Tips & Tricks: 13 quick fixes for when your phone starts overheating this summer

 

Be careful using your phone in direct sunlight.

By Madison Vanderburg of thisinsider.com

If you’ve ever had a smartphone, chances are that you’ve had to deal with it overheating. It’s a common issue that’s worse in the summer when the temperatures outside start rising.

According to AndroidPit.com, “smartphones have to physically move things around to work at all, so they have to generate heat.

The amount of heat your smartphone produces is largely proportional to the amount of electricity moving through it.”
This combined with the hot summer sun can cause your phone to overheat.

Here are 13 quick fixes for when you’re smartphone just can’t take the heat.

Only charge your phone’s battery to 80%.

 

Don’t do a full charge

First off, if you must charge your phone overnight, keep it on a cool, flat surface rather than a pillow or bedsheet. But you shouldn’t be charging to your phone to 100% anyways, according to Android Pit— constantly doing a full recharge will shorten the battery’s lifespan. Your phone is more likely to overheat when it’s at a full charge, so charge it when it drops to near 30% and unplug it once it reaches an 80% charge.

Avoid exposing the phone to direct sunlight.

Keep your Tech out of the sun!

This one is self-explanatory — don’t leave your phone on a chair by the pool in direct sunlight for an entire afternoon.

Always close unused apps.

If you’re not using an app — close it.

Your phone works overtime when you have multiple apps open at the same time (this includes open web browser tabs), so get in the habit of closing unused apps periodically. Also, close apps (especially graphics-heavy apps like games) when you charge your phone. Android-users recommend the app Greenify because it automatically puts unused apps into hibernation and conserves power overall.

Turn the brightness down.

Having your phone on full-brightness depletes its battery.

 

Turn your brightness down, especially when you are using the phone outside. If you have a hard time seeing the screen with the brightness low, invest in an anti-glare screen.

Keep apps up-to-date.

Avoid a glitchy phone by updating your apps.

Keep your iOS and your apps up to date because there could be a glitchy bug in an old update that, once fixed, will make your phone operate smoother, according to P Safe.

Don’t be an app hoarder.

These little things can prevent your phone from working to hard.

Delete functions and apps you don’t use. This also includes turning off push notifications, turning off apps that are running in the background, and disabling location services from certain apps.

 

Utilize airplane mode.

If you’re not using your phone, it should be on airplane mode.

 

If you’re at the beach or planning to be outdoors for many hours, turn your phone off or put it on airplane mode. Why burn through your phone’s power when you aren’t really using it?

Ration the Bluetooth.

Disable your phone’s auto-connect while driving.

Try to avoid using Bluetooth for extended periods of time, and make sure you’ve disconnected from Bluetooth once you’re done using it. If your phone auto connects to Bluetooth in your car, disconnect the auto-pairing — especially if you aren’t planning on speaking on the phone or listening to a podcast that day.

Install an antivirus software if you have an Android phone.

It’s possible your Android has a virus.

If you have an Android and your phone is overheating, it could mean that you have a virus. Android phones are susceptible to malware, so eliminate that option entirely by installing anti-virus software on your phone.

Take a break from playing games.

Is it really important to finish that game?

If your phone is already prone to overheating, maybe cool it on playing games and definitely make sure the game isn’t still running in the background after you’ve finished playing.

Take off the case.

The case will only make the phone hotter.

If your phone is already hot, take off the phone’s case in an attempt to cool it down.

Check the charging cable.

A faulty charging cable could be to blame.

If your phone is overheating while you charge it, it could be that there’s an issue with the charging cable. Try swapping it out first and see if that fixes the issue.

The camera could be the culprit.

Try not to use the camera too much.

 

Search “phone overheats camera” and you’ll find hundreds of message boards dedicated to this wildly common problem. This kind of overheating typically happens when you attempt to take a long-form video. So if your phone is overheating and you’ve been filming something for the last five minutes, stop filming, and close the camera app.

 

Do you have any tips for keep your phone cool when the weather is uber hot? Sound off in the comments below!

App of the Week: Companion

Meet Companion, a travel app that claims it will keep you safe.

