Does Google know more than you want them to know?

Google services on Android or iPhones can store your location data, even when you try to prevent it through your device settings.

Google Maps can make a timeline of your movements, for example. It works so well that last year a warrant was served by police in North Carolina to Google to find devices near a murder scene. You can turn off your location history so the places you go will not be stored.

If you are logged into Google, go to to see your timeline or whether it is even on. You can turn the tracking of your history on or off here:

This may not keep Google from tracking your movements through nearby towers but it is something more you can do to make it a little more difficult for them.


Funny how things never change…

The Victor crew happened upon a an article about an article. showed a clipping of a news article from a 1996 copy of the Wall Street Journal. The clipping shows that even back in 1996, there were privacy concerns.

Concerns with privacy about such things as cookies, encryption, junk email. We recently wrote about the blast of Terms of Service you’ve been seeing. Most of them address all these issues within them.

The only way to truly protect your privacy is to be aware of what is being collected. Don’t just shrug off all those terms and privacy legal pages. Read them. If they want something you don’t want to give, then just stop using that service, app, website, etc. If the site or app has privacy settings, go into them and limit your exposure. Limit who can see your posts, photos, or information. Sometimes you can even set it so you need to approve who can friend or follow you.

View the original full Wall Street Journal article here.

Encrypted Text Messaging

Recently a family member told me about an encrypted messaging app called Signal. It not only encrypts your text messages but also conversations. There are a few nice things about it: it is free, it is open source, and it works on both iPhone and Android phones. You can also send documents and images.

There is also a desktop app for your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer.

Windows 10 Creators Update

When the Victor crew was notified of the Windows 10 Creators Update, we scratched our heads. What in the world is that? Why would I need it?

There is a new Gaming category in Settings. When in game mode it will make the experience smoother.

You can use the new Paint 3D app to make 3D drawings along with 360 degree view.

There is feature that allows you keep open tabs by setting them aside so you don’t have to favorite them but put them aside for small projects you may be working on.

Microsoft Edge becomes the default eBook reader. You can customize the eBook as you are reading it, highlight parts, set bookmarks. You can also change the screen for night use.

There is a setting for Mixed Reality that works with HoloLens VR headsets.

Plan and measure trips on Maps. You can share them with others.

There’s a new privacy dashboard to allow you to set your own security settings.

Mini View allows you to keep a video in a small window.

The first of these updates were rolled out April 11, 2017.


Last week to get your Windows 10 for free!

Well, it’s finally coming this week. After Friday, Windows 10 will cost you a mere $119.99 per machine. What you need to know is that you r should not use the Express settings. By skipping custom settings, you will be agreeing to data collection and tracking.

If you went ahead and did do express settings, you can change it. Go to Settings > Privacy > Speech, inking & typing. Click on the Stop Getting to Know Me button. You can actually go down the list under Privacy and turn off or on what you want.

Windows 10

Jody Crew

Your Online Privacy

Have you ever searched for you name online and come up with a number of sites that surprised you? And if you clicked on them, were you surprised about how much information they had on you … like all the places you’ve lived, your spouse’s name or children’s names?

Well, Jody Victor‘s crew came across this article from COMPUTERWORLD that gives a pretty comprehensive list of those type of sites and how to opt out of them. It may take an hour or two to get through them all and confirm your request. On their list is:

US Search

There may be other sites out there but be sure to check this out!

Facebook in the news

There are a few items about Facebook in the news this week that Jody Victor‘s crew found:

1. Facebook at Work. Facebook wants to compete directly with Linkin for your work networking. Referring to it as FB@Work, the effort is currently based in London. At this stage there hasn’t been a formal announcement but if you search for it, you will find much information on this. Some say you will be able to keep your work profile completely separate from your personal profile. We will just have to wait and see.

2. Facebook privacy. Once again, Facebook has revamped it privacy policies. One thing to be aware of is that when you post something, you can choose who can see it. But Facebook can always see everything. Ever notice that once you “like” something (like a website or store), several ads show up right under it that are similar?

3. Facebook ads and promotions. Facebook realizes people come to Facebook to see what is happening in their feeds and have listened to the complaints about how many ads are showing instead of friends and pages they care about. Starting in January 2015, you should see less promotional content in your News Feed. So just because you “like” a page doesn’t mean you want to see every post they make. This is what will change.

A Facebook Experiment

Jody‘s crew found an article that said that Facebook conducted an experiment in which it altered the News Feeds for hundreds of thousands of users. The experiment was outlined in a paper by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. There was no link to the paper but after finding their site and searching it for “Facebook” found there were several experiments conducted with Facebook.

In this particular experiment, the News Feeds of over 680,000 English-language Facebook users either had emotionally negative or emotionally positive posts removed from their feeds. The feeds were still available by clicking a friends timeline but not on their own News Feed unless they reloaded it.

According to the article, this type of “data manipulation is written into Facebook’s Terms of Use.”

Visit the article.

See the Facebook studies conducted by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Jody Victor suggests if you use Facebook, do so carefully. Don’t expose too much private information to people outside your circles or the public.

What is privacy?

Privacy is the state of being private. Private means you personally own something. In the world of the internet, privacy is no longer considered a right. You may have heard in the news the recent items about NSA and Google or NSA and Microsoft (Skype). If you are using one of the big companies for email or documents, you cannot expect privacy anymore.

