- Could Your Chromecast Be Using All Your Data Without You Knowing?
- Option 1: Switch it off when you aren’t using it
- Option 2: Don’t use the default power method, use a USB cable instead
- Option 3: Change the wallpaper that your Chromecast uses
- Choice 1 – Change the images that Google uses for its backgrounds
- Choice 2 – Enable data saving mode
- Choice 3 – Increase the amount of time an image is used for
- Are you ready? This is all the data and Google have on you | Dylan Curran
- Google knows where you’ve been
- Google knows everything you’ve ever searched – and deleted
- Google has an advertisement profile of you
- Google knows all the apps you use
- Google has all of your history
- The data Google has on you can fill millions of Word documents
- has reams and reams of data on you, too
- stores everything from your stickers to your login location
- They can access your webcam and microphone
- Here are some of the different ways Google gets your data
- Google knows which events you attended, and when
- And Google has information you deleted
- Google can know your workout routine
- And they have years’ worth of photos
- Google has every email you ever sent
- And there is more
- Can someone spy on your phone without you knowing
- What is spyware?
- Commercially available Spyware
- Family-tracking apps
- How to detect spyware / tracking apps
- Pre-installed apps
- Backed up data
- What Google knows about me (and probably you, too)
- How to download your Google data
- My Google thumbprint in four ZIP files
- What I found
- Google knows where I've been
- Who I've emailed
- … and what I've read and watched online
- … and what I'm working on
- … my complete search history
- … other things
- How does Google use this information?
- How to delete your Google data
- What else? Just Google it
- 3 ways your smartphone can be hacked without you knowing – Komando.com
- 1. Public Wi-Fi
- Best practices:
- 2. Outdated operating systems
- 3. Apps with malicious code
- More tips you can’t miss:
Could Your Chromecast Be Using All Your Data Without You Knowing?
Blog \ Could Your Chromecast Be Using All Your Data Without You Knowing?
November 8, 2018
In recent years a little streaming device known as the Chromecast has become one of the most common household items inside many homes around Australia. People love to use the device to stream movies and images from their phones or tablets to their TV screens.
Many people even have one Chromecast connected to every TV in their home and as they move around between each room, they simply stream their preferred content, easily, quickly and fast.
But what many people don’t realise is that their Chromecast actually uses a large amount of data (10GB+ per month) and for people on small data plans, things can add up quite quickly without anyone knowing.
A Chromecast consumes data in two ways. The first way is if you are using it to watch videos from streaming services Netflix, Stan or on your phone or tablet.
The whole time you are watching, your Chromecast will be streaming the content using your Wi-Fi network and this will use your data.
If you want to learn more about saving data when using streaming services, see our data saving guides here.
The second way that a Chromecast uses data is actually when idle. When a Chromecast is idle and nothing is being streamed to it, you may have noticed that on your TV screen that there is a nice wallpaper that changes every few seconds and also the weather is displayed too.
The wallpapers that you see on your TV screen are not locally stored inside your Chromecast. Instead they are actually downloaded from the Google servers, sometimes as often as every 5 seconds. It’s basically an image stream that never ends.
The images downloaded are high resolution files and over the course of a month, it’s possible for more than 15GB or more of your data to be downloaded, just by leaving your Chromecast on and sitting there idle in your home.
If you’ve got 2-3 Chromecasts sitting in your home on multiple TV’s you could see 30-40GB or more of your data be used up without watching anything at all on your Chromecast.
The data from the Chromecast image stream could end up being a large percentage of someone’s monthly data allowance. Many users who are carefully saving data when streaming and using their Chromecast don’t even know that it’s happening! But luckily there are some things that Chromecaster’s can do to reduce data at home when using the device each month.
Option 1: Switch it off when you aren’t using it
This is the easiest option and the one which will stop all data from the Chromecast when it’s not being used.
By default, your Chromecast will come with a power cable supplied which you plug into a wall socket or power board near where your TV is connected.
Leaving your Chromecast connected in this way all day and on, allows it to be on the entire time and it’s going to be downloading many images and communicating with Google. It will keep doing this even when your TV is off.
If you can plug your Chromecast in somewhere, where it’s easy to switch it on or off when you want to use it and don’t want to use it. You will save yourself a lot of data because the Chromecast simply won’t be able to connect to the internet if it’s off.
