Have you ever wondered just why you get presented with all that rubbish and advertising on Facebook? Maybe you have wondered if there is a way to stop certain types of posts from appearing on your timeline.
Here is an article that Macworld published recently that I found really interesting.
How to find out what Facebook knows about you - Macworld Australia
Have a read, and then make any necessary adjustments to the personal information and preferences that Facebook has recorded about you!
Have you ever seen a message on your iPad, iPhone or computer advising you that a website wants to store 'Cookies' on your device? What are these things called 'Cookies'?
Cookies are small files saved to your device, holding a bit of data relating to you and the website you have visited.
For example, your name, address and email address details that you entered for that website may be saved as a Cookie for that website, so that the same information can be filled in next time you visit the website.
When you save your login details for a website by ticking a 'remember me' box, a cookie will be created on your device.
Cookies are not the only things that websites save to your device.
Some websites save 'Website Data' to your device - data that tracks what you looked at (for example, that chair that you were looking at buying, or that hotel you were looking at), then re-uses that data next time you visit.
Depending on your settings, this saved 'Website Data' may then be shared with other, so that tailored ads can be 'served' to you based on your previous browsing history
You have control over whether websites are allowed to store cookies and website data while you browse, and over what websites can use those your website data.
This is done in Settings->Safari->Block Cookies.
If you don't want to store ANY Cookies or Website Data, choose Always Block.
To stop Website Data being shared with other websites - in particular, to avoid those ads that seem to follow you wherever you go - select Allow from Current Website Only.
I would never choose the Always Allow, as this provides an 'open slather' for websites to use the data stored by other websites
How do I know what websites are storing data on my device?
You can view the list of the websites that store data on your device, and how much data each of these websites is storing.
You can even delete the website data for specific sites - especially those that keep 'serving' their ads to you, as if they are stalking as you browse!
Go to Settings -> Safari -> Advanced -> Website Data.
The sites that store data are listed in size order, with only top 10 shown initially. Tap on Show All Sites to see the full list of websites saving data to your device.
How do I delete the saved Website Data?
To delete the website data for individual sites, tap Edit at top right (while in the Settings -> Safari -> Advanced -> Website Data option) then tap the red left-hand circle to delete saved data for a specific website.
Or, you can choose to Remove All Website Data (which is shown at the bottom of that screen), to start a clean slate!
Alternatively, to clear all cookies, website data AND History, choose the option Settings ->Safari -> Clear History and Website Data. This will clear out the list of websites that you have visited in the past year (or since you last did such a clear).
Related Articles (for iTandCoffee Club members)
Below are some other previously published handy hints about the Safari and web browsing on your iPad and iPhone. An iTandCoffee Club membership is required to view these past Handy Hints.
Not yet a member? Why not join today - see here for details!
If you own an Android mobile phone or tablet, you really need to read this article published this week in The Age.
If you value your privacy, you may want to check what apps you have installed on your device - Big Brother may be watching you!
Click/tap on the link below to read the article from The Age.
One in four apps on your Android mobile needlessly mining your personal data | theage.com.au
If you have ever travelled overseas with your iPad or iPhone, you may have been frustrated to find that you could not catch up on your favourite ABC programs on ABC iView, or watch the ABC News via the ABC app.
This will have been due to the fact that online catchup TV providers block internet users who are accessing the service from outside Australia.
So, how do you get around this?
Well, you do what I have finally got around to doing. You sign up to a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service.
Here is an article that reviews several such providers.
Once you have created your and account with your VPN service, you install and sign in to this service on each of your devices.
You then choose which 'country' you want to be 'connected to' by choosing a VPN server that your service provider offers in that country. (Different service providers will offer different countries and server locations within those countries.)
Not only will this allow you to access Australian content when you are not in Australia, you will also be able to access overseas content that is normally only available to locals.
And the best part when travelling (or even when using a public WiFi network here in Australia)?
Your privacy is protected when you use any public WiFi network, since the VPN creates something called an 'encrypted link' for any communications between your device and the internet. This will prevent anyone from 'stealing' your information - something that can happen to unsuspecting technology users at airports, in hotels and in cafes.
If you plan on travelling in future and taking along your technology, this is something that you should definitely consider.
iTandCoffee will run a session on the topic of VPN's later this year.
If you are interested in attending such a session, click here to register for future updates on dates and times for this topic.
Oh my goodness! Did you see this article yesterday in The Age?
Not only can your TV 'hear' and transmit your conversations to Samsung, but Samsung has warned that this information "could be transmitted to a third party"! This might include some very sensitive, private information that you have inadvertently discussed while near your TV!
We have one of these Smart TV's, so I am most definitely going to be checking the settings on it today to make sure this feature is turned off.
I'm fairly sure we did already turn it off pretty soon after we got the TV, as it kept 'listening' and changing channels unexpectedly - very annoying!
But the worry is what it might have 'heard' and transmitted to Samsung while it was turned on - and I'm not sure how long we had the feature enabled! Once this information is 'out there', there is no getting it back.
Is your TV listening in on your conversations?
Update Friday 13th Feb, 2015
I must say that, until recently, I didn't have any anti-virus products on the Macs that I use for my work. I am very careful about what sites I visit and what I click on if ads pop up. So I have never had any problems.
However, my recent visits to two clients have caused me to re-think my unprotected status, and I have now download a free virus scanning tool and run regular checks of my Mac.
Two iTandCoffee clients with Adware Trojans on their Macs in one week!
The first iTandCoffee client had a problem with Safari on her Mac.
When she visited the Webjet website and tried to book flights, her Webjet session seemed to be 'hijacked' and all sorts of advertisements would pop up on the screen, making it impossible to search for her flights.
