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How to find the correct domain of the bank?
As mentioned earlier, hackers and schemers use phishing to gain sensitive information from users. They usually send out emails that look authentic, luring users to follow the attached link; create websites almost identical to original ones, ask users to input their login credentials, and ultimately save the details on a form.
All leading banks now facilitate internet banking, so, chances are, your internet banking welcome kit would point you towards the legitimate bank website. If not, there’s always the option of a simple Google search. However, before entering sensitive information on the site you just found on Google, make sure you’re in the right place.
Here’s how to:
Step 1: Search for the bank’s name on Google. Open the link from Google’s results — most probably, it would be one of the top results on Google.
Step 2: Pay close attention to the website address, and see if there’s a padlock sign on the left, meaning, it’s a secure website.
Why you should switch to your banking app
Banks are aware of the risks of internet banking, and the anxiety new users tackle when transacting on a website. To remedy that, almost all leading banks now have dedicated apps, which are fully equipped to cater to all your internet banking needs.
You can easily find your bank’s app on the Google Play Store, and we believe it’s the safest bet as well. Fraudulent SMSes or emails can also give you links to your “official” banking app, but they usually redirect to dubious websites that ask you to download .APK files.
So, the safest bet here is to head over to the Google Play store, search for your bank’s app, and download. Google is pretty good at keeping its sites malware-free, so, you’re not likely to find a duplicate app on the Play Store.
Advantages of using a banking app
One time registration: You’re only required to keep your m-Pin or login password handy. No need to memorize your login ID, the app will do that for you.
Added security: Some banks even use your device’s fingerprint or iris scanner to add an extra layer of protection.
Simpler but powerful: Navigating a banking app is generally a lot easier than a full-fledged banking website. Even a couple of years back, apps used to be a lot restrictive. But now, you can even get your loan approved from your banking app.
Should you allow your browser to store passwords?
We have already discussed the pitfalls of traditional internet banking and gave you plenty of reasons why you should switch over to app banking. If you’re still not convinced, you can, of course, continue banking on your browser.
Almost all browsers give you the option of saving your password after you enter it on a website. The same holds true for banking websites as well. It’s a handy feature for sure, especially for people who have a hard time remembering stuff, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind before asking your browser to save the passwords.
Make sure you’re not using a public computer
Make sure you’re on a private network
Make sure only you have access to the PC
So, if you’re on your home network, using your personal computer, you can safely ask your browser to save your passwords for future use.
Is VPN effective?
Virtual Private Network (VPN) is arguably the most powerful web encryption tool known to man. The statement above might feel a little too dramatic, but we assure you that it isn’t. With the help of a powerful VPN, you can hide your internet traffic from everyone — even your Internet Service Provider — change your location, access region-restricted content, and more.
When enabled, your traffic flows through an encrypted VPN tunnel, which conveniently masks your IP address and even your location, if desired. To top it off, VPN services don’t keep a permanent log. So, after a given period of time, no one, not even the VPN service provider remembers your original IP address.
Now that you know a little VPN and its working principle, let’s take a look at whether it can be an effective tool against phishing and snooping.
Paid vs Free
When it comes to VPN services, excellence comes only at a premium. There are a few free services available, but none of them are as reliable or useful as their paid counterparts. To help you out, we have curated a list of five leading VPN services in the world, all of them dependable.
Reasons to have a VPN service for banking
VPN is safe, secure, and, if bought at the right time, doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket. Still, should you take the leap and invest in a VPN service? Check out these two points and decide for yourself.
If you use a public network: Private connections are always the best bet for internet transactions. However, if your workplace or hotel has public Wi-Fi, having a VPN probably is the next best thing. That way, no snoopers would be able to see your traffic and gain sensitive information.
If you use mobile banking: Hacking a mobile banking app is not an easy task, but that hasn’t stopped attackers from trying to exploit them. So, even though you’re using a secure mobile app, it’s not a bad idea to have an extra layer of protection through a trusted VPN service.
So, is having a VPN enough?
No, only having a good VPN service isn’t enough. A VPN service is only an added layer of security, but it won’t help much if you transact on untrusted websites. VPN will happily keep the snoopers at bay, but ultimately, it’s the users’ tenacity and attention-to-detail that’d keep them safe from prying eyes and grabby hands.
