Trending February 2024 # Use Clueful To Learn Your Privacy Risk On Android # Suggested March 2024 # Top 7 Popular

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Do you know what your Android apps have permission to do? Many Android users skip through what permissions an app needs in order to start using it as quickly as possible. However, apps can be harmful to your phone and can take hold of your personal information if these permissions get out of hand. Bitdefender’s Clueful is a powerful app that helps you learn your privacy risk, identifying Android apps that can potentially abuse your privacy.

Clueful can be downloaded to your Android device through the Google Play Store.

This free app is updated frequently by Bitdefender as it gathers more information on apps.

Monitoring app permissions with Clueful

The first time you start Clueful, it will scan all your apps to give you an overall Privacy Score.

This score ranges from 1 to 100 and can be an indicator of the privacy risk on your device.

All apps are classified as High Risk (red), Moderate Risk (orange) or Low Risk (green) apps.

You can go through each risk factor and determine whether or not it’s worth having that app on your phone or tablet.

Clueful will even give you a breakdown of why the app could be a potential risk. You can see things such as what it links to, where it sends your location data and even the IP address where it sends your Device ID. Clueful will also give you the opportunity to “Dislike” the app or “Uninstall” it.

Clueful will not evaluate every app.

You will see a note at the top of the app if that’s the case. Clueful will give you suggestions on this type of app based on its permissions listed in the Google Play Store.

When you view an app that Clueful deems low risk or safe, you’ll still be given a brief rundown of what permissions it uses.

Clueful will let you “Like” the app to let others know it’s free of privacy concerns.

This can be a quick way to eliminate apps that may be problematic for you.

Any time you update an app on your Android device, Clueful will re-analyze it to give you the most up-to-date recommendation on whether or not it’s safe.

If permissions have changed and Clueful believes an app now invades your privacy, it will alert you in the Notifications Bar.

Conclusion

Melissa Popp

Melissa Popp has been a freelance writer for over a decade. While she primarily has focused on writing about technology, she’s also written about everything from custom mailboxes to health care to just about anything in between. Melissa is the Content Strategist for chúng tôi the nation’s leading marketplace for trailers for sale, the Social Media Manager for the best roofing Denver company as well as a Writer here at MakeTechEasier. She’s a proud support of the Denver SEO community and a big fan of online radio.

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How To Use Swiftkey Keyboard On Android

How To Use SwiftKey Keyboard On Android

SwiftKey’s feature set includes the following:

SwiftKey Flow allows you to write by gliding your finger on the keyboard. This is also referred to as “swiping.”

SwiftKey allows you to change the layout of the keyboard from a full-sized keyboard to either a thumb keyboard or a compact keyboard.

Cloud integration for better prediction. (it uses your sent Gmail to learn your “style” of writing)

SwiftKey for Android comes with 18 free themes.

SwiftKey allows you to undock the keyboard and place it anywhere else on your screen.

SwiftKey allows you to easily make changes to the keyboard without having to open the SwiftKey app

.

How to use SwiftKey on Android Phone:

Open the Google Play Store on your Android phone and search for SwiftKey app

Download and Install the SwiftKey app to your Android Phone.

Now, open the SwiftKey app and tap on Enable SwiftKey.

Next, tap on the Slider next to SwiftKey keyboard.

Now, a pop-up will come which will inform you that SwiftKey will be able to collect all the text that you enter on your phone. Tap on OK.

Tap on Select SwiftKey and from the pop-up select SwiftKey Keyboard.

Now, tap on Get Better Predictions and finish setup by following the on-screen instructions.

Now, SwiftKey Keyboard has been enabled on your device, you can try some of its features by following the steps below.

Enable Letters and Numbers on the Same Keyboard:

In Android Keyboard by default letters and numbers are on separate keyboards. SwiftKey allows you to have both letters and numbers on the same keyboard.

Tap on the 3-line icon, located near the top left corner of the keyboard.

Next tap on Keys on the SwiftKey menu that appears.

