Google rolling out arsenal of services, gadgets

Google rolling out arsenal of services, gadgets

By Michael Liedtke

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. _ Google provided a look at its latest digital offerings, with a heavy focus on its efforts to extend artificial intelligence features into more of its apps and services.

CEO Sundar Pichai unveiled Google Lens, a set of vision-based computing capabilities that can understand what you are looking at. It will first be available as part of Google’s voice-controlled digital assistant _ which bears the straightforward name “Google Assistant” _ and Photos app. In the real world, that means you could, for instance, point your phone camera at a restaurant and get reviews for it.

Pinterest has a similar tool. Also called Lens, it lets people point their cameras at real-world items and find out where to buy them, or find similar things online.

Another tool in Google Photos will prompt you to share photos you take with people you know. For instance, Photos will notice when you take a shot of a friend and nudge you to send it to her, so you don’t forget. Google will also let you share whole photo libraries with others. Facebook has its own version of this feature in its Moments app.

One potentially unsettling new feature in Photos will let you automatically share some or all of your photos with other people. Google claims the feature will be smart enough so that you could auto-share only specific photos _ say, of your kids _ to your partner or a friend.

The company is also giving the crowd a look at new twists in its Android software for mobile devices, which powers more than 80 per cent of the world’s smartphones. The next version of Android, available to the mass market later this year, aims to gauge and control how much battery life your apps are using. A feature called Google Play Protect, meanwhile, will scan all your apps for malicious software.

As part of a years-old tradition, Google will name the next Android version after a dessert or sweet-tasting snack beginning with the letter “O.” (The current version of Android is the N version, Nougat.) It often takes years for a new version of the software to make it to older phones, and never arrives at all for some.

Rival Apple plans to provide unveil changes to the operating system for its popular iPhone next month. Many of Google’s products are also vying against similar offerings from other tech conglomerates like Amazon and Microsoft.

Google is also planning a slimmed down version of Android for low-end phones, primarily used in the developing world. Called Android Go, this software will automatically enable data-saving features and will steer users toward apps designed specifically for inexpensive hardware. Phones with less than one gigabyte of memory will automatically get Android Go.

 

 

How to recall the nasty email you accidentally just sent your boss

By  |

It’s late, you’re tired and you accidentally just emailed an angry rant about your boss to her, instead of to the co-worker it was intended for.

D’oh!

It’s probably too late to do anything about that email. But by making a few simple tweaks to Gmail or Outlook you can greatly reduce the chances of future email slip-ups ruining your life.

How to undo sent emails in Gmail

Gmail doesn’t have a traditional “recall” function like Outlook. Instead, it has a function you can enable that allows you to “unsend” a message within a certain amount of time.

CNBC Tech: Recall gmail
  • You can turn it on by going to the cog icon in Gmail (on the top right), selecting “Settings” and then selecting the “General tab.”
CNBC Tech: Undo send gmail
  • Scroll down the page and check the “Enable Undo Send” option. You can choose a cancellation period of five, 10, 20 or 30 seconds.
CNBC Tech: Recall gmail 3
  • Now, whenever you send an email, you’ll see a pop-up that asks if you want to unsend the message. Tap it and it’ll never leave your outbox.
Uber setting up Canadian driverless car lab headed by Toronto AI expert

Uber setting up Canadian driverless car lab headed by Toronto AI expert

By Colin Perkel

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO _ Uber has hailed a prominent artificial-intelligence academic to lead a driverless-car project in Toronto _ the ride-hailing company’s first such research hub outside the United States, its CEO announced Monday.

In a blog post, Travis Kalanick said he was proud to have Raquel Urtasun, an associate professor at the University of Toronto, on board. He described her as “one of the world’s leading researchers” in the fields of machine perception and artificial intelligence.

“Raquel will remain in Toronto to lead a new branch of our advanced technologies group our first outside the U.S.,” Kalanick said in his blog. “Raquel’s work focuses on developing the software that allows self-driving cars to ‘see:’ recognizing objects so they can navigate the world smoothly and safely.”