Yontoo Adware Trojan causes strange Safari behaviour
Well, in this case the problem was that her computer had been infected with a Malware product known as Yontoo - in this case, most likely introduced by kids accessing illegal download sites.
The below information about Yontoo is extracted from an article on the cnet website ...
Security company Dr. Web is reporting on a new adware Trojan attack that is targeting Mac users, where malicious Web sites will trick users into installing a plugin that will track your browsing and display ads to you.
When the malware is running, affected systems will be actively tracked for browsing behaviors, and legitimate Web sites will be hijacked with ad banners and other content that attempts to lure you into clicking it.
If you have noticed similar strange behaviour in Safari (or any other web browser on your Mac), you too may have this Adware Trojan on your Mac. Check out this cnet article for details of what to do to remove the Yontoo trojan.
Genieo Adware Trojan replaces Google as search engine
A visit to a second client in the same week involved uninstalling a similar, but less obvious, Adware product that had installed itself on that client's computer.
This particular one was Genieo, which was causing every search that the client did using her Mac's Safari search bar to return results using something called Genieo - even though she had specified in her Safari Preferences that she wanted to use Google.
This was another case where a unwanted product - similar to Yontoo - had installed itself as part of the download of another legitimate product.
If you notice similar behaviour on your own Mac, check out this article for information about Genieo and how it appeared on your Mac, and of how to remove this Adware product.
Products for detecting and removing malware from your Mac
For an article that looks at various options for anti-malware products for Mac (many of which are free), check out the below article scooped on the iTandCoffee Scoop.it page recently.
Contact iTandCoffee if you need help with getting rid of malware or installing an anti-malware product on your Mac - call n1300 885 420 or email email@example.com.
Have you been scammed by an email from a friend?
There has been a wave of phishing emails going around lately, targeting peoples’ email accounts and tricking people into logging into their accounts via ‘spoofed’ web pages that look like webmail logins from their mail host. A significant number of iTandCoffee clients have been taken in by this scam.
One of the key reasons people have fallen for this one is that the email has come from someone they know (who has previously fallen for the same scam), so looks like a trust-worthy email. They think that they have been sent a message or a document from the person, and that they are logging in to their account so that they can view what they have been sent.
As soon as they log in, they give away their email account’s password and allow the scammers to send phishing emails to all their contacts - so more people can be taken in by the same scam.
If the victim does not reset their email password very quickly, they may find themselves locked out of their own mail account!
They have also then given the scammers access to all sorts of confidential information held in their mail account, and perhaps left themselves open to further attack through online account password resets and much more.
Critically, they may have used the same password for other online accounts - so by giving away one account’s login details, they may have inadvertently given these undesirables access to so much more!
Protect yourself now - change your password/s
It is essential that, if you think you may have been the victim of such an attack, you change your email account’s password immediately. And, while you are at it, make sure you change the password on any other online account for which you have used the same email address and password combination.
When you change your email account's password, it is highly recommended that you also set up a feature called 2-step authentication (if your email host provides this).
In the remainder of this article, we will look at how to do this for your Hotmail, Live, Outlook and Bigpond accounts (for Bigpond accounts created since 2011) - or for any other account that is hosted by Microsoft. (Similar steps apply for Gmail, iCloud (Apple), Yahoo and other email accounts - the website you go to will be different though.)
To set up 2-step authentication for all accounts that are hosted by Microsoft, you need to log into your account via your web browser (which we will describe in more detail shortly).
This is also where you go to to change the password of your hotmail.com, live.com or outlook.com email address.
For email accounts that are hosted by Microsoft, but are operated by businesses or other ISP’s, you will need change your password in a different place. For example, for Bigpond mail account holders, you will need to log in to your Bigpond account via the Telstra website, and change the password there.
(Some background: hotmail.com and live.com accounts are now considered Microsoft accounts, but still have their @hotmail.com and @live.com suffixes. Other mail providers are also using Microsoft to host their mail - for example, newer @bigpond.com mail accounts are hosted by Microsoft, so webmail for these accounts is accessed using the Microsoft mail website. Telstra started hosting their new mail accounts with Microsoft after about 2011.)
Securing your Hotmail, Live, Outlook - all Microsoft mail
Visit https://login.live.com and sign in with your email address and password.
Click on your account name at the top right to see the set of options shown below, then click on Account Settings.
To change your password and/or set up two-step authentication, click on Security & password.
(Note. If you are concerned about fraudulent activity on your account, click on the Recent Activity option to see details of attempted accesses to your account.)
You will then be taken through a series of screens that help you set up the improved security on your account. There is even an app (Google Authenticator) you can install on your Smartphone or Tablet to provide a security code every time you log in.
We will not go through all the steps in this setup, as they are quite self-explanatory. (But if you do get stuck, make a time to see iTandCoffee to assist you with this setup.)
Logging into your account with 2-setup Authentication
Once you have set up 2-step Authentication, the next time you log into your account you will be asked to enter the verification code that has been provided to you.
If you chose to use the ‘Authenticator’ app on your Smartphone, your screen will look like that below. Open the Authenticator app on your Smartphone or tablet. A code will appear - enter that into the Code text box.
If you asked for authentication via SMS, you will need to check your phone and enter the code shown there.
If you have provided several options for provision of the security code, you will be able to choose which form of authentication you wish to use this time.
Defining ‘Trusted’ devices
You can specify that a particular device is a ‘trusted’ device, and that you don’t need the be asked for a security code every time that device accesses your mail account.
When you enter your the provided verification code during login, just tick the box below to say that you sign in frequently on this device.
From that point on, you will only need your password to log into your mail account from that device.
Need more information?
So, hopefully that gives you enough information to set up your improved email account security for Microsoft accounts.
iTandCoffee can provide further help for anyone who has difficulty with any of the above - call 1300 885 420 to make a time, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Call 1300 885 420
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