Now, enable ON the Checkbox beside the Number Row option to show both number rows and the letters on the same keyboard.

Change SwiftKey Keyboard Layout to Thumb or Compact:

The process of changing the keyboard from full layout to either thumb or compact layout is easy.

Tap on the 3-line icon located near the top left corner of your keyboard.

Next tap on Layout from the colorful menu that appears.

Now, choose either Thumb layout or Compact layout.

Undock SwiftKey Keyboard:

SwiftKey allows you to undock the keyboard and place it anywhere on the screen.

Tap on the 3-line icon located near the top left corner of the keyboard.

From the menu that appears tap on Undock.

Now, Tap and Hold the Circle to move the keyboard around on your screen.

Also Read: Mozilla Releases Privacy Friendly Firefox Focus for Android

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How To Use Google Assistant Routines On Android

In today’s fast-paced world, finding ways to simplify and streamline our daily routines is more important than ever. Enter Google Assistant routines, a powerful tool designed to make your life more efficient and convenient by automating a series of actions with a single voice command or scheduled event. Today, we’ll explore the world of Google Assistant routines, how to set them up, and how to customize them to fit your unique needs.

What Are Google Assistant Routines?

Google Assistant routines are a series of automated actions that can be triggered by a single voice command or scheduled to occur at specific times. These routines enable users to streamline their daily activities and interactions with smart devices, making their lives more efficient and convenient.

By linking multiple tasks together, such as adjusting smart home settings, playing music, or providing weather updates, routines allow users to perform a wide range of actions with minimal effort. Google Assistant offers several pre-built routines, such as “Good Morning” or “Bedtime,” which can be customized to suit individual preferences.

Additionally, users can create their own custom routines tailored to their unique needs and schedules. Overall, Google Assistant routines simplify the process of managing various tasks and devices, providing a seamless and personalized smart home experience.

How to Use Google Assistant Routines

Until fairly recently, the only option that you would have to create and use Google Assistant Routines was to create a Personal Routine. However, here are the options that you now have, along with Google’s description of each:

Personal Routines: You create and edit Routines for yourself.

Household Routines: Any home member can create and edit Routines that work for everyone in the home.

With that in mind, here are the steps you’ll need to take if you want to create a Personal Routine on your Android phone:

Unlock your phone.

Activate Google Assistant.

Tap the Explore icon in the bottom right corner.

Tap your Profile picture in the top right corner.

Under the Popular Settings section, tap Routines.

Tap the New button in the top right corner to start from scratch.

Tap the Pencil icon next to “Untitled” to change the name of your new Routine.

Select how the Routine will start by tapping the + Add starter button.

When I say to Google Assistant (Like “Hey Google, start…”)

At a specific time (Like 6:00 PM on weekdays)

At sunrise or sunset (Like 1 hr before sunrise)

Select which actions will be performed during the Routine by tapping the + Add action button.

Get info and reminders (Latest weather, your commute, reminders)

Communicate and announce (Make announcements, send and read texts)

Adjust Assistant Volume (Set volume when Routine is run)

Adjust Home Devices (Adjust lights, plugs, thermostats, and more)

Adjust Phone Settings (Mute ringer, turn on Do Not Disturb, and more)

Play and control media (Play your favorite music, news, and more)

If applicable, scroll down and tap Delay Start if you want to use a Time Adjustment action.

Follow the on-screen instructions for creating and setting the action that you want to use.

Once complete, tap the Save button in the bottom right corner.

Create a Household Routine

Sharing your custom automation with other household members is a highly convenient approach to maximizing the benefits of a Google Assistant-powered smart home. After setting up your smart lights and other devices, let’s explore the process of creating and utilizing Google Home Household Routines:

Open the Google Home app on your Android phone or iPhone.

In the bottom toolbar, tap Automations.

Tap the + Add button in the bottom right corner to create a new Household Routine.

From the Choose a type of Routine page, tap Household.

Tap the Pencil icon next to “Untitled” to change the name of your new Routine.

Select how the Routine will start by tapping the + Add starter button.

