Smartphone

How to Stop Your TV From Tracking Everything You Watch

It’s unlikely that you’d be surprised if I informed you that your TV monitors everything you do for the sake of data collecting and advertising. After all, it’s 2022, and privacy is all but extinct. Still, it’s not cool—so how do you get your smart TV to stop tracking what you watch so you can watch the Super Bowl or play video games in peace again?

How does your television keep track of what you’re watching?

ACR (automated content recognition) is a technology that allows your smart TV to watch what you watch, recognize what you watch, and utilize that information to both offer new material and serve you more relevant adverts. Your TV records moments in a show or movie (including audio) and sends the data to a database, which compares it to a library of content.

This happens regardless of what you’re watching on TV or how you get your information. Whatever you watch on your TV, whether it’s through smart TV apps, a Blu-Ray player, an Apple TV, or a PlayStation, ACR can monitor and report on it.

The majority of major television manufacturers have ACR tracking in their products. Following Vizio’s controversy over not adequately exposing how much data they were taking from users, TV manufacturers are now including these settings in the original setup agreements. If you’re anything like me, you agreed to this tracking without noticing it because you were too preoccupied with setting up your TV to care about, blah, reading.

In any case, if you have a smart TV, you can probably turn off ACR tracking. This option is referred to by different names by different television manufacturers. We’ll go through some of the most popular brands, their ACR settings, and where to find them. Still, these brands change their settings and names all the time, so even if you have a TV from one of the companies listed above, our instructions may not be applicable.

If that’s the case, your best bet is to look up your exact TV model’s ACR settings on Google. You should look for a manufacturer’s handbook or a walkthrough from someone who has access to your TV and knows where the setting is.

On your smart TV, how can you turn off ACR?

Your ACR settings will be under Live Plus if you have an LG smart TV (as I do). The setting appears innocent enough, but it’s most likely there to keep you from turning it off. This option may be found in All Settings > General > Live Plus. You might as well enable “Limit Ad Tracking” under Advertisement while you’re here.

Let’s take a look at Samsung, another well-known television manufacturer. If you have a Samsung smart TV, your ACR options can be found under Settings > Terms & Policies. Make sure “Viewing Information Services” and “Internet Based Advertisements” are turned off.

Settings > System Preferences (or Device Preferences) > Samba Interactive TV is where Sony puts their ACR options. Disable Samba Interactive TV from here. Additionally, ad tracking tools may be found under About > Ads > Ads Personalization.

The ACR option is found under Admin & Privacy > Viewing Data on Vizio’s most recent TVs. Once you’ve disabled this option, you’re good to go. Look for Interactivity, Vizio’s old name for ACR, if you don’t see Viewing Data. Return one page to Advertising to disable ad tracking.

You may have thought that your tv does not have enough power to track you, but far from the truth mostly every gadget that are now connected to the internet have enough power to track your data. You still have the capacity of changing them and make them work for you. Let us know in the comments if you want to know more about tracking data…

phone

I Lost My Cell Phone: How To Locate It?

We are in 2022, and we live in the age of the Internet and technology; most of us have a phone and use it for virtually everything, to get from one place to another, buy food and watch movies. Our phones have become an integral part of our lives, and most of us need them to survive or stay sane, at least I do.

Most of the cell phones that people use nowadays are smartphones. Considered as real pocket computers, these devices contain all of our life. We store our contacts, photos, files, etc. However, one day our phones may be lost or stolen.

And no one wants their data to be in the hands of a stranger. But fortunately, there are solutions to locate, lock or quickly block data on smartphones. So, without further ado, let’s learn how to track down your phone if you’ve lost it.

Use the IMEI number of your lost phone.

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If your cell phone is lost or stolen, you need to act as quickly as possible. Indeed, most thieves know some techniques to unlock a phone. This is in order to recover certain data. Indeed, thieves will use your name, your contact information, etc., to carry out malicious acts. And as for the phone, it is certain that they will resell it. To avoid this, the first thing you should do is try to lock it remotely. To do this, use the IMEI code of your cell phone. Give it to your carrier so that they can quickly locate its approximate location and lock it.

To retrieve your cell phone’s International Mobile Equipment Identity or IMEI number, simply type this code: *#06#. Look at the cardboard that wrapped your phone. Some manufacturers usually print the unique identifier of the phone.

Use a remote management service.

Locking your phone through your carrier is a great way to prevent a stranger from using your data. However, this technique has its limits. It will not be able to permanently remove all your data from your phone or block all its functions.

To remedy this, you need to use a remote management service. If you’ve lost an iPhone, use Apple’s “Locate My iPhone” feature. On the other hand, if it’s an Android, you need to use Google’s feature known as “Android Device Manager”.

But again, these applications had to be installed on your phone before it was lost. Also, the remote location features must be enabled for this technique to be effective. In addition, your phone must be turned on and connected to the Internet. This means that you need to act quickly to recover your phone.

