Showing posts with label Privacy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Privacy. Show all posts

Monday, June 17, 2013

Edward Snowden Q&A

Edward Snowden also know as the whistleblower behind the biggest intelligence leak in NSA history has done a live Q&A with The Guardian. He took questions live and answered queries regarding what he did and why he did it. He also spoke about Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple. Saying that their denials to allowing the government access to their servers were false. They are actually misleading their users as to the amount of information they were sharing with the NSA. He also spoke about why he choose Hong Kong and why he fled the US.

Edward SnowdenThe Q&A is a good read for people who have been following this saga since it all began. The whole think started with something called PRISM - which gives the NSA authority to seek to snoop on users' data. This could be data from social networks, phone companies and just about anything out there. Many users have since started using the search engine duckduckgo to get their search queries answered. This entire data collection efforts' codename is PRISM.

This whole revelation by Edward Snowden is always on the news and this is the first time he did a live Q&A to answer people's questions. Hopefully he does an AMA on Reddit.

Read the entire Q&A here. Photo by The Guardian

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Twitter now shows a summary of your Tweets from the time you joined

Twitter now showing your most important tweets from the time you joined. Anyone who has ever used Twitter is aware that up until now whenever you search for your own Tweets. You see results from only the past week. In general searches on Twitter older Tweets were never shown. If you wanted to see all your past Tweets and activity you had to click the 'Me' icon on Twitter. This would show you and only you all your past tweets and Retweets etc. Now when someone searches for a particular username on Twitter. They get to see a whole list of Tweets that go as far back as the time the person actually joined Twitter and started Tweeting. You need to review your Tweets and remove some of them if they are not relevant anymore. Maybe they should not be seen at all -- we all know those Tweets, the ones that might have been sent out after a night out at town.

Find tweets from the beginning of TimeHow to search for old Tweets more than a week old
1. Login with your Twitter account
2. use your username in the search bar on Twitter
3. See all your Tweets or rather a summary of your most important Tweets from the time you joined.

Should I review all these Tweets
It is advisable to review these Tweets as you might have joined a while back and some tweets you thought might be hidden are now in full public view.

What to do with Tweets I don't like
Delete them. Hover with your mouse below the Tweet you want to remove and click the 'Delete' button - trash can icon. Read more at the Twitter announcement of the same. On testing we discovered that tweets being displayed go all the way back to the time you joined.

Friday, February 1, 2013

How to follow Good Password Hygiene

There is enough news these days of Social Networking sites getting hacked. Once that happens you the end user stand to loos your account and maybe even your friends get spammed. Once an account is hacked you could also loose all your information and get your lists of friends etc deleted. This seems to be a problem generally on the internet and there seems to be only one way to fight all of this. Maintaining good password hygiene -- on social sites and else where on the internet. There is no company that is not susceptible to being hacked and till such time that permanent solutions are not found. The responsibility of keeping you account safe is left to you. So here are a few steps you need to follow to ensure good password management for your account, and keep your account secure.

How ot keep your passwords secureHow to set your passwords and keep them secure
1. Your passwords should be at least 10 characters long
2. Should contain a mix of characters -- letters, symbols (^%#), upper case, lower case and numbers
3. Don't use the same password for multiple sites
4. Change your password every six months

What is a password and why is it important
1. When you create a login ID on any site, you also need a password.
2. Passwords when being created and stored are always shown in asterisk -(******).
3. It is what gets you into your favorite sites like Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
4. It should not be shared with anyone.
5. Should be stored in a secure place. You can use a number of password saving apps online or better still -- find a way to manage all your passwords locally and offline.

Disable Java on your browser for better password protection
1. Most account seem to be compromised through the Java loophole.
2. The U.S Department of Homeland Advisory also has this to say on disabling Java.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

PrivacyFix: Fixes your Online Privacy Settings

There are many sites you use everyday and social sites like Facebook and Gmail collect and have with them a lot of your data. This data can be from the sites you visit, your online shopping habits and a host of other information that you might not be aware about. In addition to this Facebook keeps making a log of changes to their privacy policies. It is therefore important for you to be able to keep a tab and be on top of it all. You might not even be aware where you need to go on these sites to fix your privacy settings. PrivacyFix is an online add-on available for Chrome and FireFox that helps you get the job done.

online privacyOnce you add PrivacyFix to Chrome or FireFox you will need to click on run PrivacyFix setup on the site. One the app is setup it will then run a check on your privacy settings on Facebook and Google and guide you through all your default settings. If there is anything you want to fix simply click on the fix icon. It is a simple app and even if you have no use for it right now you will be made aware of your auto-settings, which you can then tune if you want.