In an interview from San Francisco, Urtasun told The Canadian Press discussions with Uber began a few months ago. The lab has now begun operation with her and eight of her students with dozens of people still to be hired in the “near future” from what Kalanick described as the region’s “impressive” talent pool.

A key area of focus, she said, will be what is called perception essentially the brain of the self-driving car. That means coming up with formulas to interpret information from sensors such as video cameras about what’s happening around the vehicle nearby cars, pedestrians, cyclists and predict what they might do in the coming seconds.

“It’s a complicated task and this is why we don’t have self-driving cars everywhere right now, but it’s definitely not an impossible quest,” Urtasun said.

The lab will also focus on “localization.”

“In any point in time, the car needs to know where it is in the world,” she said.

Urtasun said she was not concerned about joining the company that is facing a lawsuit from Google’s self-driving car unit. The claim alleges Uber used stolen trade secrets to develop sensors for its autonomous vehicles. Urtasun said her research area is in a different area.

“If I had doubts that Uber did something wrong, I would never have joined the company,” Urtasun said.

She also acknowledged her hire as a high-profile woman by a company looking to change an image some have attacked as misogynist, saying she discussed the issue with Kalanick.

“The company is doing everything necessary to change whatever the remaining issues are,” she said.

The associate computer science professor, originally from Pamplona in Spain, has previously been an assistant professor at the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago and a visiting professor in Switzerland. Her research interests include machine learning, computer vision, robotics and remote sensing.

In February, she was awarded a fellowship given each year to Canada’s top six scientists and engineers for her work on machine perception for self-driving cars.

While she won’t predict when self-driving cars might become a common sight, she does say those able to ply simple, controlled routes might be in place “relatively soon.”

Kalanick said Toronto has become an important hub of artificial intelligence research, which he called ‘critical to the future of transportation.”

“That’s why we’re also making a significant multi-year financial commitment as a platinum sponsor of the Vector Institute, which Raquel helped to set up as a co-founder,” Kalanick said.

Urtasun is one of the co-founders of the independent, non-profit institute set up in March. Its aim is to push Canada to the forefront of research into artificial intelligence.

The new lab will focus on improved mapping for autonomous cars but the company, which also does driverless-car research in San Francisco and Pittsburgh, said it had no plans to actually test the vehicles in Toronto.

“Self-driving technology promises to make our roads safer, our environment healthier and our cities more livable,” Kalanick said. “While there’s still a lot of work to be done, we believe that the combination of our global ride-sharing network with the cutting-edge software and hardware being built by our teams will make this vision a reality.”

8 Old School SEO Practices That Are No Longer Effective

8 Old School SEO Practices That Are No Longer Effective

MOZ – Excerpted article was written By: Rand Fishkin

Are you guilty of living in the past? Using methods that were once tried-and-true can be alluring, but it can also prove dangerous to your search strategy. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand spells out eight old school SEO practices that you should ditch in favor of more effective and modern alternatives.

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re going to chat about some old school SEO practices that just don’t work anymore and things with which we should replace them.

Let’s start with the first one — keywords before clicks.

Look, I get the appeal here. The idea is that we’ve done a bunch of keyword research, now we’re doing keyword targeting, and we can see that it might be important to target multiple keywords on the same page. So FYI, “pipe smoking,” “tobacco smoking,” “very dangerous for your health,” not recommended by me or by Moz, but I thought it was a funny throwback keyword and so there you go. I do enjoy little implements even if I never use them.

So pipes, tobacco pipes, pipe smoking, wooden pipes, this is not going to draw anyone’s click. You might think, “But it’s good SEO, Rand. It’s good to have all my keywords in my title element. I know that’s an important part of SEO.” Not anymore. It really is not anymore an important . . . well, let’s put it this way. It’s an important part of SEO, which is subsumed by wanting to draw the clicks. The user is searching, they’re looking at the page, and what are they going to think when they see pipes tobacco, pipes, pipe smoking, wooden pipes? They have associations with that — spammy, sketchy, I don’t want to click it — and we know, as SEOs, that Google is using click signals to help documents rank over time and to help websites rank over time.

