What does Apple know from your data?

Privacy is something everyone values, so as we become more and more connected online, we become more and more concerned about volunteering our information. Tech companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon not only get the data we willingly provide, but also get lots of data we unwittingly provide. How much are you unsuspectingly providing to Apple?

What Facebook & Google Know

Let’s first look at what Facebook knows about you. As the biggest social network in the world, Facebook makes a lot of money through advertising. The more data it gathers about you, the more able they are to target you with relevant ads. Aside from the information you provide when you open an account, Facebook also tracks your browsing history, knows your social circle, and keeps note of your general interests.

Facebook also retains the names and numbers of people in your contact list who are not yet on Facebook to create “shadow profiles.” When they sign up for the social network, these contacts appear in your “People You May Know” recommendations.

Facebook’s Messenger app keeps a record of all your conversations, contacts, and even SMS messages (if you give Messenger permission to manage them).

Google also gathers data to target users with promotions and advertising. But they have more data to collate and play with, thanks to their other services like Google Maps, AdSense, and YouTube. They know the places you’ve been, the things you buy online, and the music you like.

What Apple Knows

Compared with Facebook and Google, Apple knows little about you. They know your name, home address, email address, all the apps and songs you’ve downloaded, and anything you’ve purchased in the Apple Store.

Facebook, Google, and Apple all allow you to download a file that reveals what they know about you. The files from Facebook and Google are often massive, sometimes containing gigabytes’ worth of data. Apple’s files are a lot smaller, and they make it more difficult for you or a hacker to download and see all the information they have on you.

Protecting your privacy online doesn’t mean you have to swear off Facebook or stop using Google’s services, but knowing how these companies collect information about you is the first step. If you want to learn more about how Apple collects information on you, don’t hesitate to give our experts a call.

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Apple and your privacy: What do they know

With the recent U.S. Senate inquiry into Facebook’s perceived violations, concerns about online privacy are once again thrust into the spotlight. Apple, Google, Amazon, and other tech companies also gather data on their users, so if you’re using Mac or iPhone, you may wonder: How much information does Apple have about you?

What Facebook & Google Know

Let’s first look at what Facebook knows about you. As the biggest social network in the world, Facebook makes a lot of money through advertising. The more data it gathers about you, the more able they are to target you with relevant ads. Aside from the information you provide when you open an account, Facebook also tracks your browsing history, knows your social circle, and keeps note of your general interests.

Facebook also retains the names and numbers of people in your contact list who are not yet on Facebook to create “shadow profiles.” When they sign up for the social network, these contacts appear in your “People You May Know” recommendations.

Facebook’s Messenger app keeps a record of all your conversations, contacts, and even SMS messages (if you give Messenger permission to manage them).

Google also gathers data to target users with promotions and advertising. But they have more data to collate and play with, thanks to their other services like Google Maps, AdSense, and YouTube. They know the places you’ve been, the things you buy online, and the music you like.

What Apple Knows

Compared with Facebook and Google, Apple knows little about you. They know your name, home address, email address, all the apps and songs you’ve downloaded, and anything you’ve purchased in the Apple Store.

Facebook, Google, and Apple all allow you to download a file that reveals what they know about you. The files from Facebook and Google are often massive, sometimes containing gigabytes’ worth of data. Apple’s files are a lot smaller, and they make it more difficult for you or a hacker to download and see all the information they have on you.

Protecting your privacy online doesn’t mean you have to swear off Facebook or stop using Google’s services, but knowing how these companies collect information about you is the first step. If you want to learn more about how Apple collects information on you, don’t hesitate to give our experts a call.

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Keep your laptop from overheating

Laptops are so convenient and hassle-free to use. It’s easy to forget that they need regular maintenance. One of the most common causes of laptop damage is overheating. Learn how to prevent your laptop from overheating, so you can boost its speed and prolong its life.