PrivacyFix for Chrome and FireFox

Now that PrivacyFix has been discontinued, find a helpful guide here on how to fix your online Privacy.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

How to create a secret or Pinterest private board

Pinterest always had one feature that was lacking. The ability to create private boards that are visible to only people you invite. Up until now all boards created on Pinterest have been public and if there was one feature Pinterest uses wanted it was this -- the ability to create private boards meant only for certain people who you want to share these boards and pins with. Once a private board is switched from off to on it is a one time thing and stays permanent. As of now you can create only three secret boards.

Pinterest private board

Can I convert existing boards to secret boards?
This is not possible as pins from these boards might have already been shared on the site.

What happens when you add a pin to a secret board?
It will not show up on Pinterest and will remain totally secret only visible to people who you have invited to view the board.

Where do I find my secret boards and pins?
They are found at the bottom of your Pinterest profile

What if I have used up my 3 boards?
If you want to create a new secret or private board and have already used your quota of 3 boards. You will need to make one of them public before being able to create a new secret board.

How to create a Secret or Pinterest private board
From the Add + button on the top, click on it and then toggle between secret and public or from the drop-down on the top click on boards and find your three secret boards at the bottom.

How to create a secret board on your iOS or Android device.
You need the latest version of Pinterest for this option to work. Once you have the latest version of Pinterest on your iPhone, iPad or Android phone or tablet you can then go to your profile. Tap on the boards tab and then scroll down till you get the options -- create a secret board.

Video below if you want the visuals, read more here at the Pinterest blog

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Facebook Data Use Policy: Information received about you

Amid all the controversy about what Facebook does with your data and the Facebook Data Use Policy they follow. Facebook have released a page for you to read more about the information Facebook receives about you. It is written in simple English and mostly devoid of technical jargon. The post explains first the information it receives about you -- detailing the info received when you signup. Facebook then explains information received about you when others share stuff. This is when you friends share status updates and photos and you're tagged in it. This information is also received by FB. There is also other information Facebook receives about you -- like when you search fb, view a friends' Timeline and when you generally interact and view things on the site.

Facebook Data Use PolicyIt goes on to detail the types of information received about you, like when you interact with mobile devices. When not just you uses the PC to login to Facebook. The list is endless. Whenever you play or visit a game, use another platform on fb, Info is also received from their party vendors like Advertisers.

How does Facebook use all the information it receives.
According to their document, fb users all this information to hand you location based services, making the site more secure and target services that might appeal to you. All data says Facebook is stored for as long as is necessary to make Facebook useful to you. Facebook also reserves the right to collect such data and use it to enhance your experience. It is good to read through and see for yourself the kind of data that is collected by Facebook and how it is put to use. You can also check to see if this is actually something you find fair use or is it something you disagree with. You can read the entire document and please leave a comment with what you think about this move by Facebook.

Read more at the Facebook Data use Policy Page

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

LinkedIn Ignore Privately: How it works

LinkedIn has something called 'Ignore' and 'Ignore Privately'. Ignore is something you see beside invitations to connect in your LinkedIn Inbox. LinkedIn Ignore Privately is an option you see beside invitations to connect in your email Inbox. There are many reasons you get invites 1. People find you and send you an invitation to connect 2. You have already rejected their invitation to connect but you get an invite again. Maybe because they allowed LinkedIn to access their email contacts and send out invites again. There are many case scenarios, however there are these invites from the same people that keep following you around. If you get a LinkedIn Invite in your email inbox, like Gmail or Yahoo Mail. You now get the grayed out button option to ignore privately.