So if they’re judging this, you’re going to fall in the rankings, versus a title like “Art of Piping: Studying Wooden Pipes for Every Price Range.” Now, you’re not just playing off the, “Yes, I am including some keywords in there. I have ‘wooden’ and ‘pipes.’ I have ‘art of piping,’ which is maybe my brand name.” But I’m worried more about drawing the click, which is why I’m making this part of my message of “for every price range.” I’m using the word “stunning” to draw people in. I’m saying, “Our collection is not the largest but the hand-selected best. You’ll find unique pipes available nowhere else and always free, fast shipping.”

I’m essentially trying to create a message, like I would for an AdWords ad, that is less focused on just having the raw keywords in there and more focused on drawing the click. This is a far more effective approach that we’ve seen over the last few years. It’s probably been a good six or seven years that this has been vastly superior to this other approach.

Second one, heavy use of anchor text on internal links.

This used to be a practice that could have positive impacts on rankings. But what we’ve seen lately, especially the last few years, is that Google has discounted this and has actually even punished it where they feel like it’s inappropriate or spammy, manipulative, overdone. We talked about this a little in our internal and external linking Whiteboard Friday a couple of weeks back.

In this case, my suggestion would be if the internal link is in the navigation, if it’s in the footer, if it’s in a sidebar, if it’s inside content, and it is relevant and well-written and it flows well, has high usability, you’re pretty safe. However, if it has low usability, if it looks sketchy or funny, if you’re making the font small so as to hide it because it’s really for search engines and not for searchers and users, now you’re in a sketchy place. You might count on being discounted, penalized, or hurt at some point by Google.

Number three, pages for every keyword variant.

This is an SEO tactic that many folks are still pursuing today and that had been effective for a very long time. So the idea was basically if I have any variation of a keyword, I want a single page to target that because keyword targeting is such a precise art and technical science that I want to have the maximum capacity to target each keyword individually, even if it’s only slightly different from another one. This still worked even up to four or five years ago, and in some cases, people were sacrificing usability because they saw it still worked.

Nowadays, Google has gotten so smart with upgrades like Hummingbird, obviously with RankBrain last year, that they’ve taken to a much more intent- and topic-matching model. So we don’t want to do something like have four different pages, like unique hand-carved pipes, hand-carved pipes, hand-carved tobacco pipes, and hand-carved tobacco smoking pipes. By the way, these are all real searches that you’ll find in Google Suggest or AdWords. But rather than taking all of these and having a separate page for each, I want one page targeting all of them. I might try and fit these keywords intelligently into the content, the headline, maybe the title, the meta description, those kinds of things. I’m sure I can find a good combination of these. But the intent for each of these searchers is the same, so I only want one page targeting them.

Number four — directories, paid links, etc.

Every single one of these link building, link acquisition techniques that I’m about to mention has either been directly penalized by Google or penalized as part of an update, or we’ve seen sites get hit hard for doing it. This is dangerous stuff, and you want to stay away from all of these at this point.

Directories, well, generic directories and SEO directories for sure. Article links, especially article blasts where you can push an article in and there’s no editorial review. Guest content, depending on the editorial practices, the board might be a little different. Press releases, Google you saw penalized some press release websites. Well, it didn’t penalize the press release website. Google said, “You know what? Your links don’t count anymore, or we’re going to discount them. We’re not going to treat them the same.”

Comment links, for obvious reasons, reciprocal link pages, those got penalized many years ago. Article spinners. Private link networks. You see private and network, or you see network, you should just generally run away. Private blog networks. Paid link networks. Fiverr or forum link buys.