Option 2: Don’t use the default power method, use a USB cable instead
You don’t have to plug your Chromecast into a power board and have it on all day Google suggests. If you have a USB cable, you can plug it into the back of the Chromecast and then plug the other end of the USB cable into your TV. By doing this, when you turn your TV on, your Chromecast will also switch on. When you turn your TV off, your Chromecast should also switch off.
Note: You will need to do some testing of this at home. Some TV models keep the USB power on when on standby/off, meaning your Chromecast if connected to your TV via USB may stay on as it can draw power form the USB slot and if this is the case it will still use data.
To test this, what you need to do is, plug your Chromecast into your Tv’s USB slot, then turn your TV off. Then try to Chromecast something from your phone or tablet to your Chromecast. If it does not show up when your TV is off then it is off and all should be okay.
For TV’s that leave USB slots powered when off, there may be a setting in your TV to change this, you will need to refer to your manual for help. You will also need to test your connection on each TV in your home.
Another good thing to know about option 2 is that if you are watching TV or playing games there, your Chromecast will always come on when your TV is on. It will download wallpapers and other Google data during that time even though you still aren’t using it. But this method is still convenient as your Chromecast will be ready for you every time your TV is switch on.
Option 3: Change the wallpaper that your Chromecast uses
Sadly, there is no option in Chromecast or the Google home app to disable wallpapers completely. If left at default settings, Google will simply continuously download high resolution images and display them on your screen.
When it comes to data saving options on the Chromecast there are three different things you can do:
1.Change the images that Google uses for its backgrounds
2.Enable data saving mode
3.Increase the amount of time an image is used for
Choice 1 – Change the images that Google uses for its backgrounds
A good idea before you start with these steps is to upload a low resolution image to your Google library so you can use it as your Google Chromecast background instead. Just make sure that the image you choose as your wallpaper is one that has a very small file size so you can reduce data. Don’t just upload another high resolution file.
You can create an image in paint and just make a solid background colour and upload that there if you would . Just remember, Google will still download this image to display it. So whatever you do choose, keep the file size small.
Once you’ve put your favourite image for your new background into your Google image library follow these steps.
Step 1: Open your Google Home app on your phone and go to your current home.
Step 2: Click on the Chromecast with the background you would to change
Step 3: Click on the 3 dots area to the top right of the screen. Then click on the option titled “Ambient mode settings”
Step 4: Click on the Google Photo’s option. After this your images on record with Google will appear and the ones you uploaded will all be there. Choose which ones you prefer and your slideshow will change to display your gallery.
Choice 2 – Enable data saving mode
Step 1: Open your Google Home app on your phone and go to your current home.
Step 2: Click on the Chromecast with the background you would to change
Step 3: Click on the 3 dots area to the top right of the screen. Then click on the option titled “Ambient mode settings”
Step 4: In the Ambient mode settings, click on the choice that says “Experimental”.
Step 5: In the Experimental mode settings, click on the option that says Low-Bandwidth mode.
Choice 3 – Increase the amount of time an image is used for
Once in the “Ambient Mode” settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the page. There will be options there for increasing the time limit of the images. Put it to only change them every 10 minutes which is the maximum. This will reduce the amount of images your Chromecast has to download each time it’s on each day.
Are you ready? This is all the data and Google have on you | Dylan Curran
Want to freak yourself out? I’m going to show just how much of your information the s of and Google store about you without you even realising it.
Google knows where you’ve been
Google stores your location (if you have location tracking turned on) every time you turn on your phone. You can see a timeline of where you’ve been from the very first day you started using Google on your phone.
Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/maps/timeline?…
Here is every place I have been in the last 12 months in Ireland. You can see the time of day that I was in the location and how long it took me to get to that location from my previous one.
‘A Google map of every place I’ve been in Ireland this year.’ Photograph: Dylan Curran
Google knows everything you’ve ever searched – and deleted
Google stores search history across all your devices. That can mean that, even if you delete your search history and phone history on one device, it may still have data saved from other devices.
Click on this link to see your own data: myactivity.google.com/myactivity
Google has an advertisement profile of you
Google creates an advertisement profile your information, including your location, gender, age, hobbies, career, interests, relationship status, possible weight (need to lose 10lb in one day?) and income.
Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/settings/ads/
Google knows all the apps you use
Google stores information on every app and extension you use. They know how often you use them, where you use them, and who you use them to interact with. That means they know who you talk to on , what countries are you speaking with, what time you go to sleep.
Click on this link to see your own data: security.google.com/settings/secur…
Google has all of your history
Google stores all of your history, so they probably know whether you’re going to be a parent soon, if you’re a conservative, if you’re a progressive, if you’re Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, if you’re feeling depressed or suicidal, if you’re anorexic …
Click on this link to see your own data: .com/feed/history/s…
The data Google has on you can fill millions of Word documents
Google offers an option to download all of the data it stores about you. I’ve requested to download it and the file is 5.5GB big, which is roughly 3m Word documents.
Manage to gain access to someone’s Google account? Perfect, you have a diary of everything that person has done
This link includes your bookmarks, emails, contacts, your Google Drive files, all of the above information, your videos, the photos you’ve taken on your phone, the businesses you’ve bought from, the products you’ve bought through Google …
They also have data from your calendar, your Google hangout sessions, your location history, the music you listen to, the Google books you’ve purchased, the Google groups you’re in, the websites you’ve created, the phones you’ve owned, the pages you’ve shared, how many steps you walk in a day …
Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/takeout
has reams and reams of data on you, too
offers a similar option to download all your information. Mine was roughly 600MB, which is roughly 400,000 Word documents.
This includes every message you’ve ever sent or been sent, every file you’ve ever sent or been sent, all the contacts in your phone, and all the audio messages you’ve ever sent or been sent.
Click here to see your data: https://www..com/help/131112897028467
‘A snapshot of the data has saved on me.’ Photograph: Dylan Curran
stores everything from your stickers to your login location
also stores what it thinks you might be interested in based off the things you’ve d and what you and your friends talk about (I apparently the topic “girl”).
Somewhat pointlessly, they also store all the stickers you’ve ever sent on (I have no idea why they do this. It’s just a joke at this stage).
They also store every time you log in to , where you logged in from, what time, and from what device.
And they store all the applications you’ve ever had connected to your account, so they can guess I’m interested in politics and web and graphic design, that I was single between X and Y period with the installation of Tinder, and I got a HTC phone in November.
(Side note, if you have Windows 10 installed, this is a picture of just the privacy options with 16 different sub-menus, which have all of the options enabled by default when you install Windows 10)
Privacy options in Windows 10. Photograph: Dylan Curran
They can access your webcam and microphone
The data they collect includes tracking where you are, what applications you have installed, when you use them, what you use them for, access to your webcam and microphone at any time, your contacts, your emails, your calendar, your call history, the messages you send and receive, the files you download, the games you play, your photos and videos, your music, your search history, your browsing history, even what radio stations you listen to.
Here are some of the different ways Google gets your data
I got the Google Takeout document with all my information, and this is a breakdown of all the different ways they get your information.
‘My Google Takeout document.’ Photograph: Dylan Curran
Here’s the search history document, which has 90,000 different entries, even showing the images I downloaded and the websites I accessed (I showed the Pirate Bay section to show how much damage this information can do).
‘My search history document has 90,000 different entries.’ Photograph: Dylan Curran
Google knows which events you attended, and when
Here’s my Google Calendar broken down, showing all the events I’ve ever added, whether I actually attended them, and what time I attended them at (this part is when I went for an interview for a marketing job, and what time I arrived).
‘Here is my Google calendar showing a job interview I attended.’ Photograph: Dylan Curran
And Google has information you deleted
This is my Google Drive, which includes files I explicitly deleted including my résumé, my monthly budget, and all the code, files and websites I’ve ever made, and even my PGP private key, which I deleted, that I use to encrypt emails.
Google can know your workout routine
This is my Google Fit, which shows all of the steps I’ve ever taken, any time I walked anywhere, and all the times I’ve recorded any meditation/yoga/workouts I’ve done (I deleted this information and revoked Google Fit’s permissions).
And they have years’ worth of photos
This is all the photos ever taken with my phone, broken down by year, and includes metadata of when and where I took the photos
Google has every email you ever sent
Every email I’ve ever sent, that’s been sent to me, including the ones I deleted or were categorised as spam.
And there is more
I’ll just do a short summary of what’s in the thousands of files I received under my Google Activity.
First, every Google Ad I’ve ever viewed or clicked on, every app I’ve ever launched or used and when I did it, every website I’ve ever visited and what time I did it at, and every app I’ve ever installed or searched for.
