Privacy

You are here

GPS Can Make Your Car An Easy Target for Hackers

According to Motherboard, hackers can use GPS trackers to gain access to a car with location tracking GPS services, and turn off its engine while it is in motion. An anonymous hacker, who operates in Asia and Africa, told that he was able to break into thousands of iTrack and ProTrack accounts using the initial default password given to customers. This is a reminder to change the password from the default one that comes with your car!  

More Companies are Screening What Kids Do on Their School Issued Tech

An article in The Outline discusses the double-edged sword of having outside companies screen what students do on  school issued technology devices. Gaggle and Securly represent the extreme end of the monitoring today’s students are growing up with. Email, calendars, documents, search history, and other typically private online activities are monitored by these apps. They scan for bullying, bad language, suicide warning signs, and more, reporting any concerns to school administrators or parents. While these kinds of technology can protect kids, some fear it will “undermine students’ expectation of privacy” forever.

Social Media Use Remains Unchanged

It looks like privacy concerns are not chasing away social media users, according to Mashable .The share of adults in the United States on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest has remained basically unchanged since 2018, according to a Pew Research Center report, even though consumers have voiced concerns in other Pew studies regarding data privacy and censorship. YouTube won the popularity contest with 73% of overall users, while younger demographics favor Instagram and Snapchat.

App Helps Manage Privacy on Social Media

As reviewed in The Verge, the new privacy app “Jumbo” on Apple’s iOS is designed to take the guesswork out of user data protection protocols on social media sites. Although some social media sites have restrictions on what the app can do, Jumbo can help manage your privacy on Twitter, Facebook, Alexa and Google search, and plans are afoot to add Tinder and Instagram. So how does it work? For example, connect to your Twitter account, and Jumbo will delete tweets from the time frame of your choosing, let’s say after a month. Your Twitter password is saved to the iOS keychain, not Jumbo itself — part of the company’s effort to collect as little data about its customers as possible. The app is currently free, but eventually we all may end up paying to protect what little is left of our privacy.

Apple’s New Emphasis on Privacy

You may have seen a new Apple ad touting their emphasis on privacy. Skeptics warn not to be lulled into a false sense of security, and say this is just part of Apple’s advertising plan. The company understands that, right now, people desperately want more control over their personal information. And so they are using privacy — this time, the idea of it, not the lack of it — to sell you more devices and streaming services. However, while Apple may collect less about you than some of the other tech giants, they still collect plenty of info, so be sure you understand the privacy settings on your Apple (and other brand) devices. You are the last line of defense on your privacy and that of your children.

Speaker Culture

Voice activated technologies are rapidly emerging and young consumers are increasingly speaking to their devices. The smart speaker is gaining the most traction as a voice-activated device and platform. Already, almost two in five 13-36-year-olds report owning a smart speaker. Voice activated technologies are becoming more mainstream with Gen Z and Millennials—and Millennial parents, the earliest adopters of the tech. Of course there are many privacy concerns that go along with this trend so be sure you are aware of the privacy controls on these devices.

Your iPhone Keeps a List of Your Every Location

There is a feature on your iPhone that keeps track of not only everywhere you have traveled and how you got there, but how many times you have been there. The phone even interprets that data to know, for example, that your dog goes to doggy day care every Wednesday morning.  If you no longer want this feature (although you may want to keep on your kid’s phones for other reasons), you can read the full story on how to get rid of it – with step-by-step instructions - on the Business Insider site.

Facebook Adds New "Why am I seeing this post?" Feature

Facebook recently unveiled a "Why am I seeing this post?" feature that will help customers better understand the content that appears on their news feed. The feature is an attempt by Facebook to be more transparent concerning algorithms that target users. To use the new tool, all you have to do is click or tap the drop-down menu on the right hand corner of a post. From there, you'll be able to view info at a glance on why you're seeing certain posts on your News Feed -- e.g. because you're a member of X Group or like X Page on Facebook -- as well as manage the content you'd like to see more or less of. You'll get shortcuts to controls to help you further personalize your News Feed too, including See First, Unfollow, News Feed Preferences and Privacy Shortcuts.

Are Biometrics a Solution for School Safety?

Some schools are adopting biometric technology, including facial and fingerprint scans, to improve safety and boost efficiency. Biometrics are said to be more secure than passwords and other traditional identifiers, but concerns about the safety of students' personal information has caused some districts to proceed with caution.

What Schools are Doing About Protecting Student Data and Privacy

Curious about what schools are doing to protect student data and maintain student privacy? Check out this article in Education Week about a survey that was conducted for the Consortium for School Networking of school district tech leaders who, overall, say that student-data privacy and security is a somewhat or much more of an important priority this year compared with last year. One interesting fact that emerged is that schools in urban areas are more concerned about cybersecurity and privacy than their rural peers, but that may be that because rural schools are simply just more concerned about getting access to broadband service.

Pages