So here are some things you should know about the remote management service for an iPhone and an Android:

For an iPhone

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The “Locate my iPhone” function must be activated beforehand. To activate it, go to the settings menu, then click on your Apple ID, which is usually at the top of the page. Then go to the iCloud settings. This way, you can use this application from another iPhone.

The main advantage of this function is that it allows you to make it ring, lock it, and especially erase your data remotely. To do this, log on to icloud.com and follow the instructions. You should know that this operation can be performed from a computer.

For an Android

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The geolocation configuration must be done beforehand. Go to the Google settings menu, then click on Security. The following two options: “locate this device remotely” and “allow remote data lock and wipe” will then appear, and you will only have to activate them. With this, you can easily control your data from another Android phone.

Sound off in the comments section below and tell us what you want to read next.

college

Top 4 Phone Accessories That Every College Student Needs

College is going to be one of the most amazing places you’ll attend and it will be one of the most formative places and times of your life. As someone who was born in the late 90s, I grew up surrounded by technology and the internet. As an older Gen Z, I grew up without a phone but now more than ever, and I don’t think I can live without my phone.

And as someone who works with social media and writes for a living, I need my phone to survive and to work. Most of us are on our phones for more than 2 to 3 hours a day, which might be for work or entertainment purposes. So, without further ado, let’s get into this blog and talk about some of the essential phone accessories that we believe every college student needs.

1. Wireless earphones

college

As a college student, I consider wireless earphones as an essential, and you will need them to survive your 4 years there. You will need your earphones to drown out the outside world and to stay with your own thoughts and concentrate. So, we advise most, if not all, college students to invest in genuine and good-quality wireless earphones.

Wireless earphones will be your on-the-go companion and will be with you every step of the way in your college. It will help you write your assignment, and you can have fun, and you can tune in to your favorite podcasts and music. You will use your earphones for virtually everything, from walking to campus or even drowning out your roommate being annoying.

2. Portable phone charger

college

If you are like me, you are most likely a busy college student, and you have college on two of one or two side hustles or jobs. This is why it is important for you to have a portable phone charger for you to charge your phone on the go, especially when it is on the verge of dying.

Having your phone dying on you is the worst thing that can happen, and if you are having a bad day, this can be my 13th reason why. We use our phones to do everything in college, and sometimes we forget to charge them. This is why sometimes some of us walk with a 10% battery, and this is where a portable phone charger can come in handy.

Portable phone chargers eliminate this problem of having your phone dying on you, and they will give you that extra battery life that we college students desperately need. My portable charger was one of my best friends in college, and they are always in your pocket or backpack.

3. Tempered glass or screen protector

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As a recent college graduate, I know the struggle of carrying a lot of things at the same time and having your phone fall. This gives me a mini heart attack every time, and whenever I pick it up, I pray to whatever God is out there for the screen not to be broken.

A tempered glass screen protector is an extra layer of security, and this is why it is one of the items on our list that we strongly recommend to anyone, no matter your age. Tempered glass is extremely strong, and they are usually scratch-resistant and smudge-proof.

If your phone fall, then the screen protector acts as a shield and can break your screen from cracking. If your screen protector looks terrible and is too severely damaged, then you can easier change it. A screen protector is cheaper to change compared to a screen for your actual phone screen.

4. PopSocket

college

We all know the struggle of having our phones fall on our faces as we watch Tiktok or a YouTube video, which hurts like a truck. This is where a PopSocket can come in handy. A PopSocket can be really aesthetically pleasing if they go with the vibes that you are going for, and it allows you to have a better grip on your phone.

They are an awesome accessory to have, and you can use them in a plethora of ways. You can use it as a texting grip, photo grip, media stand, cord wrap, and so much more. They are a great accessory to have, and they are great for self-expression, and they come in a variety of shapes, forms, and designs.

Sound off in the comments section below and tell us what phone accessories you think are essential.

google

An extensive review of the new Google Phone – Pixel 6 (part 1)

We’re currently experiencing the crazy time of the year. Samsung and Apple both released their new phones weeks ago, and we are now expecting the new Google Pixel 6 in a few days. Google started making phones in 2010, but the Pixel line didn’t show up until 2016, and in 2021, we are now expecting the new Pixel 6.

There was a lot of hype since its announcement months back, and after a long-awaited release, we will see the new phone soon. But before we get our hands on Google’s latest treasure, let’s see if it’s worth it or if it’s all just another load of hot air from the tech giants.

The Design

white iphone 4 on white table

The Google Pixel line has long been criticized for its looks – with the Pixel 5’s design being particularly infamous, but the juggernaut of technology has effectively learned from its past mistakes, as the new Google Pixel has a sleek look.

When I took a look at the new phone, I will not hide the fact that it reminds me of a Samsung phone; maybe Google took inspiration from one of its competitors? The camera bar reminds me of the Samsung s10 model, although the bar is much wider on the Google phone.

The camera bar is much more than just a camera; it also plays an important role in the design. Google wanted to play a tri-tone for the colours, so the bar distinguishes between the other two colours.

