LET’S TALK ABOUT TED TALKS INVITE TECHNOLOGY TO THE PARTY 10+ WAYS TO REDUCE ONLINE TRACKING WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH WHATSAPP? FALL 22 The World’s #1 Internet Magazine WebsiteCompass
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WebsiteCompass 1 8 Contents WebsiteCompass 18 Website Compass™ is a publication of Cornerstone Publishing Group, Inc. 4815 Caravelle Drive Fort Collins, CO 80526 970-818-5012 ISSN 1525-951X No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, electronic, photocopying, recording, mechanical, or otherwise without prior written permission of the publisher. Website Compass™ is a trademark of Cornerstone Publishing Group, Inc. Copyright© 2022 by Cornerstone Publishing Group, Inc. All rights reserved. TRADEMARKS – All brand names and product names used in this publication are trade names, service marks, trademarks, or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Website Compass magazine is an independent magazine and is not affiliated with, nor has it been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation, Google, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. All screen shots are the property of their respective owners. ADVERTISERS – To obtain advertising information, contact: Cornerstone Publishing Group, Inc. 4815 Caravelle Drive Fort Collins, CO 80526 970-818-5012 INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS – To obtain additional information about distribution of Website Compass magazine to your internet subscribers and a free customized online version of Website Compass, contact: Shane Petersen Cornerstone Publishing Group, Inc. 4815 Caravelle Drive Fort Collins, CO 80526 970-818-5012 email@example.com Cornerstone Publishing Group, Inc. (the Author and Publisher) as well as any participating Internet Service Provider Partners hereby disclaim all warranties relating to Website Compass magazine or its website, whether expressed or implied, including without limitation any implied warrantied of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Although the Author and its ISP Partners believe the information provided is accurate, neither party claims responsibility for any damage or loss of data to a user’s computer caused by utilizing this information. The Author and its ISP Partners will not be liable for any special, incidental, consequential, indirect, or similar damages due to loss of data or any other reason when utilizing information/tutorials from Website Compass magazine or its websites. In no event shall the Author or ISP Partner be liable for any damages, regardless of the form of the claim. The person using the information contained in Website Compass magazine bears all risk as to the use of the information provided. Cornerstone Group is not responsible for the quality, performance, or reliability of third-party tools or software. 2 10 16 13 FEATURE STORY 2 Let’s Talk About TED Talks Brief, inspired presentations put this website on the virtual map INTERNET CONNECTIONS 8 Exploring the Future of the Internet Expect fewer keyboards and more augmented reality glasses SOCIAL MEDIA BASICS 10 What’s the Deal with WhatsApp? This texting alternative can change the way you communicate BACK TO BASICS 13 10+Ways to Reduce Online Tracking How to deal with the funny feeling you’re being followed BEYOND THE BASICS 16 Invite Technology to the Party Be the host with the most whenever you entertain FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 18 Ask Dr. Webbie Answers to your internet questions A TO Z 19 Internet Glossary Words and definitions Tutorials in This Issue 12 How to Download and Set Up WhatsApp 12 How to Communicate on WhatsApp
LET’S TALK ABOUT TED TALKS Brief, inspired presentations put this website on the virtual map The conference became an annual event a few years later and has since blossomed into a viral phenomenon that features thousands of videos of live presentations at TED.com. The popularity of TED talks is due to a unique configuration of passionate experts making brief, simple-to-understand presentations about topics for a broad audience. Their appeal is evident in how much the talks are shared on social media and in places where education and training take place, such as schools and businesses. In the following pages, we elaborate on what TED talks are and why they’re so effective, and recommend specific videos you might want to watch as well as ways to find talks of interest on your own. Because the subject matter of TED talks is so diverse, there’s something for everyone on any day of the week. You’ll find options ranging from the big bang to Brazil, from happiness to humor, and from parenting to plastic. If you really enjoy TED, be sure to check out the section about TEDx events, which are local versions of the larger conference that you can organize or participate in. Meanwhile, it’s time to sit back, relax, and get to know TED. TED — an abbreviation for technology, entertainment, and design — is an organization formed in 1984 as a one-off conference featuring speakers on those three topics. 2 WebsiteCompass QUICK TIP: Check out the timely TED talk called How the JamesWebbSpaceTelescopewill unfold theuniverse.