Select which actions will be performed during the Routine by tapping the + Add action button.

Once complete, tap the Save button in the bottom right corner.

How to create a shortcut for a Google Assistant Routine

While it’s nice being able to access, create, and use Google Assistant Routines, the company doesn’t make it exactly easy to do so out of the box. However, Google has made it possible for you to add a shortcut to the Routines landing page, along with specific Routines that you might want to access from your Home Screen.

Unlock your phone.

Activate Google Assistant.

Tap the Explore icon in the bottom right corner.

Tap your Profile picture in the top right corner.

Under the Popular Settings section, tap Routines.

Scroll down to the Your routines section.

Tap the Phone with an arrow icon in the top right corner.

When prompted, tap the Add button.

If you don’t want or need shortcuts to specific routines, but would prefer to access your Routines without jumping through a bunch of hoops, you’re in luck. There’s also a Phone with an arrow icon in the top right corner from the main Routines landing page. Just tap this, then tap the Add button to confirm that you want to add the shortcut to your home screen.

How to delete a Google Assistant Routine

Whether you want to change things up or just want to get rid of created Routines, it’s nice knowing that you have the ability to do so. The steps are pretty easy, but it’s important to point out that you can only delete a Google Assistant Routine if you created it yourself. This means that the pre-popular options can’t be deleted, but they can be edited and modified to your needs.

Unlock your phone.

Activate Google Assistant.

Tap the Explore icon in the bottom right corner.

Tap your Profile picture in the top right corner.

Under the Popular Settings section, tap Routines.

Scroll down to the Your routines section.

Tap the Trash Can button in the top right corner.

When prompted, tap the Delete routine button.

Conclusion

Google Assistant routines are an incredibly versatile and powerful tool for simplifying your daily life and managing your smart home devices. By taking the time to set up and customize your routines, you can create a more efficient and personalized experience that saves you time and effort. So, why not give Google Assistant routines a try and see how they can transform your daily routine?

How To Update Your Facebook Privacy Settings

No one should be giving Facebook free access to their data. We still haven’t forgotten about the Cambridge Audio Analytica scandal, which made us truly realize just how much private information Facebook has eyes on. So, how can you protect your data? You can always leave the social network altogether. A less drastic solution is to change your Facebook privacy settings. Here are a few ways to do just that.

Read more: All Facebook apps, where to get them, and what they do

Read more: How to delete your Facebook account

To deactivate your Facebook account:

Finally, hit Continue to Account Deactivation. You’ll be prompted to enter your password, and then you’ll see a page where Facebook explains what will happen if you deactivate.

At the bottom of that page is the Deactivate button. Hit that, and your profile will be instantly removed from Facebook.

To reactivate, all you need to do is log in again. You’ll run through a series of prompts to get your profile back up, but everything will be just the way it was before you left: all your photos, status updates, and apps will be back online.

How to delete your Facebook account

Facebook doesn’t want you to delete your account. In fact, it used to make you jump through many hoops to get to this option. This isn’t the case anymore. Deleting your Facebook profile is simple, but you should take a couple of steps before doing so.

The first thing you want to do is back up your data. Facebook lets you download a .zip file with your photos and personal details, so deleting your profile doesn’t erase memories.

Under Download your information, select View.

Ensure you’ve selected All time in the date range menu and High in the media quality menu.

Read next: How to tweak your Instagram privacy settings 

Go to chúng tôi and log into your account.

Select Settings & Privacy.

Head into Settings.

Go to Privacy.

From here, go option by option and edit how you see fit.

Facebook also has a neat Privacy Checkup feature, making it easier to edit your settings, with cool graphics and all. You can also change your active status on Facebook in the “settings” window, which controls whether or not your friends can see when you are online.

How to access Facebook Privacy Checkup

Go to chúng tôi and log into your account.

Select Settings & Privacy.

Hit Privacy Checkup.

Go setting by setting and adjust options to your preference.

Related: The best antivirus apps for Android

On your desktop browser, open chúng tôi and log in.