Causes of overheating

Laptops create heat during their normal operation. That’s why they’re designed with internal fans that blow out hot air and suck in cooler air. When your laptop keeps shutting down or suffers serious slowdowns, chances are it’s overheating.

One of the most common causes of overheating is when the fan doesn’t operate normally. This may be due to dust and grime clogging up the fan, preventing it from rotating properly. It’s also possible that the air vents are being blocked, preventing air from flowing into the laptop.

Another thing to consider is the age of your laptop’s battery, which relies on lithium to store electricity. This chemical naturally decays over time, no matter how carefully you use it. The older the battery, the less efficient it is and the more heat it generates.

Software use can also contribute to overheating. Too many apps and programs running in the background can overwork your laptop.

What to do if it’s overheating

The first thing you should do is check your hardware. Turn your laptop off and inspect the vents and your fan for any dirt, grime, or other possible causes of blockage. Also check whether the fan itself is not physically dented, which can slow down its rotation.

Sometimes overheating is simply caused by bad habits. Do you use your laptops in bed or on the carpet? Do you use pillows as padding? Uneven or soft surfaces often block the air vents, leading to overheating. Always place your laptop on a hard, even surface.

Aside from the hardware, check your software. Are there a lot of apps and programs that start automatically when you switch on your laptop? If yes, then you may need to limit them.

Keeping it cool

To prevent your laptop from overheating, always make sure that there’s adequate airflow for your laptop. Better yet, invest in a cooling pad. These pads lift your laptop and add more fans to facilitate better airflow.

Limit the number of programs that run when you start your laptop. Change your settings to “power save.” And shut down your laptop whenever you’re not using it.

It’s easy to take laptops for granted because they’re billed as plug-and-play devices. However, with a little extra care and attention, your devices will last much longer. If you want to prolong the lifetime of your IT hardware, call our experts today.

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Overheating laptop? Here’s how to prevent it

If you own a laptop, chances are you’ve noticed how hot it can get. You might not know it, but your laptop may already be overheating, which will lead to decreased efficiency and a shorter lifespan. Here’s how to protect your laptop from further damage due to overheating.

Causes of overheating

Laptops create heat during their normal operation. That’s why they’re designed with internal fans that blow out hot air and suck in cooler air. When your laptop keeps shutting down or suffers serious slowdowns, chances are it’s overheating.

One of the most common causes of overheating is when the fan doesn’t operate normally. This may be due to dust and grime clogging up the fan, preventing it from rotating properly. It’s also possible that the air vents are being blocked, preventing air from flowing into the laptop.

Another thing to consider is the age of your laptop’s battery, which relies on lithium to store electricity. This chemical naturally decays over time, no matter how carefully you use it. The older the battery, the less efficient it is and the more heat it generates.

Software use can also contribute to overheating. Too many apps and programs running in the background can overwork your laptop.

What to do if it’s overheating

The first thing you should do is check your hardware. Turn your laptop off and inspect the vents and your fan for any dirt, grime, or other possible causes of blockage. Also check whether the fan itself is not physically dented, which can slow down its rotation.

Sometimes overheating is simply caused by bad habits. Do you use your laptops in bed or on the carpet? Do you use pillows as padding? Uneven or soft surfaces often block the air vents, leading to overheating. Always place your laptop on a hard, even surface.

Aside from the hardware, check your software. Are there a lot of apps and programs that start automatically when you switch on your laptop? If yes, then you may need to limit them.

Keeping it cool

To prevent your laptop from overheating, always make sure that there’s adequate airflow for your laptop. Better yet, invest in a cooling pad. These pads lift your laptop and add more fans to facilitate better airflow.

Limit the number of programs that run when you start your laptop. Change your settings to “power save.” And shut down your laptop whenever you’re not using it.

It’s easy to take laptops for granted because they’re billed as plug-and-play devices. However, with a little extra care and attention, your devices will last much longer. If you want to prolong the lifetime of your IT hardware, call our experts today.