‘They have every single Google search I’ve made since 2009.’
They also have every image I’ve ever searched for and saved, every location I’ve ever searched for or clicked on, every news article I’ve ever searched for or read, and every single Google search I’ve made since 2009. And then finally, every video I’ve ever searched for or viewed, since 2008.
This information has millions of nefarious uses. You say you’re not a terrorist.
Then how come you were googling Isis? Work at Google and you’re suspicious of your wife? Perfect, just look up her location and search history for the last 10 years.
Manage to gain access to someone’s Google account? Perfect, you have a chronological diary of everything that person has done for the last 10 years.
This is one of the craziest things about the modern age. We would never let the government or a corporation put cameras/microphones in our homes or location trackers on us. But we just went ahead and did it ourselves because – to hell with it! – I want to watch cute dog videos.
A caption was corrected on 28 March 2018 to replace “privacy options in ” with “privacy options in Windows 10”.
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Can someone spy on your phone without you knowing
Our phones have become a huge part of our everyday lives and we store all manner of private and personal data on them. So, protecting this data from those that want to spy on it is more important than ever.
If your phone gets hacked, you might imagine there would be many telltale signs to look out for, such as: annoying pop ups appearing on the screen, being redirected to dodgy websites or even being bombarded with apps that we didn’t ask for. However, in reality, phone hacking can often leave little to no trace at all. So, in today’s article we’re asking the question – Can someone spy on your phone without you knowing?
What is spyware?
Spyware is a type of software used to steal data from a victim’s device. This software can be completely hidden from the user, so it’s very easy for this type of attack to exist for a long time without the user realizing. Once installed, it can give the hacker access to a wide range of very personal information such as:
- Phone call recordings, or even the ability to listen to calls live.
- Text & chat messages (WhatsApp, messenger, etc).
- Web browsing activity including access to email accounts, online bank accounts and social media accounts.
- Pictures, videos and audio stored on our devices.
Commercially available Spyware
The most commonly used spyware is purchased commercially and often extremely cheaply. For as little as $30, hackers can obtain the software required to hack someone’s phone.
For iOS devices, there is a process of bypassing Apple’s in-built security known as ‘jailbreaking’. This is usually a simple process requiring little technical knowledge. This process of jailbreaking, as well as the spyware itself, can more often than not be completely hidden from the user making it almost impossible to detect to the untrained eye.
For Android devices, there is usually no need for such a process. All a hacker would need to do is essentially tweak a few settings. For example, if they simply disabled Google Play Protect, then they would be able to install the spyware hassle-free.
Can it spy without your knowledge? Once commercial spyware is installed, the hacker can simply hide the app icon. This allows the spyware to continue functioning in the background and most people would never know that their phone was being spied on.
Family tracking apps are readily available on the various app stores. These are positioned as giving parents the ability to track their children’s devices to see where they are/have been, etc.
However, these apps are often abused and used for more malicious reasons. Tracking apps don’t require any special technical knowledge other than installing the app as you would any other.
Can it spy without your knowledge? Tracking apps aren’t as easily hidden, although they can be moved to seldom-used folders, away from the user’s view which can make them harder to detect. Usually if someone isn’t specifically looking for the app, it may take weeks or months for them to stumble across it – by which point the hacker has been tracking their whereabouts for some time.
How to detect spyware / tracking apps
Once a device is hacked, it’s ly that the spyware will remain completely invisible to the user. However, there are a few signs that can be a giveaway that spyware is installed:
- Device overheating – When spyware is installed onto a device, the extra processing power required to run it can massively increase the heat output of the phone.
- Reduced battery times – Along with the increased processing power being used up by the spyware, it will also use up extra battery and phones infected with spyware will usually have a much shorter battery lifespan.
- Slowed performance – Continuing along the same theme, phones that are infected with spyware will also have a significant drop in their performance levels.
- Strange behavior – This one is a bit ambiguous but if you are noticing strange things happening on your phone, then spyware may be to blame. Look out for weird things such as static noise over phone calls, strange emails and texts and random apps being downloaded to your device.
However, these are not always reliable and the only way to reliably detect most spyware is to use an effective spyware detection tool for your device:
- Certo AntiSpy for iOS devices.
- Certo Mobile Security for Android devices.