 

 

By Christopher Elliott of Fortune.com

Can a smartphone really keep you safe? On the face of it, the answer is, of course not. A phone can’t protect you from violent crime any more than a PC or a tablet computer. But information is power, as they say, and the combination of a smartphone’s data, location technology and innovation can keep you out of some kinds of trouble.

That’s the idea behind Companion, an iOS app that allows solo travelers to connect with family, friends or public safety departments who can track them on their trip and get alerts if they run into trouble. It’s part of a growing category of apps that promise to keep you safer when you’re on the road, including LiveSafe and Rave Guardian.

Companion became one of the most downloaded iPhone apps early after it’s initial release. Although the company wouldn’t disclose exact numbers, a representative told FORTUNE that it has more than a million users.

It’s no surprise. A slew of articles in the tech press have breathlessly described Companion as an “incredible” new app that lives up to its billing of keeping you safer on the go.

Here’s how it works

Say you’re walking back home after dark through a questionable neighborhood. The app allows you to designate one of your smartphone contacts as a “companion,” letting that person know where you are and where you’re going.

The Companion app tracks you as you head home, asking you if you’re “OK” from time to time. If you don’t acknowledge the prompt by tapping a button, the app will notify your companion that you could be in trouble.

The app can also tell if you’re walking or have broken into a jog, and it can detect if your headphones have been removed from the jack. Any of these events can trigger a notification, sending a message to your designated friend or to law enforcement.
“We are able to detect when you may be in a sketchy situation and automatically alert your companions with our real-time alert system,” the company says on its site.

But the app has garnered some decidedly mixed reviews.

“I feel ten times safer walking home [with Companion],” raved one iTunes store reviewer. “I constantly get approached by strange men and the ‘I feel nervous’ button is an awesome idea.”

Another customer complained that she selected a companion — her husband — and then tried to send him notifications. She received a return receipt, but he never received them. She called the app “dangerous and deceptive.”

Overall, the app has three out of a possible five stars.

Who’s getting saved?

I asked the company if it could connect me with any satisfied users — people who found themselves in an unsafe situation and were helped by Companion. Normally, software developers keep a list of end-users who are willing to share their stories with the press.

“We have no concrete examples of someone being saved by our app,” Lexie Ernst, the co-founder of Companion, told me. “However, we have heard many people say that they love using Companion with their kids who walk alone to a bus stop early in the morning, with their family/friends studying or traveling abroad, and even people using it with their elderly parents or grandparents. Overall, it’s a great way to keep in touch!”

Perhaps Companion’s promise to turn your iPhone into a “safety device” is slightly overstated, but one thing is certain: The app appeared on the scene at the right time. No amount of smartphone technology, or wearable devices and new features, can really protect us from a determined criminal — at least not yet.

Download Companion for iOS here.

 

What do you think of this kind of App? Useful or no? Sound off in the comments below!

How to: Call 911 from Your Apple Watch in Case of an Emergency

 

 

By Justin Meyers of ios.gadgethacks.com

When you can’t reach your iPhone or don’t have it on you, how do you get help from emergency services? Unless you have one of those life-alert mobile triggers, someone nearby, or some amazing telepathy skills, hope might be the only answer — unless you wear an Apple Watch, that is.

No matter which model of Apple Watch you own, one of the biggest benefits it has is its “Emergency SOS” feature. In the United States, once activated, the Apple Watch will automatically call 911 emergency services and send emergency contacts the coordinates to your current location, if possible.

If you’re traveling abroad, your Apple Watch will call whatever local emergency service there is. However, in some countries, such as China, you have to set it to call either the police, fire department, or an ambulance beforehand.

 

How Different Apple Watches Call Emergency Services

If you have a newer Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) model, you don’t need to have your iPhone nearby to make an emergency call. Technically, you don’t even need to have a cellular carrier to call 911, just like you don’t need to with an iPhone, but it it doesn’t work as smoothly though. Aside from being able to record your runs and make calls, this is the number one reason to invest in a Series 3 model with cellular capabilities, not just GPS.