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How to prevent your laptop from overheating

Laptops may be more affordable than ever, but we’re also using them for more advanced tasks than ever. This means you run the risk of overheating your laptop and causing long-term damage. Here’s how to avoid that.

Causes of overheating

Laptops create heat during their normal operation. That’s why they’re designed with internal fans that blow out hot air and suck in cooler air. When your laptop keeps shutting down or suffers serious slowdowns, chances are it’s overheating.

One of the most common causes of overheating is when the fan doesn’t operate normally. This may be due to dust and grime clogging up the fan, preventing it from rotating properly. It’s also possible that the air vents are being blocked, preventing air from flowing into the laptop.

Another thing to consider is the age of your laptop’s battery, which relies on lithium to store electricity. This chemical naturally decays over time, no matter how carefully you use it. The older the battery, the less efficient it is and the more heat it generates.

Software use can also contribute to overheating. Too many apps and programs running in the background can overwork your laptop.

What to do if it’s overheating

The first thing you should do is check your hardware. Turn your laptop off and inspect the vents and your fan for any dirt, grime, or other possible causes of blockage. Also check whether the fan itself is not physically dented, which can slow down its rotation.

Sometimes overheating is simply caused by bad habits. Do you use your laptops in bed or on the carpet? Do you use pillows as padding? Uneven or soft surfaces often block the air vents, leading to overheating. Always place your laptop on a hard, even surface.

Aside from the hardware, check your software. Are there a lot of apps and programs that start automatically when you switch on your laptop? If yes, then you may need to limit them.

Keeping it cool

To prevent your laptop from overheating, always make sure that there’s adequate airflow for your laptop. Better yet, invest in a cooling pad. These pads lift your laptop and add more fans to facilitate better airflow.

Limit the number of programs that run when you start your laptop. Change your settings to “power save.” And shut down your laptop whenever you’re not using it.

It’s easy to take laptops for granted because they’re billed as plug-and-play devices. However, with a little extra care and attention, your devices will last much longer. If you want to prolong the lifetime of your IT hardware, call our experts today.

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Get your business noticed using social media

As a startup business owner, you may think social media isn’t worth the effort because no one knows about your business. You may have dabbled in Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn and seen minimal (if any) results. What can a business owner with a new brand/product do? Well, it turns out quite a lot. And to prove it, here are tips everyone can learn from.

#1 Prove you’re an expert

It’s important to know everything there is about your product/brand, and often it’s a good idea to know even everything beyond it. According to PR firm founder Heather DeSantis of Publicity For Good, one needs to “transition from being a business owner and someone selling a product to a thought leader. You have to have actionable tips that other small-business owners can take action on”.

#2 Establish profiles on major social media sites

Take time to figure out which social media sites your target customers frequent. Then set up pages or profiles on those sites — and post content regularly, at least once a week. To post to multiple social media platforms at a time, consider using a service such as Hootsuite. Once profiles are up and running, don’t let them fall behind. Outdated profiles are almost as bad as nonexistent ones.

#3 Create fresh, shareable content

Google loves original and valuable content. By creating informative articles, people will share links to your site and you’ll notice a difference in Google’s search results. Just remember: Write for your target audience, not for Google.

#4 Adopt a multi-platform approach

You can create a Facebook ad; you can build on Twitter by following and retweeting key people in your industry; you can also even use paid search marketing like Google AdWords, or even do a Facebook Live session to promote. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you’re also gently nudging people to turn their interest into a visit to your website.

Getting the word out about your business can be tough, particularly if you don’t know how to effectively reach out and then keep the momentum going once you get some coverage. How do you get the word out online, without having to spend thousands of dollars on advertising or PR? Just call us today for a quick chat with one of our social media experts who can help you out.

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How to make social media marketing work for you

Regardless of your company’s size, social media marketing is a valuable tool you can’t afford to ignore, especially if your business is brand new to the marketing world. Here are some tips you can take away to start making some noise in the social media stratosphere.

