Working on your privacy

Two things you can do without going any further are switching off bluetooth unless you need it and turning off location if you  don’t need it. Location is still detected via Google but  you  do not need to go out of your way to tell everyone where you are. Turn location on when you really need it. For some reason my Linux Mint 17.2 has bluetooth on by default. For privacy’s sake it should be the other way around.

Now for some links which will help you to make some good decisions about privacy and know how to manage it:

Lifewire has 10 things for you to look at to help improve your privacy.

spreadprivacy has tips for iPad and iPhone users.

wired   has tips for managing privacy on android devices.

PC Mag has some good information to help you manage Google privacy.

The video gives you security information about Safari.

On websites and accounts you use, check your settings. Look at the privacy policy for the websites and accounts. None of this is perfect at the moment. Privacy and security are ongoing issues. You also need to be prepared to let key people know what you think are acceptable and unacceptable terms of privacy. If they don’t know they will do what they think is right.

 

 

Google photos

no photos

 

Google photos is designed to take the weight off your phone/tablet storage which is increasingly a problem in a world where we take and share photos and we want to be able to show photos to others. More and more people are making videos to post too. You can’t keep everything on your phone so cloud storage is possibly your answer. You don’t necessarily want Google to always back up and sync what you do . You are not able to delete the photos from Google photos . You can only archive them which isn’t right in my opinion. When we were in control of our devices we decided what we kept an what we deleted. Phone/tablet images are used for all sorts of reasons these days and some of that might be sensitive information. I should not be here making a case for anyone having control over their own images.

With Google Photos sync and back up you might want to switch that off and back up images you want when you want. The instructions for Android devices are here on know your mobile. Newatlas explains it from an iPhone point of view but also looks at the reasons you might want to be using Google photos and the advantages. The decision is yours and all I can say is what I have said before  – always check your settings.

eSmart week

eSmart schools

 

eSmart Digital Licence

 

Is your school or library in on the eSmart programme? The Alannah and Madeleine Foundation have done plenty of high calibre research and work to create the eSmart site and the concepts which surround it. Many libraries and school have signed up and talk volubly and enthusiastically about the positive impact of the eSmart concept. It revolves around us all having  a common approach, common language, common understanding about what being online offers us and what we can offer the online word. It fosters a positive , responsible pathway for everyone.

Young and eSafe

Young and eSafe is a new site created by the Australian government to try and help young people with online safety issues. There is a Facebook page where they can contribute to online safety discussions and ideas:

 

“Check out our site—we’ve got a five part video series, real life stories of young people’s experiences, and expert advice from some people in the know.

Think about how the stories relate to you—be inspired to come up with your own clever solutions for the challenges you or one of your friends may come across online.

Take it to the next level—find us on Facebook and join the conversation. You can be the difference between a positive or negative online experience.”

 

The site will develop and grow as people use it and contribute. YES is the acronym being used for the site and you can find it here.  The site offers help in getting you back on your feet when you have been knocked down online and encourages young people to take responsibility for their own online safety and the safety of others.

Avoid scams

There aren’t really any helpful, comprehensive YouTube video clips on current scams or how to deal with online scams effectively. It is something we need to constantly monitor and we need sound and good information. We are online. We are targets. The world does fight back and we can manage it but we need to know how to do that effectively and what to look out for.

GMail and Yahoo mail seem to protect me the best from scams and spam and so with those email accounts it is never really a problem. A lot of scams and spam arrive by email. Some email clients block those emails really well.

Facebook is very helpful because friends share the latest scams and if you subscribe to the police feed then the police always keep you updated on the sorts of scams and spam to look out for.

On my phone I only answer numbers I know. If I am caught out by accident I end the call. Do I think I am going to miss an important call? No. Anyone who is going to call me has their number in my contacts list. If it is a new organisation or person I put their number in my list. I am quite frank about not answering calls if I don’t know the number. I have that conversation. Most organisations will have details of my email and home address and they know they have multiple ways of contacting me. My financial organisation and my isp have both been really effective at helping me avoid scams and spam by allowing and using multiple contact modes. If important things are happening then I get a direct number or contact from them as they understand my need to avoid scams and spam calls.

My phone has a virus checker which also blocks cold calls. It is not perfect and lets a few through. Phone apps need to be looked at carefully. Mine is pretty good but a couple of times it has cut off bone fide callers as well and I have had to ring back very apologetic! I don’t apologise, though, for protecting myself from this technology scam scourge and I think that’s the point. Be honest, be alert and be prepared to take the necessary steps to protect yourself.

The River Parish Council has a good print out to help you look at scam protection .

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has some sound help with regards to scam watching.

ASIC also gives you some good advice and a list of companies not to deal with.

Josefine Grimm-Blenk

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