You see advertised on all sorts of SEO forums especially the more aggressive, sketchy ones that a lot of folks are like, “Hey, for $99, we have this amazing package, and I’ll show you all the people whose rankings it’s increased, and they come from PageRank six,” never mind that Page Rank is totally defunct. Or worse, they use Moz. They’ll say like, “Domain authority 60-plus websites.” You know what, Moz is not perfect. Domain authority is not a perfect representation of the value you’re going to get from these things. Anyone who’s selling you links on a forum, you should be super skeptical. That’s somewhat like someone going up to your house and being like, “Hey, I got this Ferrari in the yard here. You want to buy this?” That’s my Jersey coming out.

Social link buys, anything like this, just say no people.

Number five, multiple microsites, separate domains, or separate domains with the same audience or topic target.

So this again used to be a very common SEO practice, where folks would say, “Hey, I’m going to split these up because I can get very micro targeted with my individual websites.” They were often keyword-rich domain names like woodenpipes.com, and I’ve got handmadepipes.net, and I’ve got pipesofmexico.co versus I just have artofpiping.com, not that “piping” is necessarily the right word. Then it includes all of the content from all of these. The benefit here is that this is going to gain domain authority much faster and much better, and in a far greater fashion than any of these will.

Let’s say that it was possible that there is no bias against the exact match domain names folks. We’re happy to link to them, and you had just as much success branding each of these and earning links to each of these, and doing content marketing on each of these as you did on this one. But you split up your efforts a third, a third, a third. Guess what would happen? These would rank about a third as well as all the content would on here, which means the content on handmadepipes.net is not benefitting from the links and content on woodenpipes.com, and that sucks. You want to combine your efforts into one domain if you possibly can. This is one of the reasons we also recommend against subdomains and microsites, because putting all of your efforts into one place has the best shot at earning you the most rankings for all of the content you create.

Number six, exact and partial keyword match domain names in general.

It’s the case like if I’m a consumer and I’m looking at domain names like woodenpipes.com, handmadepipes.net, uniquepipes.shop, hand-carved-pipes.co, the problem is that over time, over the last 15, 20 years of the Web, those types of domain names that don’t sound like real brands, that are not in our memories and don’t have positive associations with them, they’re going to draw clicks away from you and towards your competitors who sound more credible, more competent, and more branded. For that reason alone, you should avoid them.

It’s also that case that we’ve seen that these types of domains do much more poorly with link earning, with content marketing, with being able to have guest content accepted. People don’t trust it. The same is true for public relations and getting press mentions. The press doesn’t trust sites like these.

For those reasons, it’s just a barrier. Even if you thought, “Hey, there’s still keyword benefits to these,” which there is a little bit because the anchor text that comes with them, that points to the site always includes the words and phrases you’re going after. So there’s a little bit of benefit, but it’s far overwhelmed by the really frustrating speed bumps and roadblocks that you face when you have a domain like this.

Number seven — Using CPC or Adwords’ “Competition” to determine the difficulty of ranking in organic or non-paid results

A lot of folks, when they’re doing keyword research, for some reason still have this idea that using cost per click or AdWords as competition scores can help determine the difficulty of ranking in organic, non-paid results. This is totally wrong.

So see right here, I’ve got “hand-carved pipes” and “unique wooden pipes,” and they have an AdWords CPC respectively of $3.80 and $5.50, and they have AdWords competition of medium and medium. That is in no way correlated necessarily with how difficult they’ll be to rank for in the organic results. I could find, for example, that “unique wooden pipes” is actually easier or harder than “hand-carved pipes” to rank for in the organic SEO results. This really depends on: Who’s in the competition set? What types of links do they have and social mentions do they have? How robust is their content? How much are they exciting visitors and drawing them in and serving them well? That sort of stuff is really hard to calculate here.

I like the keyword difficulty score that Moz uses. Some other tools have their own versions. Doctor Pete, I think, did a wonderful job of putting together a keyword difficulty score that’s relatively comprehensive and well-thought through, uses a lot of the metrics about the domain and the page authority scores, and it compensates for a lot of other things, to look at a set of search results and say, “This is probably about how hard it’s going to be,” and whether it’s harder or easier than some other keyword.

