Category Archives: mobile

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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:

Posted in android, google, mobile | Tagged | 0

How to use BlackBerry Android Privacy Shield

BlackBerry Privacy Shield lets you read emails, messages and personal content but without the issue of someone snooping over your shoulder. The app allows you to view any information in public places, by hiding the parts of the screen that you are not actively viewing or using. However, you can still interact with the obscured parts.

You can use Privacy Shade to adjust the transparency of the filter (which is a dark black) to suit the surroundings, Once you’ve installed Privacy Shade you have a number of setup and access options you can choose:

  • If you are using Nougat 7.0 or higher, you can add Privacy Shade to your Quick Settings.
  • Use a BlackBerry device? you can assign Privacy Shade to the Convenience Key.
  • Does your BlackBerry device support Swipe Shortcuts? If so, you can make Privacy Shade one of your shortcuts.
  • You can also toggle Privacy Shade on or off via the optional dedicated notification in the notification tray.
  • Finally you can also access Privacy Shade from the app icon.

Open the app as above:

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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.

Posted in android, blackberry, google, mobile, privacy | Tagged , , | 0