an active phone or computer in a time of need.

11. BANK MORE SAFELY

If you conduct your banking online, it might be worthwhile to sync up your personal computer to your digital bank account. On top of mandating your username and password upon login, the program necessitates that you access it through a specific device (or devices) previously decreed by you as safe. If you bolster these computers with fingerprint or facial recognition security, yours will be a tough vault to crack even if your account information does happen to fall into the wrong hands.

The World Health Organization Is Releasing a COVID-19 App to Combat Coronavirus Misinformation

WHO MyHealth is meant to help clear up misinformation surrounding the novel coronavirus.
WHO MyHealth is meant to help clear up misinformation surrounding the novel coronavirus.
MangoStar_Studio/iStock via Getty Images

As is the case with most crises, the novel coronavirus has become a breeding ground for misinformation. Because the disease is so new, there are a lot of unanswered questions surrounding it, but that hasn't stopped people from claiming to know how to treat, prevent, and detect COVID-19. In an effort to separate fact from fiction, the World Health Organization (WHO) is launching an app dedicated to sharing what we know and don't know about the virus, 9to5Google reports.

Named WHO MyHealth, the new app is a collaboration between former Google and Microsoft employees, WHO advisors and ambassadors, and other tech and health experts. Users will be able to compare their symptoms with those linked to COVID-19 and receive public health updates specific to their location. As of now, there are plans to invite people who have been either been diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19 to share their phone's location history to give experts a better idea of how the virus spreads.

WHO MyHealth, which is currently being built as open source, is set to roll out for Android and iOS on Monday, March 30. If you have questions about COVID-19 you need answered immediately, you can also access accurate and up-to-date information through the WHO's chatbot.

Any information regarding novel coronavirus should be met with skepticism when it can't be traced back to organizations like the WHO or the CDC—especially when it comes to supposed cures. No specific medication has been proven to treat or prevent COVID-19, so you shouldn't take advice from anyone claiming otherwise.

[h/t 9to5Google]

10 of the Most Popular Phone Chargers on Amazon

Anker/Yootech/Amazon
Anker/Yootech/Amazon

Smartphones are a daily necessity at this point, whether you're using them for work or socializing (or both at the same time). And with the countless hours people spend on their phones every week, the need to charge them quickly and on the go has only grown. We now need chargers in our homes, in our cars, at the office, and in our travel bags, just to give us enough juice to carry us through the day. To make sure you're never at 5 percent battery while answering important work emails or perusing Reddit, we've rounded up a list of 10 of the best-selling and top-rated phone chargers on Amazon, including solar-powered and wireless models.

1. Yootech Wireless Charger (4.3 stars); $12

wireless phone charger
Yootech/Amazon

This top-rated wireless charger is compatible with most recent smartphones and AirPod models—and you don’t even need to remove your phone case for it to work. Reviewers report that it can fully charge most phone models in two to four hours.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Anker Wireless Charging Stand (4.5 stars); $19

wireless phone charging stand
Anker/Amazon

More than 4400 user reviews gave this wireless charger five stars, praising it for its value and reliability. Plus, the propped angle allows you to charge your phone both vertically and horizontally, letting you watch videos or scroll through social media without losing any battery.

Buy it: Amazon

3. BLAVOR Solar Charger Power Bank (4.5 stars); $47-$50

solar charger power bank
BLAVOR/Amazon

This solar-powered combination power bank/flashlight/compass is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts (or emergency preparedness devotees). Reviewers say that this charger holds an impressive amount of battery, able to charge two devices at once—with plenty of juice left to spare. Bring it on your next camping trip or keep it stored in an emergency kit.

Buy it: Amazon

4. BigBlue Foldable Solar Charger (4.3 stars); $85

foldable solar charger
BigBlue/Amazon

This lightweight foldable charger includes four weather-resistant solar panels that you can attach to a backpack so you can charge as you hike. While it’s pricier than the other items on this list, users say it packs a punch.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Anker Wall Charger (4.7 stars); $9

Anker wall phone charger
Anker/Amazon

This portable wall charger can accommodate two devices at one time, and user reviews praise this model for its simplicity and durability. Just remember to provide your own charging cable—because this product is compatible with several different device models, it doesn’t come with a cable of its own.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Anker PowerCore Portable Charger (4.5 stars); $46-$56

portable phone charger
Anker/Amazon

We’ve all had those moments where our phones are at 4 percent battery and there’s no outlet in sight. Prepare ahead with this portable charger from Anker, which can handle multiple devices on the go. This charger comes packed with a lot of power—Anker estimates that this device can give smartphones an extra 92 hours of battery life every time it’s recharged. This is exactly the type of charger you need in your bag if you're a commuter.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Anker Dual USB Car Charger (4.7 stars); $9-$12

dual USB car charger
Anker/Amazon

While more and more cars include built-in USB outlets to accommodate smartphones, those of us who drive older cars aren’t quite so lucky. But you can make up for that with this affordable high-speed car charger, which plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter and powers multiple devices at once. This charger is compatible with just about any device, provided you have a cable to attach it to the USB port.

Buy it: Amazon

8. ZeeHoo Wireless Car Charger (4.3 stars); $40

wireless car charger phone mount
ZeeHoo/Amazon

This device does double duty as a phone charger and a car mount. It requires a bit of setup to attach this charger to your dashboard, but once that’s complete, your phone can act as a convenient, hands-free GPS while charging up.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Swaller iPhone 8 Plus/7 Plus Battery Case (4.2 stars); $37-$38

iPhone battery case
Swaller/Amazon

This portable charger can give your iPhone an extra 25 hours worth of battery if you’re in a bind. Plus, it’s convenient—you can charge both your phone and the wireless battery case simultaneously using the same charging cable. Have a newer model of iPhone? Swaller’s got you covered with a selection of other battery cases.

Buy it: Amazon

10. HETP Galaxy S8 Battery Case (4 stars); $30-$33

Samsung Galaxy S8 battery case
HETP/Amazon

If you’re not an Apple user at all, you might instead opt for this battery case that’s compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S8. As with Swaller’s iPhone case, you can charge both your phone and the battery case itself at the same time—there’s no need to remove the case in order to get a full charge.

Buy it: Amazon

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

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