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February 21, 2017

Had Enough of Facebook? Part 2

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Ron @ 5:31 am

Last week I let you know how to download a backup copy of most everything you have posted to Facebook.  This was in preparation for permanently removing you FB account.  Of course, you could do it for fun to see what they have on you.

Bear in mind that even though you will remove all of your photos, posts, etc. they may still be out there somewhere, where you have no knowledge of their existence.  Also, remember that in the fine print when you signed up for FB, they have your permission to use anything you post to their system anywhere they choose.  Your “stuff” may reappear somewhere else – maybe as an advertisement.  Your deleted information may not be found in the public domain by searching; however, it is still there.

So, after your backup copy is done and saved to your computer, here is how to entirely delete your Facebook account.  By-the-way deleting Facebook is a popular search on Google, take a look below at the sixth choice, where I started typing, “delete.

dele search - enlarged

First you should go to the settings area by clicking the lock or down arrow icon in the upper right corner.  On the lower left side of the Settings menu select “Apps” and remove all of them.  Keep in mind if it is an app that requires Facebook to play you may not be able to play the game, etc. again.  If you want to get more information about the app click its name or icon and read what it does and what information they collect about you.  Some apps may not be deleted so you have to deal with those few.

Delete Apps - enlarged

Next you can clear your past searches.  Again, under Settings click “Activity logs.”  On the left menu scroll down to the first “More” you see and select it.  When the screen opens look to the upper area and next to “Search” you will see “Clear searches.” Click and your past searches will be deleted.  Now the bad part of this is if you wish to delete all of the other things there you will have to delete them individually.  You would have to go to each photo, video, comment, etc. and delete each one.  This is not worth it to me and you have covered many of the bases up to this point.  I have heard some browsers have add-ins that will do this for you, but I have not tried them so Google for them if you wish.

In the past, you could delete your entire Activity Log but at this writing I could not find a way to do this.  Facebook changes this quite often so it may reappear in the future or it could be buried deeply somewhere I could not locate.

Finally, you need to go to this URL, “www.facebook.com/help/delete_account” and click the “Delete my account” button.  (That link is not found on Facebook as a link so you must type it in.) But first you may want to read “Learn more about account deletion.”  After an alert or two, respond appropriately and it will be gone.  You will get a verification email to your registered account letting you know what you did.

Delete May Account- enlarged

However, they say do not login to Facebook again for a minimum of 14 days.  I would wait longer.  If you do login before that time has passed it will be fully restored.  Aren’t they nice thinking you made a mistake after all of this hassle?

Now go read a book or a newspaper and maybe even talk to your friends and relatives who are really your friends.

February 14, 2017

Had Enough of Facebook? Part 1

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , , , , — Ron @ 5:51 am

Particularly with today’s political climate some people are getting tired of all the rhetoric on Facebook.  Some laugh and ignore it others get off of Facebook temporarily while still others deactivate their accounts, get off of the app and never come back…or so they plan.

There are several ways to get off of FB.  Yes, the easy way is to stop using it for a while.  I have a relative or two who have done this.  They just stop using it for a while and wait for the insanity to pass.  That way you have the ability to log back into the system and see pictures of old friends and hear what people had for breakfast; whatever.

Another way is to deactivate your account.  To do this, open log into your Facebook account.  In the upper right corner click the down arrow in and choose “Settings.”  On the left of this screen select “Security” then at the bottom of that screen click on “Deactivate Your Account.”  Now choose it once again.

image                    image

Facebook now tells you that your photos will vanish in most areas of Facebook and that people will see some of your posts if others have shared them, etc.  They also try to make you sad by showing some of your friends on FB who will miss you.

Next, you will need to answer a few questions, like your reason for leaving.  By-the-way, if you want to deactivate for a period of time you can choose that here also.  Your account will then become active again at the time you choose.  Then there is a little more information and warnings.  For instance, do you wish to opt out of receiving invites, notices of being tagged in photos, etcetera?  You will also need to decide if you want to also shutdown Messenger.  You can still use it if you like the app, which in my opinion is the best part of FB.  Then you hit the last Deactivate button and finish it off.