WebsiteCompass 3 According to its website, TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. Its audience is anyone with an interest and an internet connection. Learn About the Organization That Teaches Us All History of TED The first annual TED event was held in 1990. As the conferences grew in popularity, celebrities began to participate, including Nobel Prize winners, actors, and business leaders. Until 2006, the events remained limited to invited speakers and audience members who could afford the expensive tickets. But organizers wanted this information to be accessible to everyone, so they started posting talks online. The website now includes thousands of talks in more than 100 languages, with more than one billion views. On a Mission TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. Its mission statement includes this: “We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. On TED.com, we’re building a clearinghouse of free knowledge from the world’s most inspired thinkers —and a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other, both online and at TED and TEDx events around the world, all year long.” The organization has expanded beyond the conferences to include the Audacious Project, which amplifies the ideas of changemakers; TEDx events, which are smaller, local TED conferences; and the TED-Ed lesson series, which supports classroom learning. TED Topics The list of TED topics is long and highly varied (see TED.com/topics). Its scope has widened from the original categories of technology, education, and design to also include other areas. Here’s an overview with examples of topics to give you an idea of what’s available: • Technology – artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and robots • Sciences – astronomy, chemistry, and geology • Health conditions – autism, blindness, and cancer • Social issues – bullying, homelessness, and online privacy • Environmental concerns – climate change and pollution • Arts – dance, fashion, and poetry Most Popular Talks At TED.com/playlists/171/the_most_popular_talks_of_all, you can find a list of the 25 most popular talks of all time. Topics include body language, motivation, what makes a good life, how great leaders inspire action, and how to spot a liar. What Makes TED Talks So Effective? TED talks stand out for being both easy to understand and impactful, which is why they’re frequently viewed and shared. What are the secrets to their effectiveness? Passionate speakers. While TED speakers may gain recognition for themselves, their organizations, and their work, that’s not why they do it. They’re truly passionate about the topics they present and want to share their knowledge with as many people as possible. Plenty of preparation. Many TED talks may seemsimple and even spontaneous, but a lot of preparation goes into them. The speeches are written, memorized, and practiced well in advance. High-quality visuals. TED talks feature photos, videos, charts, physical props, and body language to help get their points across. Short length. Most TED talks are less then 18 minutes, which forces speakers to stay on topic and present only the most important information.
4 WebsiteCompass No Time for Self-Help Books? Watch TED Instead! TED talks are typically delivered by one person in a presenter-to-audience format, and they’re designed to help jump-start personal progress for people, one by one. With TED talks, you don’t have to spend hours reading a book about improving your life. Just a few minutes with TED can be a game-changer. Here are a few key reasons to watch these videos. Learning TED talks are brief and easy to understand, which means you can easily learn about something new, even during busy days. Examples include innovations or situations you hear about in the news, things like friendship that can make your life better, and hobbies like gardening or photography. You can also find TED talks on many topics traditionally taught in school, such as government, history, math, and biology. Inspiration Some TED talks may inspire you to do further research, change your habits, or get involved in a cause. For example, a talk about travel might move you to take a trip. One about veganism might encourage you to give up eating animal products. One about poverty might lead you to volunteer for an aid agency. Success Many TED talks are about things that can help you succeed at school, in business, or at maintaining physical and mental health. They include topics like work-life balance, the reasons startups succeed, steps to boost financial health, and how to have a good night’s sleep. Entertainment While most TED talks are meant to be primarily educational, many of them are entertaining as well. Part of the reason is the quality of the speakers, who are frequently as witty as they are smart. For example, comedian Gina Brillon’s talk, When people are “suspiciously kind,” is both enlightening and amusing. TED Talks to Make You Laugh Sure, you can turn to funny TV shows, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and live comedy for laughs. But it never hurts to have one more source for a good giggle. Check out these popular TED talks when you want a laugh, and search for more fun options at TED.com. • Inside the mind of a master procrastinator by Tim Urban, creator and owner of the WaitButWhy (waitbutwhy.com) blog – He encourages viewers to take a hard look at their procrastination and think about it in a new way. • I got 99 problems…palsy is just one by Maysoon Zayid, actress, comedian, and disability advocate (maysoon.com) – She uses humor to share a lifelong journey with cerebral palsy. • Comics that ask “what if?” by Randall Munroe, engineer, author, and cartoonist (xkcd.com) – He humorously provides answers to interesting what-if questions. • The happy secret to better work by Shawn Achor, happiness consultant (goodthinkinc.com) – He entertainingly discusses methods for creating greater happiness at work. QUICK TIP: For a small fee, you can join TED to access member exclusives and support the TED mission. Feature Story
