Category Archives: Discussion

Man on Phone Privacy

What Does Your Phone Know About You?

These days we really do rely on our mobile phones and it is quite scary to think how much your phone knows about you, where you have been and who you have seen.  It even knows some of your favourite hobbies, interests and activities. It is in essence your digital brain!  What would you do without it?

Mobile phones have moved on an incredible amount over the past 30 years, from a device that is clunky and cumbersome to small, light incredibly fast computers that fit in our pockets and handbags. We connect other devices to them such as our fitness trackers, smartwatches, children’s toys and much more.  They are the central hub of our daily lives.  As such they collect a massive amount of data about us.  Some of which is passed on to the applications that we use and some just sits idle on the phone.  Then there is some data that goes back to the carrier as well and some that is collected by the sites that we browse. They are complicated little devices and often we forget just how valuable that data is to us until we lose or break our phone.

A couple of weeks back I wrote a piece on how you can find your phone using the data stored online about you that relates to your phone and it’s location.  This week I thought we would look more at just what data there is on these devices and why it is important to secure and back up your phone and it’s content.

Most mobile phones these days have the option for you to store a copy of your photo’s and contacts in the cloud.  This means that every new contact and photo is saved both on your phone and somewhere on the internet.  The chance of losing this data is low unless of course you haven’t set your phone up to do that. It is one of the first things I set up whenever I get a new phone and I would recommend that if you haven’t done this already then do it as it is a life saver when your phone is damaged or lost as you still have all your contacts and those precious pictures of friends and family.

The next thing that I always set up is a way to secure my phone so that if I lose it someone else can’t just use my phone, run up a massive bill and cause all sorts of trouble. I have heard too many friends lose their phones abroad and because it is abroad they are still liable for the call charges made. Put a pin on it and it is at least a deterrent. You can also turn on phone tracking and remote wipe which take that process one step further. The only issue with these is that you need to have GPS turned on and this can be a bit of a battery drain. You can still find your phone’s last known location through other means so to me this is not essential.  Android phones track where you are using a process called triangulation which uses WiFi and cellular data to identify where you were last so I tend to use that as my fallback.

The apps that you have installed on your phone and have paid for are all stored by the app store where you bought them from so these too are recoverable. The data within these apps is stored remotely too by the app creators. As long as you have stored your contacts, pics and videos remotely you should be able to pretty much recreate your device time and time again. This is the beauty of distributed data.

Looking at this another way though all that distributed data is accessible from a single point – your phone. Once someone has that they have access and potentially control of everything. Just bear that in mind the next time you turn your phone on and you haven’t got any security turned on. You are putting your online identity at risk. That digital footprint that we have talked about here on the blog a few times could become compromised if you don’t protect it properly.

This article was brought to you by digi.me who put you in control of your social media content. Download it now to protect your digital memories. 

summer fete

Friday Fun: A Personal One

When it comes to having fun and enjoying ourselves we all want to come up with the ultimate weekend plans.  We look to one another for inspiration and ideas.  What better place to look for those ideas than on our social media networks.

This weeks Friday fun is one of working out what really makes us smile at a weekend.  What is it that we each love doing. Use digi.me to look back over your old social network content and see what fun things you have done last summer or even the summers before that for ideas about what you want to do this weekend.

I took a look at my own social media history and it jogged my memory that there is a country fete that is on this weekend every year that it would be nice to take my son to so that is now my plan! Let us know what plans you are making!

Capture Your Personal Data with digi.me for Free

Retrieving Your Personal Information

From time to time we all think about leaving platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  However before we leave we want to make sure we aren’t losing anything in the process but how do we go about doing that?  This article will run through some simple but effective approaches to help you capture and retrieve as much of your personal information as possible. 

Facebook

When it comes to retrieving your Facebook data there are a few different ways to get your data.  Unfortunately Facebook don’t make it easy to get a copy of everything you have ever put up there and if you want everything you will need to put in a personal data request and from what we hear that can take months for a response.  Officially if you are based in Europe they should be responding within 40 days to your request however history already shows this hasn’t been the case in the past.

In the meantime what you can do to retrieve a lot of your personal data is download digi.me and connect to Facebook to synchronize and retrieve the majority of your personal data.  This will provide you with your wall posts and images direct to your computer and you can export these into an easy to use PDF. To gain access to our private messages you will need to “download a copy of your Facebook Data” which you will find on Facebook under settings. The list of what you will get with this download can be found here and it does include your private messages.

Twitter

Again with Twitter you can use digi.me to automatically download your tweets as you go which will save you time and effort having to regularly remember to download your archive to keep up with your latest twitter updates.  As Twitter limits the amount of time you can go back historically we recommend that you also download your Twitter archive so that you have all your really old Twitter content.  That way you will have all your Twitter updates that you have ever created to date and all the ones you generate in from when you start using digi.me onwards will also be captured.  There are some very comprehensive instructions from Twitter on how retrieve your Tweet archive here.