Jody’s crew came across an article by Bernard Marr titled Google: Forget Privacy When Using Gmail. Google has admitted to reading emails in order to target for advertisers. They consider you as turning over their information to a third party when you use their service. So if they are targeting you with advertisements from your emails and you share you computer, you cannot expect to keep a surprise a surprise from someone in your household.

Another article by Bernard Marr is about How Facebook Exploits Your Private Information. What he says in this article causes me to pause before I click a “Like” button. This too is used to target you for advertisers. Facebook can even track you when you go to other sites gathering even more information on you. Facebook even has “face recognition” capabilities to track you and your friends from the profiles you have filled in.

Use caution when sharing any information via Facebook or Gmail. Know that there is no such thing as privacy anymore.

~ Jody Victor & Crew.

Jody Victor® Shares about privacy when posting to Facebook

Jody has more to share about Facebook privacy:

Control Your Posts:

Each time you post, you can choose who sees your posts by clicking on the sharing icon. The icon of the “globe” is to make something Public. The “people” icon is to share with friends and the “gear” icon is to customize who views or hide from specific people.

If you tag someone, or you approve someone else’s tag on your post, that person and their friends will see it no matter what audience you choose.

Think before you post. Information you share can be copied or shared by others who see it. Here are some points to remember:

  • Choose who you share with. If you hide your birthday, for example, no one will see it on your timeline but if your friends say “happy birthday” on your timeline, your secret is out!
  • When you write on some someone else’s page, story, or timeline, that person selects the audience. If you intended it for a particular audience and that person changes who can see it, what you wrote will change along with it.
  • You can control who sees the “liked” Facebook pages on your timeline by clicking on the “Likes” box and clicking “Edit”.
  • Assume if you do not see a “sharing” icon, the information will be public.

Control Your Timeline:

Control who sees what on your timeline by clicking the “sharing” icon. The icons for the audiences are the same as above.

Even though you may control which friends are visible on your timeline, the full list is available for games, applications and websites you use. Your friends may also be visible on your friends timelines and in searches. If you have your friend list set to “only me” and your friend’s list is “public”, anyone will see your connection on your friend’s timeline.

Your gender will only hide on your timeline if you hide it.

When someone tags you in a story or photo, you can hide or show it on your timeline.

Points to remember:

  • You can hide items on your timeline but they may still be found elsewhere.
  • People may be able to see mutual friends but not your list of friends.
  • Your name, profile pictures, and cover photos will not have sharing icons because they are always public.
  • Once again, if you so not see a “sharing” icon, assume the information is public.

Jody reminds everyone to think before you post.

Jody Victor® shares more about Facebook Privacy

Jody has some more to share about Facebook’s privacy policy.

When you make your information “public”, it is open to everyone to see. This means all your information, timeline, photos, user id, username, profile pictures, etc. are open to the public. It can show up if someone does a search on Facebook or with a search engine on the Internet. This information is also accessible to games integrated with Facebook, applications and website you or your friends use. Others can share your information when they choose to make information public.

Information that is always publicly available:

  • Name
  • Profile Pictures and Cover Photos
  • Network
  • Gender
  • Username and User ID

Facebook uses your information in connection with the services and features they provide. They may be used to bring you advertisements relevant to you, use location features to tell you or your friends when there may be an event near by, data analysis for service improvement etc.

Facebook will not share your information unless they have your permission, have given you notice, or removed your name so you won’t be identified.

Data is stored as long as necessary to provide products and services.

You can deactivate your account and put it on hold. Others will not see your timeline anymore but your information is not deleted in case you want to reactivate your account. Your friends will still see you listed in their friends list while your account is deactivated.

When you delete your account, it is permanantly deleted. It takes about one month to delete an acoount but some information may be in backup logs for up to 90 days. Some of your posts to a group or messages to a friend remains even after you delete your account.

Jody suggests you use Facebook prudently.

Jody Victor® wonders about Facebook’s privacy policy

Jody Victor suggests you look at Facebook’s privacy policy to find out what is and isn’t actually private.

Part I:
Information they receive and how they use it.

When you sign up, they ask for your name, email address, birthday and gender.

Information you choose to share: when you post a status update, upload a photo or comment on a friend’s story/photo, add a friend, “like” a page or website, add a place to your story, find friends using their importers, or say you are in a relationship. Your name, photos, gender, username, and networks are treated as public. Your birthday allows them to target your age group for advertisements and content.

Facebook also receives information about you from your friends when you are tagged, upload your contact info, post your photos, location, etc. Facebook may store this information about you.

Facebook also received data about you when you look at a friend’s timeline, send or receive a message, search for a friend or page, click on or interact with those items, use your mobile app or purchase through Facebook. They also receive data from your photos such as time, date, location.

Other data:

  • Computer mobile phone or other device (IP address, internet service, location, browser, pages visit, GPS)
  • When you visit a game, app or website that uses Facebook Platform (IP address, browser, operating system, if you’re logged in they receiver your userid
  • Advertising partners, customers, third parties that help them deliver ads

Next week, Jody will explore more about Facebook’s privacy policies.