LinkedIn Ignore Privately: How it worksWhat happens when you ignore someone privately on LinkedIn?
For one thing only you will know that you have ignored that person's invite. No notifications are sent to the person who sent the invite. Only you know that the invitation has been ignored and the other person is not added as a contact on LinkedIn. They will eventually figure it out that you have rejected their invitation to connect since your name does not get added as a contact. There is however no notification being sent and everything remains quiet. So clicking ignore beside an invite gets the other person off our back and you continue on as usual in LinkedIn. Helps you maintain your privacy on LinkedIn. There are times you get the option to ignore privately because LinkedIn has detected that account as Spam.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How to block someone on Pinterest

Pinterest which made a popular appearance in 2012 has just added a few more features to help users. The ability to block people -- so if you are having problem with someone on PInterest that is giving you a hard time. Maybe leaving unwelcome comments on your pins or your boards. Maybe even repinning your pins onto boards that are not exactly flattering, you can now block them. There are many reasons why you might want to block someone. If you have decided to block someone or a follower or a group of people on Pinterest, follow the instructions below to do so, to help maintain your privacy in Pinterest.

Pinterest Block Someone

How to block someone on Pinterest.
1. Login to Pinterest
2. Go to the his or her's profile page
3. Click on the flag icon that appears on the right hand side of their profile information
4. from the drop-down menu click on block
5. Confirm the block and you're done

What happens when you block someone on Pinterest.
1. You and the person who you blocked will not be able to follow and interact with each other's pins
2. Both of you will not be able to like, comment or repin each others pins.
4. All previous follows, comments, likes and repins are automatically removed.
5. They will not be notified about the block. However if they try to follow you again, interact with your pins or invite you to a group board they will be notified about the block.
6. Both parties will be able to see each others's boards in public search results, general category feeds and boars that both of you have collaborated on.
7. Both of you will be able to see each other's baords and pins as any other user logged in to Pinterest. Since boards and pins are public.

So blocking on Pinterest mainly cuts all interaction between you and the person you blocked. Although you can still see each other's pins and boards. No interaction is possible. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Stop people knowing you've viewed their LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn has something very annoying - every time you view someone's profile they get an email notification letting them know, you've viewed their profile. This is also bad news for recruiters and people in the HR Industry. As it could lead to false hopes in people even if you were simply checking out a candidate, it still raises hopes especially for job seekers. Every-time you search for someone on Google and you land on their LinkedIn profile page. Email notifications let them know you're viewed their profile. If this is something you don't want and would rather view other profiles on LinkedIn anonymously. LinkedIn offers the best solution. Follow the below steps to turn off 'who viewed my profile' on LinkedIn.

You can either click here or follow the steps below stop people knowing you've viewed their LinkedIn Profile. 
Stop people from knowing you viewed their profile1. Login to LinkedIn
2. Hover over your name on the right-hand corner and choose settings from the drop-down
3. Under privacy controls choose 'Select what others see when you've viewed their profile'
4. You can choose only name and headline, anonymous profile characteristics or totally anonymous.

This way other people will not get to know you viewed their profile, allowing you to surf LinkedIn profiles without the border of people being notified that you viewed their profile. Stop people from knowing you viewed their profile

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What is single-use code in single-use sign in code has been launched by Microsoft with a view to convert all email services by the company into one place only. So your and Hotmail email addresses will be converted into the new email service. You can lean more about it here as we have already written about it. The new account is being called 'Microsoft Account', so when you sign-up for an email ID it will be called your Microsoft Account. Once you get your new email ID you have an added feature that comes along. The ability to use single-use code.

What is Single-use code?
Single-use code is the ability to sing-in to your Microsoft account with a piece of code rather than your password. You might be wondering what is the good - consider you're travelling and need to use a public computer like in an airport or library. You can request for a single-use code which will be delivered to your phone. You can use that code to log-in and it expires after a single use.

How to request a single-use code?
1. Go to and click on sign in with single-use code
2. You will need to enter your mobile number from the link that opens. You can also choose to use the mobile number already associated with your account.
3. Your single-use code arrives via sms

Note: Each code can be used only once. There are also only a certain number of times you can request a code each day. SMS delivery subject to network speed. This application is intended to be used better help protect your Microsoft Account and your privacy.

