NQ Mobile honored with three BIG Awards

Gavin Kim, Vice President, Chief Product Officer, NQ Mobile

Gavin Kim, Vice President, Chief Product Officer, NQ Mobile

Today the Business Intelligence Group announced the winners of the 2013 BIG Awards for Business program and NQ Mobile was recognized with three awards. NQ Mobile was proud to receive top honors in Company of the Year, NQ Mobile Security won Product of the Year, and Chief Product and Commercial Officer Gavin Kim was named Executive of the Year.

“We are honored to receive the recognition by Business Intelligence Group for our company overall as well as for our superior product offerings and especially congratulate Gavin Kim for the recognition of his executive leadership,” said Omar Khan, Co-CEO, NQ Mobile. “We are passionate about mobile, and we strive to be the world’s premiere provider of trusted mobile internet services. These awards are a testament to our ability to deliver on our goals.”

Game On: FL Mobile launches first game in North America


NQ Mobile is best known as the world’s most popular provider of mobile security software, but our products and services are rapidly expanding into all areas of the mobile ecosystem. Today NQ Mobile’s subsidiary FL Mobile launched its acclaimed 3D action-puzzle MMORPG Gods & Dragons, in the United States and Canada. A top-5 grossing game in China, Gods & Dragons embodies the upcoming wave of FL Mobile titles that are headed to North America in the coming year.

“We are excited to introduce North Americans to ‘Gods & Dragons,’ which has become one of the most popular games in China,” said Dr. Tony Ni, Founder and CEO, FL Mobile. “As the first of our games launching in the U.S. and Canada, it well represents the type of puzzle, RPG and MMORPG mobile gamers will be able to enjoy from FL Mobile in the near future.”

Gods & Dragons is currently available for iOS and the North American launch for the Android platform is expected by late October.

In addition to games, NQ Mobile has recently announced other non-security products like Music Radar – a revolutionary content-based music information retrieval application, and NQ Care – a comprehensive mobile device protection plan. NQ Mobile’s subsidiary NQSky has also accelerated the growth of its enterprise mobile device management services by expanding to more than 20 new enterprise customers.

How to spot a bad Android app


Anytime a popular Android app or game is released, you will probably come across some fake clone apps that are designed to trick users by looking like the real thing. These bad apps can abuse your privacy and attempt to send you to phishing web sites. Google has a service codenamed Bouncer that scans Android apps as they are uploaded to Google Play, but no security mechanism is foolproof and bad apps can still slip through this filter.

You should always read permissions before you download an app and it’s wise to have an extra layer of protection like NQ Mobile Security, but there are other ways to spot a phony app before you install it.


1. Look for Google’s “Top Developer” badge

Google awards the most popular developers with a special badge that says “Top Developer.” If you see this distinction featured on an app then you can trust that Google has verified this developer. The absence of the Top Developer badge does not mean that a developer is untrusted or bad, but it lets you know to check other clues to determine an app’s quality before you install it.

2. Check if any of your friends gave the app a +1

Another easy way to see if an app is good or bad is to check if your friends gave the app a “+1.” This is similar to a thumbs up or sign of personal approval. When an app has a bunch of +1’s from people you trust, then it should be OK to install. If you don’t have any friends setup yet, then head over to Google+ and perform a search for Android to locate some popular pages and people that you can follow.

3. Beware of bad review scores

Poor review scores are normally a sign of a bad app. If you find an app that has a majority of 1-star reviews, then proceed with caution. However, don’t just rely on the review score.

4. Scan the reviews and reviewers

Spam accounts can post postive fake reviews of an app, so it is important to scan some of the reviews and the people posting them. If you see a bunch of 5-star one word reviews from accounts with no profile pictures, then this could be a warning sign. A good app should have helpful reviews from genuine user accounts.


5. Consider the date an app was updated

High quality apps are routinely updated. If you find an app that has not been updated for over a year or longer, it could be a sign that it is no longer supported by the developer.

6. Review the developer contact information

Does the developer have a legitimate website? Some bad apps will link to a spam site. Does the developer’s email match the company name? An email address should be the same domain as the developer’s site. A random Gmail or Yahoo! email address might be suspicious. Is the developer transparent and do they provide a link to their privacy policy? A shady developer isn’t concerned with your privacy.