For other Apple Watch models, you’ll need to be connected to your iPhone, which also needs a cellular connection. Alternatively, if there is no cellular signal, an Enhanced 911 (E911) call can be made over Wi-Fi as long as you have “Wi-Fi Calling” enabled on your iPhone. Also, as long as you have “Wi-Fi Calling” turned on on your iPhone, you don’t need to be near the iPhone to call E911 either — your Apple Watch just needs to be connected to a known 802.11b/g/n 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network.

• Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular): Can make 911 calls over its own cellular connection. Can make E911 calls with Wi-Fi calling enabled, with or without iPhone nearby, as long as connected to a known Wi-Fi network.
• Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS): Can make 911 calls over connected iPhone’s cellular network. Can make E911 calls with Wi-Fi calling enabled, with or without iPhone nearby, as long as connected to a known Wi-Fi network.
• Apple Watch Series 2: Can make 911 calls over connected iPhone’s cellular network. Can make E911 calls with Wi-Fi calling enabled, with or without iPhone nearby, as long as connected to a known Wi-Fi network.
• Apple Watch Series 1: Can make 911 calls over connected iPhone’s cellular network. Can make E911 calls with Wi-Fi calling enabled, with or without iPhone nearby, as long as connected to a known Wi-Fi network.
AT&T, C Spire, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Verizon Wireless all support E911 calls over Wi-Fi. However, emergency calls over Wi-Fi might not be supported outside of the US.

Making Sure Wi-Fi Calling Is Enabled on Your iPhone

No matter if you have an Apple Watch with cellular capabilities or not, you’ll want to enable “Wi-Fi Calling” in order to make E911 calls when there is no cellular connection available. This is especially important when you don’t have your iPhone nearby during an emergency, because your Apple Watch can use an existing trusted Wi-Fi network nearby, if one is available, to call emergency services.

To make sure this is set up, on your iPhone, open up the Settings app, then select “Phone,” followed by “Wi-Fi Calling.” After that, tap “Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone” to toggle it on, if not already enabled.

After tapping the toggle, you’ll be greeted with a confirmation prompt giving you more details about what this setting does. Hit “Enable” to finish things up.

Once back on the “Wi-Fi Calling” screen, it’s a good idea to select “Update Emergency Address” to make sure the address matches where you will be, since emergency technicians may use this as a basis if they can’t find your exact coordinates. If you’re in your hometown, your home address is likely best here. If traveling, maybe your hotel information.

 

Make Sure ‘Hey Siri’ Is Working on Your Apple Watch

As you’ll see in a bit, one way to call 911 with your Apple Watch is to use the “Hey Siri” command, but that will only work if you have “Hey Siri” enabled. To make sure it’s on, go to the Settings app on your Apple Watch, then tap “General.” Next, select “Siri,” then make sure “Hey Siri” is toggled on.

If you cannot toggle it on, you likely have Siri turned off on your iPhone. While “Hey Siri” does not need to be enabled on your iPhone, Siri itself does need to be in order for it to work on your Apple Watch. On your iPhone, open up Settings, then select “Siri & Search.” On the next screen, make sure “Press Home for Siri” or “Press Side Button for Siri” is toggled on. If not, tap it, then “Enable Siri” on the popup. Then try enabling “Hey Siri” on your Apple Watch again.

Set Your Emergency SOS Preferences

When it comes to actually calling emergency services, there are two ways you can go about it, depending on how you set things up. On your iPhone, open up the Apple Watch app, tap on the “My Watch” tab, then select “General.” From the list of options that appear, select “Emergency SOS.”

Here, you have two options. If “Hold to Auto Call” is toggled on, you’ll just have to hold down the side button on your Watch for about five seconds. When this is toggled off, you will only be able to long-press the side button to bring up the option to activate an emergency call by swiping.

On is probably the best option because, in some emergencies, such as struggling in the water, press-holding is a surefire way to make the call, while swiping on the screen may not work properly because of the capacitance.

If you’d like a close relative or friend to be contacted automatically about the emergency, you can set up an emergency contact in the Health app on your iPhone.