Both of these apps can fully scan your device for installed spyware and will help you know for certain whether or not you’ve been hacked.
Sometimes, hackers will simply use legitimate apps already installed to spy on a victim’s device. Whilst this has limited functionality compared to installing fully-fledged spyware, it’s still possible to spy on someone using these methods.
For example, a hacker might change the account logged into an app such as Google Chrome in order to steal internet browsing data. Alternatively, they could change the settings in an app such as Google Maps or Apple’s ‘Find My (iPhone/iPad)’ to share the victim’s location with them so they can track their GPS location.
Can it spy without your knowledge? As you might expect, abuse of these apps is somewhat difficult to detect since the apps are already installed on your device meaning that their misuse can often go unnoticed.
For the above examples, visible signs could be the wrong account logged into the Google Chrome app or the GPS icon constantly showing in the top bar of the device, indicating the location is being tracked in the background.
Backed up data
It’s possible, if a hacker knows the login details to your backup accounts (Google account for Android, or iCloud account for iOS devices), for them to download the contents of your phone or even create a clone of your device. Whilst this won’t give them access to your ‘live’ data, such as viewing GPS location or listening to phone calls, this will allow them to view and steal any data stored on the backup.
Tip: To protect yourself from this type of hack, simply turn on two-factor authentication for your account.
Can it spy without your knowledge? This type of hacking is easily hidden from the victim, since nothing is installed on their device. But signs two-factor authentication being turned off or iCloud backup being turned on (if you didn’t turn it on yourself) can be indicators of this type of attack.
What Google knows about me (and probably you, too)
The alleged use of data to influence Americans' political views put tech companies under the microscope. Rebekah Sanders and Will Flannigan downloaded their and Google data to see what the companies had collected on them.
If you're me, convenience often trumps prudence.
You're probably logged into a Google product right now.
And so are billions of other people.
More than 80 percent of internet search traffic worldwide was fielded by Google in March, according to NetMarketShare, a company that compiles data from approximately 100 million internet browsing sessions per month.
But Google's reach extends far beyond internet searches.
The company operates a suite of products, including Gmail, Maps, Chrome, , the Google Play Store and the Android operating system.
Seven Google products have more than 1 billion users, and the company has a cache of data on many of them.
Last year, Google announced that Android surpassed 2 billion active monthly users.
The news of Cambridge Analytica's use of data to target Americans and help influence their political views put major tech companies, and the data they collect about their users, under a microscope.
It spurred many to wonder what — and, by extension, Google and other companies — know about us.
Dylan Curran, an Irish web developer, posted a thread that inspired me to take a dive into my own Google data.
Want to freak yourself out? I'm gonna show just how much of your information the s of and Google store about you without you even realising it
— Dylan Curran (@iamdylancurran) March 24, 2018
“Want to freak yourself out?” the thread began, “I'm gonna show just how much of your information the s of and Google store about you without you even realising it.”
Curran continued his examination for 37 tweets, pulling in more than 165,000 retweets and 259,000 s.
So I downloaded my Google data, and Curran was right: I freaked out.
Note: This is data I shared with Google while logged into my account.
Google predates by more than six years.
I've (mostly) been conscientious about what I share on . Sure, I made some social media missteps in college (who didn't?), but my relationship with is entirely by choice.
Google, however, has been a major provider of utility in my life. I've used the company's products to email, navigate, write and research. Google search is my homepage, and I use Google's Internet browser, Chrome.
I opened my Google account my freshman year of college. I opened my account a couple of years later.
In other words, Google knows much more about me than ever will. It knows things about me that I don't necessarily want to share with my friends or family. It knows things about me that I prefer to keep private.
How to download your Google data
New reports show that Google has ten times the personal information stored on you as . Tony Spitz has the details.
Getting access to the data Google stores on you is simple.
Visit Google's Takeout service . Takeout was launched in 2011 to give users a quick and simple way to download the data that the company has stored.
It takes minutes to complete a form requesting your data from Google. The company will send you an email with a link to your data once it processes your request.
It took several hours for my data to come in.
My Google thumbprint in four ZIP files
Google sent me an email with four files several hours after I submitted my request. (Photo: Google)
The company sent me four ZIP archives of data. In total, my data cache was more than 9 gigabytes.
“Your Google data archive is ready,” the email subject line said.