An original post by


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Be careful what you store on Microsoft Skydrive since your private files are monitored

Cloud storage is something that has taken off in a very big way. There is DropBox, iCloud, Google Drive and Skydrive to name a few of the more popular ones. What Cloud Storage does it allows you free storage to store all your files in the cloud and make them available on all your devices. Microsoft is moving out SkyDrive with Windows 8, Office 13 and Windows Phone. This would mean that many uses would store all of their files on SkyDrive and some of what is being store might be inappropriate. This is something that needs to be noted - these might be your private files. Even if they are your private files and your using Microsoft Cloud to store them it might get your banned. A dutch user on the forum who goes by the handle WingsOfFury reports that he lost access to hos Live account, Hotmail account and XBox account. There are many users who are reporting the same online.

In fact Microsoft monitors its cloud servers and takes action when inappropriate content is found even if it your own personal file - meaning pictures of yourself. Microsoft also has a Code Of Conduct if you want to use its service. What's disturbing to users is that files are monitored even when uploaded into a private folder and not a public folder. So before you think it is safe to store whatever yo want on SkyDrive, think again. Uses suggest encrypting your files before storing them on SkyDrive. Please leave a comment below with what you think about this whole thing. Does this raise privacy concerns?
Source: Private files monitored, Xbox and mail access revoked and Microsoft monitoring and censoring uploads to SkyDrive

An original post by


Thursday, June 28, 2012

what happens when you send an email to a Facebook email address

Facebook can be used as a traditional emailing system like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail etc. Which means that you can use your messages inbox like any other email system. you can click on messages and then +new message and then send messages to external email IDs. So if you want to carry on a conversation with a Gmail buddy. Simply enter their email id and send then an email. If you would like to set your Facebook ID to something fancy that you like  - also know as vanity URLs, it can be done with a one-step method. So once you setup and all ready to go, you can use your Facebook messages inbox and start mailing and receiving mails from non Facebook IDs.

What happens when you receive an email on Facebook
You are notified that a new message has been received
To view you email click on messages
After reading a message you can then archive it or reply to that message
Not important you can also delete you Facebook message

What happens when you send an email to a Facebook email address. 
You emails are formatted to look like they come from Facebook
Including your name, profile picture and your message from your email address
Your email will appear as

As Facebook continues to grow and become more of a web app, using the service for email is set for growth. Facebook also set everyone's email ID on their Timeline to their Facebook email ID. So when you click on 'About' and check for a persons' mail ID they will see the Facebook one. To set your mail ID to primary or adjust settings please follow this link. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How to remove people from Facebook Chat

If you are one of those people who use Facebook chat a lot but would like to appear to only some friends and not appear online to others. This is a quick guide to help you accomplish just that. This is one privacy feature that you ought not to miss - there could me many reasons. There is this one person who keeps getting in your hair and every time you login to chat with your Facebook friends, this one person keeps messaging you and becoming a nuisance. Using this feature on Facebook chat can help you chat only with the friends you want to while avoiding others. This way you can continue using your Facebook chat without appearing rude to other friends who you would rather not be chatting with right now.

How to remove people from Facebook chat

How to remove people from Facebook Chat and limit availability and appear to only a few people.

1. Login to Facebook

2. Click on the cog icon on the bottom of your sidebar chat window and then select Advanced Settings.

3. A pop-up appear with three options - a) All your friends see you except b) Only some friends see you c) No one sees you Go Offline.

4. Clicking on the first two options will allow you to enter the names of people who can see you and the ones who won't be able to do so. 

