Don't Be Fooled by Fake Reviews

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Cameras Are Watching You

HasYour Password Been Hacked?

Is Artificial Intelligence Our Doom?

Voice-Controlled Gadgets

Personal Outsourcing

This Is Cyberwarfare

The Post-Truth Era

Introduction to Blockchain

Carmageddon Is Here

Mobile Payments and Deposits

Welcome to Surveillance Capitalism

Great Websites for Cheap Products

Honoring Fred Rosenberg

The Cyrptocurrency Craze

Voice-Controlled Assistants

Dealing with a Future Without Jobs

Why You Need a Virtual Private Network

How Do You Feel About Being a Cyborg?

Why Artificial Intelligence Is Scary

Google Lens, Amazon Echo, and More Toys

Algorithms Are Us

Best Ways to Spot Fake News

More Options for Cable Cutters

Artificial Intelligence & Neural Nets

Beware of Fake News

Amazon Echo Dot

Driverless Cars Coming Soon

Governments Approve Commercial Drones

The Sharing Economy in Southeastern Iowa

Ad Blocker for Your Web Browser

Virtual Assistants: Siri, Cortana, Alexa

Google Cardboard: Cheap Virtual Reality

Periscope Addiction

Pet, Kid, Keychain Traciers

Google Tips and Tricks

Use Price Alerts to Save Money

Best Gadgets of 2015

Apple TV, Streaming Video Devices

My Favorite Email Newsletters

Peer-to-Peer Lending

3-D Printing

Chromebook, a $150 Laptop

Periscope: Live Video from Around the World

Get Your Questions Answered on Quora

Sling TV — $20 per Month

The Drone Revolution

Bitcoin Mining Flop

Smart Light Bulbs

Revolutionary Apple Watch

Smart Home Gadgets

Buying a Bitcoin Miner

Traveling with Siri

The Sharing Economy: Uber, Airbnb

Storing Your Music in the Cloud

The Internet of Things

Life in Cloud Heaven

2013 Tablet Buyers Guide

What Marketers Know About You

Google Dashboard Knows About You

Stream Video with Google Chromecast

Big Data, NSA, and You

Google's Predictive Search

Bitcoin—Mint Your Own Money

Android Smart TV via $45 Mini PC

MOOCs: Quality Free Online Courses

Beware of Dynamic Pricing

Use Crowdfunding to Raise Money

Tablet Computer Buyer's Guide

Google's Self-Driving Car

Mobile Media/App Stores Compared

Google Nexus 7 vs iPad

Email Follies

Your Million-Dollar Smartphone

Google Drive: Free Cloud Storage

Free and Low-Cost Phone Calls

Google Glasses

Loving iCloud

iPad Wins, Other Tablets Lose

Siri is Revolutionary

Essentials of Computer Backup

Homage to Steve Jobs

Are Your Files Safe in the Cloud?

