How To Stop Your Phone Tracking You

Google is getting nosy. It’s tracking your every move through your Android phone.

You might think that turning off the Location history function in the settings will spoil its fun. It won’t because Google will still track you through other services such as Maps, search, and weather.

The reason behind its fascination with your location is that it uses that data for personalised services, local search and, of course, advertising.

How to shut down tracking on your Android phone

To stop Google’s fun once and for all, all you have to do is:

  • Go to settings.
  • Tap on Google then Google Account
  • Tap on the data & personalisation tab and then Web & App Activity
  • Toggle Web & App Activity off

And here’s how to turn off location history:

  • Go to settings.
  • Tap on Google then Google Account
  • Click on the Data & Personalisation tab
  • Press location history and toggle the setting off for each phone or device connected to your Google account

Shutting down Apple smartphone tracking

Things are a bit different if you have an iPhone. Apple’s Significant Locations Tracking tracks and records places that you visit most often to provide location-based data and relevant suggestions.

You can turn this feature off by:

  • Launching the Settings app from the Home screen.
  • Tapping on Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Tap Significant Locations.
  • Entering your passcode, use Touch ID, or Face ID, to authenticate access.
  • Tapping the Significant Locations On/Off Switch, which will become grey when off

How to turn off location tracking on Windows 10 devices

If you don’t want Windows 10 to track your location:

  • Launch the Settings app
  • Go to Privacy > Location.
  • Click Change and, on the screen that appears, move the slider from On to Off.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, and surrounding villages. 

Source: BullGuard

Find Out What Information Google Has On You (And How To Delete It)

Google and in the information it holds on you

 

Google, Facebook, and all the other tech goliaths are discovering that it’s not OK to gather the data of internet users.

We won’t stand for it anymore.

The problem is that our lives are inextricably linked with the online world. Whether we like it or not, every keyboard click weakens our grasp on your privacy.

Although there is no a magic way of stopping your data being harvested, we will show you how to download all the information Google holds on you as a user of its many products.

Find out what Google knows about you

Finding out what data has been collected is remarkably easy.

All you have to do is visit the search giant’s Takeout Tool.

On the left of the screen that appears is an extensive list of Google products. To the right is a slide button to choose the information you want to download.

Be warned though; the files are likely to be enormous.

How to delete the information Google has on you

By now, you’re probably horrified and want to delete all or some of the information you’ve found.

We haven’t got the space here to talk you through each product, but as an example, here’s how to delete the information help through Google Maps:

  • Sign into Google Maps. Click the menu bar and three horizontal lines, and a drop-down menu appears
  • Choose ‘history’ at the bottom and you will be presented with ‘My Activity’ page
  • On the left hand side, you choose ‘Delete activity by’
  • A page appears that gives you the option of deleting your activity for ‘all time’ or specific dates
  • The activities include Books, Google Play Store, Image Search, Maps and Search
  • On the left hand side of the ‘My Activity’ page, you also have the option to manage your data via ‘Other Google activity’

It’s pretty scary what information is stored on us these days, but you have to balance that with the convenience of life online.

Only you can decide what you’re happy with.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Google Increases the Pressure on Insecure Websites

Google increases pressure on insecure websites

 

In a perfect world, you would be able to surf the internet safe in the knowledge that you could come to no harm. The problem is it’s a far from perfect world.

There are numerous websites out there ready to trick unsuspecting users with their malware, or because they are used as instruments of phishing.

Google already has various initiatives to penalise poor website security practices, but it’s just got a lot tougher.

Not only will it undoubtedly mark websites that pose a threat to web users, but it will also highlight repeat offenders.

Google will take decisive action against those that repeatedly skip over safety rules. Once a website is marked as dangerous, the admin must update the page in question to eliminate the infractions. If the search giant has to notify the admin to inspect the warning repeatedly, their chance of having the warning removed will be rescinded for 30 days.

The option to resolve issues will also be eliminated for websites that, after requesting reappraisal, make a few changes to the code and then go back to practices that put users in danger. In these cases, the warning message will remain for a whole month.

These new measures increase the pressure on companies to make sure their corporate websites don’t pose a risk to users. After all repeat offending will result in the displaying of a message that will end up scaring future clients away.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Source: Panda security

How to Search Effectively on Google

Google search

 

Google is everyone’s favourite search tool.

Today, you don’t look for something, you ‘Google’ it.

Although you probably think you’ve sussed out how to use the search engine, here are a few tips to help you find what you’re looking for faster.

It’s all about generating relevant search results – and that only happens through accurate search terms.

Google search basics

Whatever you’re looking for, always start with a simple search – e.g. “where’s the closest airport?”

Then you can start to refine your search with more descriptive words or geographical locations.

If you’re looking for a place or product in a specific location, add a place name – e.g. “Bakery Stowmarket.”

Search using your voice

Instead of typing, say “Okay Google” or choose the microphone icon to search using your voice (using the Google app).