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Let’s be honest, Siri isn’t the best virtual assistant out there. Despite the efforts like offline Siri in iOS 15, Siri has always been behind a few assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Searching the web, answering questions, maintaining context, or even controlling smart home devices, Siri isn’t the most reliable AI assistant. And, when it comes to smart home products, who can beat Amazon Alexa?
In this article, let’s learn about how to download, set up, and use the Alexa app on your iPhone.
How to set up Alexa on iPhone
Unlike Siri, Amazon Alexa isn’t available as a built-in assistant on iPhone. Currently, there’s no way of installing any third-party assistant on iOS or iPadOS. So, to get Alexa on iPhone, you’ll have to use its app.
Here’s how to set up Alexa with your iPhone.
After the setup is complete, you’ll enter the main screen of the Amazon Alexa app.
How to use Alexa app for iPhone
On the Alexa app, you’ll see five tabs: Home, Communicate, Play, Devices, and More. In the section below, I’ve explained the use of each tab.
Home screen – Set an alarm, create a shopping list, and more
This is where the magic happens. Tap the Alexa icon on top to summon it. Summoning it for the first time will prompt you to enable location access. Next, use the hot word “Alexa” to call it.
Under the Alexa icon, there are a bunch of suggestions, such as setting up an alarm, music services, creating a shopping list, etc. You can tap any suggestion to enable it quickly.
For example, you can set up a preferred music service so that when you ask Alexa to play some music, it will play from your desired music streaming service only. And yes, you can ask Alexa pretty much anything to look up from the web by tapping the mic button on the top!
Moreover, you can add some skills to Alexa. Like, add a skill called Amazon Storytime, which features a collection of bedtime stories, including some originals from LEGO for kids. Now, your kids can ask Alexa for a bedtime story.
Pro tip: Alexa is a little better than Siri in surfing the web and collecting answers.
Communicate – Call directly, announce messages
If someone in your contacts happens to have an Amazon Alexa device or app, you can call or text them directly from this section. There’s a feature called Drop In that makes all your Alexa-compatible devices act as an intercom.
Say you’re in a supermart picking up things for your home, kids aren’t picking up the call, and you want to ask them if you’ve to bring anything from the mart.
You can Drop-In into the Echo of your home from the iPhone’s Alexa app and say your message. It’s truly a worldwide wireless intercom.
Moreover, there’s a feature called Announce that lets you, well…, announce messages to all the Echo devices at once.
Say you’re late from the office and you want to let your family know, you can just Announce, ‘I’ll be late home for dinner,’ and Alexa will ping each device on your network. It’ll send a notification if someone’s using Alexa for iPhone.
Play Music – Play music, listen to Kindle libraries
If you’re subscribed to Amazon Prime, you’re in for a treat. Using the Play tab, you can ask Alexa to play any music in the world.
You can even tune into your local radio stations and listen to a whole list of Amazon Kindle libraries. And yes, you can link Apple Music and Spotify as well.
Devices – Manage multiple devices
With an increasing number of smart home devices around us, everyone owns at least one smart home controller — like a smart speaker or a smart display.
If you happen to own an Amazon Echo device, you can manage everything related to the device in the Devices tab. Along with adding new Echo devices to the app, you can combine multiple Echo speakers to act as a stereo speaker directly from the Devices app.
More – Manage your Alexa account
Though self-explanatory, More is a place where you can manage everything related to your Alexa account. You can link your account to TV streaming services, add reminders, set alarms, change language, and more.
Add Alexa widget to your iPhone home screen
Despite Alexa having such an interesting app, the primary use only comes up when we ask something.
However, opening the app, tapping the mic button, or summoning ‘Alexa’ is a hassle. Thanks to a new update, Amazon Alexa has gained support for widgets on iPhone. Now you can summon Alexa right from your iOS Home Screen with a single tap.
Download or update the Amazon Alexa app to the latest version.
Long-press an empty space on the Home Screen to enter the Jiggle mode.
Now, tap the + button at the top left.
Scroll the list and select Alexa.
Finally, place the widget wherever you like.
Now, when you tap the widget, your iPhone will fire up the Alexa app with the microphone activated to say the command quickly. This certainly brings Alexa one step closer to Siri on iPhone — in terms of ease of access.
If you liked what we had to say about Alexa on iPhone, you might be interested in reading these as well:
Not everyone knows that Google Assistant has an interpreter mode. This tool can translate in real time in a language of your choice and read the phrases out loud. If you’re curious about how you can turn it on, continue reading, as we explain here everything you need to know about this useful feature.What Is Interpreter Mode and Why Is It Useful?
