* 9 scary personal details Google collects about you

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Our readers know that we have been warning about Google’s personal data collection since we went live. Google is, without a doubt, the worst offender of privacy online. However, we all need to wade through Google’s services from time to time, so we tend to ignore that simple truth.

And a huge number of people still use – and like – Gmail either as their main service or a backup. And if you use an Android device, you must have a Gmail account, but that doesn’t mean you need to use it all the time.

A brief glance through our listing of previous articles will show multiple times we’ve tried to help cure people of their Google addiction. Unfortunately, Google’s business model is about spying on us and reselling our personal information to whomever will buy it. And folks … there are a LOT of companies and government agencies that want to know about us.

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*Block Spam calls & SMS on Android with these five apps

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Spam used to be just about email (and that nasty canned stuff). But now it is following us to our smartphones in the form of spam-texts and robo-calls. You could opt for not responding to those texts, or answering calls from unknown callers, but then you run the risk of missing an important message.

Most of the time, it’s about things that don’t interest you or information or products you’ll never use. Nonetheless, you still have to deal with them, just like regular emails & phone calls.

Getting rid of spam calls/SMS on your Android device is actually as easy as using one of the following apps. These Android apps will help make those annoying calls and texts not show up in your inbox.

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* How to clear out your browsing data from Android browsers

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Android mobile devices come with a basic, built in browser. While basic, the stock browser is really quite adept and fast in its use.

You may, if you choose, also install alternate browsers for use. The more popular ones are Firefox, Chrome, Dolphin & Opera (I use Dolphin).

Regardless which browser you use, our readers by now know that browsers collect and store information about your web activity, regardless to whether you are using a desktop or laptop computer, or a mobile device.

There are multiple reasons why deleting cookies, clearing the cache, and removing browsing history can benefit not only your privacy but also your devices and browsing sessions more generally.

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* WhatsApp To Stop Working On These Smartphones

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WhatsApp has announced that it will finalize the ending of its mobile app for earlier model smartphones. The blocking of the app began early this year and should be complete the end of June, 2017.

The following phones are affected:

  • BlackBerry OS
  • BlackBerry 10
  • Nokia S40
  • Nokia Symbian S60
  • Windows Phone 7
  • iPhone 3GS/iOS 6.

Apparently, older model phones hinder the development of the app, so they have decided to stop serving them all together.

But the guys at WhatsApp have this advice to those affected: “If you use one of these mobile devices, we recommend upgrading to a newer Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone before the end of June 2017 to continue using WhatsApp.”

Totally worthless advice.

So if you happen to own one of the phones above you better enjoy the next 29 days of mildly irritating group chats with school friends and ex-colleagues while you still can.

Be Safe – Backup Your Data Regularly!

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*New Android Malware Infects Over 36.5 Million Phones

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Security researchers at Check Point Security recently discovered a malware scam in Google’s Play Store. The malware dubbed “Judy” has been hiding behind the scenes on 41 specific apps that have been available in the Play Store for years, so it’s unclear how long they have been infecting devices.

The malicious apps were developed by the Korean company, Kiniwini, listed in the Play Store as ENISTUDIO corp. The impacted apps have been downloaded millions of times and may have been spread to over 36 million users.

Moreover, the researchers also uncovered a few more apps, published by other developers on the Apple Store, inexplicably containing the same the malware in them. The connection between the two campaigns remains unclear, though researchers believe it is possible that one developer borrowed code from the other.

This is how it works — the user downloads an app from the Play Store and at that point, it’s not malicious. But once the user opens the app, it connects to its Command and Control server (C&C) and installs the malicious code.

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*Computing vulnerabilities you should address

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Most people and small businesses are still using hardware and software that is older than five to seven years old. In a general sense, that’s ok. But as the march of improved products and software moves forward, it leaves existing equipment behind. Older than five years is becoming too old to be trusted in today’s world of security breaches.

An old computer that’s still chugging along, running an old operating system and perhaps old programs and applications, doesn’t seem to be a big deal. After all, they still seem to work just fine. Why spend money on new equipment or software if it’s adequate and functioning?

Walker White, president of BDNA, a company that tracks and analyzes end-of-life (EOL) data for hardware, software and medical devices, says that the main problem with out-of-date software and legacy hardware is that once they pass their EOL cycle, the vendor no longer maintains or supports the products, resulting in security vulnerabilities and risk.

Here’s a look at the hardware, software and mobile device vulnerabilities you should tackle now to reduce risk and increase security.

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*Traveling With Your Laptop

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Many people travel with their laptop for work. And most of those ‘road warriors’ already know how to protect themselves while traveling.

But what about vacationing? What if you just can’t feel like unplugging for a few days? Maybe you have to stay connected for email, or news, or even (gasp) Facebook???

Fortunately, online connectivity and portable devices have made it easy to pick up our work (and play) and take it on the road with us. However, it’s crucial to find a way to make sure the personal information we store on our portable devices is completely protected from online thieves who target travelers.

If you’re heading out of town to celebrate the seasonal change, here are six essential security measures you should take to protect your device(s) and your information while you work remotely.

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