WebsiteCompass 5 TED makes it easy to find talks you may be interested in watching. When you go to TED.com, two of the menu items are Watch and Discover, which include links to areas to help you locate what you’re looking for or perhaps consider a topic you hadn’t thought of before. How to Find TED Talks That Speak to You TED Talks. Use your own search terms and filter by topics, languages, and duration, or sort by newest, relevance, or most viewed. TED Recommends. Identify topics you’re interested in, watch and rate videos, and TED will email you more like them. Playlists. Want to take a deep dive into your favorite subject? This section offers lists of talks on the same topic. TED Series. TED series offer multiple talks on the same subject, such as money or work, from the same expert. TED-Ed Videos. These videos from the TED-Ed Project offer short lessons aimed at educators and students. TEDx Talks. These videos highlight talks given at TEDx events, which are local TED conferences. Topics are just as varied as in regular TED talks. Topics. Looking for a very specific subject? You’re likely to find it on this page, which lists all TED topics from A to Z. Podcasts. The TED Audio Collective is a collection of podcasts for listeners who want to get immersed in exciting ideas. Ideas Blog. Think TED-style ideas in a blog format. You’ll find posts in the areas of technology, business, arts and design, science, and humans. Newsletter. Sign up to get personalized TED recommendations or to learn what’s new at TED. QUICK TIP: TED offers four-week courses on topics like taking a life-changing journey and reimagining your career. Explore theWorld of Talks Beyond TED Can’t get enough of TED? You may also want to check out these websites that feature TED-style videos. Talks at Google (talksat.withgoogle.com) It’s no surprise, given Google’s multifaceted collection of products, that it offers expert-presented videos on a wide range of topics. Big Think (bigthink.com/videos) This website regularly reaches out to a network of 2,000 experts to ask them about important ideas in their fields. Ideacity (ideacity.ca) Ideacity is Canada’s version of TED. TheMoth (themoth.org) A bit of a twist on TED-style talks, The Moth features true stories focusing on human experience and connection. 99U (99u.adobe.com) This valuable collection includes talks on topics ranging from creativity to careers. Ignite (ignitetalks.io) Like TED talks, Ignite presentations follow their own specific format: 5 minutes and 20 slides that advance every 15 seconds.
6 WebsiteCompass Feature Story Enhanced ClassroomLearning Through TEDucation TED talks cover so many topics that educators can easily find ones to help their students understand a wide variety of classroom subjects. Here’s a list of some of the A+ opportunities out there. Science TED talks cover numerous scientific areas, including the environment, health, and the way the brain works. • How playing an instrument benefits your brain • The benefits of a good night’s sleep • The simple power of hand-washing • What really happens to the plastic you throw away? • Are we running out of clean water? History Many TED talks are a useful addition to history classrooms because they help put historical events into perspective. • Why I love a country that once betrayed me • The history of our world in 18 minutes • The rise and fall of history’s first empire • Black history is American history • Why every world map is wrong Creativity Some TED talks cover the arts and creativity, including specific artists, how various artistic areas have evolved, and the process of creativity. • Who was the world’s first author? • How to see more and care less: The art of Georgia O’Keeffe • The magic ingredient that brings Pixar movies to life • In the Internet age, dance evolves • How boredom can lead to your most brilliant ideas Culture Another TED talk subtopic is culture and society, which encompasses a variety of ideas about how humans live together. • Why is it so hard to escape poverty? • Why videos go viral • What makes a hero? • How to start a movement • A guide to collaborative leadership TED Talks by Talented Teens Young people can not only benefit from watching TED talks, they can present themaswell. You’ll be impressed by these talks with thought-provoking insights from those wise beyond their years. Yup, I built a nuclear fusion reactor 17-year-old Taylor Wilson discusses his experience building a nuclear fusion reactor and his work as a young nuclear physicist. An 11-year-old’s magical violin 11-year-old Sirena Huang gives an amazing performance on her violin and shares her thoughts on its design. How I harnessed the wind 22-year-old Malawian William Kamkwamba explains how, at age 14, hebuilt a windmill to power his family’s home. Award-winning teenage science in action Lauren Hodge, Shree Bose, and Naomi Shah describe the exceptional projects that brought them the top prizes at the 2011 Google Science Fair. A teen just trying to figure it out 15-year-old Tavi Gevinson offers her insight on what makes strong female role models and talks about the blog she started to help teenage girls find them. QUICKTIP: Subscribe to theTEDYouTube channel to keep track of all the latest talks.
