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How to opt out of interest-based ads on Android

Android Google Play Services has a feature that allows you to opt-out of Ad personalisation. This will instruct apps not to use your advertising ID to build profiles or show you interest-based ads.

You have the option to opt out of receiving interest-based ads as well as reset your advertising ID. Please note, that you will still see ads, but they may not be based on your interests. Also, if you clear your device cache, you will lose your opt-out setting.

Click > Ads by Google to learn more about how Google handles apps across the Google Display Network.

How to opt out of interest-based ads on Android:

  • Go to > Settings > Google > Ads
  • Toggle switch to On

Note: Ads Settings lets you opt out of seeing personalised ads when you are:

  • Signed in to your Google Account (“Ads Personalisation”)
  • Signed out of your Google Account and browsing the websites and apps that partner with Google to show ads (“Ads Personalisation Across the Web”)
  • Signed out of your Google Account and using Google Search (“Ads Personalisation on Google Search”)

Opting out doesn’t do the following:

  • Stop ads altogether
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How to enable App Preview Message on Android

Google App Preview Message on Android allows people who have different types of messenger apps on their smartphones to communicate with each other. This means any Android or iOS user can message anyone in their contacts using any instant messenger app and the receiver does not need to have that specific messenger app to read the message. The message is received as a notification from Google Play Services.

Currently this feature is only available on Allo Messenger, but it is expected that WhatsApp and other messenger apps will also make this feature accessible.

How to enable App Preview Message on Android:

  • Go to > Settings > Google > App preview messages Toggle switch > On
  • You will receive a verification code (you don’t have to input this code)
  • Tap on App Preview Messages option and verify your mobile number
  • Apps connected – lists the apps that are setup to use App Preview Message (toggle On or Off)

Manage storage – messages are kept on your device for 1 year, but you have the option to remove messages after 7 days or delete all the App Preview Messages (toggle On or Off).

Posted in android, google, mobile, privacy | 0

How to manage the Google Updater for MacOS

If you’ve download and installed Chrome (or any other Google apps) on your MacOS*, you might not be aware of the Google Updater. This calls home on a regular basis and is designed to download Google Chrome updates in the background, without notifying you. Every time software that is updated should always ask for user consent, but this Updater doesn’t do that. But it should and here is why.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which comes into force in May 2018, will be the primary law regulating how companies protect EU citizens’ personal data. Under this law, users will generally have stronger rights when processing is based on consent i.e. the right to erase and the right to data portability. If consent isn’t applied, substantial fines are applicable under the GDPR. Google should take note.

How do you check if you have Google Updater

  • Go to Finder > Macintosh HD > Library > LaunchAgents
  • Search for
  • If you don’t find the above plist, then you don’t need to do anything

How to manage Google Updater

Here are two options you might want to consider. Open Terminal for both and enter the relevant commands:

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How to set up Picture Password on BlackBerry Android

The Picture Password feature is available on BlackBerry 10 as well as Android Priv and DTEK60 devices. It will allow you to unlock your device using a unique number and picture combination. It’s a simple to use, as all you do is move a grid to align a number over a specific secret location on a picture.  You choose the number, secret location and picture.

Why would you use Picture Password? You are out and about and don’t want anyone to shoulder surf you and easily guess the PIN or password you enter to unlock your screen. By using Picture Password, it is difficult for another person to guess your picture password, even if the person is watching you unlock your screen.

To be able to use Picture Password, you will first need to set up a screen lock that uses either a password or a PIN. Enter your Picture Password incorrectly more than five times, your device will prompt you to enter the password or PIN to unlock the screen.

NOTE: Whenever you restart your Android device you will not be able to use Picture Password to unlock your device. You will have to use either your password or PIN to start your device.

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How to enable adoptable storage on the DTEK60

Adoptable external storage provides support to designate your external microSD storage card as internal storage. Only HTC, Lenovo and the BlackBerry DTEK60 provide this Android Marshmallow only feature.

It’s worth noting that if you decide to format your microSD card for internal storage, it will format as EXT4* and encrypt it, so it will only be accessible on your device, as the SD card will no longer be visible.

Follow these simple steps to enable your microSD card for internal storage:

  • Settings > Storage & USB
  • Tap > SD card (this will under ‘Portable storage’)
  • Tap > Menu (top right three vertical dots) > Settings
  • You can choose to Eject, Format or Format on internal
  • Choose > Format on internal

The microSD will be formatted to make it secure. After formatting, your SD card will only work on your device. It will also erase all data currently stored on the microSD card. To avoid losing any of your data, you should now consider backing it up.

  • Tap > ERASE & FORMAT  – depending on the type and size of card, formatting shouldn’t take long.

If you receive the following message while formatting:

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