Google privacy settings — check how you’re tracked

Another go at this topic, this time by PC World. The Google ecosytem is impressive, with devices and services which we use on a daily basis. Lots of services: search, contacts, calendar, web browsing, etc. Google Assistant, the digital personal assistant (butler). Lots of Google apps on our Android-powered smartphones. Google programs on our notebook… Continue reading Google privacy settings — check how you’re tracked

GDPR privacy notifications — primrose path of default settings

I’ve been getting a lot of privacy policy update notifications in my email since last month. As part of terms and conditions for use of a product or service. All in response to the GDPR — General Data Protection Regulation, a European Union Regulation which was implemented on May 25, 2018. Many companies sell products and… Continue reading GDPR privacy notifications — primrose path of default settings

Windows 10 data collection — privacy matters

Checking and tuning your Windows 10 settings is highly recommended. I typically do this when helping clients upgrade to Windows 10 or set up a new PC. Windows 10 moved many settings from control panels to the Settings app. There’re lots of privacy settings, as I’ve mentioned previously. I follow news about how companies collect data from PCs and other… Continue reading Windows 10 data collection — privacy matters

Smartphones and privacy — tuning app permissions

When you install or update apps on your smartphone, do you get prompts for permissions? Access to your camera, contacts, photos, network, etc. Clear or confusing? Is there a choice — all or none or just some? CNET’s article “Your Android phone is too damn nosy” discussed this issue. On Android phones, people have faced… Continue reading Smartphones and privacy — tuning app permissions

Trading away personal info — twilight of privacy?

Imagine you’re visiting a mall and occasionally someone stops you and asks for some personal information: Your favorite places to shop? Things you like to purchase? Brands you like? … You’re told that as a reward for providing that information you’ll get a gift certificate. What if that happens to you on the street, just… Continue reading Trading away personal info — twilight of privacy?

Creepy aspects of Windows 10’s privacy settings — more from PC World

Windows 10 is a “winner” in most ways, especially for those moving from older Windows versions (and who invest the time to prep and complete a successful upgrade). However, as I’ve noted in prior posts, news about its “out-of-the-box” settings persists. And that’s a good thing. For many people, those settings may pose privacy issues.… Continue reading Creepy aspects of Windows 10’s privacy settings — more from PC World

Ad blocking — Heinlein, Friedman redux

Well, the game’s afoot. Are you using ad blocking? PC World’s “The price of free: how Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google sell you to advertisers” article summaries how four major companies handle collection of personal data when you use their products and services. Because the latest version of Windows is always asking for information in… Continue reading Ad blocking — Heinlein, Friedman redux

Apple’s updated privacy policy — plainly different than others’ policies?

As noted in previous posts, the privacy policies of major tech companies, especially those with products and services that we interact with on a daily basis using our mobile devices, are getting a lot of media attention. And rightfully so. What’s moot? What’s not? Just because “it can be collected” begs the question of whether… Continue reading Apple’s updated privacy policy — plainly different than others’ policies?

Security vs. convenience — who wins?

I’ve discussed this topic with many of my clients, especially those who complain about remembering or keeping track of passwords — the trade-off between security and convenience for consumer products and services. We recognize this trade-off everyday with different keys for physical locks and passwords for different digital services. Password managers can help with “one… Continue reading Security vs. convenience — who wins?

Free app’s — where’s the profit? AVG kicks the hornets’ nest

The “freemium” model for products and services dominates the digital landscape. Many companies use a free version (freeware) to promote their paid-for full version (and in some cases as a goodwill gesture to promote some public good). “Try before buy” is quite useful and these companies sometimes also provide free trial versions (user licenses for… Continue reading Free app’s — where’s the profit? AVG kicks the hornets’ nest

Windows 10 Feedback Part 1 — Pros & Cons, Likes & Dislikes, Hits & Misses

So, you’ve been using Windows 10 for awhile. What do you think? What do you like or dislike? Although released less than a month ago (as of today, August 17), the commentary is underway. For example, this “10 Things You’ll Hate in Windows 10” article: There are some features that do need some work though.… Continue reading Windows 10 Feedback Part 1 — Pros & Cons, Likes & Dislikes, Hits & Misses