LinkedIN

Digi.me also works with LinkedIN to help you keep copies of your most recent interactions on the social network.   However you may also wish to put in a request to gain access to every update you have ever made on LinkedIN through their access request page.  They do collect information about your search history and much more. You will be surprised just what this social network really knows about you and your data.

The other useful feature that you may wish to take advantage of within LinkedIN is the ability to export your profile as a PDF.  It is a great starting point for putting together your CV and is a fairly well hidden feature.  There is a little down arrow next to “View Profile As” when you are on your profile page. Click on the arrow and you will find a drop down with a few different options including the option to “Save to PDF”.

Let us know if you have found this article useful and remember to share it with your friends!

technology

The Future of Personal Data

What is the future of personal data? How will it affect me personally and how will it affect my work and day to day life? These are all big questions when it comes to our personal data and these questions become even more prominent when we start to look at who currently has access to data about us.

Currently our banks, telecoms companies, social networks, fitness band companies, search engine providers and shopping sites all have information about us. Whilst this data is somewhat dispersed across the internet it is also duplicated. In some ways because it is not all in one place it seems safer.  However over time that data becomes out of date and unreliable.  We move house and have to inform everyone of our new address for example and it takes forever to get round to changing everything over.

These big companies aren’t allowed to share the core data about us between themselves without our permission but in some cases they have that permission without us even realizing it as we sign up to the small print or miss an opt out tick box.  Before we know it we have unrelated companies spamming us or cold calling.

Now imagine if we could easily revoke that permission to access the information about ourselves from those companies without having to write letters or chase, just at the click of a button.  Wouldn’t that be easier… and wouldn’t it be easier if we could give permission through simple but understandable terms and if we didn’t agree they couldn’t use our data.

Going one step further, if we owned our health data we could carry our health records ourselves when we travel and when we go to hospital with an illness or injury.  Lost medical records become a thing of the past. Clearly we would want to backup and securely store this information but once we can do that we can do so much more with it.

In order to make this sort of future a reality there are a few things that have to happen first. Companies need to understand better how data is owned and by whom, they also need to realize that it is no longer acceptable to lose data or sell it on without our knowledge.

Individuals need to realize that their data has a value, it belongs to them and is in fact part of their personal identity and not just something to be traded to the highest bidder for ad placements.  We need to stop giving away parts of ourselves without understanding how we can take control back of that data at any point in the future.

The “Internet of Things” is already a reality but the “Internet of Me” is just beginning. We all need to start taking a look at who we are, what data is of value to us and how that data could be used in ways that benefit us more as individuals.

Digi.me helps you to take that first step where you control of your personal web data.  We have started you off with putting you back in control of your social media updates and we look forward to bringing you even more control of your data.  Just remember we don’t see your data you do! It is yours and you own it all!

photos

How to Make Most of Festival Photo’s

Were you at a festival this weekend or plan to be at some point over the summer, then this article is just what you need.  This articles shares some of our top tips for how you can use your festival photo’s from this year and past years in creative and fun ways.

First of all you need to grab a copy of all your festival photo’s.  You can do that in a few different ways, grab them from your phone, camera etc directly or if you have shared them online and aren’t sure where you had them originally that’s fine. Download digi.me, sync your social media accounts and then do a search or two to find the pictures you are after.  You may need to do a date range search or you may just need to search for the name of the festival. It depends what you put in the description when you uploaded the pics.

Once you have the copy of your pictures you can start doing all sorts of things with them.

  • You could make a photo collage with them and put it in a frame.
  • Make a photo book of your festival highlights to leave on the coffee table for when friends come round.
  • Turn your pics into a photo clock with a picture for each hour of the day.
  • Put all your photo’s into a digital photo frame and see those festival moments all summer long.
  • Set your festival photo’s folder as your screensaver or screen background and see those special moments unfold.
  • Create a video of your festival photo’s and share it with your friends on social media.

Do you have other ideas of what you could do with your festival pictures! Share them with us and we’ll add them to our list!

eye

Personal Data Privacy in the News This Week

This week there has been a lot of discussion on TechCrunch and other sites as a result of this publication detailing how people don’t understand how their personal data is being used by social networks or search sites.

The essence of these articles puts into question whether your personal data is really being used with your permission or whether it is being stolen from you.  Personal information is being traded and used for personal or targeted advertising. Quite simply your preferences and information is the product that is being sold.  The big question about this approach is – Is it legal and ethical?

At the recent HyperCat IoT summit ARM’s Stephen Pattison stated that consumers should own their data.

“We must all accept consumers own their data and we need to make sure consumers have a good sense that they own their data.”

Along side this was a call for a Magna Carta on Data Privacy. What are your thoughts on this and do you feel we need to do more to protect and control our personal data?

Other interesting articles this week included:

What are your thoughts on these articles and how do you think personal information, use and ownership will change in the future?

 

running-78192_640

How social media is changing music and sport

How has social media affected the way you interact with music, musicians, sport and sports people? Do you feel that it has brought you closer to a sport or got you into doing a sport?