WebsiteCompass 7 Folks entering their retirement years have a lot of questions. How much money do I need to save? What will my life be like once I stop working? How do I maintain physical and mental health? TED experts have answers to these questions and more. Plan Your Retirement With TED Talks for the 50+ Crowd The battle between your present and future self In this TED talk, behavioral economist and decision-making expert Daniel Goldstein says you can make better decisions now by making friends with your future self. 3 ways to plan for the (very) long term Here futurist Ari Wallach recommends planning not just for 10 to 20 years out, but for 30 to 50 years into the future. That includes not just your own life, but the legacy you’ll leave for your loved ones. The surprising science of happiness In this talk, Dan Gilbert, author of the book Stumbling on Happiness, describes how we can continue to feel happy when things in our lives don’t go as planned. Life’s third act Jane Fonda, noted actress and activist, acknowledges that life expectancy is much longer than it used to be and offers wisdom about how to re-imagine the final third of our lives. How to live to be 100+ This TED talk features author Dan Buettner, who shares lifestyle tips— including being physically active, eating a plant-based diet, and having purpose —for living a longer life. There’s no shame in taking care of your mental health Entrepreneur Sangu Delle talks about his experience with depression, the stigma around mental health in our society, and how to overcome it. TEDx Localizes Learning A TEDx event brings together local speakers to share their expertise on a variety of topics. These events have some features in common with TED events. First, they follow the TED format of brief, carefully prepared talks, demonstrations, or performances that revolve around a single idea. The talks are meant to be free of commercial, religious, or political agendas and to inspire meaningful conversations. Anyone can plan a TEDx event for their community, school, company, or organization. If you want to do so, first determine the type of event and give it an inviting name. You’ll also need to secure a TEDx license through TED. The next steps include selecting a venue and recruiting a team to help with organizing. Look for speakers who have something of value to share, then promote and present your event. Finally, be sure to photograph and video your speakers so others can learn from their expertise for years to come. Learnmore at TED.com/participate/ organize-a-local-tedx-event/beforeyou-start/tedx-rules.
8 WebsiteCompass Internet Connections In the 50+ years since, the internet has grown exponentially. It’s gone from linking a handful of computers to connecting billions of users around the globe. The internet has also revolutionized how we research, learn, communicate, work, shop, bank, entertain ourselves, receive health care, and much more. What will the internet look like in another 50 years? A More Virtual World Futurologists believe we’ll be living in an increasingly virtual world. Our digital presence will not be separate from the physical world but ingrained in it. Virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) will pave the way for a more streamlined online experience. In the beginning, keyboard-based devices were the primary way of communicating with a computer and accessing the internet. Today, natural-language virtual assistants, such as Alexa and Siri, are becoming the norm and more people are using conversational methods to communicate with their devices. The next evolution will be using augmented reality to access information. Judith Donath, a researcher for the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University and author of The Social Machine: Designs for Living Online, said, “Within only the next quarter century, the way we now search or use the internet will be considered archaically clunky. Information will be displayed, floating in the air ... the web will appear in the real world, not just on glass screens. Gone will be keyboards, the mouse, and screens.” Activating a Digital Overlay Due to developments in the field of brain-computer interface technology, we should be able to send information and commands through mere brain signals by 2040. Taking that a step further, it’s expected that by 2050, nanobots (robots Exploring the Future of the Internet Expect fewer keyboards and more augmented reality glasses As technologies go, the internet is still a child. It was born on October 29, 1969, when “Lo” was sent from a room at UCLA to a Stanford Research Institute computer console—the world’s first message transmitted via an interconnected computer network. (It was supposed to say “Login,” but the system crashed before completing the task.)