These four archives held within them everything Google knew about me. The archives unpacked into more than 30 folders, each containing application-specific data.
What I found
Oh, my… This is just the first archive. pic..com/zO5FTE3qrI
— Will Flannigan (@Will_Flannigan) March 27, 2018
The files seemed endless. Each named after a service, each containing troves of information from my 10-plus years using Google products.
Frankly, I felt uncomfortable opening these files at work. I wasn't sure what was going to be included.
Google knows where I've been
In the files Google provided was a folder named “location history.” (Photo: Google)
Google Maps is my preferred application for directions, and it has been since 2007, apparently.
The first time I used Google Maps to navigate was on June 12, 2007. I was seeking directions from Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, to Manchester, Tennessee.
I made the search from my Android phone as I tried to find my way to a music festival more than 700 miles away from my starting point.
Nearly every Google Map search I've made since was documented in a file that has more than 3,200 entries.
In addition to my map searches, Google also tracked my whereabouts via my Location History.
I activated this service on my Android phone on June 27, 2013, and deactivated it on July 17, 2017. During that time, Google pinged my latitude and longitude more than 20,000 times.
Google says its Location History service helps provide better recommendations where you've been. For example, it may provide an alternate route for your daily commute if traffic is piling up.
You can turn the service off at any time.
To see what Google knows about where you've been, use the company's Timeline tool.
Who I've emailed
So. Many. Emails. I'm an email hoarder, there's no doubt about it. My Gmail account constantly warns me that I'm quickly running space.
The file containing information about my email was the bulk of my data, weighing in at more than 5 gigabytes. Currently, my account has more than 67,000 emails in it, my data revealed.
I'm embarrassed by that fact.
My data contained drafts, junk, spam and sent email.
Google announced in 2017 it would stop scanning users' email for information to provide a more personalized ad experience.
… and what I've read and watched online
I've been an insatiable news reader since college, and every news story I've read while logged into my account was recorded.
I have read more than 3,200 news stories that I found on the Google News platform since 2007, my data says.
My tastes have changed over time, of course. Early on, music and entertainment news dominated my clicks. Recently my tastes have been more refined: public safety, technology and political stories now make up the bulk of my news consumption.
It's easy to see how the company can use my data to recommend other news stories to me.
Google News launched in 2002.
hasn't always been a Google product. Google purchased the online video platform in 2006. My experience with began four years later. Since then, I have watched 21,000 videos on while logged into my account. The first video I viewed? A performance at a music festival.
See a pattern forming?
… and what I'm working on
Google Drive, Google Docs and Google Sheets are important tools for me.
Google launched its Drive service in 2012. Since then, two trillion files have been uploaded to its servers, according to Business Insider.
According to my data, I've uploaded or have shared more than 700 files on Google Drive. This includes files I created in Google Docs.
… my complete search history
And now, the motherlode. This Google search file took so long to render that I left my desk for a meeting, came back 15 minutes later and it was still rendering. Again… I looked up “The DaVinci Code” in 2006. Every Google search I've made since then is represented here. pic..com/vlXiqv7F1N
— Will Flannigan (@Will_Flannigan) March 27, 2018
This was the motherlode. Google has a detailed history of every search I've made while logged into my Google account.
I have made more than 17,000 search requests since 2007, my Google data revealed.
My earliest-recorded search was “the davinci code symbols,” followed up by “robert langdon.” Those searches were made in 2006. I was a big fan of author Dan Brown.
Google processes 3.5 billion internet searches per day, Internet Live Stats reports.
… other things
With Google Takeout, users can download information from 37 different areas. Though I'm an active Google user, many of the company's products I do not use, such as Google Fit, a fitness tracking app.
Other information may include payments you've sent (Google Pay Send), photos you've taken (Google Photos) and books you've read (Google Play Books).
How does Google use this information?
Google uses your information in a plethora of ways. Most of the data the it collects falls into three buckets: things you do, things you create and things that make you “you,” according to the company's privacy website.
Google promises that it does not sell your data.
The data is used to improve user experience, such as providing quicker search results or recommending a restaurant to you your previous queries.
And, of course, advertising. Google lets users tweak ad settings to deliver a more personalized ad experience. Visit adsettings.google.com to modify.
Google also allows users to tweak what data is being stored. Visit privacy.google.com to learn more.