After a call to 911 has finished, this contact (or contacts) will receive a text message with your current location — even if “Location Services” is turned off — though, you can cancel this if it’s nothing too serious. They may also get periodic updates if your location changes, which can help them find you at the hospital when you get there, if that’s the case.

Calling 911 from Your Apple Watch

With everything set up and ready to go, calling 911 or another emergency service is super easy, and there are a few ways to do it, depending on how you set things up.
If you have “Hold to Auto Call” enabled above, long-press the side button on your Watch. Keep long-pressing it until a successful call has been made. The power menu will appear briefly, then a countdown from “3” will begin, alerting you with a sound and vibration. When the countdown is over, the call will be made.

This other way works whether or not “Hold to Auto Call” is enabled. Just long-press the side button, then when the power menu appears, swipe the “Emergency SOS” slider to the right to immediately make the call.

Alternatively, if you can’t reach the button on your Watch for some reason, you can also use Siri to call 911 for you. After saying “Hey Siri, call 911” to your Apple Watch, a countdown will begin, and the call will go through after five seconds. You can also tap “Call” to make it right away or “Cancel” to stop it.

If you can’t speak, emergency services still may be able to locate you after making the call. You can also try using Siri to text 911 a distress message, but very few call centers in the US can handle emergency texts, and you’ll like get a response saying to call 911 instead.

 

How Emergency Services Can Track You Down

After placing a call to 911, the first thing you should do it tell them where you’re at so they can locate you even if the call gets cut off. If you can’t speak, though, how do they know where you’re located?

There’s no easy way to say exactly what will happen in every scenario since different carriers utilize different technologies to communicate with public-safety answering points, and those call centers may or may not be equipped to handle wireless enhanced 911 calls for each carrier, if at all. Keep in mind, when making cellular calls to 911 from an Apple Watch, the call may use the Watch’s cellular capabilities, if any, or use your nearby iPhone’s cellular network.

• If you’re using a carrier-branded hotspot to call over Wi-Fi, the 911 call will likely be made to the 911 communications center that services that hotspot’s area, and that hotspot may serve as a basis for locating you.
• When making a Wi-Fi call using another trusted network, the call center may use your “Emergency Address” that you added when setting up Wi-Fi Calling, so always make sure this is up to date.
• When making the call over a cellular network, they may or may not receive a general location based on which cellular tower the call came from.
• In some cases, the call center may “re-bid,” or refresh, the data to receive a more accurate location thanks to AGPS and other technologies, if making the call over a cellular network.
• When an approximate location is unattainable, the call center may use your “Emergency Address” that you added when setting up Wi-Fi Calling, so always make sure this is up to date.

You can visit AT&T, C Spire, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, or Verizon Wireless to learn more about how each carrier handles 911 calls on their end.

If you’re unresponsive when the police or emergency medical technicians get to you, they can use your “Medical ID” on your Apple Watch to see basic information about you, such as age, weight, medication allergies, etc., if you previously added that info in iOS. You can add Medical ID information via the Health app on your iPhone.

After the 911 call has ended, your emergency contacts, if any, will get texts with your location data, and they may continue to get updates on your location until you cancel.

Real-Life Examples of How Apple Watch Saves Lives

John Dovgin’s muscles gave out when about to take his boat out on Lake Michigan with his wife in late-April 2018. He fell into the cold water and was at risk of drowning. John’s wife, Mary, threw a life ring at him to hold onto, but also went into the water to make sure he did not drown. She was able to get emergency crews there to help pull John out of the water after using Siri on her Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) to call 911 using its cellular connection.

A few months before that, Kacie Anderson was stopped at a red light when her car was struck by a drunk driver. She and her child were flung around inside the car before it came to a stop. Unable to find her iPhone after the crash, she then used the side button on her Apple Watch to call 911 for help. The child only had minor injuries, but Kacie suffered a severe concussion, brain swelling, and bulging disks.

In April 2017, Casey Bennet was driving to class when he was hit by another driver, which flipped his Jeep over and caused him to be trapped by the seat belt and the deployed airbag. His iPhone was out of reach, but he was able to use the long-press shortcut on his Apple Watch to call 911 for help.

