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Here’s How to Lock Down Your Facebook Privacy Settings—to the Extent Possible

Posted Apr 6 by  / 
Topics: News

Facebook Privacy Tips

Facebook has dominated the news headlines of late, but not for good reasons. There were the 50 million Facebook profiles gathered for Cambridge Analytica and used in the 2016 presidential election. Facebook has long been scraping call and text message data from Android phones. And within the Facebook iOS app, the company pushes the Onavo Protect VPN, an app made by a subsidiary that literally collects all your mobile data traffic for Facebook.

Because of this, many have encouraged Facebook users to delete their accounts. That even includes the billionaire co-founder of the WhatsApp messaging service, which Facebook bought in 2014. If you’re done with Facebook, you’re welcome to deactivate or even delete your account. Facebook provides instructions for both actions. Deactivating your account basically just makes you invisible on Facebook, whereas deleting your account may eventually (up to 3 months) result in most of the data being removed.

The problem is that Facebook is useful. It may be the only connection you have with certain friends or family members, and many informal groups use Facebook for meetup logistics. For many of us, losing access to Facebook would hurt our real-world relationships and activities. Plus, lots of companies have Facebook pages, and taking those down might result in a loss of business from customers who would find out about the firm only through Facebook. What to do?

If you’re a business, the most sensible tack is to keep your Facebook page but avoid relying on it. Remember, Facebook is not your friend. Earlier in 2018, Facebook announced that it would be prioritizing posts from friends and family over public content, which is a nice way of saying that Facebook is deprecating business-related posts. So make sure you have a Web site that you control, and make sure that customers can easily find it and contact you through it. It’s also a good idea to offer customers multiple ways to contact you, including via email.

On a personal level, there are two ways to think about privacy on Facebook: limiting the information you share with other people on Facebook, and limiting the information that you’re willing to provide to Facebook at all. If Facebook doesn’t have certain data about you, they can’t sell it to the highest bidder, let it be harvested by hackers, or use it in ways you might find creepy.

To control who on Facebook can see what you share, click the ? button on the Facebook Web site on your Mac, or tap the hamburger button in the bottom right corner of the Facebook iOS app and tap Privacy Shortcuts. Then click or tap Privacy Checkup and run through the steps to make sure you’re sharing the right info with the right people. Be sure to lock down or remove any apps that you don’t need, since they can leak all sorts of data.

Facebook Privacy Tips

Also, go to Facebook’s Privacy Settings & Tools page. Click the Edit button next to each item, and make it as specific as you can. You also might want to review the posts you’re tagged in and remove those that you don’t want on your timeline.

Facebook Privacy Tips

But what if you don’t want to give information to Facebook for it to use? Go to Facebook’s page for Uploading and Managing Your Contacts, and delete them all. You’re just giving away your contacts’ personal information without their permission otherwise.

Facebook Privacy Tips

To ensure that contact uploading doesn’t happen again, in the Facebook iOS app, tap the hamburger button, scroll to the bottom, and then tap Settings & Privacy > Account Settings > General > Upload Contacts and make sure the switch is off. (Some versions of the Facebook app just have Settings, not Settings & Privacy, and show a popover for Account Settings.)

Also, in the iPhone Facebook app, tap the hamburger button again and then Settings & Privacy > Account Settings > Location > Location, and make sure it’s set to Never. And whatever you do, keep Location History off—Facebook doesn’t need to know everywhere you’ve ever been.

Location Settings

If you’re perturbed by the way Facebook’s iOS app is trying to capture your contacts and locations, you could delete it from your iOS devices and rely instead on the Facebook Web site, which can’t access nearly as much information about you. To make it easier to open, in Safari, visit facebook.com, tap the Share button, and then tap the Add to Home Screen button in the bottom row of the share sheet.

Let us leave you with one thought. Always assume that anything you post to Facebook or allow Facebook to have access to could end up on the front page of your local newspaper… or the New York Times. Nothing on Facebook is ever completely private—Facebook has shown it isn’t trustworthy or reliable—and the best way to ensure confidential information doesn’t leak inadvertently is to avoid posting it to Facebook in the first place.


Apple Introduces New iPad with Apple Pencil Support, Updates iWork

Posted Mar 28 by  / 
Topics: News
Apple Introduces New iPad with Apple Pencil Support, Updates iWork

At a special education event on March 27th, Apple introduced a new 9.7-inch iPad that offers faster performance, support for the Apple Pencil, and a few new camera-related features. The company also released new versions of the iWork apps—Pages, Numbers, and Keynote—that let users draw, sketch, and write with the Apple Pencil.


$29 iPhone Battery Replacement

Posted Dec 28, 2017 by  / 
Topics: News

Apple has issued reduced pricing for eligible iPhone battery replacements. Following public frustration over news that Apple uses iOS software to throttle performance on iPhones with degraded batteries to keep the phones from powering down, Apple has announced that, for a limited time, the cost for out-of-warranty battery replacements on iPhone 6 and newer will be reduced to just $29.00. This includes iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X devices.


Apple Pay Cash, Peer to Peer Payments – Now Available in iOS 11.2

Posted Dec 9, 2017 by  / 
Topics: Tech Tips, News

Apple Pay CashPeer to peer (P2P) payments via smartphones have been a hit in recent years. Examples include Venmo and PayPal. These services allow friends and family to transfer and request money from each other without having to go through a bank – while at the same time offering the ability to transfer the money back to your bank at any given time. Apple is the latest company to jump on board with the release of Apple Pay Cash built right into the operating system in iOS 11.2.


A Good Reason to Start Your Digital Movie Library Now

Posted Oct 20, 2017 by  / 
Topics: Tech Tips

Although myriad services, like iTunes, Vudu, and Google, have offered easy digital movie purchases for years, most people still prefer to purchase physical DVDs or Blu-Ray discs for their movie collection. The world of digital movies is rife with unknowns about where to start building a digital library and how to watch your movies once you do buy them. Televisions are still the best way to watch movies, but they may not offer the specific app where your movies are. That changes with Movies Anywhere.


macOS High Sierra: Top New Features

Posted Oct 2, 2017 by  / 
Topics: News

macOS High Sierra

Nearly a week after the launch of iOS 11, Apple has released macOS 10.13 High Sierra to the public. High Sierra is an outstanding upgrade to your Mac. It’s full of behind the scenes updates that increase the speed and reliability of your Mac. In this blog, we will be going over some of the top highlights featured in High Sierra.