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Are your devices default settings affecting your privacy?

Most of us know that our smart devices come with “default settings” placed by the manufacturer. The question is: how helpful are these default settings, and are they harmful to our privacy?

How to Streamline the Default Settings on Apple, Google, and Amazon Devices

According to The New York Times, “The devil is in the details, referring to the default settings that tech companies embed deep in the devices, apps and websites we use. For example, these settings typically make us share data about our activities and location.” The reason for these default settings is to catch bugs and better train the algorithms through your use of the smart device.

However, after much backlash and incidents of Siri listening in on consumers, or Alexa recording intimate moments in users’ lives, these tech conglomerates began giving users the choice to turn off some of these default settings. See below for a breakdown of the top settings you should turn off in concerns to AppleGoogle, and Amazon.

Apple:

  • Tracking: Toggle off “Allow Apps to Request to Track”, notifying all your smartphone apps not to share information with third-party companies.
  • Apple Advertising: Toggle off personalized ads
  • Analytics & Improvements: Toggle off “Share iPhone Analytics”
  • Location Services, and then System Services: Toggle off “iPhone Analytics and Routing & Traffic”

Google:

  • Initiate the “auto-delete” for Web & App Activity, Location History, and YouTube History
  • Android users only: Opt for the “share approximate location”

Amazon:

  • Disallow access to Amazon’s newer “Amazon Sidewalk” feature
    • In the Ring app, select the three-lined icon in the top left, then “Control Center” to turn off Amazon Sidewalk.
    • In the Alexa app, go to “more” and then “Account settings” and “Amazon Sidewalk.”

You can also stay up-to-date on relevant news to the technology industry through the APC Blog. We feature articles that spotlight thought-leadership topics that provide information and tips for hiring managers, professionals, and top technology news.

 

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