If you choose to deactivate your Facebook account, you can start it back up again later.  As long as you keep your email address or phone number you used for the account when you deactivated, you can start back right where you left off.

If you really want to shut down and delete your Facebook forever, proceed.  Get ready as this is made harder to do than deactivating.  If you want to keep copies of your posts, photos, videos, messages, and chats you have posted to FB download them first.  Go to the settings again and at the bottom of the General tab click “Download a copy of your Facebook data.”  All of the data will be in your downloads as a zipped file once it completes.

image

We are going to stop here this week. Next week we will cover a few more actions required to permanently eradicate your Facebook account.

January 31, 2017

Facebook Safety, Part 2

A long time ago (on the “feels like index”) last year we looked at some Facebook security settings you should check on your account.  If you need a refresher on what I said go here, rd.dblclx.com/2hVbumC, to take a look again.

Today we will take a look at some of the personal things you need to think about before sharing.  First, I will mention your kids, grandkids, you know those little people in your family.  I cannot encourage you enough to not post many pictures of your kids.  You may think they are innocuous and cute but you may be giving away a lot of information. Especially over time.  Take the family whose young son was kidnapped.  They had only posted pictures about him on FB and other sites for his first few years of growing up.  The first day to school.  Many little league shots.  They mentioned a couple of his great teachers in elementary school.  Mom talked about how Wednesdays she had worked out at the local gym with pics of her friends and herself. Over time the kidnapper found out, even though it was never specifically mentioned, the boy’s school, his grade level, what position he played on the team, what days/times he practiced, his friends, his mom and her friends and where he was supposed to go on Wednesdays after school.  Put it together and you know how that worked.  Be very, very careful what you are posting.

Next, do not accept friends you do not know.  Many people are just selling you stuff on FB and will blanket as many people as they can for friend requests.  When you accept, you and all of your friends can be blasted with offers.  Use common sense, if you do not know or remember their names they are not quite up to being a "friend" anyway.  If the guy is from Gondwanaland and you do not know anyone there – ignore him, you will not hurt his feelings.

Keep in mind that if you secure your Facebook site to not allow anyone but friends to see your posts that is good.  However, their friends can see their comments on your posts and their friends can see theirs and on-and-on.  Your posts can end up anywhere.

Now time for one of the biggest no-nos.  Never, never post pictures or talk about your vacation until you are back.  Why?  Because there are sites out there that just look for people talking about  being away from home so that the nefarious bunch out there can remove your TVs, motorcycles or anything else in your home while you are away.  At one time, there was a site, "PleaseRobMe" that had a search going on Twitter and Yelp, letting burglars know what houses were empty.

The last concern is not just limited to what you post on FB, Twitter and Yelp.  Think about when you are out and publicly post about a great restaurant you are at, or how you are meeting some old friends for bowling…or whatever.  You are letting the world know you are out and where you are.  Be safe out there, would you? 

December 20, 2016

Facebook Safety – Part 1

I have a few suggestions this week of a few steps you may want to take to make your Facebook account a little more secure.  Just think if someone took over your Facebook account which has been known to happen to people in recent times.  To your friends, it may appear that you have starting posting very inappropriate comments and/or pictures on your account. 

First, I will be giving these settings as they are on a computer.  Yes, you may also get to these settings from a tablet or phone.  However, it is my belief that it is much easier to make settings and entries from a larger screen, the choice is yours.  Also, note that some of these settings may be slightly different on different devices.

Privacy ShortcutsGo ahead and open up Facebook in your browser of choice.  In the upper right corner look for the lock with three lines next to it.  When you hover over it you will see "Privacy Shortcuts." Click it.   There are basically three settings you can work with under "Privacy Checkup." 

Privacy Checkup

First, Posts.  Here you should choose who you want to be able to view your posts.  You can easily choose between the Public, your Friends (you have friended in FB) and Only yourself.  Why you would choose only you could see your posts I have no idea, but it is available.  Next, are Apps.  If you have ever used FB to log into a game it will be listed here. So, if you stopped playing a particular game or no longer wanted to be associated with it you can again choose who can see your scores.  I set it for just me or the "Only Me" option. 

