RV Lifestyle eZine



Helping to Make Your RV

Lifestyle Run Smoothly


    April 2017

    Issue #351





  • Cellphone Privacy Part I - What's the Big Deal
  • American States Trivia

PART 1: Cellphone Privacy - What's the Big Deal!

If you are wondering what the big fuss is about keeping the government from accessing your cellphone data without a warrant, read on . . .

If your privacy is important to you (at least what can be controlled by you), a piece of  black tape is already over the camera on your computer. How about your cellphone?

Smartphone ownership is at an all-time high, and microphones are an essential hardware feature on every phone. What does it mean for your privacy?

Is Your Phone Listening to Your Conversations

To review the permissions you have already granted to apps, like Google:

On a Samsung, Motorola, or other Android-based phone, go to Settings > Privacy and Safety > App Permissions.

On an iPhone iOS, go to Settings > Privacy. Both have an entry for microphone, which lists all the apps that have access. If you see something suspicious, investigate.

With services like Siri or Google Assistant, your phone is always listening for a keyword, but that is processed locally. It does not start recording your audio until it hears “Ok Google” or “Hey Siri.”

At that point, it records and uploads an audio file. You can turn these features off quite easily; for example, on Android, go o Settings > Google > Search & Now > Voice. Turn “Ok Google” detection off.

Read more…

Tired of Products Pushed In Your Face

Kim Komando, a leader in gathering high-tech information to share with the consumer, stated that back in March 2015, AT&T surprised everyone when it added a new option to its GigaPower fiber Internet service: privacy. Yes, for just $29 more a month AT&T promises it WON’T sell your search and browsing history to advertisers. How generous.

While there’s still some doubt about how private your information is even after you pay the $29, at least AT&T is being honest about how it finances operations. The truth is, the major cellphone carriers are more than happy to sell your information to advertisers and serve you targeted ads over their networks.

Options You Can Control


If you’re an iPhone user, you need to go into Settings, and then tap Privacy. Scroll all the way down to Advertising.

You’ll see a button labeled says, “Limit ad tracking.” If it’s not showing a green color, slide the button so that it shows green. This will stop ad companies from tracking what you do with your phone and serving up targeted ads.

Right underneath that setting, by the way, you’ll see the “Reset Advertising Identifier” option. Tapping on that will zero out the anonymized identifier linked to your personal data on Apple’s servers.

In other words, to trackers you’ll appear to be a new user. This can make it more difficult (but not impossible) for advertisers to build up a profile on how you browse.


To turn off the Google “AdID” system, you do not go to your Android phone settings, but your Google Settings app. You might have to look under your full list of apps to find it.

Once you are in Google Settings, tap the Ads link and then tap “Opt out of interest-based ads.” You can also see your advertising ID and tap “Reset advertising ID” to make a new one. This will make you look like a new user to advertisers.

Windows Phone

To turn off Personalized ads in Windows Phone, go to Microsoft’s ad opt-out page and under “Personalize ads whenever I use my Microsoft account” click “Off.”

You will need to be signed in with a Windows account to do this. Make sure you sign in with the same account you use on your Windows Phone. This also turns off personalized ads for Internet Explorer in Windows 8.

Ads aren’t the only way you’re tracked on your phone. Google and Apple might be tracking your searches.

No one should be ashamed to admit they are wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that they are wiser today than they were yesterday."

- Alexander Pope, English poet best known for his satirical verse (1688-1744)

The Future of Tracking

Of course, carriers are working on ways to track you that you can’t stop. Verizon and AT&T have experimented with “supercookies” that let any website know who you are when you visit.

AT&T eventually dropped the idea when customers complained, but Verizon still does it.

You can opt out at:


Verizon won’t track your information or show you targeted ads. However, Verizon does still add the supercookies to your browsing, which can give away your identity to websites or hackers.

One solution is to use Wi-Fi instead of your cellular signal for browsing, but that isn’t always possible. Click here to learn more about Verizon’s supercookie problem and how you can protect yourself.

Tracking and selling your information is not just a problem with cellular carriers, though. There are ways every ad company can track where you go online.

You should also know that Facebook shares your information with advertisers as well.

For the rest of the story…


Non-Tracking Search Engines

Here are some options for search engines that do not allow tracking:

To surf anonymously everywhere — at the cost of slower browsing speed — try the Tor Browser Bundle. Be careful here as the US Government is watching this site for terrorist action.

Try Ghostery.com software to be aware of who is tracking you and exercise some controls on access.

Downsides to Privacy

As you make your cellphone and computer as safe as you can, the downside is the limits that Google and other browsers put on your search requests. Some websites reject your request if their ads do not appear. If using Ghostery software, you can pause it just to access that site.

Tune in next time for Part 2 of Cellphone Privacy. Find out exactly what information about you is available to the world.


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Trivia Quiz

1. Which explorer first reached the South Pole?

a. Robert Peary
b. Ernest Shackleton
c. Roald Amundsen
Hint: This Arctic explorer was born in Borge, Norway

2. I conquered the world in less than 80 days. Who am I?

a. Phileas Fogg
b. Nellie Bly
c. Harriet Quimby
Hint: This adventurer was a woman.

3. Since my death, my home welcomes more than 600,000 visitors a year, making it the second most visited private residence behind the White House. Who am I?

a. Elvis Presley
b. Thomas Jefferson
c. Michael Jackson
Hint: Graceland was purchased in 1957 for $100,000.

4. In my native Brazil, I am a national hero, and in the larger world, I am considered by many to be the greatest soccer player of all time. Who am I?

a. David Beckham
b. Diego Maradona
c. Pelé

Hint: This standout athlete played on four Brazilian World Cup teams.

5. On May 29, 1953, I became the first person to summit Mt. Everest. Who am I?

a. Edmund Hillary
b. Steven Everest
c. James Whittaker
Hint: This mountain climber was born in New Zealand.

6. During an attempt to fly around the world, my plane disappeared somewhere between New Guinea and Howland Island. Who am I?

a. Beryl Markham
b. Harriet Quimby
c. Amelia Earhart
Hint: She was the first woman to cross the Atlantic by airplane in 1928.

7. I was one half of a famous duo who explored and mapped the new territory added to the U.S. by the Louisiana Purchase. Who am I?

a. Louis Armstrong
b. Meriwether Lewis
c. Francis Drake
Hint: The Shoshone guide Sacajawea helped to navigate the expedition.

1. Roald Amundsen. After failing to beat Robert Peary to the North Pole, Roald Amundsen set his sights on the South Pole, arriving on December 14, 1911.
2. Nellie Bly. Phileas Fogg was an imaginary character from a Jules Verne novel; Nellie Bly was an American journalist who circled the world in 1889 in 72 days.
3. Elvis Presley. Although more than 30 years have passed since his death on August 16, 1977, Elvis Presley’s popularity shows no signs of fading.
4. Pelé. Pelé was named Athlete of the Century by the world's combined National Olympic Committees in 1999, though he never played in the Olympics himself.
5. Edmund Hillary. Edmund Hillary, a beekeeper, and Tenzing Norgay, an acclaimed Sherpa climber, were the first to successfully climb to “roof of the world.”
6. Amelia Earhart. Earhart’s fate remains a mystery.
7. Meriwether Lewis. Although Lewis and Clark’s expedition was not the first transcontinental crossing in the north, it opened vast new territories to the United States.



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