Last month I shared how Marc Goodman, author of “Future Crimes,” opened my eyes to the amount of private information we hand over unwittingly on a day-to-day basis, simply by using our computers. As you probably assume, our mobile devices also make a large contribution to the loss of our private data – most notably our location and our activities there. Let’s look at this example from a chapter titled “You’re Not the Customer You’re The Product:”

“The amount of information siphoned off your mobile phone by apps is staggering. For example, the mere act of downloading the Facebook app to an Android phone automatically shares the phone’s number with the social network – even before a user has signed into the service for the first time or even agreed to the Terms of Service. Once Facebook has been downloaded, users agree in the Terms of Service to grant it permission to “take pictures and videos with the camera,” a setting that allows Facebook to turn on your mobile phone’s camera at any time without your confirmation. The social network’s Terms of Service also allows it to read your text messages. More recently, Facebook began to ask hundreds of millions of users of its mobile app to allow its new Photo Syncing option to automatically upload every image taken with your phone to the social network’s vast data servers.”

I have an iPhone and David has an Android. This month I’m going to review the settings on my iPhone – four quick and easy changes that allow me more privacy protecting where I’m going and what I’m doing. Next month, we
’ll review the same types of changes you can make on your Android. We hope you’ll take this seriously and protect your private data. iPhone 6: (your settings will be similar if you have a previous version, but may not be identical). Keep in mind these settings need to be updated on every iOS device you own – so that means the iPad too.




These are just a few of the basic ways to lock down the amount of information spilling out of your mobile devices. I hope you found this useful, and look for next month’s article on how to modify your settings for Android devices too. Be safe out there.

By Joy Beland