These are just a few instances where the Apple Watch has saved lives.

Preventing Accidental 911 Calls from Apple Watch

As helpful as Emergency SOS is, it does have a downside. If the “Hold to Auto Call” option is toggled on, which is the default position, there’s a chance you could accidentally call 911 when you’re sleeping. If you’re a light sleeper, the loud sounds and vibrations during the countdown should wake you, but if you’re a deep sleeper, you may make an unintentional emergency call.

There are plenty of stories of Apple Watch owners having the police show up unexpectedly. Some triggered the call while sleeping, while others have triggered it when changing Watch bands. To keep this from happening, just make sure “Hold to Auto Call” is disabled.

 

 

 

How do you feel about using the iPhone and the Apple Watch as Personal Safety Devices? Sound off in the Comments below!

Tales From the Orchard: Apple Just Made Safari the Good Privacy Browser

 

By Lily Hay Newman of Wired.com

APPLE ANNOUNCED A slew of new software features at its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, including an augmented reality upgrade and animojis that can stick out their tongues when you do. But the company’s latest desktop and mobile operating systems contain a more subtle, yet more radical, innovation. The newest version of Apple’s Safari browser will push back hard against the ad-tracking methods and device fingerprinting techniques that marketers and data brokers use to monitor web users as they browse. Starting with Facebook.

The next version of Safari will explicitly prompt you when a website tries to access your cookies or other data, and let you decide whether to allow it, a welcome step toward explicit choices about online tracking. Safari will also make a dent in defeating the so-called “fingerprinting” approach, in which marketers use publicly accessible information about devices—like the way they’re configured, the fonts they have installed, and the plug-ins they run—to assign them an individual, trackable ID. In macOS Mojave and iOS 12, Safari will scrub much of this data, exposing only generic configuration information and default fonts. The browser will also stop supporting legacy plugins. The idea is to make your Mac indistinguishable from millions of others, muting the fingerprinting effect.

“Data companies are clever and relentless,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, said on Monday, explaining why Apple pushed to add these features. The company calls the set of tools “Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2.0,” and they feature WebKit changes, like eliminating a 24-hour grace period that gave trackers a day of cookie access.

The new version of Safari will also help improve password hygiene by offering to generate, autofill, and store strong passwords. It’s a well-intentioned approach, although one that can be problematic depending on how it’s deployed. The browser will now also audit password reuse to try to discourage people from using the same password for multiple services—a crucial way consumers can reduce their risk of being impacted by data breaches.

The antitracking features continue Apple’s assault on ad tech; last year’s Safari update prevented video and audio from autoplaying, and the then-nascent Intelligent Tracking Prevention Webkit tool worked to identify and block tracking cookies. This year’s updates, though, take things a step further by significantly expanding the tracking techniques Safari can block or warn users about.

Apple’s not the only company to toughen up its browser against privacy and security menaces. As with Chrome’s Do Not Track mechanism, Apple seems to have based some of the new Safari protections on research from Mozilla, which offers its own protections in the Firefox browser. In February, Chrome also started offering native ad-blocking measures to bring more comprehensive protections to users based on standards from the Coalition for Better Ads. There are also browser plugins like Ghostery, Privacy Badger, and Adblock Plus to help stymie various tracking techniques. But Apple’s efforts in Mojave and iOS 12 appear to be the most prominent and comprehensive yet.

Though the new privacy mechanisms will potentially hinder all sorts of tracking, Apple specifically called out Facebook’s massive ad network—which is known for employing an array of user tracking strategies, like its ubiquitous “Like” buttons. In one of the slides depicting an example of how Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2.0 will work, Apple’s Federighi showed a Safari page open to Facebook with a popup notification reading “Do you want to allow ‘facebook.com’ to use cookies and website data while browsing ‘blabbermouth.net’? This will allow ‘facebook.com’ to track your activity.”

