Google TakeOutYou can download all the data Google holds on you, using its Takeout tool. You won’t be able to delete it from Google, but you will know what’s out there. Also take a moment to google your own name, email address and telephone number to see what comes up.
Your Phone (is listening)In all the recent furore about Facebook, there hasn’t been anything about targeted advertising through ‘listening’. If you’ve ever wondered about those co-incidences when you were talking about something and then it appeared on your screen, then maybe you need to turn off your microphone on your iPhone. Go to Settings. Scroll down to Privacy and click on Microphone. Swipe to off all the apps which are listening to you – Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp etc. Again in Ads Settings, edit your preferences in Your Information to stop advertisers from targeting you.
Your EmailTo check whether your email has been compromised, enter your address at www.haveibeenpwned.com If the answer is yes, change your password. Make it long and use numbers and symbols. Little-used email accounts are a gift to hackers. Hackers can impersonate you online, once they have control of your account, can change your password and lock you out. Either delete these accounts, or change the password and enable two-step verification. Disconnect linked services such as cloud storage for such accounts.
PasswordsDon’t use the same, or variations of the same password for all your accounts. Sign up to a secure password storage system, like Last Pass.
And Finally…Avoid internet-connected gadgets – most have poor security. These include wearables (smart watches, smart toys), VR headsets, activity trackers and the Internet of Things where everything from your electric toothbrush, to your washing machine and your TV take instructions from the internet and report your behaviour and whereabouts to cyberspace. How scary is that?
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