Interpreter mode is a feature in Google Assistant that is accessible on both Android and iOS devices. It was initially available on select smart speakers (including the Google Home), smart displays and smart clocks. The option eventually made it on to phones and tablets as well.
There are a total of 44 languages to choose from on your phone or tablet, including Arabic, Bengali, Burmese, Cambodian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Filipino (Tagalog), Finnish, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Kannada, Korean, Malayalam, Marathi, Mandarin, Nepali, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Sinhala, Slovak, Spanish, Sudanese, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu and Vietnamese.
Once interpreter mode is activated, users can simply speak into the device to get the translation, which is displayed on screen and read out loud. The tool also offers the option to easily copy the translated text.
Overall, interpreter mode is a very useful tool that enables users to have conversation with people who speak different languages. While interpreter mode is great to have when you’re traveling, the feature can prove extremely practical if you happen have a colleague at work from another country or a family member who can’t speak your language.How to Activate Interpreter Mode on Your Device
On your phone, bring up the Google Assistant either by saying “Hey Google” or opening the dedicated app. You can also open the Google app and tap on the voice button in the search bar. To get started with interpreter mode, simply say “Hey Google, be my Russian interpreter” or whatever language you want your translation to be in.
You can use several other prompts including:
“Help me speak Spanish”
“Interpret from Romanian to Dutch”
“Turn on interpreter mode”
If you use the last one, the Assistant will ask you to manually select the language you want to translate to. From the same menu, you can change the language you’ll be speaking in as well. It’s set to English by default.
Next, the Assistant will prompt you to tap on the mic button and start talking. (Wait for the tone.) The Google Assistant will display and read out the translation for you immediately. Google also offers up a series of smart replies in the translated language. This way you’ll be able to continue having a fluid conversation.Remove the Language Barrier
In addition, interpreter mode has a “manual mode,” which features a mic for both languages so that the Assistant can translate what’s being said back and forth. Simply tap between the two buttons to have a seamless conversation.
Once you’re done, tell the Assistant to stop or exit the feature. Or you can simply tap on the “X” in the top right of the display. The Assistant will say, “Sure, I’ll stop translating,” so you can move on to something else.How to Add a Google Assistant Interpreter Shortcut to Your Phone’s Home Screen
For those who need to use Interpreter Mode often, it can be a good idea to create a shortcut on their phone’s home screen for easier access.
This eliminates the need to say “Okay Google” every time you want to use the feature or to ask the Assistant to turn on the service. Instead, you’ll just tap on the shortcut to get started.
The next time you are in interpreter mode, look in the upper-right corner. Next to the “X” that allows you to turn off the feature, you’ll notice a phone button.
Tap on it, and a pop-up will appear with the shortcut. You’ll have to drag it manually to your home screen from there or tap “Add Automatically.”
You should create a shortcut for the language you use the most, but if you constantly require translation in more than one language, then the good news is that you can create multiple shortcuts.
Google Assistant is a great service. If you want to learn more about how you can use it to its full extent, then read on to learn how you can make the virtual assistant read your articles out loud or how you can use it with your Xbox One.
Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.
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Not having access to your favorite websites is a frustrating ordeal to face. Sometimes it may be a general problem with your Internet settings or just some problem with your ISP.
There is a possibility that some websites will be blocked by your service provider. This is often the case on school campuses where you may be restricted from viewing certain websites.
There are a few ways to scale this hurdle. There are a host of tools you can use on your Android smartphone, tablet or other Android device, but you will find the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPN) the best bet.
A VPN will run as an app on your device. It will hide your identity and help you gain access to content that will be otherwise restricted to you.What to consider before getting a VPN for your Android
You should know that not all VPNs will work the same. It is wise to avoid entirely free VPNs. Here are a couple of pointers while you consider what VPN to get for your Android device.
No logging policy – Just like your ISP, it is possible for your activity logs to be stored by your VPN. You should consider a VPN service that observes a strict no-logging policy.
Powerful encryption – There is an industry standard of 256-bit AES encryption. It is the standard you should seek in a VPN.
Android support – You must ensure the VPN you are considering has support for and will work seamlessly with Androids.The best VPNs for accessing blocked sites 1. Express VPN
With its Android app, you will have access to high-speed servers across 94 countries. You will also enjoy 24/7 customer support and live chat.2. NordVPN
Of its many cool features, one not to skip over is “Double VPN” technology. This technology adds an extra layer of security by passing your connection through two separate VPN servers. With its zero log policy, you can be confident none of your activity will be tracked.