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request from WIRED for comment, and the platform is certainly not the only large ad network incorporating these techniques. But it’s a prominent player that has received extensive criticism for letting a variety of user data tracking tools run rampant. The company’s chief information security officer Alex Stamos noted on Twitter that it doesn’t seem like the new Safari will block tracking pixels or Javascript components, which are notorious for being exploitable as trackers or by bad actors for malicious activity.
Stamos seemed more focused on blasting Apple’s attempt to single Facebook out, but it’s true that this generation of Intelligent Tracking Prevention will inevitably have limitations. It’s difficult to fully block online tracking methods without also eroding website usability, and different privacy initiatives have approached dealing with this conflict in different ways.

“The consent popups will be a big deal to people. It’s more visual so you know that they are attempting to track you versus it just happening in the background silently,” says Will Strafach, an iOS security researcher and the president of Sudo Security Group. “I guess the real test will be how well these measures work and how advertisers and trackers will react.”

Google and Firefox already offer plenty of solid ad-blocking and antitracking mechanisms, and offer a host of other features that may make them more desirable than Apple’s browser. But if privacy matters most to you, it might be time to give Safari a try.

What’s your preferred browser or method for protecting your privavy online? Sound off in the comments below!

Tips & Tricks: You’re Not Using a VPN? Bad Idea

A PCMag survey demonstrates that most people are aware of the privacy risks on the internet, but most aren’t doing anything about them.

By Max Eddy of PCMag.com

In the past few years, PCMag has seen VPN services go from being fringe security utilities to red-hot, must-have cyber accessory.

The popularity (and necessity) of the once-lowly VPN is certainly due to the ever-growing legal and technological challenges to individual privacy. Virtual private networks are a tool whose time has clearly come. That’s why it’s so surprising that a poll conducted by PCMag found that, despite understanding the threats to their privacy, the vast majority of respondents don’t use VPNs and never have.

Unsecured Traffic

 

Of the 1,000 people polled by PCMag between Feb. 7-9, 71 percent have never used a VPN.

That struck me for two reasons. First of all, the search volume we receive at PCMag for VPN-related articles is enormous. Second, many companies require the use of a corporate VPN when working remotely. That might explain why 15 percent had used a VPN in the past, but don’t currently log on.

Most people, I assumed, would have crossed paths with a VPN at some point. And yet, the vast majority of respondents not only do not currently use a VPN, they have never laid hands on one.

New (and Old) Threats to Privacy

What’s interesting about the recent interest in VPNs is that it hasn’t been tied to a single issue, but rather an avalanche of privacy and security concerns. An awful lot has happened in the last few years, the answer to which has often been “use a VPN.”
One of the first news items that seemed to spur VPN adoption was the decision by Congress to allow internet service providers (ISPs) to sell anonymized user data.

That’s reflected in our survey data, where 25 percent of respondents (correctly) identified ISPs as the biggest threat to their individual privacy.

In our survey, 24 percent of respondents also listed Facebook as a threat to their privacy. This was despite the fact that our survey was in the field back in February, before the Cambridge Analytica scandal raised nascent privacy concerns about the social network to a new level. I imagine that if we ran the same survey now, even more consumers would be concerned about Facebook, and rightly so.

Admittedly, a VPN won’t do much when it comes to the kind of surveillance carried out by Facebook, but it’s still spooky to learn that the company is even tracking users who don’t have Facebook accounts.

These issues haven’t been limited to the US. Russia and China have introduced new rules that make it much harder for VPNs to operate within those countries. Furthermore, Russia recently banned popular encrypted messaging app Telegram, reportedly driving more users to adopt VPNs.

Another threat reflected in the survey is the dangers in using public Wi-Fi networks. There’s no way to know that the network labeled “Starbucks_Wifi” is legit and not a network created for the express purpose of nabbing people’s personal information. Fortunately, 43 percent of respondents said the main reason they would use a VPN was to access public Wi-Fi.

And then there’s net neutrality. Many hoped that the ongoing fight to ensure that ISPs must treat all web traffic equally in terms of speed and accessibility would end with updated FCC rules during the Obama administration. Unfortunately, a new FCC chairman decided (incorrectly) that these rules were unnecessary and successfully dismantled them.

