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Protecting While Sharing

When loaning your smartphone to someone else, you can do a few things first to limit what they can do.

On iPhones, turn on Guided Access (Settings>Accessibility, and slide on Guided Access), and use Passcode Settings to set a different code from your normal unlock code. Explore Time Limits for other options. Limit use to one app by opening it and invoking Guided Access with Siri; you can also triple-press the Home button on older iPhones or triple-push the side power button. When you get the phone back, don’t forget to turn off Guided Access, with Siri or the home button triple-press action.

On Androids, use App Pinning (some features are only available in Android 11 and up). Go into Security or Security & location>Advanced>App pinning and turn it on. To limit use to a specific app, open that app and swipe up to the middle of the screen to see a Pin icon or choice at the top of the screen. Tap that pin and that app will be the only one available until you unpin it by swiping up from the bottom of that app and holding until you get a PIN or unlock screen. For video examples, search for “android app pinning.”

Try percussive maintenance. Some devices, like TV remotes, that have loose or slightly corroded battery contacts can sometimes be “fixed” with a gentle tap. Laptops are less likely to be fixed this way.

There is a fun data visualization tool for low earth-orbiting satellites. Leolabs (platform.leolabs.space/visualizations/leo) lets you explore the location, ID, type and other details of launched satellites. If you add in the debris-tracking layer, you might wonder how we can still see stars at night.

Working online too much? Try Productivity Blocker (productivityblocker.com). It may sound like a joke, but being forced away from online work sites such as LinkedIn, Slack and Dropbox gives us time to be in our own thoughts. How ironic that some of us have to schedule downtime.

Google will soon roll out to users of Google Meet or Duo a merged video messaging and meeting app with all the features of both.

Never give out one-time codes. A friend was trying to figure out if he had been scammed by passing along a one-time code from Google Voice to someone “interested” in a Facebook Marketplace item. It turned out OK; he was just helping someone get a free Google Voice number without having a cell number.

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