#1 Prove you’re an expert

It’s important to know everything there is about your product/brand, and often it’s a good idea to know even everything beyond it. According to PR firm founder Heather DeSantis of Publicity For Good, one needs to “transition from being a business owner and someone selling a product to a thought leader. You have to have actionable tips that other small-business owners can take action on”.

#2 Establish profiles on major social media sites

Take time to figure out which social media sites your target customers frequent. Then set up pages or profiles on those sites — and post content regularly, at least once a week. To post to multiple social media platforms at a time, consider using a service such as Hootsuite. Once profiles are up and running, don’t let them fall behind. Outdated profiles are almost as bad as nonexistent ones.

#3 Create fresh, shareable content

Google loves original and valuable content. By creating informative articles, people will share links to your site and you’ll notice a difference in Google’s search results. Just remember: Write for your target audience, not for Google.

#4 Adopt a multi-platform approach

You can create a Facebook ad; you can build on Twitter by following and retweeting key people in your industry; you can also even use paid search marketing like Google AdWords, or even do a Facebook Live session to promote. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you’re also gently nudging people to turn their interest into a visit to your website.

Getting the word out about your business can be tough, particularly if you don’t know how to effectively reach out and then keep the momentum going once you get some coverage. How do you get the word out online, without having to spend thousands of dollars on advertising or PR? Just call us today for a quick chat with one of our social media experts who can help you out.

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Ways to leverage social media for your business

Do you, as a brand new business owner, know how to take advantage of social media exposure, especially if no one has any idea what your new business is all about? The truth is, you can succeed with social media, even if you have what could be perceived as a small, newbie brand. Read on to learn more.

#1 Prove you’re an expert

It’s important to know everything there is about your product/brand, and often it’s a good idea to know even everything beyond it. According to PR firm founder Heather DeSantis of Publicity For Good, one needs to “transition from being a business owner and someone selling a product to a thought leader. You have to have actionable tips that other small-business owners can take action on”.

#2 Establish profiles on major social media sites

Take time to figure out which social media sites your target customers frequent. Then set up pages or profiles on those sites — and post content regularly, at least once a week. To post to multiple social media platforms at a time, consider using a service such as Hootsuite. Once profiles are up and running, don’t let them fall behind. Outdated profiles are almost as bad as nonexistent ones.

#3 Create fresh, shareable content

Google loves original and valuable content. By creating informative articles, people will share links to your site and you’ll notice a difference in Google’s search results. Just remember: Write for your target audience, not for Google.

#4 Adopt a multi-platform approach

You can create a Facebook ad; you can build on Twitter by following and retweeting key people in your industry; you can also even use paid search marketing like Google AdWords, or even do a Facebook Live session to promote. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you’re also gently nudging people to turn their interest into a visit to your website.

Getting the word out about your business can be tough, particularly if you don’t know how to effectively reach out and then keep the momentum going once you get some coverage. How do you get the word out online, without having to spend thousands of dollars on advertising or PR? Just call us today for a quick chat with one of our social media experts who can help you out.

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Best new features in the updated Gmail

Aside from a new look, Google introduced substantial improvements to Gmail, including functions that let you enable confidential mode, snooze emails, unsubscribe faster, and enjoy greater protection from spam. Here are the most notable ones.

Confidential Mode

This feature lets you set an expiration date for your email after which it self-destructs. Sending mail on confidential mode doesn’t just auto-eliminate them; it also prevents receivers from copying, forwarding or downloading the message and its attachments. A sender also has an option to set a password for a receiver to open the message.

Assistive Unsubscribing

Managing email remains a time drain for many business users, so the assistive unsubscribe function is a welcome addition. With this tool, users can easily unsubscribe from unwanted promotional mail or newsletters without having to open an email to do so. This feature recommends unsubscribing from particular senders based on whether you open their email frequently or rarely.