This is where our numbers seem a bit out of step with reality, as we found that 55 percent of respondents who agreed with the concept of net neutrality had never used a VPN. Although 46 percent said they supported it, 32 percent didn’t know what it was. That’s disappointing on its own.

Is Privacy Dead?

Also disheartening were the responses about voluntarily surrendering personal information.

A dismal 62 percent of respondents said they’d willingly hand over personal information for free Wi-Fi. Another 23 percent said they would hand over personal info for exclusive content on video streaming platforms, and 13 percent said they’d do it for exclusive content in video games.

A staggering 7 percent said they would surrender personal info for free adult content. I find this particularly mind blowing, as there is not (last I checked) a dearth of free porn on the internet.

That said, a key caveat of this particular set of questions was the phrase “willingly.” Too often, people aren’t aware of the information they’re giving up in exchange for a free mobile app or what companies can see when they share a post on Facebook. If we’re going to use our personal information as currency, it’s better that we make those transactions willingly.

You Should Definitely Use a VPN

In all my writing about VPNs, I’ve tried to stress their limitations. They won’t make you truly anonymous online (you need Tor for that), and there’s a risk anytime you use a for-profit company for security (you can roll your own VPN with Outline, but I digress).

Many of you have concerns about using VPNs in general, such as what kind of impact a VPN will have on internet speeds (37 percent), whether or not it will work with a particular online service (15 percent), and if it can be used to access Netflix (28 percent). Those are legitimate concerns, and ones that have only been partially solved by VPN companies.

But the last few years have shown that an economy based around gathering user data has real consequences. Between data breaches, foreign election influence, and the sheer volume of data being gathered by seemingly innocuous services, it’s never been more urgent to take control of our privacy online. A VPN won’t solve all those issues, but it’s a start and one that only 29 percent of you have so far used.

 

Do you use a VPN for your personal network? Sound off in the comments below!

Tales from the Orchard: Apple Employees Keep Smacking Into Their New Headquarters’ Glass Walls

 

 

 

By Mark Bergen of Bloomberg

The centerpiece of Apple Inc.’s new headquarters is a massive, ring-shaped office overflowing with panes of glass, a testament to the company’s famed design-obsessed aesthetic.

There’s been one hiccup since it opened last year: Apple employees keep smacking into the glass.

Surrounding the Cupertino, California-based building are 45-foot tall curved panels of safety glass. Inside are work spaces, dubbed “pods,” also made with a lot of glass. Apple staff are often glued to the iPhones they helped popularize. That’s resulted in repeated cases of distracted employees walking into the panes, according to people familiar with the incidents.

Some staff started to stick Post-It notes on the glass doors to mark their presence. However, the notes were removed because they detracted from the building’s design, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing anything related to Apple. Another person familiar with the situation said there are other markings to identify the glass.

The centerpiece of Apple Inc.’s new headquarters is a massive, ring-shaped office overflowing with panes of glass, a testament to the company’s famed design-obsessed aesthetic.

There’s been one hiccup since it opened last year: Apple employees keep smacking into the glass.

Surrounding the Cupertino, California-based building are 45-foot tall curved panels of safety glass. Inside are work spaces, dubbed “pods,” also made with a lot of glass. Apple staff are often glued to the iPhones they helped popularize.
That’s resulted in repeated cases of distracted employees walking into the panes, according to people familiar with the incidents.

Some staff started to stick Post-It notes on the glass doors to mark their presence. However, the notes were removed because they detracted from the building’s design, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing anything related to Apple. Another person familiar with the situation said there are other markings to identify the glass.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. It’s not clear how many incidents there have been. A Silicon Valley-based spokeswoman for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration referred questions about Apple’s workplace safety record to the government agency’s website. A search on the site based on Apple’s name in California found no reports of injuries at the company’s new campus.

It’s not the first time Apple’s penchant for glass in buildings has caused problems. In late 2011, 83-year-old Evelyn Paswall walked into the glass wall of an Apple store, breaking her nose. She sued the company, arguing it should have posted a warning on the glass. The suit was settled without any cost to Apple, according to a legal filing in early 2013.