Number eight — Unfocused, non-strategic “linkbait”

Last one, some folks are still engaging in this, I think because content strategy, content marketing, and content as a whole has become a very hot topic and a point of investment. Many SEOs still invest in what I call “nonstrategic and unfocused link bait.” The idea being if I can draw links to my website, it doesn’t really matter if the content doesn’t make people very happy or if it doesn’t match and gel well with what’s on my site. So you see a lot of these types of practices on sites that have nothing to do with it. Like, “Here are seven actors who one time wore too little clothing.” That’s an extreme example, but you get the idea if you ever look at the bottom ads for a lot of content stuff. It feels like pretty much all of them say that.

Versus on topic link bait or what I’d call high quality content that is likely to draw in links and attention, and create a positive branding association like, “Here’s the popularity of pipes, cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and cigars in the U.S. from 1950 to today.” We’ve got the data over time and we’ve mapped that out. This is likely to earn a lot of links, press attention. People would check it out. They’d go, “Oh, when was it that electronic cigarettes started getting popular? Have pipes really fallen off? It feels like no one uses them anymore. I don’t see them in public. When was that? Why was that? Can I go over time and see that dataset?” It’s fundamentally interesting, and data journalism is, obviously, very hot right now.

Source: MOZ

Trends In Insurance: From The Internet Of Things To Insurtech

1 Technology’s Impact on the Industry

Until recently, most investments in insurance technology focused on distribution, policy administration, internal controls and security. Now, telematics, data analytics, wearables and social media are redefining virtually all aspects of the insurance industry. Emerging technologies are offering new opportunities and revenue. They may also substantially reduce losses, enabling insurers to offer lower premiums, while also creating risk through new sources of competition and the unprecedented pace of change.

The Internet of Things (IoT) — including telematics, body sensors and a variety of other monitoring technologies and smart devices — is challenging insurers to create new products, devise new pricing algorithms and underwriting methods, and revise how claims are processed.

As sensors enhance the ability to verify behaviours and predict, prevent and mitigate risk, insurers are beginning to shift focus from loss recovery to prevention/risk management and mitigation. Insurers are also offering usage-based insurance (UBI) policies to underwrite risk in a more granular way and technology is making it possible to offer a wider range of insurance choices based on risk allocation and risk reduction models — all at significant savings. Some auto insurers already provide policyholders with reduced premiums based on safe driving habits measured by in-car sensors. Telematics subscriptions are expected to increase dramatically, and drones and aerial imaging will speed up property damage assessments.

In the face of evolving consumer behaviours and expectations, growing competition, disruptive technologies and heightened regulatory oversight, P&C insurers need to rethink how they can remain competitive and ensure their long-term sustainability. Insurance companies need to invest heavily in self-directed services that use online/mobile channels and devices to meet consumer demands and lifestyle expectations. Service has the potential to become a key differentiator in terms of how insurers market their products, serve customers, structure prices and communicate.

Technology, big data and analytics offer great potential, enabling insurers to accumulate and understand the information needed to reach customers with the right product at the right time and price. Insurers will need to be strategic in assessing behaviours, risks, coverage options and standards and in structuring their businesses to leverage IoT data to improve operations, service and the overall customer experience. They will also want to consider strategic alliances, joint ventures, minority investments or mergers and acquisitions to acquire or develop certain technologies and expertise.

2 Insurance M&A

While many expected significant consolidation in the Canadian P&C insurance industry, instead we have seen a steady stream of more tactical, targeted deals. Among the key forces likely to continue driving M&A activity in the P&C and broker space are continued fragmentation, an aging population, low growth and low interest rates. The weak Canadian dollar and political uncertainty in the U.S. and the U.K. may also attract foreign market participants to Canada, including Asia.