How to delete your Google data
Google lets users delete their data. Just requesting the data, deleting data is straightforward and simple. Visit Google's my activity page From there you can choose to delete application-specific data, or choose to wipe everything.
Deleting your data, Google says, may impact your experience with Google products. For example: deleting data could affect the types of videos the service recommends to you, according to a Google spokesperson.
What else? Just Google it
If you have any other questions about how Google uses your data or what data it collects, you can always visit Google.com and conduct a search. And, yes. I realized the irony in that statement.
a big contributor to the committees in Congress that will question Mark Zuckerberg
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3 ways your smartphone can be hacked without you knowing – Komando.com
It’s more important than ever to be vigilant about online security, as hackers are finding new creative ways to steal your information. Savvy digital thieves can target your smartphone without you even knowing about it, which leaves your sensitive data at risk.
If your phone gets hacked, sometimes it’s obvious. Ransomware, for example, will take over your phone and lock your entire system down. A message will display on the screen demanding that you pay a fee if you want to get your files back. If you missed our story about how ransomware is spreading to phones and tablets, click to read it here.
But sometimes hackers sneak malware onto your device without you even knowing it. Trojans Acecard hide in your system then slowly get worse. This is when malware can do the most damage because it can infect your operating system for months, even years, before you realize there’s a problem.
We’ve covered how you can secure your smartphone in the past, but there are other things you can do to protect yourself from getting hacked. That’s why we’ve put together this list of things to watch out for.
1. Public Wi-Fi
Many people incorrectly assume that security is built into public Wi-Fi networks. They believe that since a password is required to access the network their information is safe. But that’s not always the case.
Privacy, security, the latest trends and the info you need to live your best digital life.
One of the most common ways hackers attack mobile devices is through unsecured Wi-Fi networks. These public networks, the ones you find at airports and coffee shops, can be accessed by anyone. This means that a hacker can potentially see everything you do while you’re logged in using these networks.
Your device will let you know which networks are available, but that doesn’t mean these networks should be trusted. Scammers will sometimes create “honeypot” networks, using generic names such as “Coffee Shop” or “Hotel Guest” to make you believe you’re connecting to the real thing when you’re actually not.
- Turn your Wi-Fi off: In your phone’s setting menu, slide the Wi-Fi toggle to turn it off. You can turn it back on as needed, but this will prevent your phone from connecting to public Wi-Fi networks automatically.
- Be skeptical of links: Scammers are skilled at making links seem enticing so you’ll fall for their trick, but there are some signs that should make you think twice before you click. First, if an outrageous claim sounds too good to be true, it’s probably not legitimate. Second, if you’re prompted to download something, you probably should avoid it.
Here’s a little trick. To see what’s hiding behind a hyperlink, see what shows up in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen when you hover your mouse over it.
- Avoid certain websites: Unless you’re planning to do some general web surfing, it’s probably best to avoid public Wi-Fi altogether.
Ask yourself, if someone were looking over your shoulder would you access a particular account or website. If that were the case, you probably wouldn’t check your credit card statement or log in to your Amazon Prime account. When using public Wi-Fi, always assume that somebody out there is watching.
- Use encryption: When you do connect to public networks, encrypted data is essential to your online security. However, you can’t always trust that the network is encrypting that data for you. Visiting SSL sites, or websites that begin with the letters H-T-T-P-S means that the data exchanged is being encrypted.
VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, can be created wherever you go if you have the right software.
- Have strong security software – this will help prevent the installation of ransomware on your gadget.
Backing up your critical data is an important safety precaution in the fight against ransomware. It’s the best way to recover your files without paying a ransom.
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2. Outdated operating systems
Flaws in your operating system also open doors to hackers. All of those update prompts that keep popping up on your screen – well, they’re important. In the moment they may seem pesky tasks that you have to keep up on, but each of those updates carries critical patches for your system.
Smartphone manufacturers frequently release operating system updates to fight the attacks. Updates should be installed immediately because hackers have a better success rate on date devices.
3. Apps with malicious code
Malicious apps are another way devices can be compromised. Applications downloaded from messages or websites instead of an app store increase the risk of an attack. Hackers can steal data with help from malicious code hidden inside apps. There are so many apps available that neither Apple nor Google can check all of them in their store for malicious code.
More tips you can’t miss:
3 worst places to swipe your debit card
One secret about online accounts every computer user needs to know
3 essential security tasks to do right now