Privacy Checkup Options

The next option is for your Profile which is very important.  Here you can decide who to allow to see very personal things.  First your phone number may be listed here if you gave it to FB when you set up the account.  If you did add your number here you can choose who can see it.  Again, that is either the public, your friends on FB or yourself…yeah go figure on that last one.  As with  all of the choices you can customize it to allow separate groups to see your information, not just the general three choices.  Other items in your Profile area are Email, Birthday and Hometown and who gets to see them. 

Last you can click either Finish Up which is self-explanatory or My About Page.  Clicking on the My About Page link will show you what people can see from your Profile in Facebook.  You can make other adjustments from there if you see changes that need to be edited. 

More next week and have a very Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

January 18, 2016

2016-01-18 Show Notes

Welcome back to the show notes from this morning.  The podcast should be ready tomorrow and I will post it here when I know that it is ready.

I hope you had a chance to listen but if not here is a list of a few of the things we mentioned today.

Tech News
Two great online weather apps, in Jim’s and my opinions.  At the least two of the better ones available today.

AccuWeather

WeatherSpark


Judge says Facebook tagging violates protective orders

You don’t have to physically get close to a person or to call and text them to end up violating a protection order. According to Acting Westchester County Supreme Court Justice Susan Capeci, tagging the victim, which sends them a notification, is enough to breach the order and ultimately land the perpetrator in jail. Capeci made the ruling for a case filed against a woman named Maria Gonzalez who was prohibited by law from contacting her sister-in-law. While she didn’t blow up the sister-in-law’s phone or show up uninvited to her house, she reportedly created a Facebook account and tagged her on some status updates.

One called the sister-in-law, Maribel Calderon, "stupid," and the other allegedly read: "You and your family are sad…You guys have to come stronger than that!! I’m way over you guys but I guess not in ya agenda." Protection or protective orders, by the way, are sometimes used interchangeably with restraining orders. There is a distinct difference between the two, though: protective orders are the maximum protection the law can grant to victims of family violence.

Gonzalez has been charged with second-degree criminal contempt for the status updates, which could land her in prison. Her side tried to argue that she wasn’t explicitly banned from contacting Calderon via Facebook. The judge, however, pointed out that Gonzalez was ordered not to contact Calderon via "electronic or any other means."

Continue…


Do I stay or do I go now? Google Maps can tell you.

Now Google can even tell you where to go…and when.

Well, Google Maps has good news for you. If you use Google Maps you can find out whether you should hit the road or put in some gym time while you wait out the grid lock. Get information like ETAs, traffic updates, nearby gas prices and quickest routes to familiar places–like home, work and recently searched destinations–all without entering a destination.

If like me you have preset home and work locations along with having location history enabled you will see ETAs at times when you’re likely to be heading to these destinations. These suggestions are based on location data, time of day and day of week. And if you’re logged in, it will suggest destinations based on recent Google Maps and Google searches when you are in the driving.


Stay Safer Online
Ron’s preference for keeping your computer safe beyond anti-virus applications. 
Malwarebytes
 

A caller also recommended "SpyBot Search and Destroy" which is also excellent for the same purpose. Thanks to Dave (I believe, please correct me if I am wrong) for that tidbit!  
SpyBot Search and Destroy


That is it until next month, February 15, 2016.

Have a great time computing!

Ron Doyle, Double Click

April 7, 2015

Facebook Helps

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , , , , — Ron @ 4:09 am

Facebook logoToward the end of last month my wife was on Facebook.  For those of you who know her that is not much of a stretch since she regularly enjoys it.

She was reading things from her friends, looking at pictures from across the world, looking into unfolding world events, catching up on politics (not), seeing who had coffee that morning…you know the important Facebook stuff.

She stumbled across an advertisement while using her tablet which Facebook had placed in her timeline.  She found it unpleasant.  I will not mention the company here since they have high priced lawyers and I do not; however, I doubt very much that you have ever heard of them.  They were probably trying to get a “big” start on Facebook by generating interest and attention.  Although, I do not know if they got the attention they wanted.

As you may or may not know, Facebook provides a small triangle in the upper right corner of each item or post.  She clicked it and chose, “I don’t want to see this.”  If you use this as my wife and I have in the past Facebook walks you through a few simple questions.  They next asked, “Why don’t you want to see this?”  Then she chose, “It was inappropriate or offensive.”