WIT: Apple Included This One Feature Every Woman Should Know About

 

 

 

By LANI SEELINGER of Bustle.com

The new iPhone update is officially out, and say what you will about the new aesthetic features, there’s one feature that could potentially save lives. With the iOS 11, you can place an emergency SOS call from a locked iPhone, and really, this trick is something every woman should know about the new update.

In previous iPhone operating systems, you could call emergency services from a locked screen or by giving Siri the command “charge my phone 100 percent.” While those were effective ways to get yourself out of trouble in most cases, the former wouldn’t always work if the phone’s screen was broken, and the latter wasn’t very discreet.

Now, Apple has fixed both of those problems with this new update. Hopefully you’ll never need to use this feature, but if you should ever be in a tight spot when even speaking to your phone or bringing it out to look at would be dangerous, now you can just quickly press the sleep/wake button five times, and then it will automatically get you in touch with emergency services. If you’ve set an emergency contact in the phone, it will also alert that person that you’re in trouble and give them your location.

And just as an emergency feature should be, it’s incredibly easy to enable.

If you do want it to make a phone call automatically after you’ve pressed the sleep/wake button five times, you have to enable “Auto Call” in your settings. The automatic setting also comes with a protection against just accidentally calling 911 — pressing the button five times starts a three-second countdown, which comes with a countdown noise so you have a chance to cancel the call if you’ve triggered it accidentally. You can turn that countdown sound off in the settings, though. You might want that if you were in a circumstance where an iPhone sound could alert a potential criminal to your location — which, again, is hopefully a situation that you will never find yourself in.

There are a couple of limitations to the feature; for example, it only works in certain countries. If you’re not in the U..S, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain or the UK, then you’ll have to wait for a future update to take advantage of it. All things considered — including the large percentage of the world’s population in those countries — it’s not bad for a start.

While this update will make every iPhone user who has access to it just a little bit safer, it’s especially key for women, who are in many ways much more in danger of being targeted in their everyday lives than men. This could be an effective way to help women who find themselves facing intimate partner violence, a situation in which it’s easy to imagine that even the simple act of making a phone call could put the woman in far greater danger than if she were able to make the call more discreetly.

From a woman’s perspective, this is a big improvement over the days when Apple found itself in hot water for not including a menstrual cycle tracker in its health app update back in 2014. They did manage to fix that little bug back in 2015, this is another signal that Apple is really making a commitment to keeping women safe and healthy. Really the only thing you have to worry about here is activating the call without knowing it — but are you really in the habit of pressing the sleep/wake button five times without paying attention to it? This is a case where it’s definitely better safe than sorry.

Tell us your thoughts on this new personal safety feature in the comments below!

How to: Utilize Do Not Disturb While Driving

Everything you can do with Do Not Disturb While Driving in iOS 11

 

By Monica Chin of Mashable

With the new iOS update, Do Not Disturb has gotten smarter. It now knows when you’re driving, and can stop you from being irresponsible. 

Do Not Disturb mutes phone calls, notifications, and text messages, keeping your phone dark for a set period of time. If enabled, Do Not Disturb While Driving turns on automatically when it detects the acceleration of a vehicle (you can turn it off if you’re a passenger). You can also enable it to turn on whenever it connects to a car via Bluetooth. 

But the feature doesn’t totally cut you off. You can set Do Not Disturb While Driving to automatically respond to any texts informing their senders that you are driving. 
Your contacts can break through Do Not Disturb by including the word “Urgent” in your texts (this function can be turned off, or limited to certain contacts). You can still make phone calls if the phone is on Speaker or connected to Bluetooth. 
Do Not Disturb While Driving and all of its features can be turned on and customized in Settings > Do Not Disturb. 

 

And if you don’t trust your kids, you can turn on Do Not Disturb While Driving on their phones, and prevent it from being disabled. This can be done in Settings > General > Restrictions. 

This new feature is optional, but we really recommend you try it. It takes about two seconds to turn on, and it could save your life. 

What do think about this new feature in iOS 11? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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