January 29, 2023

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It’s a nightmarish scenario: You’re enjoying your hard-earned summer vacation when you realize you’ve lost your phone or laptop.

On top of the cost of replacing it, you’ve probably lost years of photos and other files — and exposed yourself to some pretty dire consequences.

The place you don’t want someone snooping is your inbox. Do not create folders named “Medical Documents” or “Tax Information”.

Your Google Account is one of the most important things on your device, especially if you’re a Gmail user. There are some simple ways to make sure your product doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Senate Republicans pass bill targeting Google to stop GMAIL for allegedly spamming GOP political emails

How detailed is the data tracking?

Google’s tracking is mostly for its benefit, or for companies that pay big bucks to advertise to you based on your data.

The Google Internet home page is displayed on products in the store.
(Reuters/Neil Hall)

Speaking of, have you ever searched the web for your name and seen how many data brokerage sites your information is circulating on? I’ve gotten a lot of requests for steps to remove this information, so I’ve started a new series on my website called Opt-Out Tuesday. Every week, we instruct you to delete your personal data from these sites.

You can take back a little of your privacy from sites like BeenVerified, PeopleFinders, SpyFly, and ZabaSearch.

Elon Musk breaks Twitter silence with photo of Pope and Italian ex-wife

You may not realize how granular this information is. Advertisers don’t just know you’re a mom of three from Florida or a marketing executive living in Austin. Your profile includes your finances, interests, political leanings, shopping preferences, and more.

I wanted to learn more about this, so I sat down with an advertising CTO and recorded a podcast.

After all, data tracking is big business. How big is it?Google’s parent company, Alphabet, makes about $420,000 a year minute. Crazy? Not all the money comes from advertisingbut it is the most important piece of the cake.

Fortunately, some tracking from Google can help you.

Exclusive limited-time offers: As a special thank you to my readers, I offer you a free Windows or Mac guide with tips, tricks, and tons of downloads. Request a free Windows or Mac guide now at my website, Komando.com/FreeGuides.

Check your account activity

I’ve talked to a lot of people who have been scammed, and in almost all cases, they didn’t realize something was wrong until it was too late. A friend reaches out and asks, “Hey, what’s up with that weird Facebook message?” Or you see your unsent email in your outbox. Or worse, you notice strange charges on your credit card, or get a notice about taking a loan in your name.

However, there are ways to spot bad actors before they do too much damage. This trick also works for spotting snoops, you know. Are friends or family members browsing your Google or Gmail account? Here’s one way to find out.

  • go google.com/devices. If you are not already logged in, please log in to your account.
  • Here you will see a list of devices. These are the computers, smartphones and tablets that you are currently logged in to or have logged in to within the past 28 days.

You will see the same device multiple times as each session (or instance you log in to) is recorded. This is nothing to worry about.

In addition to your current session, you may also see devices that have been inactive for extended periods of time, such as old phones or computers that you no longer use. You can log off these devices remotely.

  • Just click what you want and exit. This will completely remove access to your Google Account from the device.

You can also use this page to find some connected devices, such as Android phones. It’s very convenient.

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  • click one equipmentthen select find equipment, You’ll be taken to Google’s Find My Device page.

What if you see a computer, phone, tablet or device you don’t recognize?

  • Click on the device and select Don’t know what? or Sign out. Again, this will log off the device remotely.

Next, you need to secure your account. It’s time to change your password to make sure someone logging in can’t do it again. Don’t reuse old passwords or choose passwords that are easy to guess. Now is the time to go all out.

computer keyboard

computer keyboard
(iStock)

Remembering strong passwords can be difficult, so a password manager might be your best bet. The good news is that these programs can do more than just remember your login information.

Want your dead grandmother to tell you a story? If Amazon’s new Alexa AI feature comes along, you can clone dead voices. Also, hackers are taking over hot tubs, Anna Sorokin is selling NFTs, and the FBI is warning of crypto fraud on LinkedIn. Oh, and you wouldn’t believe how much big tech companies make every minute.

Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Today” apple, Google Podcasts, Spotifyor your favorite podcast player.

Just search for my last name “Komando”.

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What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, TV or computer.

Copyright 2019, West Star Multimedia Entertainment. all rights reserved.

Learn about all the latest technologies The Kim Comando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and advises on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacking. For her daily tips, free newsletter, and more, visit her website: Komando.com.



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