Hit the arrow-down button in the top-right corner and select Settings & Privacy.

Go into Settings and select Face Recognition.

Next to Face Recognition, hit Edit.

Select No in the drop-down menu.

How to turn off Facebook location history

If you don’t want to share your location with Facebook for things like checking in, one of the easiest things you can do is deny permission on your Android phone. However, if you used the app on previous versions when this option was unavailable, you can toggle it off and delete existing location data from Facebook.

On your desktop browser, open chúng tôi and log in.

Hit the arrow-down button in the top-right corner and select Settings & Privacy.

Go into Settings and select Location.

Next to Location History, hit the Edit button.

Select Off in the drop-down menu.

On your desktop browser, open chúng tôi and log in.

Hit the arrow-down button in the top-right corner and select Settings & Privacy.

Go into Settings and select Ads.

Now you can go section by section and adjust your preferences.

Also read: The best VPN services for Android devices

On your desktop browser, open chúng tôi and log in.

Hit the arrow-down button in the top-right corner and select Settings & Privacy.

Go into Settings and select Apps and Websites.

Look through the list of linked services. Remove whichever you no longer want to be connected to your account.

Read more: These are the best privacy web browsers

How To Activate Your Brain’s Ability To Learn

In music, you have scales. In Jiu Jitsu, it’s drilling. Most of us just call it practice. Whatever you label it, many believe that greatness, heck even mere competency, requires training a skill well past proficiency. It’s continuing to practice your free throw even after you’ve nailed every shot. It’s playing through that song one more time even though you’ve made no mistakes. Scientists call this training past the point of improvement ‘overlearning.’ And a recent study in Nature Neuroscience suggests that it might improve performance by altering chemicals in the brain that “lock” in training.

To understand how overlearning affects our ability to obtain a new skill, researchers exposed two groups to a series of visual perception learning exercises—basically orienting lines on a screen known as Gabor patches.

In the first group learners stopped practicing as soon as they stopped getting better. This happened usually around the eighth block of training. They then took a 30-minute break. After the break, they trained on another distinct, but similar visual learning exercise. The next day they took a post-test. In the post-test, subjects performed well on the second task—the one they learned more recently. They tanked the first task. Their results were the same as if they had never trained at all.

Gabor patch similar to those used in the study. National Library of Medicine

“In the usual situation in which you stop training on a new skill immediately after you’ve mastered it, the area of the brain related to the skill is still plastic,” said Takeo Watanabe, a professor of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences at Brown University and an author on the study.

Brains are flexible—they are adept at learning new tasks. What Watanabe’s research suggests is that if you stop training a skill right after you’ve acquired it the brain stays in its ready-to-learn state. If you then train on a second similar task while your brain is still in a plastic state, it overwrites the first skill. It becomes as though you haven’t studied the first skill at all.

“This is called retrograde interference,” said Watanabe going on to note that this problem has been recognized for many years.

But in the same study a second group of subjects “overlearned.” This group continued practicing past the point of competency, for eight more blocks, or sixteen blocks total. Like the previous group, after a 30-minute break they trained on a second task, and the following day they took a post-test.

“The other part of the story, is that you learn that second task less well,” said Robert Goldstone. Goldstone is a distinguished professor for psychological and brain sciences at Indiana University and was not a part of this study.

The first group, the one that didn’t overlearn, performed better on the second task. But the sum of their improvements on both tasks was below that of the overlearning group. In other words, the overlearning group learned the first task much better, and learned the second task roughly half as well as the first group. The first group, though it trained on both tasks, basically only learned the second task.

An image of a Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy brain scan. Library of Medicine

To understand why Watanabe and his colleagues turned to Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS). When it comes to brain scans, functional MRI or fMRI machines are better known. But fMRI machines measure brain function by tracking oxygen in the brain. Areas of the brain that are working hard use more oxygen, so it’s possible to connect brain function to oxygen usage. MRS machines, in contrast, track chemicals like carbon and nitrogen that are present in the brain’s neurotransmitters. They allow researchers to assess which neurotransmitters are present in the brain.