In the last few years, Asian insurance companies have entered the U.S. insurance market through acquisitions, in part because their home regulators are directing them to diversify their markets. Domestic demutualization could also increase the pace of M&A activity in the P&C sector as some demutualized insurers gain access to capital markets to fund acquisitions and others are able to convert to a structure that allows them to be acquired.

InsurTech is a fast-growing sector worldwide and includes everything from companies focused on measurement devices (e.g., sensors, telematics) to those harnessing data to improve pricing, enhance the customer experience and improve back-office processes such as fraud prevention. Canadian insurance companies will continue to engage with domestic and foreign startups and early-stage companies in this space through control acquisitions, as well as through minority investments. In some cases, they will engage in collaborations or joint venture arrangements, where the insurance company uses or helps to develop the application or solution by providing access to the insurance company’s customer base and IT infrastructure. As an “innovation strategy,” participating in financing rounds of InsurTech startups has its limits, but it could assist incumbents in potentially identifying early winners and losers in the InsurTech space.

3 Niche or Product-Focused Insurance

Niche insurance product offerings have grown dramatically in recent years. With revenue nearly doubling from specialty programs in the last five years, these programs are among the fastest-growing types of P&C coverages.

For everything from RV and ATV/ROV to golf clubs to pets, niche market insurance can provide a lucrative revenue source for the insurance sector without the cost burden of marketing broad-spectrum products.

Another example is ride-sharing insurance for services like Uber, which covers drivers’ liability.

These coverages require deep industry, customer and product-specific knowledge and analytics based on demographic and financial trends. Underserved niche markets present significant growth opportunities for both independent niche-focused insurers and traditional insurers who possess the expertise or can acquire attractive niche insurers.

4. Policy Language, Claims and Coverage Challenges

The business of claims continues to become more complex. In a soft market, where premium is at a premium, insurers are taking on novel risks without issuing new wordings. This has resulted, and will continue to result, in more and larger-value legal challenges to coverage determinations.

Because of this trend, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has also stepped in over the last two years in an attempt to clarify the principles of contract interpretation (although its success is debatable). In Sattva Capital Corp. v. Creston Moly Corp., which dealt with contracts more generally, the SCC recently stated that the interpretation of any contract (including an insurance policy) necessarily involves consideration of the surrounding circumstances. This means that, in the insurance context, the courts will be interested in the underwriting process and industry understanding of the underwritten risk.

In September 2016, the SCC released its decision in Ledcor Construction Ltd. v. Northbridge Indemnity Insurance Co. in which it confirmed that surrounding circumstances are relevant to the interpretation of insurance contracts. The SCC also said that, as a matter of practice, if the insurance policy includes a standard form clause, the interpretation of that clause is a pure matter of law and therefore an appeal is easier.

The Ledcor case provided an interesting interpretation of the often-found faulty design or workmanship exclusions, and the exception to those exclusions. The SCC held that the boundary between what is excluded as faulty design or workmanship and what is covered as resulting damage is tied to who was contractually responsible for the work. A soft market, new types of insurance and the high value of insurance policies mean that the courts increasingly are likely to be called upon to address coverage questions.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

6 tips to keep your Facebook clean, secure and private

6 tips to keep your Facebook clean, secure and private

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Got hundreds of Facebook friends you hardly know?

By Anick Jesdanun

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Now is a good time to do some digital cleanup, while the year is still fresh. Review your security and privacy settings, and make sure those casual acquaintances you met at a bar eons ago aren’t still getting the most intimate details of your life. Get rid of games and apps that might have latched onto your account years ago, but that you no longer use.

Here are six cleanup tips:

___

SECURE YOUR ACCOUNT

You’ve doubtless heard you should have a strong password. It’s especially important for email and social-networking accounts because so much of your digital life revolves around them. Plus, many other services let you log on using your Facebook account, so if that gets compromised, so will your other accounts.

Because passwords are tough to manage, it’s best not to rely solely on them. Turn on what Facebook calls Login Approvals. It’s in the account settings under “Security.” After you do so, you’re asked for confirmation — entering a special number sent to your phone — when signing on from a new device.

