Our devices are packed with settings that keep us safe. You just need to know which one to adjust. Tap or click to check Windows and Mac security settings now.
The same goes for the software and apps we use day in and day out. Google Chrome is safe, but you can make it even more secure. Tap or click for five steps you can take.
Default settings are often much better for the company behind it than for you. Grab your phone and computer and take a few minutes to improve your digital life.
1. Apple, stop tracking my location
Apple keeps track of where you go and how often you stop by. It can then make suggestions based on what it calls Significant Locations. You may see these as calendar events or directions alerts on the map.
Sure, it’s convenient, but not everyone likes it. You can clear this list.
On your iPhone, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services. Tap Significant Locations. Press the Clear History button.
Using a Mac? Here’s how to find all the passwords hidden on your computer.
2. Alexa, don’t read my mind
The Amazon Echo monitors and learns your behavior based on requests you make through the Hunches feature. Here’s an example. You say, “Alexa, good night,” and your smart speaker says, “You left the kitchen light on. Do you want me to turn it off?”
If you don’t like it, there is an easy solution. Just say, “Alexa, take out Hunches,” and you’re good to go.
You can disable Hunches through the app if you are not around your Alexa.
Open the Amazon Alexa app > tap More at the bottom of the screen to open the menu. Tap Settings, scroll down and select Hunches. Use the switch to disable Hunches.
Tech drives us all up the wall every now and then. Here are four more annoying Alexa settings to change.
3. Google, don’t follow everywhere I go
If you use Google Maps, you know that Google sees where you are going. In addition, Google may save where you go even if you don’t use a specific Google service. You don’t have to leave that information hanging around forever.
Sign in to your Google account. Click on your profile picture and then Manage your Google account or go to your Google account page. On the left, click Data & Privacy. Under History Settings, click Location History. You can turn this off.
Disabling this will stop future tracking but keep a copy of your history.
To completely delete your location history data, click the Automatically delete option. You can choose to automatically delete data older than three months, older than 18 months or older than 36 months. You can still manually delete something for that.
Speaking of Google, this hidden map on your phone shows where you’ve been and the photos you’ve taken there.
4. Apple, stop pestering me for reviews
Whether you love or hate an app, you can rate and rate it, but there should be no pressure or obligation. In-app review prompts are annoying, period.
To disable these:
On your iPhone, go to Settings > App Store. Disable ratings and reviews in the app.5. Samsung, I say goodbye to Bixby
If you have a Samsung phone, you can also access Bixby. This virtual assistant is not as popular as Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri.
The bad news is that you can’t completely remove Bixby, but you can disable it and remap the Bixby side button on your phone to do something else, like launch the camera app. Here’s how:
6. Windows, stop showing ads
Microsoft places ads and suggested apps in the Start menu. There are plenty of ads online without even seeing them on your Start menu.
You can disable them as follows:
Go to the Start menu and open Settings. Choose Personalization. Select Home in the left pane. Turn off Show suggestions occasionally in Start.
Continue: 10 Default Windows Settings You Should Change
7. Android, I don’t want to share everything I do
Usage and diagnostics are one of Big Tech’s smart ways to get your hands on everything you do. Everything is thought of, from the apps you use to your battery life.
You do not need to send all this personal information. Unsubscribing is easy. Follow these steps to disable Usage and Diagnostics on your Android:
Open Settings. Tap Privacy > Usage & Diagnostics. Turn off the switch.
Privacy matters. Take a few minutes to adjust these settings on your Android.
Keep your technical knowledge going
My popular podcast is called ‘Kim Komando Today’. It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips and callers with tech questions like you from around the country. Look for it wherever you get your podcasts from. For your convenience, click the link below for a recent episode.
PODCAST CHOICE: Secret iPhone Keyboard, Audacity Update, 5 Mistakes That Ruin Technology
In this fun episode, Google Fiber’s 100 Gbps download speed, Starlink slows down, Audacity update, secret iPhone keyboard and 5 ways you’re ruining your expensive phone, laptop, tablet and TV. Plus, you’ll be using this eBay pro tip over and over again.
Watch my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcast player.
Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts from. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”
What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.
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Learn about the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim answers phone calls and provides advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. Visit her website at Komando.com for her daily tips, free newsletters and more.