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Articles Expertise

The Online Privacy Guide: A Dozen Ways To Keep Your Secrets, Darling

We talked Internet Privacy and Safety with Our leading Cybersecurity expert. 

We chatted about Alexa and Facebook, Apple and Android Apps and our smartphones and how they are listening and following and frankly, getting to know way too much about all of us. Listen to the Podcast and you will hear our Expert talk about how he thinks the idea of using Alexa is "hysterical"  Wondering who would ever risk their privacy in such an outright way . . .

Bryan Neumeister, head of USA Forensic, helps law enforcement, government agencies and the legal system.  He reveals just how much he can access, from erased information on cell phones, laptops and wired and wireless devices. Things like your bank accounts, exactly where you've been, the passwords to all your accounts, every photo you've ever taken-when and where and so much more.

If you're seeking privacy with your technology, listen to the wealth of information in the podcast at the end of this guide--But First--

THE Top 16 Internet and Online Privacy Tips

  • Prevent Cameras on Computers and Phones From Watching you When You Don't Want Them To- SO Not Cool.  Block/Cover Computer Camera's and Your Selfie Camera  With Creep Blockers Webcam and Microphone Blockers

creepblocker

 

  • Be mindful of "Smart Devices" that are always listening or in the case of your Roomba vacuum cleaner- watching and recording your floor plan!  From Amazon Alexa, to Smart Toys our Connected Devices are always on. And now we've confirmed, something we learned way back when Hello Barbie was introduced--that it's not always just AI(artificial intelligence) that's hearing your every word.  Buzz Feed released a story of how Amazon employees thousands of people to listen to Alexa--listen to YOU.-Just like Barbie, they use the recordings of your conversations.  Not just your commands--but the conversations in your home-- to help the "robots" learn speech and  to help Alexa better respond to commands.  
  • Log in to Amazon and Apple to erase your data.  Log in to irobot.com to opt out of having your floor plan stored on their Clean Map from Rhoomba.  DO a RESET by holding down all three Cleaning Buttons at once for 15 seconds, when you'll hear tone.

    Can I Delete Info That's Been Collected?

    Yes, iRobot claims it will delete any data that has been collected upon request, but you have to contact the company directly for that. For assistance with that—or any of the options above—contact the company’s customer support site.

 

  • AI really is not so Artificial.--When you use Siri or Apple HomePod or Google Home or Alexa--your utterances are RECORDED.  That's the key.  DISABLE Recordings going to Amazon.

    • AMAZON ALEXA: Go To Privacy Settings on the Amazon Echo App and Opt Out of Amazon Using Your Voice Recordings. Note: Even if they are not "used" utterances are most likely still recorded.

    • SIRI FROM APPLE: To opt out of Siri recordings and have them erased,  Siri MUST BE TURNED OFF or DISABLED with a 2 step process.  Apple tells us in their privacy policy that your voice input data may be retained for period of time to improve Siri, Dictation and other Apple products and services.  This "Data" includes Audio Files--aka Recordings of What You Say to Siri! Thankfully, Apple now also gives you the option of erasing your Siri recordings that are less than 6 months old. In order to stop these recordings and have Apple delete the old data , follow these 4 steps

  1. First, Turn Siri Off Open Settings > Siri & Search, then slide the Listen for “Hey Siri” and "Press Home or Side Button for Siri" switches to “off”.

  2. While you're at it, turn off Siri Suggestions.   That way, the stuff you search with your iPhone is not retained by Apple either.

  3. Delete saved recordings and dictations. Click on "Siri & Dictation History" and then delete. 

  4. Next turn off Dictation, Open Settings > General > Keyboard, then slide the Enable Dictation switch to “off”. 

There you have it! Now your safe from Siri and any saved recordings. 

 

  • Limit Sharing Location:  Does everyone or anyone need to know where you are?   For iPhone: Settings>Privacy>Location Services - You can turn it off or scroll through every app and decide which ones need your location.  Be extra careful-Turn on Location Services: and toggle off every app option and then turn Location Services off.  For Android: Go to Settings>Location Toggle it Off  You also have the option to allow individual apps--like Google and Google maps permissions.  We recommend never giving Google any of your information.

 

  • Does the Website you're visiting really need to know your location or your IP address? Browse anonymously and unblock websites when you're traveling internationally with a VPN (Virtual Private Network). There's a bunch of options out there, we like several including Express VPN-which has a solid reputation or my favorite and the one I use, Proton VPN

 

  • Use solid passwords and change them often- every 90 days at least! Cyber experts now recommend that they be no shorter than 17 characters and paraphrases or sentences are best. 
  • "Password1234" isn't a great password. Same goes for your birthday, kids birthdays, pet names or your address.  Those are so easily guessed and make sure that each site you visit gets a different password.  It's a lot to remember, yes. We think writing them down and keeping them in a safe place is better than a One Password or password savers online. But- those password storage services or generators are are much better than using the same password over and over again!
  •  Password Validation or Security Challenges- ahh those need special attention- one wrong move here and everyone knows all your answers- Our Password Guide favors a little dishonesty when it comes to this information

  • Recently Apple Announced that FaceTime had a Bug that allowed users to unknowingly be seen and heard after the call was completed(Gasp!) Facebook's Messenger has had similar issues. Prevent Your Calls And Texts from Being Intercepted by Stingray and other eavesdropping technology by using apps with end to end encryption for privacy. We like the FREE  Signal

  • If Your Phone is With You(Is It Ever Not?) You may want to consider a  Faraday Bag to prevent your cell phone provider, apps or any nasty tracker from knowing your location and intercepting data.  A quality Faraday Bag stops  radio frequency signals and wireless signals from powering your device.