The app may lack configuration options, but it is pretty straightforward and easy to use.3. IPVanish
This is arguably the fastest Android VPN. It has one obvious downside, which is the absence of a kill switch. A kill switch comes in handy in the event of the VPN dropping. It will ensure that the Internet connection is shut down instantly.
IPVanish has a zero logging policy. It also maintains the industry AES 256-bit encryption standard. You will also be able to promptly resolve whatever issues you may have, thanks to the 24/7 support offered.How to set up a VPN to view blocked websites
Having reviewed a few VPN services, I hope you can make a choice on what service to go with. Once you pick a service, follow these steps:
1. On your PC or Mac, open up a web browser and create an account for the VPN service that you have chosen.
2. Download and install the app on your Android device. (Depending on the service, you may have to download an APK and install manually.)
3. Log in to the app with your credentials. This will allow the app to automatically locate the fastest servers for you. (If required, confirm any security messages from the app on your Android.)
4. Let the app run in the background, and keep it open whenever you are on Wi-Fi with restricted websites.Conclusion
There are a number of VPNs that will offer support for Androids. The final choice of VPN will depend on your personal preferences. Any of the above-named VPNs should make a good choice for using on your Android devices.
Afam is a writer with a passion for technology amongst many other fields. Aside from putting pen to paper, he is a passionate soccer lover, a dog breeder and enjoys playing the guitar and piano.
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From accessing the latest sports scores to tracking the whereabouts of your Uber driver, the Live Activities feature initially released with iOS 16 eliminates the need for you to unlock your iPhone or sift through multiple apps to stay updated and informed. In this guide, we show how the Live Activities feature works and how you can set it up on your iPhone.What Are Live Activities?
Live Activities provide at-a-glance notifications, such as real-time updates from your favorite apps on your Lock Screen and in the Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. The interface and how you interact with the feature will change, depending on the app you plan to use.
Suppose you’re using a fitness app that has the Live Activities capability. It can provide a workout summary, show you how many miles you’ve ridden on a bike, or even showcase your rock climbing stats. All this information will be neatly presented at the bottom of the lock screen with Live Activities.
Tip: have an iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max? Discover how to use the Dynamic Island feature to access Live Activities from just about anywhere on your iPhone.How to Enable Live Activities for Native Apps
To use the Live Activities feature, you must enable it for the supported apps. Follow these steps to enable the feature on your iPhone:
Open “Settings,” scroll up, and select the “Face ID and Passcode” or “Touch ID and Passcode” menu, depending on your iPhone model.
Enter your iPhone’s passcode to enter the Lock Screen security settings menu.
Toggle the “Live Activities” button under the “Allow Access When Locked” section to enable the feature on your iPhone.
Good to know: looking for a way to personalize your iPhone with iOS 16? Discover how to customize your iPhone and iPad lock screens.How to Enable Live Activities for Third-Party Apps
Enabling Live Activities from the Settings app only gives the native iOS apps access to the feature. To get these updates for third-party apps, you’ll have to enable this option for each app individually. Follow the steps below:
Open “Settings,” scroll down to the app you want to use with Live Activities, and open it.
For example, select the Uber app.
Toggle the button for “Live Activities.”
You may also see the “More Frequent Updates” toggle within the “Live Activities” feature. It refreshes the Live Activities widget on the lock screen more often to keep you updated and allows updates on your home screen as well.
Note: enabling more frequent updates for Live Activities may drain your iPhone’s battery faster. Read on to learn how to have your iPhone notify you when your battery is at 80%, to keep your iPhone’s battery topped off.Frequently Asked Questions Does the Live Activities feature work on iPhone 12?
Live Activities works on iPhone 12 as long as it’s running iOS 16.1 or 16.2.How do I turn Live Activities on for TV apps?
To turn on the Live Activity feature for the TV app, open “Settings” and tap the “TV” app.” Toggle the switch to green for Live Activities to enable it. You can also enable “More Frequent Updates” to get regular updates.How long does the Live Activities feature remain active on iPhone’s lock screen?
The total active duration is 12 hours. The actual running time is eight hours, and for the remaining four hours, it remains on the lock screen in a suspended state before being removed by the system.
Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots by Hashir Ibrahim.