5. Click on Save and you're done.


You can now login to Facebook and chat with only the friends you want to while appearing offline to the ones you don't want to chat with. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How to read random status updates on Facebook from people who are not your friends

Image Credit: Gizmodo

The idea of this post came from a websites that is all over the news for the last 24 hours. The site is called If you wondering how this works well it uses the open Facebook graph to randomly pull public Facebook status updates from people who should not be posting that kind of stuff. An example of an update that you should not have on your Facebook status is that 'You're Hungover'. The reason for this is that your Boss might be on your friend list and you have not set your privacy settings right. Another status update could be about 'people hating their boss' when you do not like you boss you do not update it as a status message, for all your colleagues and boss to see - might cost you your job. So if you go to the app you can see who is hungover and who is doing things like drugs etc. These are things you do not put in your Facebook status updates. The founder of the site says this was created to let people know that public status updates are viewable by everyone and please set your privacy options right before you go on a Facebook Status Rampage update.

Ok, so the site only offers pre-selected updates, but what if you want to just browse randomly and see other Facebook updates based on keywords you choose. maybe you just want to snoop around or maybe it's for a study you're doing. Whatever be the reason, if you want to just check random status updates and have some fun snooping around on Facebook this is what you can do. You can use a search query using Facebook's open graph and have fun. Here is an example of a search string. Now if you look at this string you will notice that the keywords come after q=. Each keyword is followed by the %20 sign. So everything between Q= and &type remains the same. You can play around with the keywords. So let us say I want to search for people who have updates their status with the words Disneyland. The search string will look like this - So just copy this into your browser window and get started, can turn out to be pretty good fun. You need to have a Facebook account for this to work.

If you are shocked that something like this can actually be done please go to your Facebook privacy settings controls and set everything to friends. This one step will take care of everything for you. 

An original post by


How to change your email on Facebook Timeline

Facebook did something without the consent of its users and the problem is this. Now when someone visits your Facebook Timeline or your profile page  - if you haven't added Timeline as yet. They get the 'About' page. Now this page contains your primary email address and people can simply mail you at this address. Facebook without the consent of users went ahead and replaced this primary address with your Facebook Email ID. If you are unaware about your Facebook Email Address and would like to claim yours, we have already written a post on how to do this which can be found here. Basically the way Facebook gives you an email ID is like this. When you visit your profile whatever is found after is taken and put in front of My Facebook profile is Therefore my Facebook email ID is So if you do not want your profile to show your Facebook mail ID here's how to change it.

How to change your email on Facebook Timeline
How to change, revert or use your primary Facebook email ID and not your Facebook email id.

How to change your email on Facebook Timeline
1. Login to Facebook
2. Click on your pic and land on your Timeline or profile page.
3. Click on the 'About' link found below your profile photo
4. Select 'edit' beside 'Contact Info'
5. Under "Emails' click on add / remove emails
6. You can now toggel between email IDs to be displayed on your Facebook by choosing the visible to settings. 
7. Click on the people icon beside the mail id and choose 'Only me' for it to be visible to only you. This way you can use your email privacy settings to decide which email ID needs to be displayed on your Facebook profile.
8. Choosing the 'Only Me' option on Facebook will hide all your mail IDs. This if you do not want your mail IDS displayed on your Facebook profile
9. Choose the best option that suits you and you're done when you click 'Save'.

Please add a comment below to continue this discussion. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How to set who can reply or comment on your public posts on Facebook

Facebook gives their users the ability to set who can reply to your public posts. This is good if you have a lot of subscribers and you want to share but you do not want your subscribes to be able to comment on your posts. In-fact this is a option being used by a couple of famous bloggers on Facebook. You can subscribe to them but cannot reply or comment on their posts. This can also be done with your friends and friends of friends. So when you update your Facebook status with a public post you can choose to have your friends comment on your posts. You can also allow friends of friends to be able to comment on your posts. These privacy options will need to be chosen by you and once set you can control who has the right or ability to reply or comment on your public posts.  If you choose public then anyone can comment on your posts - this will include public + subscribers.

Facebook commenting privacy options and how to set
1. Login to Facebook
2. Click on the drop-down arrow beside home found on the top right-hand corner.
3. Select Account Settings
4. Now click on Subscribers
5. Beside Subscriber Comment and Who can comment on your public posts: Public (including Subscribers) click on Edit.
6. You can now choose between Friends, Friends of Friends and Public (including Subscribers)
7. Choose the best option that suits you and then click on Save Changes
8. You're done.

This way you can choose who can comment on your public posts made on Facebook. If you want the visuals please check the video below.