 7. Take into account the total installs

An app with millions of installs should be safe to download. If there were any serious problems, then they likely would have been reported by that time. Look for apps that only have a couple hundred or thousand reviews, and examine the other clues in this list to determine the app’s quality before you install it.

“Tag! You’re it!,” says Facebook face scanning


Last week Facebook proposed a new set of updates to their policies, including one that allows them to automatically scan users’ profile pictures with facial recognition software. The change is intended to improve the performance of its “Tag Suggest” feature that lets others tag you in photos uploaded to the social network.

Previously, Facebook would only scan photos that you were already tagged in. The new policy says, “We are able to suggest that your friend tag you in a picture by scanning and comparing your friend’s pictures to information we’ve put together from your profile pictures and the other photos in which you’ve been tagged.”

The new Facebook policies were supposed to go into effect on Friday, September 6, but consumer outrage has delayed the update. Six privacy groups banded together and sent a letter (.pdf) to the Federal Trade Commission asking them to stop the changes. Facebook now tells the LA Times that it’s taking more time “to ensure that user comments are reviewed and taken into consideration to determine whether further updates are necessary and we expect to finalize the process in the coming week.”

Facebook said that it’s not actually changing its policies, but clarifying the language in them. Erin Egan, Facebook Chief Privacy Officer, told The Globe that scanning members’ public profile pictures would provide users with better control over their personal information, by making it easier to find photos in which they appear. “Our goal is to facilitate tagging so that people know when there are photos of them on our service,” Egan said.

Like previous Facebook features, users can “opt out” of the new “Tag Suggest” feature if they don’t want their pictures scanned. To disable tag suggestions, go to Facebook Privacy Settings and navigate to Timeline and Tagging settings. Find the section that says “Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded?” and change the setting to “No One.”

And of course the easiest way to opt-out of all of this is to not create that digital content in the first place. Unhappy Facebook users can always delete their account if they no longer wish to use the service.

Are you OK with Facebook scanning your profile picture and all your photos to identify your face? If these new policies are implemented, will you be more likely to opt out of “Tag Suggest” and make all your pictures private? Let us know what you think about Facebook’s efforts to tag you in every photo uploaded to their service.

Is there a place in your heart left for passwords?


Wired’s Mat Honan describes the password as a “secret that can ruin your life.” Last year he was the victim of a hacker that destroyed his entire digital life in the span of an hour. Honan and others have urged the tech industry to kill the password and they might be getting their wish soon. This year a group of companies, including Google and PayPal, announced the FIDO Alliance with hopes of creating standards that will allow users the option to replace passwords with authentication methods that are more secure and easier to use.

We don’t know which authentication type will replace the password yet, but your body will play a key role in any new identify platform. Biometrics, the science of identifying a person by their unique body features, has been around for a long time and now advances in technology are making it more practical for online identification and mobile device security.

A Toronto-based company called Bionym recently started taking pre-orders for Nymi, a wearable product that measures a user’s electrocardiogram (ECG), which is a recording and interpretation of the electrical activity of the heart over a period of time. Like a fingerprint, your heartbeat is unique since it is affected by such things as the heart’s size, its shape and its position in the body.

However, Nymi should be much more secure than a traditional fingerprint scanner which can be easily bypassed. The Nymi product is unique because it relies on a 3-factor security system. Users need to be in control of a Nymi, their unique heartbeat, and an Authorized Authentication Device (AAD), which would be a smartphone or other mobile device registered with their app.

Every time a user puts on the Nymi, it captures their heart beat and then it’s able to communicate with and unlock any devices that it’s registered with. A promotional video for Nymi demonstrates how it could be used for automatic device unlocking, secure mobile payments, and proximity based control for other smart devices. Nymi also recognizes gestures and its distance from different electronic devices, so developers could enable some pretty cool interactions with other devices.

Dr. Karl Martin, Bionym’s CEO, tells The Verge that the Nymi doesn’t even have to be a bracelet. “It could be a ring, a necklace, a waistband, anything. The wristband is just the first idea. We’ll see what people want to do.”

I’m a huge fan of wearable technology and I hate remembering passwords, so I can’t wait to see how Nymi performs in the real world. Pre-orders are taking place right now for $79 and units ship early in 2014, so we won’t have to wait much longer for heartbeats to play an important role in mobile security.

Have you ever used any forms of biometric security? Would you be willing to wear a wristband or other form of technology if it increased your security? Please share your experiences with us on our blog or our Facebook page.  We’d love to hear from you.