From stealing plans for the advanced F stealth fighter to State Department files , Chinese hackers have made off with invaluable trade secrets, sensitive government data, and personnel records. But it's also highly unlikely that the Chinese government has taken a sudden interest in hacking into the devices of ordinary Americans. That's not China's style.
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The country's hackers have demonstrated that their primary focus is on stealing military and trade secrets so it can rapidly develop its armed forces and key industrial sectors. Chinese smartphones have also come under a lot of criticism for spyware. Over the last several years, there have been multiple discoveries of malware loaded on Xiaomi, Lenovo, Huawei, and other Chinese smartphones. In , for instance, the mobile security firm Krytpowire uncovered Chinese malware on as many as million budget Android devices.
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Hidden in a benign support app, the pre-installed, third-party software would secretly send full text messages, contact lists, call history, location data, and other sensitive information to a server in Shanghai every 72 hours. The offending company, Shanghai Adups Technology Co.
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Chinese malware hidden in smartphones certainly sounds suspicious, but it's hardly a smoking gun. After all, the greatest threats that computers and mobile devices around the world faced in the past year, Spectre and Meltdown, stemmed from security flaws in American-made chips. For phones to function properly, many core processes require access to your location data, calls, and messages.
So while many Chinese smartphones don't actively use any Chinese apps, as the Adups case reveals, they still have firmware and other relatively innocuous pre-loaded background software that communicate with servers in China. The Mi A1 offers the usual array of biometric fingerprint sensor and non-biometric locks.
While most of us would fall back on having a pattern lock on top of the fingerprint lock, both these can be hacked. Well, imagine you are sleeping and your spying buddy unlocks your phone using your finger.
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Chances are, one would seldom come to know about it. The highest security is provided by a password, which has a mix of both upper and lower-case letters, digits, and special characters. Once the device security has been set up, your next destination is the Android Device Manager.
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Located inside the Google Settings, this nifty feature lets you locate your lost phone. All you have to do is toggle both the switches to On. This means that the phone switches over to cellular data as soon as the screen turns off. Before you get on a download spree to get your favorite apps onboard, have you checked your Google Play Settings?
So, if you are particular about your home screen looks, this can end up wasting a chunk of your time while you clean up the screen. Thanks to the Android Nougat in the Xiaomi Mi A1, it gives you the option to prioritize your notifications.