Tips for Phone and Computer Security

The iPhone has a reputation of being hard to hack, but how can you know for sure? There’s an app for that. Although Apple has strongly limited access to data that security tools would like to access to tell if the phone has been compromised, a new app called iVerify includes a series of detailed how-to guides that help users lock down their settings to improve privacy and reduce the chances of getting hacked. Find it on the App store for $2.99.

Did you know that your Wi-Fi router may have a guest network option? This could be a great option for paying guests, in case you rent your space, or for visiting family and friends. Check your router’s documentation to make sure this option is available. If it’s AT&T, Spectrum or Verizon, ask them how to set it up. A guest network will keep your shared devices, such as printers and shared folders or drives and other smart devices, from being seen and used by your guests. They will only be able to use your internet, not anything on your local network.

If you are trying to kick the Google habit—Gmail, YouTube, Google Fonts, Google Search, Chrome, Android, etc.—you can install the Nomoogle browser extension for Chrome and Firefox. The first thing it will suggest is not to use Chrome. Go to NoMoreGoogle.com for privacy-oriented alternatives and gcemetery.co for replacements for killed-off Google products that you wish were still around. There are also ways to use Android phones without Google apps (see fairviewtowncrier.com/links for more information).

There are some easy ways to improve the security of your computer, including encrypting your hard drive and external backup and storage devices. Power off your computer when you are not using it, keep your local backups off line if possible and only connect them when you do backups, and only turn on Wi-Fi when you need it (and turn off Bluetooth if you don’t need it). These are in addition to disabling the camera and microphone, which I see many have already done with tape and such.

Facebook does not need to listen in on you to still be creepy in how it offers up relevant ads. By combining location data with the infamous Facebook pixel to track what you have been browsing on other websites, along with where your Facebook friends and family are and what they are doing, you shouldn’t be surprised when Facebook accurately predicts your habits and behaviors with targeted ads.

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