It’s Time to Delete Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, and other Facebook Apps from Your Cell Phone

Aren’t you tired of reading about Facebook’s frequent scandals? Aren’t you dismayed by Facebook’s executives’ claims that they will do better in the future when you know that the only thing they will do better is to better hide what they and their software are really doing?

Aren’t you sick and tired of companies like Facebook and Cambridge Analytica working together to change your voting instincts and therefore attempt to undermine democracy in favor of Russian or other governments? Are you tired of giving away your personal information free of charge to companies that will collect that data, analyze it, compile it, and sell it to other companies for outrageous sums?

If any of this strikes you as the wrong thing to do, there is a very simple solution: let these businesses know of your displeasure.

Nothing works better at telling businesses what you think of their products and services than canceling your access to these deadbeat businesses and going elsewhere. One thing that all businesses understand clearly is declining revenue.

Luckily, it is easy to send that message.

Continue reading

Facebook Exposes Nonprofits To Donors—and Hackers

Yes, our least-favorite web site is in the news again. This time it is about still another data leak at Facebook. The company has been embroiled in one scandal after another since the 2016 US presidential election.

Details about the latest breach may be found in an article by Louise Matsa in the Wired web site at: https://www.wired.com/story/nonprofits-facebook-get-hacked-need-help.

If Your Printer is Producing Spam Messages, Turn it Off

A new form of spam has appeared. Just what we need, right? More obnoxious intrusions into your personal privacy.

A Twitter user hacked over 50,000 printers last week to send out unwanted and unsolicited advertising. The same hacker is advertising that he or she will continue to do this as a “service” for advertisers willing to pay for it.

The messages take advantage of the “print over the Internet” functionality that is included with many modern printers. The hacker found a bug that allows sending to printers without first obtaining permission, a user name, or a password. The printed spam messages all originated from an I.P. address of 194.36.173.50, an address known for generating quite a lot of obnoxious spam traffic. “We have the ability to reach every single printer in the world,” claims a website launched on Sunday. “Reservations are limited.”

Continue reading

Facebook Is Giving Advertisers Access to Your Shadow Contact Information

Yes, Facebook is up to even more dirty tricks. You expected something else?

Facebook is letting advertisers reach users with contact information collected in surprising ways.

Quoting an article by Kashmir Hill in the Gizmodo web site:

“Facebook is not content to use the contact information you willingly put into your Facebook profile for advertising. It is also using contact information you handed over for security purposes and contact information you didn’t hand over at all, but that was collected from other people’s contact books, a hidden layer of details Facebook has about you that I’ve come to call ‘shadow contact information.'”

The full article may be found at: https://tinyurl.com/y7hedkv5.

Big Telecom Is Using Robocalls to Fight a Net Neutrality Bill in California

I suggest if you receive one of these calls, simply hang up. That’s what I do to ALL robocalls.

It seems that big telecom companies are once again trying to disrupt a net neutrality bill in California, this time by robocalling seniors to spread misinformation about the bill. The call states: “Your Assembly member will be voting on a proposal by San Francisco politicians that could increase your cellphone bill by $30 a month and slow down your data,” says a voice on an automated call paid for by legal reform group the Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC). “We can’t afford higher cell phone bills. We can’t afford slower data. We can’t afford Senate Bill 822 (more popularly known as SB822).”

The call urges constituents to contact their state representative and ask them to vote no on the bill, which passed a senate committee last week and will be heard in the Assembly this week.

The statements are outright lies.

Continue reading

How to Avoid Getting Screwed by a Sneaky Tech Support Scam

The U.S Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) said it logged 11,000 complaints last year, a rise of 86 percent over 2016. The claimed losses amounted to nearly $15 million. “This type of fraud continues to be a problematic and widespread scam,” says the IC3. So how can you protect yourself? And the less tech-savvy members of your family?

Some of the answers are provided in an article by David Nield in the Gizmodo web site at: http://bit.ly/2lWyBAi.