Amazing Uses of iPhone Camera

Use Carbonite Online Backup

Cloud Services Roundup

Tablet Computer Roundup

Project Watson Wins at Jeopardy

Stream Video by Connecting a Computer to Your TV

The Appeal of Apple TV

Roundup of Streaming TV Devices

Options for Streaming Video to a TV

Dealing with Cell Phone Radiation

Ebook Readers & Tablet Computers

Dreaming of 4G

Google TV

The iPad in Your Future

The Magic of Google Translate

iPhone: There's an App for That

3-D TV and Robots in Your Future

More Goodies from Google

Google Wave — Better than E-mail

Growing Up with the Internet

Bing: Better than Google

Google Voice — Great free service

The Twitter Revolution

Virtualization and You

Death of Newspapers

Netbook Computers

Great New Search Engines

Boxee — Free Online TV

Mozy — Free Offsite Backup

Amazon's Video-on-Demand

Wanting a Kindle

iPhone Love

Better than Google

Cloud Computing and MobileMe

Digg and Other Social Media Sites Free TV & Movies

Pandora: Best Source for Streaming Music

Cell Phones Changing

Intro to HDTV

Best Free Phone Resources

Free Online TV: Joost

Movies, TV Go Online

Scary Internet Stories


The YouTube Election

Google Street View

Twitter, Twittervsion, and Flickervision fun

E-mail Tricks for Addicts

Cool PDA Phones

Webtop: Free Online Software

Useful Google Tidbits

My Yahoo, RSS, and Blogs

Google Earth

Online Videos

Web 2.0


Virtual Worlds: Second Life

InTrade Predicts the Future

The MySpace Revolution

Wikipedia — A Free Encyclopedia

Wikipedia as Emergent Phenomenon

Wikipedia Lies

Free Calling with Skype

Intro to Podcasts

Intro to File Sharing: BitTorrent

Dangers of Wireless Hotspots

Google Maps

Free Online Credit Reports

Making Money with Your Web Site

Beware of Spoofing and Phishing

Free Virus and Spyware Protection

Virus, Spyware Protection -- Part 2

A Brief History of the Internet

The Gadget Goddess

Free Open Source Software

Keeping Your Mac Tuned Up

Starting a Weblog

Getting Started with RSS

Latest Google Features

Selling on eBay &

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Health-Related Web Sites

Free Virus Protection

Google Culture

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Intro to GPS

Intro to Weblogs

Avoiding Spyware

Loving Google News

Testing your Internet Literacy

Urban Legends and Hoaxes

Buying and Selling on

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Useful New Search Engines

Conspiracy Theories

Online Nature Guides

Intro to Wireless

Yahoo Groups Are Fun and Useful

The Joys of Broadband

Free Expert Help

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Finding the lowest price

Movie information

Online Reference


The Internet bazaar

MP3 music

Noah's Ark and the Internet

Link Rot

The Geek Report

About this site

Today's News and weather

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Controlling Your Privacy on Facebook and Google

July 2019

By now you must be very familiar with the issue: everything you do on the internet is tracked, and corporations have hundreds or thousands of bits of personal information about you. They know your name, gender, email address, phone number, birthday, location, relationship status, line of work, education, race/ethnicity, IP addresses, search history, websites visited, photos/videos/music uploaded, devices used, etc.

Not only that, but they use this information to create a profile of you, and then make inferences about you beyond the data they’ve gathered. For example, based on your income, level of education, location, and a wealth of other data, they might compare your profile with others and infer your political leanings.

Much of the time this data is sold to advertisers, who want to know as much about you as possible so they can show you relevant ads when you’re using the internet. But here’s the irony. In the 25 years I’ve been using the internet, I don’t remember a single instance when I made a purchase because I saw on ad on a webpage.

And a further irony is sometimes the ads themselves: recently the Time magazine email newsletter tried to sell me some mascara. The last time I used mascara was, like, never.

Or when I went to the New York Times website this morning, there was a big ad for Christie’s promoting expensive jewelry encrusted with gems. It’s not like, having seen this ad, I’m going to catch a plane to New York City so I can attend this auction. And both Time magazine and YouTube recently showed me ads for wedding rings. What’s up with that? What do they know that I don’t?

Irony aside, if you’re not comfortable with this so-called surveillance capitalism, the good news is that companies such as Google and Facebook are now giving you more control over the data they collect and store.

By default, Google makes a record of every web search, every YouTube search, every YouTube video you watch, literally every step you take (via the Maps app), every request you speak to Google Assistant. You can, however, control what Google collects by going to and clicking on “Data & personalization,” where you can choose to pause Google’s collecting of data in each of these areas.

That page also has a “My activity” link that lets you view all the data that Google has stored: Google searches, websites you’ve visited, YouTube videos, etc. You can delete individual items, or you can choose to have all your activity automatically deleted. Another option available is the ability to download all the information Google has related to your account. (Be forewarned: it could take hours to download.)

The Timeline feature is astonishing. It not only shows where I’ve been every moment of the day, it also shows whether I was driving, running, cycling, or walking, and shows how much time each jaunt took. Plus, it traces each route on a map.

The Data & personalization page also has a useful step-by-step guide called “Take the Privacy Checkup” that walks you through the privacy-related areas of Google and gives you the opportunity to change the settings.

Plus, that page also has a link to the Google Dashboard, which lists every Google service you use and gives an overview of the information that it has stored related to each service. I was astonished to see that I have 20 services. Finally, the Data & personalization page lets you edit the types of ads that you see based on your interests.

Facebook likewise gives you extensive controls over your personal information as well as giving you access to information they have stored. Go to

The link “Your Facebook Information” brings up a menu to view your information, download it, manage it, and even delete your account. You can see absolutely everything you’ve done on Facebook: posts, comments, friends, messages, likes, etc.

The settings page also gives you extensive control over your account, such as who can see your posts and who’s allowed to post on your timeline. You can also block individual users.

Be sure to check out the Apps and Websites link. If you sometimes use your Facebook account to log into a website or app, you’re giving those companies the ability to request personal information about you from Facebook whenever they want. This page allows you to remove them or to view and update the information they can request. I’ve been using my Facebook login with Huffington Post and was astonished to see the amount of information they have access to.

In addition, the ads link gives your control over the types of ads that you see.

It’s great to see these companies becoming more transparent and giving users more control.

© 2019 by Jim Karpen, Ph.D.

E-mail Jim Karpen

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