WebsiteCompass 9 that are microscopic in nature) may be plugged directly into the brain for full-immersion virtual reality, and there could be eye implants allowing us to see the digital world without the need for a display. If you’re not crazy about the idea of adding objects to your brain or eyes, “future you” will have the non-invasive option of augmented reality glasses with display capabilities. Looking through augmented reality glasses will activate a digital overlay with information about your surroundings—the type of information that you now do a Google search for on your phone. For example, you could use this capability to find a nearby place to eat or look up a store owner’s contact information. But the possibilities don’t stop there. These glasses could enable you to swap out the view so you could see what your surroundings looked like in the past. Imagine walking through Rome, and after giving a simple command, being able to view it the way it was during Julius Caesar’s time. Internet Everywhere Leonard Kleinrock, the UCLA professor who networked the first computers in the early packet-switching network, had this to say about the internet’s future: “I predict that the internet will evolve into a pervasive global nervous system. The internet will be everywhere, available on a continuous basis, and will be invisible in the sense that it will disappear into the infrastructure, just as electricity is, in many ways, invisible. The Internet of Things will be an embedded world of the Internet of Invisible Things. We will be able to interact with its capabilities via human-friendly interfaces such as speech, gestures, haptics, holograms, displays, and so on.” While these internet predictions may seem like science fiction to us now, monumental progress in technology has already taken place compared to our grandparents’ lifetimes. Prepare for an adventure ahead! Reasons for Hope, Reasons for Worry Several years ago, Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center asked hundreds of technology experts how individuals’ lives might be affected by the evolution of the internet in the next five decades. Their hopeful predictions included: • Internet-enabled technology will help people live longer and healthier lives. Scientific advances will continue to blur the line between human and machine. • Artificial intelligence (AI) tools will take over repetitive, unsafe, and physically taxing labor, leaving humans with more time for leisure. • A fully networked world will enhance opportunities for global collaboration, cooperation, and community development—unhindered by distance, language, or time. • Expanded internet access could potentially reduce inequality and empower individuals. Their worrisome predictions included: • The divide between haves and havenots will grow as a privileged few hoard the economic, health, and educational benefits of digital expansion. • The hyperconnected future will be populated by isolated users who will struggle to form and maintain human relationships. • Personal privacy will be an archaic, outdated concept, as humans willingly trade discretion for improved health care, entertainment opportunities, and promises of security. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future of the internet?
10 WebsiteCompass Social Media Basics Launched in 2009, WhatsApp is the most popular social messaging app, far ahead of Facebook Messenger. In the following sections, we take a closer look at WhatsApp, including what it does, who should use it, the pros and cons, and how to get started. WhatsApp Basics WhatsApp can be used to send text messages, images, documents, other media files, and location information. It can also be used to make voice and video calls. The app can be installed on computers, tablets, and mobile phones that use all the major operating systems (OS). Consider using WhatsApp if you need a free, reliable, cross-OS messaging app that features modern functionality. For example, like Snapchat and Instagram, WhatsApp supports stories so you can share your status with contacts. WhatsApp is especially useful for securely communicating with friends or family in other countries, or in situations where you don’t have access to your mobile carrier but do have access to Wi-Fi, such as when traveling. WhatsApp Benefits WhatsApp has many helpful features. Here are just a few to give you an idea of the app’s capabilities. It’s worthwhile to research the others. Budget friendly. One of the primary benefits of WhatsApp is that you can use it to send messages or make voice or video calls to anyone in the world with an internet connection—all at no charge. Free of ads. WhatsApp doesn’t use ads in its interface. Secure. All conversations on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted, meaning only the sender and receiver can access them. Additionally, WhatsApp doesn’t store your messages. Easy to use. The app is easy to learn and use by anyone familiar with conventional social media functionality. Convenient. WhatsApp can import all the contacts on your device and let you know who else is using it. What’s the Deal withWhatsApp? This texting alternative can change the way you communicate Because social media apps like Facebook and Twitter get a lot of attention, you may not realize that WhatsApp is highly popular as well. In fact, it has the third-highest number of monthly active users, trailing behind only Facebook and YouTube.