Then the ad disappeared from her timeline, never to be seen again.  She figured that would be the last she would hear of it and that would be that.  She was happy to know it would, at the least, not be bothering her again.

So for a few days she went back to the important Facebook stuff in the world.

Five days later — as unbelievable as it seems to me, they contacted her regarding her choices. They basically told her that they had removed the offending commercial post from Facebook.  After that they sent her a follow up message which quite surprised us both.

Here is what the “Facebook Help Team” sent her, “Thanks for letting us know you don’t want to see this ad on Facebook.  Ads that feature nudity, adult toys, adult products or images of people participating in activities that are excessively suggestive or sexual in nature aren’t allowed on Facebook, so we’ve removed the ad.” They went on to explain, “If you see something similar in the future, please give us feedback about it.  Feedback like yours is an important part of keeping Facebook a safe and welcoming environment, and we appreciate you taking the time to send it to us.”

For those of you who know me, I use Facebook but am not a huge fan of it or any social media for that matter.  I use them some but do not stay on too long.  That being said I was encouraged by this encounter particularly the, “Feedback like yours is an important part of keeping Facebook a safe and welcoming environment” part.

This tells me that when you see something on Facebook in particular but in any social media you are on and find something objectionable, you should report it in any way possible.

Help clean up some of the mess.

December 23, 2014

New Computer, Part 1

Several years ago, I wrote about an application for Windows users, called “Ninite,” (ninite.com). If you are getting a new computer for Christmas, birthday, whatever you need to use this application. It is currently available for both Windows and Linux computers.

If you visit the Ninite, you can choose programs you want installed on your computer. Download a file, run it and install your applications. This is especially useful if you get a new computer and know of several applications you want to install. The app keeps users from having to print out a list of all the programs currently on your computer and installing them one by one.

Obviously, not every known program is on the site, but the more useful and desired ones are there. At last count ( yes, I did count them) nearly 100 applications were listed. If one you want is missing, you can request it be added to the list.

To start, check off each application you would like to install from the site’s list. After you have finished selecting the proper applications, click the “Get Installer” button. The next screen will ask if you want to share your experience online (Facebook or Twitter) or sign up for their newsletter. After that, you get a popup — (depending on your computer’s settings — which asks you to download your new installation file.

Once you download the file, make sure you know where it is so you can easily find it later. I suggest always downloading to your desktop, so you know where it is and after you are done, delete it. Double click the file and the installation of all of the applications will begin. The applications will automatically be installed without asking you any installation questions. As Ninite runs, it shows you as it installs each application, so you can easily keep up with the progress.

Ninite installation window

Since I just received a new work computer and had to set it up, I learned one very interesting thing: The installs go much quicker using Ninite than individually. I installed 24 applications. I did not time the installation process, but my guess would be less than five minutes. If I had installed them individually, it would have run well over an hour.

Another interesting aspect of Ninite is that as the programs are installed, it gets the most recent version of each one. That way, you are update-to-date from the beginning.

Ninite Updater is for home users who want to support Ninite. It watches your apps for updates automatically for $9.99/year.

This is a great freeware application for setting up a new computer. There is also a pro version ( for business use with a monthly fee). It has some other features and more programs are available. I found that many are different versions of the same applications. Ninite is truly a great app to use second thing on your new Christmas computer. First is antivirus software

November 18, 2014

Call in Your Order, Not Any More

A friend of mine, Tyler, told me a couple of weeks ago he had the new Taco Bell app for his phone.  I thought, "Well isn’t that nice?  But he could use his actual phone to call it in."  Of course, that was an old school thought.  So I checked out the app for my Samsung S5. 

I tried it out and ordered a Burrito from the list of categories.  Then it got interesting.  Since it was my first time it asked me to pick a location.  The app gave me a local map; I moved it with my finger about 30 miles to where I would be for dinner and refreshed the map.  It listed the two stores I knew about and I clicked the one I wanted to get my order from.