Using the MRS machine, researchers repeated the earlier experiments but with two changes. First, the two groups trained on either the usual (eight-block) condition, or the overlearning (sixteen-block) condition, but without a second training. And, before the first test and training researchers scanned the subjects’ brains in the MRS machine. Researchers also scanned the subjects’ brains 30 minutes after the training, and again 3.5 hours after the training. The post-test was again held on the second day.

What Watanabe found is that if you don’t overlearn, the brain has higher amounts of glutamate-dominate excitatory. Glutamate is a chemical that makes your brain plastic or more adept at learning. But overlearning decreases the amount of glutamate, and increases the amount of GABA, a chemical that stabilizes the brain.

“If you overlearn the skill, your brain state changes very rapidly from being plastic to being stable,” said Watanabe. Which in turn means that your brain has more time to lock in the skill preventing it from being overwritten.

If you’re a teacher and you want to make sure that your students get a foundation in a basic topic before moving onto a more complex, related topic, it may make sense to overlearn the first topic before tackling the second with the goal of revisiting the latter at a later date.

And Goldstone cautions not to put all one’s eggs in the basket. Some studies suggest that the benefits gained by overlearning can erode over as little as four weeks. It might be that we have to pair overlearning with other learning techniques. For example, researchers know that spacing out learning, and mixing up topics also helps.

“I’m on board with the idea that overlearning can add fluency to your processing. It can make you respond faster, can make you respond in cases where you have dual task interference—that is when you’re doing something else, you’re tired, you’re cognitively limited,” said Goldstone.

So, if you’re a surgeon who performs under life-or-death pressure, or a quarterback who has to land that pass when he’s exhausted, overlearning may make sense. For the rest of us, it may be useful but most likely in conjunction with other learning techniques.

9 Firefox Addons To Protect Your Online Privacy

Our modern browsers are much better than their ancestors at protecting us from vulnerabilities and online dangers, but the big ones aren’t always so great when it comes to caring for your privacy. Firefox is one of the better browsers in this regard, with some decent anti-tracking features, but you may still need to get some add-ons to shore up those privacy defenses.

The following add-ons for the Firefox browser can help with that. Here are some of our favorites that will block all the online nonsense you don’t want any part of.

1. ClearURLs

A very simple app that’s recently been growing in popularity, ClearURLs automatically removes tracking elements that are snuck into countless URLs across various websites.

With over 250 rules that block tracking, tracking injection, Google rewriting search results to include tracking elements, and many other functions. It’s a must-have for those who prioritise privacy.

2. LocalCDN

While DecentralEyes is a long-standing pillar of Firefox’s privacy community, in recent times there’s been a growing number of people moving over to LocalCDN. It’s a more up-to-date fork of Decentraleyes, which hasn’t seen a lot of updates lately.

So what does LocalCDN do? Simply put, it emulates various content delivery frameworks, intercepting their online traffic and replacing it with local resources stored in the extension. What this means is that sites like Google and Facebook can’t track your browsing habits between sites.

LocalCDN also has support for more assets and CDNs, meaning that its privacy-protecting features reach further than its predecessor.

3. HTTPS Only (Replaces HTTPS Everywhere)

In 2023, Firefox 83 added an HTTPS-only mode that fulfills much the same function as the HTTPS Everywhere extension. Namely, this tries to enable the full HTTPS protocol on sites that even have limited HTTPS support. This way, you can be sure that when you’re entering sensitive information into a site, at no point will your information send unencrypted.

If you want to use an add-on instead (each to their own!), you can still install HTTPS Everywhere, which fulfills much the same function as Firefox’s HTTPS-Only Mode.

4. Cookie AutoDelete

Cookies may sound sweet, but they’re one of the sneakiest little privacy suckers on the Internet. They’re not usually nefarious, but privacy-conscious people don’t like them. Cookies are little packets of data that a website sends to and from stores on your PC – this date tracks your activity on the website it pertains to.