WebsiteCompass 11 WhatsApp Disadvantages While the benefits of WhatsApp are significant, there are some downsides, too. Susceptible to hacking. In 2019 Whats- App was used by hackers to infect phones with spyware. Not entirely private. To communicate with someone on WhatsApp, you must give them your phone number. Additionally, messages can be seen by anyone with access to your device. Owned by Facebook. A recent scandal revealed that WhatsApp was sharing some of its data (though not actual messages) with its parent company, Facebook, now known as Meta. Storage intensive. Unless you adjust your settings differently, WhatsApp downloads all files, including large ones such as videos, that you receive. Limited. You may be unable to do some things in WhatsApp that you can do in text. For example, you can’t edit contacts’ names (such as changing “Judy Smith” to “Mom”) or send very large files. WhatsApp Versus Texting A recent Fast Company article points out that you don’t expect your mail to arrive already opened or your delivery boxes to be open when you pick them up off your doorstep. “So why don’t Americans feel any different about the 5.5 billion unencrypted SMS text messages they send every single day?” Encryption means only the sender and receiver of a message can see it. While standard text messages are not encrypted, WhatsApp communications are, which is one of the reasons for its popularity. Other differences include the following: Texting WhatsApp • Uses carriers and cellular networks • Requires an internet connection • No need to download an app • Must download WhatsApp app • Used nearly universally • Not everyone uses • Character limits per message • No limits on message length • Lacks many modern messaging features • Has many modern messaging features Source: fastcompany.com/90716713/whatsapp-wants-americans-to-know-strangers-could-be-reading-your-sms-texts What Else You’ll Like About WhatsApp Here are additional WhatsApp features that can come in handy: • Location sharing. You can share your location with friends and family to show them exactly where you are when en route. This feature is helpful for safety purposes and also for gettogether planning. • Starred messages. Keep track of your most important conversations by starring them, making them easily findable. • GIF support. WhatsApp supports GIFs in addition to photos and videos. • Broadcast messaging. Use this function to send a message to multiple contacts at once. This feature is useful for group invitations. • Delivery confirmation. WhatsApp shows you when a message has been delivered and whether or not it has been read. With all these features and no ads, you may be wondering how WhatsApp makes money. One way is through WhatsApp Pay, a fee-based moneysending feature similar to PayPal. FAST FACT: WhatsApp includes an Unsend feature so you can retract a message if you send it to the wrong person.
Back to Basics 14 WebsiteCompass 4. Change your internet-connected TV privacy settings. As you go through your devices to make them more trackingresistant, don’t forget about your household’s TVs, which track information about what you watch. Many smart TVs and streaming devices include privacy settings that enable you to control this tracking. To find out how to adjust the settings on your specific TV, do an online search for the name of your device plus the words “privacy settings.” 5. Opt out of targeted advertising. Targeted advertising involves gathering information about you personally to send you ads for things you are likely to be interested in. Some people like this approach, while others find it intrusive. If you don’t like it, you can opt out of targeted advertising on each browser you use on every device. Remember to opt out of targeted advertising on social media platforms as well. Visit youradchoices. com/control and optout.networkadvertising.org for more information about opting out and the tools for doing it. 6. Opt out of sites that sell your personal information. Data brokers are services that accumulate personal information about you from various online sources. They then sell that information to other services that use it to verify your identity, detect fraud, make decisions about your eligibility for credit, and market products to you. Some of these purposes aren’t necessarily bad (for example, you can be preapproved for a credit card). But, if you don’t like them, you can opt out using the tools at optoutprescreen.com. 7. Use an ad blocker. Another way to help keep ads from following you around your online world—or at least a way to keep from seeing them—is to use an ad blocker. Some of these ad blockers, such as the Chrome extension Adblock Plus, work very well and keep you from seeing most ads. Note that when you use an ad blocker, it might not block 100% of ads, and certain sites might ask you to unblock ads on their site in order to view their content. QUICK TIP: Tracker blockers like Privacy Badger (privacybadger.org) stop internet trackers from gathering information about you.
