December 28th, 2020

Here’s a hard truth for parents: Big Tech knows more about your kids than you do.  Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter and so many more are vacuuming up countless bits of digital information about users. The details, when aggregated, paint a portrait of each person online that ordinary humans are unable to put together themselves. These organizations may not know more about your kids’ personality than you do. But if  your… Continue reading >

December 15th, 2020

If you’re going to use Instagram, be smart about it and take control. Setting your account to “Private” restricts who can see your posts. Dig a little deeper into the app’s “settings” to limit the amount of personal information the harvests from your posts and control, somewhat, the ads you see. You’ll end up with a safer, more private account that sheds a bit less data from Instagram, Facebook and their advertisers to collect. Continue reading >

December 2nd, 2020

Facebook is following you more closely than you thought. A little-known tool called Centra allows the company to track your online behavior well beyond the confines of its platform. Your activity on Facebook, including what articles you read and videos you share with friends and family is of great interest to large organizations, from advertisers to political campaigns. That much is, by now, common knowledge. But recent testimony on Capitol Hill indicates Facebook’s… Continue reading >

November 5th, 2020

Apps are listening, watching and recording you. Don’t let them. Block their access to your phone’s camera and microphone. Most apps — regardless of their intended function — collect personal data and use it for their own benefit. One of the ways that apps get crafty about collecting that data is by accessing your phone’s camera or microphone. Deny that access, and you’ll be safer. You would be surprised to know that most apps… Continue reading >

November 18th, 2020

Covid exposure apps may steer you from danger, but the Bluetooth technology they use can chip away at your privacy. Here’s how the apps work, and what you should be thinking about if you use one. Most Covid exposure apps rely on Bluetooth technology, a system that enables two devices near one another to exchange information wirelessly. Using Bluetooth, exposure apps can tell whether anyone you encounter while running errands tests positive for Covid. Continue reading >

October 29th, 2020

Apps should earn their place on your phone. If there are unused apps on your phone—apps you haven’t opened in the last month—delete them. You’ll boost your privacy, bolster your security, and de-clutter your phone in one move. Even when apps are “off,” they are still soaking up information about you, feeding the tracking industry at no benefit to you. Fight off the zombies. Delete unused apps. The Threat of Zombie Apps Continue reading >

October 16th, 2020

You don’t need to be a privacy fanatic to see the problems with letting a camera-equipped drone fly around your house, feeding video to your phone (and the cloud) as it buzzes from room to room. Amazon is betting you won’t care. You should. It’s a privacy disaster. In case you haven’t heard, earlier this fall Amazon introduced the Ring Always Home Cam, a small drone that acts as an all-seeing eye as… Continue reading >

September 23rd, 2020

If you don’t think the whole world needs to know what your house looks like, hide your home from Google Street View. It’s a simple process that “blurs” the image of your home as it appears on Google’s various maps. Viewers can see the building at a given address, but none of the details are visible. Nice, right? Read on to learn how to do it. First, the Risks Google Street… Continue reading >

August 27th, 2020

Every minute of every day, predictive analytics are changing our lives. Your social media feed is calibrated to present posts that you’re most likely to care about. Online ads appear because an algorithm has decided you’ll want to see them. Every song you listen to informs your streaming service about which song it should choose to play next. It’s efficient and effective. It’s also dangerously manipulative. Why Predictive Analytics Matter In… Continue reading >

August 6th, 2020

Protect your phone number and protect yourself. If a form on a website asks for it, think twice before typing it in. The more widely distributed your phone number is, the easier it is for companies to track your behavior online and serve up ads to you. And because your phone number is so closely tied to your identity, it’s a prize for hackers, too. Keep it close and protect yourself. If your kids have phones,… Continue reading >
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