The Pixel 6 stands out because the back is made of Gorilla Glass 6, compared to the Pixel 5, which had an aluminium back with a thin plastic layer called “bio-resin”.

Users who prefer small devices are unfortunately not well served by this phone. The Google phone is on the large side. The Pixel 6 has a 2400 x 1080 6.4-inch display with a 90Hz screen, and the Pixel 6 Pro has a 3120 x 1440 6.7-inch display with a 120Hz screen.

Performance

The first thing we look for in a phone is its sleek design, but we also look at its performance. We won’t go for a phone that looks pretty but is as slow as Internet Explorer (sorry, not sorry). People are very busy and very impatient these days, as I always say, we are a button-pushing generation.

The Google phone is equipped with a Tensor chip, one of the most powerful processors Google has ever included in its phones. The Google Tensor has two powerful cores, two medium cores, and four highly efficient cores.

Even without the most impressive benchmark numbers, both the Pixel 6 (with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of base storage) and Pixel 6 Pro (12GB of RAM and 128GB of base storage) launch apps and multitask as well as any other Android phone on the market.

black iphone 7 on white table

Software

Google is adding a plethora of mind-blowing new software. Google Calling Assistant is a gem when it comes to contacting major companies for customer support. It allows you to know when there is less traffic on the line, so you don’t have to wait and many other benefits that you need to experience.

With the new voice typing feature supported by Google Assistant, you can dictate your messages more coherently now. The new voice feature even allows you to reject calls or snooze an alarm! Isn’t that great?

Now let’s get to the best of the best, the Pixel 6‘s live translation feature. We have Google Translate, yes, but how useful would it be to enable live translation, which allows you to translate any audio or video in real-time? It’s a gem, and beyond that, you can also translate messages via Google Chat, Android Messages, and several other messaging apps.

For more information about the new Google phone such as pricing, read our part two. Let us know in the comments what do you think about the Pixel 6 so far…

Secure Your Smartphone (2)

6 Tips to Secure Your Smartphone

Secure Your Smartphone

 If you use your smartphone for your social accounts and online payments, theft can be dramatic. The thief could pay for purchases with your pre-filled information, spread false information in your name, and send emails to your contacts. You could prevent all this with 6 steps to protect your smartphone.

 Beware of public WiFi.

 Let’s face it, it’s convenient: these days, in almost every airport, train station and coffee shop, WiFi is free. This is an opportunity for you to check your emails for free and for hackers to get useful private information!

 So avoid connecting to these public networks to:

 – your bank accounts;

 – merchant accounts to make online purchases;

 – any application containing sensitive data.

 Good to know: the Bluetooth of your phone is also privileged access for hackers. Be careful.

 Encrypt your smartphone data

 Android and iPhone operating systems include an option to encrypt data.

 Some smartphones include the factory application; for others, you need to download it. It’s simple: some data appears scrambled and unreadable, and you need a code to decrypt them.

 Good to know: write down this code somewhere, except on your smartphone!

 Complicate access to your smartphone

Secure Your Smartphone (2)

 – Use an unlocking scheme and passcode.

 – Use a facial recognition system.

 – Use a fingerprint recognition system.

 Note: All models today have a passcode system to lock a smartphone. Facial recognition systems are starting to be developed, digital recognition systems, biometrics, are only available on high-end models.

 Keep the IMEI number.

 IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity, and this 15-digit number uniquely identifies each cell phone.

 If your phone is lost or stolen, contact your operator and give them the IMEI number. The operator will then be able to block access to your cell phone from a distance completely.

 The IMEI is obtained by typing the following code on your keyboard: *#06#.

 Note: keep the IMEI code somewhere on a remote server (storage, emails…). You will need to be able to access this number as soon as possible and from anywhere.

 In case of theft, remotely erase your data.

 Few people know it, but manufacturers allow you to erase your data thanks to applications remotely:

 – Integrated into the operating system.

 – Third-party.

 In case of loss or theft of your mobile device, you can access your data on your account and erase everything on your smartphone.

 Note: this operation is irreversible, so take the time to search a little before!

 Don’t give access to your cards.

 During repairs or when you change your phone, never forget to remove:

 – your SIM card;

 – your memory card.

 They contain sensitive data such as personal SMS, contact information, photos or private files. If you leave them on the phone, you run the risk of someone getting hold of them, using them in your name or monitoring your whereabouts.

Read more:

4 Essential Things About Home Cinema Automation;

Smart TV: How It Works;

Intercom System | Tips for Your Intercom Schematics and Installation;

Universal Remote Control & Smartphone;

Car Gadget | Wireless Car Alarm;

Car Gadgets | Car GPS;

Car Thermometer;

8 Tips to Choose Your Smartphone;

How to Choose the Right Backup Charger for Your Smartphone;

Hope this post has helped you secure your smartphone. If you have some more tips, please feel free to share them below. And, should you wish to read something more on other gadgets, please feel free to jot down your request, and we will get back to you.