Choose your words wisely

When you’re deciding what words to put in the search box, try to choose words that are likely to appear on the site you’re looking for. For example, instead of saying my head hurts, say headache, because that’s the word a medical site would use.

Don’t worry about the little things

When you’re typing in a search, don’t worry too much about things like spelling or capitalisation. Google’s spell checker will automatically use the most common spelling of a given word, and the same search is performed whether lower case or capital letters are used.

Find quick answers

For many searches, Google will do the work for you and show an answer to your question in the search results.

Some features, like information about sports teams, aren’t available in all regions.

  • Weather: Search weather to see the weather in your location or add a city name, like weather stowmarket, to find weather for a certain place.
  • Dictionary: Put define in front of any word to see its definition.
  • Calculations: Enter a math equation like 3*9123, or solve complex graphing equations.
  • Unit conversions: Enter any conversion, like 3 dollars in euros.
  • Sports: Search for the name of your team to see a schedule, game scores and more.
  • Quick facts: Search for the name of a celebrity, location, movie, or song to find related information.

OK, a lot of that might not be new to you, but it’s good to recap the basics to make sure you get the best possible experience when using Google (other search engines are available).

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

 

Microsoft Muscles in on Google Users

The gloves are off.

A recent announcement from Microsoft and Dell stated that Dells’ newest Android-powered devices will be receiving Office apps pre-installed – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype.

It’s a clear sign of Microsoft pulling Android users away from Google’s services towards their own.

Peggy Johnson, Microsoft’s head of business development, said in a press release:

“For OEMs, these deals will increase the value of an enrich people’s experiences on Android devices. Original device manufacturers are important because they extend Microsoft services to the ecosystem.

“We’ve proven that we’re not afraid to look outside ourselves to reinvent ourselves. We’ve received fantastic customer feedback for making Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype available across all platforms. But, we’re far from done. Now we see an opportunity to turn our focus to our device partners — easing mobile access to great apps and services for customers by pre-installing them directly on the device.”

But will other Android device manufacturers follow suit?

If they did Google could have a fight on its hands, although the search giant’s connected services still hold more allure because users know that a created document is available on any computer thanks to Google Docs.

Whatever happens, Dell Android users can look forward to Office apps on their devices later this year.

 

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Source: Pcpro.co.uk

Farewell Window’s XP – Hello Google

Window’s XP retirement may not mean the end for users (immediately)

Like most consumables, Microsoft’s operating systems have a shelf life, beyond which time Windows XP the IT giant withdraws support and automatic security updates leaving users vulnerable to malicious attacks.

For all XP users that date is April 8th 2014.

The problem is, according to StatCounter, Windows XP makes up about 20% of all operating systems in use (as at September 2013), which means an awful lot of people and companies are going to be playing Russian roulette every time they use their PC or laptop.

But before you panic, your knight in shining armour is on the way, in the form of Google. They announced in a recent blog post that they will be extending support for Chrome on XP until 2015.

Some might say it’s a canny move on Google’s part to convince Internet Explorer users to switch to Chrome. But then again, with so many unsupported XP users out there, it also offers malware authors an irresistible opportunity to wreak havoc. So really Google come out as the good guys, whatever their motives.

Although the best advice is to consider upgrading your OS, at least this move from Google gives you a bit more time to get the finances in place to do so.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Google Must Block Privacy Infringements, Say MPs

There has been a lot in the news recently about privacy infringements, and privacy rights. Nowhere, it seems, is this more important than on the internet. Its popularity has made it an instant sounding board for anyone wishing to put their opinion ‘out there’ for all to see.

But this brings problems, as outlined in a recent article by Stewart Mitchell in PC Pro.

According to Mitchell, a cross-party committee of MPs has called on Google and other web companies to block web content that breaches privacy injunctions. The committee was set up to ‘investigate whether new statutes were needed in the light of recently broken privacy injunctions and to discuss controls on the media.’ However, it concluded that better policing of existing media laws (and applying them to the internet) should prevent future breaches.

“The Committee says that major internet corporations [such as Google and other search engines] should take active steps to limit the potential for breaches of court orders through use of their products and, if they fail to do so, legislation should be introduced to force them to,” the committee found in a report.

“In addition, the Attorney General should be more willing to bring actions for civil contempt of court in respect of injunctions being breached online.”

In its defence, Google argued that it was difficult to take information down, but this was rejected by the committee:

“Google acknowledged that it was possible to develop the technology proactively to monitor websites for such material in order that the material does not appear in the results of searches,” the committee argued.

“We find their objections in principle to developing such technology totally unconvincing. Google and other search engines should take steps to ensure that their websites are not used as vehicles to breach the law and should actively develop and use such technology. We recommend that if legislation is necessary to require them to do so it should be introduced.”

The committee has also called for these regulations to be extended to social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and, in time, major bloggers.

The report recommends that, when granting an injunction, the courts should direct the claimant to also serve notice on internet social media content platforms.

You can read the full article here.

 

Author: MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.