 

  • Know which Apps are accessing your Microphone:(another great reason to have your phone in a Faraday) On an iPhone under Setting > click Privacy >under Privacy> click Microphone, here you’ll see a list of the apps you have that want to access your mic. Toggle to disable.
  •  Most people have no idea- Google vault is saving every word you type- even the drafts of emails,even the ones you delete! !For private and secure email, try this fully encrypted email based in Switzerland: For IOS, Android and computers: Protonmail

 

We think these cute Password Books are a great idea
  • Log out and Sign off.  Especially if it's a site you don't want someone getting into either from your computer or remotely.  Logging out seals your data off-but in some cases information could still be cached in your browser, so the extra step is to close the browser as well- And for those of you like me, super intense about privacy,  you may also want to clear the cookies and the cache.  It takes a moment, but I feel so good about stopping a bit of the tracking.

 

  • When you and your phone walk into a coffee shop or any public venue--your phone can tell everyone who you are: YOUR Phone's NAME (typically your name) appears as Hotspot or as someone to Air Drop: So Change it. Touch Settings>General>About>Name. Then, type in your new name--Video and More 

 

  • Do You Use an Electronic Key for Your Apartment or Car? It's really quite unbelievable -but some people are hacking the codes and breaking into cars and homes-- Check This Out 

  • Your Apps Want To Get To Know YOU!  To avoid being tracked and "advertised to," disable apps that you're not using and enable them when you need them.

 

  • Check your Cellphone Settings for other privacy issues like:  what apps have camera and microphone access, know your location, auto-join settings, and more. Find more settings to check and instructions on how to change them for iOS / Android here

 

  • Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn all think you're fascinating and they want to know oh so much about You. Check privacy settings on your social media accounts We have the Ultimate Guides to Facebook Privacy Settings and Instagram Privacy Settings

 

  • When signing up for a new App, social media account, or when naming your device- be mindful! Does that app really need to know your real name and real information? If not use a fake name or alias! Have FUN with it, use a fun name like Diving Queen or Adventure Seeker. Using an alias when asked for your personal information allows you to protect yourself and your information. You can provide a fake name, switch you gender, a fake email address, and more. This means that although companies may still access your data and location information, at least they won't be able to connect the dots to know your REAL name, address, birthday, your kid's names, and more. YAY! That make us feel so much safer. Also, if you don't regularly use an app just delete it! 

 

  • When in doubt, try using the new iPhone app Privacy Pro SmartVPN. This app detects and blocks location tracking bugs that are placed on your phone by other apps. You are able to see in real-time the trackers that are trying to track your location, collect your phone number, email, and online activity. This is great because your devices load THOUSANDS of HTTP and DNS connections, these are not secure. Meaning that your information can be gathered while these pages are loading. Privacy Pro SmartVPN allows you to stop this! 
 

And one last Tech Wellness online privacy tip: If you care about privacy: Keep Google off your phone! Other Excellent Privacy ideas here

 

And one last Tech Wellness Health Tip: Our Exclusive Safe and Comfortable Rose Gold Safertech Airtube Headphones.

No EMF Radiation!

For more detail and for more online privacy information, listen to the full podcast of our discussion with Bryan here.  And we have the fun and interesting transcript posted along with it too.



 

References:  Facebook Bug 

Resources**

ExpressVPN

Malwarebytes OR SuperAnti-Spyware.

Proton mail

Signal

Top Tech Wellness Products

1. Best Air Tube Headphones for EMF Protection in 2022 • Earbuds with Incredible Sound and No Radiation 2. Cat 8 EMF Protection Ethernet Cable Hardwire For Fastest Internet Speed 3. Who Knew? Use iPhone Online with NO EMF, No WiFi. These Dongles Let You Browse, Use a Messaging App, Email and Scoll With NO Radiation! 4. Cross Body Leather Phone Case With EMF Protection: Our Exclusive AUGUST Crossbody Faraday Bag--Stylish Radiation Protection, RFID Credit Card Slots, Plus A Place For Your Essentials 5. Super Power EMF Detector! All NEW Safe Sound II EMF Meter 6. The Hard Wire KIT! Turn Off WiFI. Connect All Devices To The Internet--Phones laptops, tablets All EMF-Free! 7. What is Blue Light? Save On The New Tech Wellness Blue Light Blocking Bundle! Three Glasses To Cover All Kinds Of Blue Light 8. Privacy Is Beautiful. The Secret Keeper Password Log Tops Our Best Gift List 9. A Place to Charge Your Phone •Beautiful, Organized and Safe 10. Big Folding Desk For Computer Time That Keeps Your Hands, Neck And Eyes Comfy On Your Computer 11. Cable and Cord Tamers in Soft Stretchy Silicone 12. Our Fav New Screen Wipes! Clean Glasses, Laptops, Phones and Tablets- 13. Soft Pink Gift Set. Password Book•Webcam Cover•Stylus•Blue Block Glasses 14. The Sticky Screen Cleaner Cover Your Camera or stick to your computer- 15. The Birthday Wish That Shows You Really Care. I Remembered Your Birthday Without Social Media 16. De-Stress Dough. Relax And Play. Digital Detox For Mind, Body and Soul 17. The All Device Charging Cord- USB-C • Lightning • Micro USB All In One! 18. Vintage Text Message Analog Greeting Card 19. Our Favorite Analog Greeting Cards. You're My Favorite Person To Text- 72 Times A Day! 20. A to Z Easy EMF Detox! Clear Your Home Of EMF Step By Step- Ruan Living’s Workbook and Checklists

More Tech Wellness Topics

5G
DIY
EHS
EMF

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