Snooze Mails

Like the ‘Mark as Unread’ function, snoozing email reminds you to read or reply to important messages. The clock icon that appears within the email is the snooze button, which allows senders to have an email redelivered at a later time. Users can snooze emails based on a pre-set date (Tomorrow, This Weekend, Next Week, Someday) or pick a specific date and time.

Sidebar Apps

On the right-hand side of the new Gmail is a sidebar that allows you to quickly access your Google Calendar, the new notes button, and Google Tasks. You also have an option to install Gmail add-ons from the G Suite Marketplace, which includes various productivity tools that integrate with Gmail.

Moreover, you can conveniently archive, delete, mark as read or unread, and snooze mail without having to check the box next to the mail, via the inline button. Just hover over the right-hand side of the email line and these buttons will appear.

Security

Users of the new Gmail will also benefit from an added security feature that warns them of potentially harmful email content, particularly spam. The risk warning text doesn’t merely tell you of a possible risk but also offers an easy way out via a ‘Delete Now’ button, which lets users eliminate risky emails on the spot.

Other features include smart reply which lets you choose quick responses like ‘Thanks for the mail’ or ‘Not interested’ to reply to emails requiring you to respond to a meeting invite and similar messages; a nudging feature, which reminds users to respond to messages that haven’t been replied to; and an offline mode, which allows users to search, create, and delete emails when they’re not connected to the internet.

These and other seemingly minor Gmail updates will help you save time and manage your inbox more efficiently. For more productivity tips and recommendations, call our experts today.

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Gmail for web: Useful new features

Google recently introduced new Gmail features that will be especially useful to those looking for a better way to archive unwanted emails, a faster way to reply to messages, and a nifty function that lets users keep messages confidential. And we’ve only just scratched the surface. Take a look at the full list below.

Confidential Mode

This feature lets you set an expiration date for your email after which it self-destructs. Sending mail on confidential mode doesn’t just auto-eliminate them; it also prevents receivers from copying, forwarding or downloading the message and its attachments. A sender also has an option to set a password for a receiver to open the message.

Assistive Unsubscribing

Managing email remains a time drain for many business users, so the assistive unsubscribe function is a welcome addition. With this tool, users can easily unsubscribe from unwanted promotional mail or newsletters without having to open an email to do so. This feature recommends unsubscribing from particular senders based on whether you open their email frequently or rarely.

Snooze Mails

Like the ‘Mark as Unread’ function, snoozing email reminds you to read or reply to important messages. The clock icon that appears within the email is the snooze button, which allows senders to have an email redelivered at a later time. Users can snooze emails based on a pre-set date (Tomorrow, This Weekend, Next Week, Someday) or pick a specific date and time.

Sidebar Apps

On the right-hand side of the new Gmail is a sidebar that allows you to quickly access your Google Calendar, the new notes button, and Google Tasks. You also have an option to install Gmail add-ons from the G Suite Marketplace, which includes various productivity tools that integrate with Gmail.

Moreover, you can conveniently archive, delete, mark as read or unread, and snooze mail without having to check the box next to the mail, via the inline button. Just hover over the right-hand side of the email line and these buttons will appear.

Security

Users of the new Gmail will also benefit from an added security feature that warns them of potentially harmful email content, particularly spam. The risk warning text doesn’t merely tell you of a possible risk but also offers an easy way out via a ‘Delete Now’ button, which lets users eliminate risky emails on the spot.

Other features include smart reply which lets you choose quick responses like ‘Thanks for the mail’ or ‘Not interested’ to reply to emails requiring you to respond to a meeting invite and similar messages; a nudging feature, which reminds users to respond to messages that haven’t been replied to; and an offline mode, which allows users to search, create, and delete emails when they’re not connected to the internet.

These and other seemingly minor Gmail updates will help you save time and manage your inbox more efficiently. For more productivity tips and recommendations, call our experts today.

Posted in General Articles B, Web & Cloud | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed
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