It can be handy, such as remembering what items you added to your shopping basket, but “tracking cookies” can also build up a profile of your online habits – which you may not want.

Cookie AutoDelete is an extension that addresses this by giving you complete control over your cookies. By default, it will automatically delete all cookies when you close a given site or tab. You can also whitelist the cookies you do want to keep, helping you run a tight ship when it comes to online tracking.

5. DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials

DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials is a browser extension created by the same people behind DuckDuckGo. It can:

Automatically block third-party trackers that attach to your browser when you visit a site to track your moves afterward.

Force sites to use HTTPS connections when available.

Show you a Privacy Grade for each site you visit.

While none of those are revolutionary features, it’s a mind-numbingly simple solution for everyone who wants the equivalent of a “Privacy: ON” switch in their browser.

6. NoScript

That’s why NoScript is one of the extensions worth adding to your browser since it allows you to enable the support for such scripts on or off selectively.

Do note that its use can be somewhat annoying since it’s overzealous. It also blocks stuff you’d like, rendering some of your favorite sites unrecognizable until you whitelist them. Still, that’s a small price to pay for your privacy, and the problem will almost disappear the more you use it.

7. uBlock Origin

Lighter on resources and more efficient than many alternatives, uBlock Origin can help you eliminate all the unwanted fluff from the webpages you visit.

8. Privacy Badger

Another great anti-tracking extension, Privacy Badger works differently compared to most of its contemporaries. Instead of relying on predefined lists of “good” and “bad” sites, it’s trying to discover trackers based on their behavior.

Privacy Badger is easy to use. When a site doesn’t display as it should, you start turning on the stuff it blocked, one by one.

When you find what you need for the site to display correctly, you turnbut everything else off again.

9. Decentraleyes

We should preface this by saying that development seems to have stopped on this extension, which inspired the developer of LocalCDN to step up and create a more updated version of it. If Decentraleyes development continues to stagnate, we’ll remove it from the list, and at this point recommend using LocalCDN instead.

The web giants don’t need to use typical trackers in your browser to spy on your every move. Instead, they provide content others rely on, like JavaScript libraries, fonts, and “engagement buttons,” through which they can see your computer pinging them.

Theoretically, you can block that type of content, too, but the sites that rely on it would look broken. Since there is no way to solve this problem, DecentralEyes found a way to sidestep it: clone the needed content.

By providing local copies of the content, your browser doesn’t need to seek it elsewhere, so it won’t ping the Googles, Microsofts, and Baidu’s of our world whenever you visit something like a web app that relies on jQuery.

Firefox Privacy Settings Home

Choose Home from the menu on the left, then disable anything Pocket-related, as well as Snippets. This way, Firefox won’t try to force-feed you their content.

Search

In the Search category of options, disable all Search Suggestions to avoid sending everything you type in the address bar to the browser’s active search engine.

Privacy & Security

Move to the Privacy & Security group and set your Tracking Protection to “Strict.” By choosing Custom instead, you have more control of what your browser will block, but we won’t get into more details about it since that’s a whole tutorial on its own.

Set the “Do Not Track” option to Always, and further down at the Address Bar, disable “Search engines” to avoid sending your keystrokes to the active search engine.

If you don’t care about helping Mozilla improve Firefox (by sharing with them how you use it), disable everything under “Firefox Data Collection and Use.”

Ensure everything under Security is enabled, and feel free to check out the rest of the options on this page. Those allow you to check (and clear) stored cookies, grant and revoke permissions to access your location, camera, and microphone, or force the use of HTTPS in all the windows.

Sync

It’s a useful feature, and Mozilla hasn’t given us a reason not to trust it. Still, if you’re paranoid about your security, you shouldn’t use Firefox’s built-in Sync feature. Alternatively, you can choose to synchronize your Add-ons and preferences but skip Bookmarks, History, Open Tabs, and Credit Cards.

Are you using other methods to protect your privacy? If you are using Chrome, here a few ways to protect your privacy in Google Chrome, too.

Robert Zak

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.

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