WebsiteCompass 15 How to Improve Privacy on Facebook One of the best ways to maintain online privacy is to stay off of social media. These companies are built to collect information about you and share it with advertisers. That’s how they make money. But, given the benefits of social media for many people, the nextbest option is to ensure your settings are adjusted to maintain as much privacy as possible, especially on Facebook. Here are a few tips. • T o control what sites share information with Facebook, turn off the Off-Facebook Activity setting. To access it, go to Settings & Privacy > Settings > Your Facebook information > OffFacebook Activity. From there you can manage your activity and clear the history. • U se the Ad Settings to control which ads you see on Facebook. Go to Settings & Privacy > Settings > Ads > Ad Settings. • D isable location services. The method will differ depending on which device you’re using. • D isable third-party app tracking from your desktop by accessing Settings & Privacy > Settings > Apps and Websites. • S top using Facebook Like and Share buttons on other websites. They are just one more way for Facebook to track you. Look for similar settings in your other social media apps as well. 8. Browse in incognito mode. Incognito mode is a private browsing option within your browser. It disables temporary data from being captured by the device you’re using, including cookies, browsing history, and information entered on forms. Each browser has its own version of incognito mode. In Chrome it’s called Incognito Mode, in Edge it’s InPrivate, in Firefox it’s Private Browsing, and in Safari it’s Private. Be aware that incognito mode isn’t foolproof. Websites can still collect data and entities like your internet service provider (ISP) can still see your IP address (a number that identifies your computer). 9. Use a VPN. If you want privacy at a level beyond what’s provided by incognito mode, consider using a virtual private network (VPN). This technology helps you secure private data like passwords, bank details, and credit card information. It masks your IP address, so your online actions are essentially invisible. It’s especially important when you use public Wi-Fi. Your home connection should be more secure, but you can use a VPN if you want to hide your online activities from your ISP. 10. Use a private search engine. Google is so ubiquitous as a search engine that you might not even realize there are others out there. One is DuckDuckGo (duckduckgo.com). It offers a private search solution that doesn’t track your search history as well as a browser, so all your online activity can be more private. The company also has a mobile app and browser extension so you can stay private no matter which device you use. QUICK TIP: When you enter websites and they ask if you want to allow cookies, it’s perfectly fine to answer “no.”
16 WebsiteCompass Dazzle with Digital Invitations Paper invitations have definite downsides —like the hassle of rounding up street addresses for your guests, the expense of postage stamps, and the time required to address the envelopes. On the other end of the spectrum, you could just send a simple text or email to invite your guests. While those options convey the essential information, they leave something to be desired in terms of building excitement for your party. Luckily, there’s a better way. Digital invitations are easy to order and use, will save you time, and offer these advantages: • Pick from huge selections of design templates. • Animation and background music are possibilities. • Free and low-cost choices help keep party costs down. • It’s simple to track RSVPs. There are a growing number of digital invitation websites out there. Some popular ones to consider are Evite, Paperless Post, Punchbowl, Greenvelope, and Purpletrail. Get Help in the Kitchen Looking for ideas on what to serve at your party? You’ll find plenty of food for thought online, whether you visit cooking websites such as Allrecipes, Food Network, Taste of Home, and Delish or watch recipe videos on YouTube or Pinterest. Invite Technology to the Party Be the host with the most whenever you entertain Parties are meant to be fun for your guests (and for you). So, if entertaining has stressed you out in the past, let today’s smart devices and online resources make the preparations more manageable and the party more memorable. Beyond the Basics
WebsiteCompass 17 Once you’ve chosen the menu, you may be able to shop online for groceries and have your order delivered to your front door. If cooking isn’t your thing or you’re short on time, explore the websites of local delis and grocery stores to check out their sandwich trays, desserts, and other party-ready treats. Set the Stage for Drama Technology can help you create a special occasion ambiance in your home. One of the most impactful things to adjust is the lighting, which goes a long way to create the desired mood for your party. For example, you can place smart LED panel lights on walls to add brightness and your choice of colors, and manage them with a remote or smartphone app. Every party needs a playlist, and once again, technology makes it easy to hit the right note. Turn to online resources such as Spotify and Pandora to find a collection of music that fits your music preferences, enhances the atmosphere, and adds energy to the gathering. Play