With over two years of in-depth experience working in technical fields, Hashir is a master content creator who loves writing about Mac and iOS at major tech publications on the internet like MakeUseOf and MakeTechEasier. Hashir spends his free time boxing and designing his business.
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With the release of iPadOS 16 last year, Apple completely changed how you can multitask on your iPad with a feature called Stage Manager. Available on only selected iPad models, Stage Manager allows you to use multiple apps simultaneously on your iPad screen. Unlike the split screen mode on iPad, you can now resize, move, organize, or overlap app windows in a single tap. So, in this guide, let’s learn how to enable and use Stage Manager on iPad.
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later)
iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later)
iPad Air (5th generation)How to Turn On Stage Manager from Control Center on iPad
Now that you know if your iPad supports Stage Manager or not, let’s see how to enable and use this feature. First things first, let’s see how to turn on Stage Manager on iPad:
2. Here, tap the three vertically aligned dots and a rectangle (Stage Manager) icon.
3. Stage Manager will now be enabled on your iPad.How to Turn On Stage Manager from Settings on iPad
Though the Control Center gives quick access to this feature, there is another method to enable Stage Manager on iPad. Here’s how.
1. Access the Multitasking and Gestures settings on your iPad.How to Effortlessly Use Stage Manager on Your iPad
Once you turn on Stage Manager on your iPad, you can use multiple apps simultaneously. You can move, resize, and overlap app windows to use them by just tapping the one you want to use. Here’s what you can do with Stage Manager on iPad:Switch Between Multiple Apps
Stage Manager on iPad allows you to switch between apps by tapping other apps available in the recent apps list on the left. And when you do so, the current app moves to the recent app list, and the other app replaces it. Watch the GIF below, to see how this works:Move App Windows in Stage Manager on iPad
Just open any app on your iPad. Then, tap and hold any empty space at the top of the app window and move it anywhere you want.Resize Window with Stage Manager on iPad
1. Open an app window on your iPad.Resize, Minimize, Add Another Window, and Close Apps
While you can resize an app window using the method we discussed earlier, a few actions cannot be performed by dragging the black curve at the bottom corner. Here’s how you can resize, minimize, close apps, or add another window to your iPad’s screen –
1. Tap the three dot button at the top center of your app window to reveal multiple options.
2. With the Enter Full Screen option, the current app will expand to full screen. It will hide every other opened app beneath it.
3. Tapping on Add Another Window pushes the current app window to the edge of the screen, revealing the app library or home screen. From here, you can add another app for multitasking.
5. The Close tab completely closes that particular app.Multitask with Multiple Windows on iPad
With Stage Manager, you can use multiple apps simultaneously on your iPad either by adjusting app windows to the iPad’s screen or by overlapping app windows one over another. With overlapping, tap the app you want to use, and it will come in front. The current app will move to the back.How to use Stage Manger on iPad with External Display
You can also use the Stage Manager feature to connect your iPad to an external display, drag apps and work across both screens. However, there are some prerequisites to using Stage Manager with an external display.
Pre-requisites to use Stage Manager on External Display
A wireless keyboard and mouse must be connected to the iPad.
Stage manager on an external display is only supported on the following iPad models: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation and later), iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation and later), iPad Air (5th generation)
Here’s how you can use Stage Manager on your iPad with an external display:
1. You can arrange the displays vis-a-vis moving the external display to the left or right as per your preferred setup.
2. Drag the app icon across the iPad screen to an external display to open the app there.How to Customize Stage Manager on Your iPad Hide or Show Recent Apps List
You can choose to show hide or show recent apps and dock on your iPad when using the Stage Manager feature. Here’s how it works:
1. Access the Multitasking & Gestures settings on your iPad.
2. Then, enable the Recents Apps toggle under Stage Manager to show the recent apps list, if it isn’t already. You can also turn off this option if you don’t want to see recent apps on the left.Hide or Show the Dock
For a distraction-free experience, there’s also an option to hide or show Dock from your iPad when multitasking using Stage Manager. This is how it works:
2. Now, to show Dock all the time, tap the Dock toggle to turn it on or off.How to Turn Off Stage Manager on Your iPad
While Stage Manager is a great multitasking feature on iPad, it can sometimes get overwhelming. And if that’s the case, this is how you can disable Stage Manager on your iPad:
1. Access the Control Center on your iPad by swiping down from the top right corner of the screen.
2. Here, tap the Stage Manager icon to turn it off.
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