I’ve always been a sports enthusiast and love my extreme sports like kite surfing and rock climbing.  I follow my favourite kite surfers and climbers online to see what they are up to and to get top tips from them.  These sports don’t really have the same communities around them as sports like running clubs.

Our local running club has over 1000 members and it’s own Facebook page. The page is used for arranging runs, going to competitions and much more. It brings the local community together around sport but also for social events as well.  There are competitions among members on FitBit and Endomondo.  If you want to get into running these local communities really are a great place to start. They are truly inspirational. I would highly recommend using social media to find and interact with your local clubs. You may be surprised just how active they are!

When we look at music and musicians I find that I can interact more with up and coming musicians as a result of finding them on music services like Deezer or through friends recommendations on Facebook.  If you are like me and have been using Periscope recently you can connect with some big name musicians and gain interesting insights into their every day lives. Instagram is also really interesting when you start following a few musicians. You get to see some amazing pictures of their shows and insights into their life outside of work.  This week I found out that Taylor Swift has a stripy cat and Sam Smith has a new grey kitten that looks just like my little Moshi cat. Random facts about celebrities!

How is social media changing music and sport for you?

 

open

How Tim Cook and the NY Times Opened Up the Privacy Debate

This week really has been an interesting one with two big stories hitting the news both relating to personal data and privacy.  The first was this story “Tim Cook blasts Silicon Valley companies for ‘gobbling up’ your personal data” and that was followed up with this article today in the New York Times “Mark Zuckerberg, Let Me Pay for Facebook“.

Both of these articles have one thing in common. Personal data, control of that data, use of the data and ownership of it.  Tim Cook rightly reminds us all that our personal data is incredibly valuable and important. Too important in fact to let other companies take ownership, control and use it.  Tim Cook is fighting for you to own your data, control and use it how you see fit. Some people have argued that we already do that and have made the trade off between personal privacy and service access with services like Facebook and Twitter however where do the boundaries sit?  At what point is a line crossed where we are no longer happy with this?

Taking this one step further New York Times writer Zeynep Tufekci believes that companies like Twitter and Facebook should actually be paying us to be on their platforms if they are selling our data or if we choose for them not to we pay to access the platform.  That actually doesn’t sound like an unreasonable compromise.  Times are changing and as we start to understand more how valuable and useful our data is to us and others we may choose to take more control over it.

What are your thoughts on the issues raised in these articles and where do you see the power and control of your personal data in the future?

We here at digi.me want to place that firmly in your hands in a way that you can easily understand and with the ability to revoke access and control of your data from any platform or service as you see fit.

photobook

Doing something different with your social media data

We all have social media data all over the place, be it on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.  We update our statuses, share pictures and videos or interesting links with friends, family and colleagues.  But after that what do we do with it?  Many of us just leave the content there and never really look back at it.

What Would You Like to Do With Your Data?

Digi.me puts you in control of your data and a few of the ideas that some of our users have come up with are truly inspiring.  Ideas that were suggested ranged from creating physical journals of conversations to picture montages from the last month.

Right now with digi.me you can take all your social media content and put it in a single place which you are in control of.  From here you can view it, analyse it and even look back over it to see what you were doing last week, month, year or even at a custom point or period in time.  You can export that data and use it in any way you choose to.

At the end of the day it is your data and you can do literally anything with it! All you need is a little imagination and some time to make it happen.

So why not give digi.me a try if you haven’t done already and do something different with your data.

If you already use digi.me let us know how you are using your data in fun and creative ways.  We love to inspire our users and show you what one another are doing with your data.

storytelling

Tips and Tricks Tuesday: Storytelling

Every now and again I get asked for a top tip that I have picked up during my time working with social media.  This weekend the latest question was in relation to using Facebook.  How do you share a picture on Facebook so that your friends actually see it.

My response was a fairly simple one, it’s not just about the picture it’s about telling the story.  What is it about this particular picture that is interesting?  If it is interesting to you will it be interesting to your friends?  Or is it completely out of context therefore making no sense at all to your friends, family or colleagues?

For example if I share the image below with you without any context… You would probably think something along the lines of “OK that is a piece of lace” and if you are into crafting you might think it is interesting but otherwise you might just move on to something else.

DSC_0013

 

Putting the story together for the image above and putting it in context actually gives it a completely new meaning to people you are sharing the image with.

DSC_0012In this case that is a piece of handmade lace from a 1930’s garter pattern. The garter is for my sister-in-law to wear at her wedding next year and so far has taken over 100 hours to make and it is just over 1/3 complete.

Once you hear the story behind the picture you can see and feel the emotion and context being shared.  Without that context many pictures fail to be noticed and therefore people don’t interact with them. So if you want someone to respond to your images on Facebook make sure that you share a few words that really sum up the moment.

Sometimes a single picture just doesn’t tell a story well enough on it’s own so make the most of the album features on Facebook and tell your story through a series of images or even videos.

Recently Facebook decided that if you share a video directly on their site it would preview and play directly in your timeline.  So if you are going to share a video you will find you get more views from your friends by sharing it directly than if you shared a link to your video on YouTube.

Share your top storytelling tips by leaving a comment!