the music on a smart speaker so you can easily adjust the volume with your voice, depending on the number of guests or other factors. Another way to take your party space to the next level is to display a video or slideshow of photos for guests to watch. Let’s say you’re celebrating your parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. You could digitize old family photos, add background music, and display them on a large computer monitor or TV screen. Don’t want to tackle putting a photo presentation together on your own? There are companies out there that specialize in these types of projects. It can be well worth the investment to share treasured memories and preserve them for years to come. One last thing: If you have an Amazon Echo smart speaker, Alexa can be the life of the party. Alexa can call the numbers for Bingo or lead a group of up to 20 in the “True or False?” trivia game. You can also say “Alexa, tell me a joke” to get the last of your guests laughing as they head for the door. Tech the Halls for Holiday Parties Smart home devices can reduce the stress of the holiday season by simplifying decorating and entertaining. Festive Lighting Your smart speaker—whether enabled by Alexa, Google, or Siri—can manage your Christmas lights. For example, you can say things like, “Alexa, set a timer for the outside lights” or “OK, Google, turn on the Christmas tree lights and set the colors to red and green.” You can also swap out your regular light bulbs in lamps and ceiling fixtures with smart bulbs. They offer color-changing capabilities to create a more festive mood. Smart Christmas Trees Christmas trees have branched out and joined the Internet of Things. Depending on the brand, you can use your voice (in conjunction with a smart speaker or app) to select the color, turn the tree lights on and off, and more. Connect with Santa This idea will be a hit during holiday parties that include children. With Alexa-powered Amazon speakers and displays, you can say, “Alexa, open Call Santa Claus,” and Alexa will connect you to Santa and some of his friends at the North Pole. You can also ask, “Alexa, where is Santa?” to hear his current location. QUICK TIP: Check your cable TV listings for a fireplace channel—it may even be a temporary one for this time of year—to add “warmth” to the room.
18 WebsiteCompass FAQs Dr. Webbie Answers your frequently asked questions QUESTION: How do spammers get my email address? ANSWER: There’s no single way for spammers to get your email address. Here are some of the most common methods: Email Harvesting Spammers use email harvesting software to collect email addresses from websites. Dictionary Programs These programs generate alphanumeric combinations of email addresses in sequence. While many of the results are incorrect —not valid addresses—these programs can create hundreds of thousands of addresses per hour, guaranteeing that at least some of them will work. Dishonest Newsletter Services Dishonest newsletter services will sell your email address for a commission. A common tactic is to blast millions of people with a false “you have joined a newsletter” email. When users click on the Unsubscribe link, they confirm that a real person exists at their email address. CC vs BCC Email Spammers can obtain your email address when someone uses Cc (carbon copy) instead of Bcc (blind carbon copy) when addressing an email message to a large group of people. Anyone receiving the email can view all the recipients’ email addresses, and the email can be forwarded repeatedly, which potentially exposes people to spammers. Phishing Spammers may pose as banks, financial institutions, government agencies, or companies you do business with to trick you into providing your email address. Giveaways and Sweepstakes Think twice before entering sweepstakes and giveaways. Some companies sell the information you provide to generate income, and spammers could buy it. Data Breaches Once a hacker gains access to a company’s database, they can gather not only email addresses but all kinds of other information such as your name, home address, phone number, Social Security number, and financial account numbers. QUESTION: What can I do to make online shopping safer? ANSWER: Online shopping is incredibly convenient, but to avoid being ripped off by cybercriminals, you need to take precautions. Choose sites carefully. Shop on sites you know and trust. If you’re wary of a new site, perform your due diligence by checking with the Better Business Bureau and reading retailer reviews on Yelp and Google. Look for “https” in the URL. Never buy anything online from a site that doesn’t have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed. You’ll know if the site has SSL because its URL will start with “https” instead of just “http” and an icon of a locked padlock will appear. Provide as little personal data as possible. No online retailer needs your Social Security number or your birthday to do business. However, if cybercriminals get them and your credit card number, they can do a lot of damage. Pay by credit card, not debit card. When you buy online with a credit card, the Fair Credit Billing Act ensures that if you get scammed, you’re only responsible for up to $50 of credit card charges you didn’t authorize. However, if your debit card is compromised, scammers could gain direct access to your bank funds.