Unless you switch devices often, this is something you set up once and forget about. And no one else can log in with your password unless they also have your phone and that special number.

___

REVIEW YOUR PRIVACY SETTINGS

Facebook offers a series of quick privacy “shortcuts.” On desktops and laptops, look for the small padlock on the upper right corner of the browser. On Apple and Android devices, access shortcuts through the menu — the three horizontal bars.

The key shortcut is “Who can see my stuff ?” See whether you’ve been inadvertently broadcasting your musings to the entire Facebook community. You’ll probably want to at least limit sharing to “Friends” rather than “Public,” though you can customize that further to exclude certain individuals or groups — such as co-workers, acquaintances or grandparents. When sharing, remember that less is more.

While you’re at it, check “Timeline and Tagging” in your account settings from a PC or mobile. You can insist on approving posts that people tag you in. Note that this is limited to what appears on your personal timeline; if Mary tags you in a post, Mary’s friends will still see it regardless of your settings. That includes friends you may have in common with her.

If you’re on a desktop or laptop, Facebook has a Privacy Checkup tool to review your settings. Look for that padlock. This tool is coming soon to mobile.

___

MAKE ENEMIES … OR AT LEAST UNFRIEND SOME

Purge friends you’re no longer in touch with. If you think “unfriending” is too mean, add them to an “Acquaintances” or “Restricted” list instead. “Acquaintances” means they won’t show up in your news feed as often, though they’ll still have full access to any posts you distribute to your friends. “Restricted” means they’ll only see posts you mark as public. Either is effectively a way to unfriend someone without dropping any clues you’ve done so.

You can also create custom lists, such as “college friends” or “family.” This is great for oversharing with those who’ll appreciate it, while not annoying everyone else you know and putting yourself in danger of becoming an “acquaintance” yourself. You can create lists on a traditional PC by hitting “More” next to “Friends” to the left of your news feed. Individuals can be in multiple groups. Capabilities are limited on mobile devices, although changes you make on the PC will appear on your phone or tablet.

___

WATCH THOSE APPS

Perhaps someone invited you to play a game a few years ago. You tried it a few weeks and moved on, yet the app is still getting access to your data. Or perhaps you’ve used Facebook to log onto a service you no longer use, such as one to track the 2014 Winter Olympics. It’s time to sign out. If you’re not sure you still use it, drop it anyway. You can always sign on again.

The Privacy Checkup tool on PCs will review apps for you automatically. On mobile devices, look for “Apps” in the account settings (not “Apps” in the main menu).

A related option is the Security Checkup tool. It’s an easy way to log out of Facebook on devices you rarely use. You can also enable alerts when someone tries to sign on from a new device or browser. To run this, go to http://Facebook.com/securitycheckup on a PC. On the Android app, you can search for “security checkup” in the Help Center. On iPhones and iPads, you’ll have to find the options individually in the account settings under “Security.”

___

CONTROL YOUR DATA

You can exert some influence over whose posts you see more or less often by going to “News Feeds Preferences.” The setting is on the top right on browsers and Android apps and on the lower right on iPhones. Here, you can select friends who’ll always show up on top, or hide someone’s posts completely.

Finally, if you’re worried about data usage, you can stop videos in your news feeds from playing automatically. On Android, go to “Autoplay” in the “App Settings.” On iPhones, it’s in the account settings under “Videos and Photos.”

___

PLAN AHEAD

Two settings might eliminate grief later in life … or death.

In the security settings, you can designate certain friends as trusted contacts. They’ll have power to help you if you get locked out of your account for some reason. You can also designate a “Legacy Contact” — a family member or close friend who’d serve as your administrator should you, um, make your last status update (as in, ever). They won’t be able to post on your behalf or see your messages, but they’ll be able to respond to new friend requests and take a few additional actions on your deceased behalf.

canada-press

Page 1 of 5712345...102030...Last »

Pin It on Pinterest

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from ILSTV

You have Successfully Subscribed!