Next I added items to the order.  I choose extra beef, sour cream (I could have chosen low fat but hey, this was an experiment) and nacho cheese sauce.  The only bad part is that it gave me the calorie count for each item I added.

When I clicked complete it gave me the sub-total (without tax) I owed and offered to let me get a drink.  Then it allowed me to enter my credit/debit card info, use a Taco Bell card (a new one or existing) or use Facebook to log in.  I have no idea what the Facebook part did and stayed away from that one.  I entered the card I wanted to pay with, got the entire total and hit the submit button. 

It gave me a screen telling me that when I arrive at the store I can pick from the app if I want to walk in and get it or go through the drive-thru.  Remember: Do not text and drive.  The order will be "cooked" when you hit the button, so maybe you should do that part while at a light near the store or get your passenger to do it.  I used the drive-thru and all was well. 

You could even hit a link for a map with live directions on how to get to the store.

Pretty slick, so then I started to look around for more fast-food joint apps.  Here are just a few familiar ones.  They are in alphabetical order and I have not tested them all.  Burger King, Chipotle, Domino’s, Five Guys, McDonald’s, Panera Bread, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, Starbuck’s, and Wendy’s.

Some of them have recently rolled out to the public so they may not be perfect; however, if you are hungry and interested give them a spin.

There are also many coupon apps out there too. I have had, "Fast Food Coupons Pizza & More" recommended to me although I have not tried it out…yet. Type it in the Google Play store and see what else they have to offer.

Of course you will now need a calorie counter app.  There are many, although I use "Calorie King" myself.  There is no app for it but the site is CalorieKing.com.  Trust me, after eating at all of these places you will need it.

September 15, 2014

2014-09-15 Show Notes

The September show is up now.  Not many links today but some good talk and calls.  You can listen to the show here.  Have a great week!

Tech News
MakerBot chief believes self-driving cars will spur a need for 3D-printed organs
Self-driving cars are safer by their very nature, since they avoid the mistakes of human drivers. However, that improved safety may create some new problems — at least, according to MakerBot founder Bre Pettis. He tells Fortune that scientists will likely have to step up work on 3D-printed organs if and when robotic vehicles take off, since a significant chunk of organ donations (which are already scarce) come from car accident victims.

Pettis isn’t disputing the value of reducing road fatalities, of course. The issue is more that hospitals have to be ready for possible shortfalls in natural transplants.


You’ve Got Hidden Facebook Messages: Check the Other Folder in Your Inbox
The writer’s "Other" folder, whose messages, by the time he discovered them, were ancient and outdated.

Ordinarily, I try to choose blog topics that might be useful to almost everybody. Today, however, I’d like to offer two tips whose appeal is limited exclusively to one group: the 1.1 billion users of Facebook.

A couple of weeks ago, one of my Facebook friends posted an alarming note. He had discovered a secret folder full of Facebook messages that he’d never seen, called Other. He was shocked to find that it contained important messages from important friends, going back years, with long-since expired offers and condolences and congratulations. He urged his friends to inspect their own Other folders.

Well, I checked mine, and found the same thing: it was teeming with messages, many of them now ancient and irrelevant, that would have been very important to me if I’d known they existed. Potential speaking engagements. Social invitations. Congratulations. Old bosses. School friends from 20 and 40 years ago.

The Times’s technology columnist, David Pogue, keeps you on top of the industry in his free, weekly e-mail newsletter.

If you have no time to read further, here’s the bottom line: Go to your Facebook page. In the left-side panel, click Messages. There, next to the boldfaced word “Inbox,” you see a light gray word “Other.” Click it to see your hidden stash of messages. You might be surprised at how much important stuff has been waiting for you there. Really surprised.


Screenshot from FlightRadar24.comFlight Radar
flightradar24.com
Flightradar24 is a flight tracking service that provides you with real-time info about thousands of aircraft around the world. Our service is currently available online and for your iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) or Android device plus for Windows 8 and your Mac OS computer.

There is a free and paid app. The difference being getting info on any flight costs you, i.e., speed, altitude, destination, etc.


I hope you enjoyed the show, see you next month, please make posts here if you wish and tune in next month, Monday, October 20th.

Please feel free to post this site all over the cyber-world.

Ron

July 8, 2014

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