Here’s How Google Tracks You – and What You Can Do About It

Privacy and data security (Yahoo!, Evernote, and Russia, we’re looking at you) are emerging as big topics for the coming year, so we thought we’d boil down an earlier, beefy post on Google into this handy infographic. Because if you’re online, chances are good you’re engaging with the company one way or another. What Google products are you using? What are your device settings as you use them? Starting to think through these questions will not only help you understand how Google tracks you, but it will also help you make more informed decisions about what’s being done with your data, and whether you’d like to rethink how you use Google products and services. For more detailed information, including clickable links to the resources mentioned, check out the backing post here.   Embed This Image On Your Site (copy code below): Courtesy of: Mylio

How to Download and Backup Facebook Photos

I post a lot of pictures to Facebook because it’s the quickest way to share with my friends and family. But now that I am getting older, I’m realizing a few things. First, Facebook changes things up all the time, and I’m starting to get a sinking feeling that I have no idea what that means for the future of all the photos I’ve entrusted them. And second, now that I’m a new father I’m realizing just how important those photos are to me. I want access to them on my own devices so I can tell my personal story to friends, family and baby boy as he grows up. So I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t trust Facebook to preserve these memories for me — I need to back them up for myself. And I bet I’m not the only person who wants to backup Facebook photos. In the past, I’d grab photos from Facebook by browsing through my albums, then downloading each one individually. But those days are over. A cross-platform app called Mylio can import and backup Facebook photos, maintaining the same album structure and tagging, and do it all in minutes. And best of all, Mylio is FREE! What is Mylio? Mylio… Continue reading How to Download and Backup Facebook Photos

These Are the 8 Ways Apple Tracks You — and Their #1 Security Flaw

This is the next installment in our ongoing series about the choices we make about our personal data, and how these choices relate to the online products and services many of us use daily.  Recently on these pages, I wondered: what does Google know about me?  The short answer: a lot. The detailed answer: 8.75 GB of search history, browser history, emails, GPS locations, voice searches, voicemails, a few short YouTube videos, and an ad profile built from my behavior with all of the above. Kinda creepy, though to be fair actually also kinda transparent — I found all this data because Google has a handy tool for downloading everything at once. This, in theory, allowed me  to see what I’ve been giving  the company since my google account was created in 2008. Creepy? Yes. And, just maybe, also cool. So now I want to know what Apple knows about me. How does the company store my information? And how transparent are they about what they’re doing? Starting With the Man in the Mirror First, full disclosure: I’m a Mac guy. I bought my first one, a 17″ Aluminum Powerbook G4, in 2005. A few years later, I traded in my Palm Treo 700wx for my first iPhone. Apple devices always felt… Continue reading These Are the 8 Ways Apple Tracks You — and Their #1 Security Flaw

Alert: macOS Sierra Might Be Deleting Your Dropbox and Mylio Files

The Issue: Some Dropbox and Mylio users are reporting missing files after turning on a new iCloud feature in macOS Sierra (10.12). The feature is called Optimize Mac Storage, and was added to Apple’s new desktop operating system to help people use iCloud to free up space when their local disks are approaching full. When turned on, iCloud will attempt to keep all files you’ve indicated need mirroring on your local machine backed up on iCloud. Pretty straightforward. Then, if space on your local machine starts running out, iCloud will remove older, lesser-used files from your local machine, leaving only the copies of those files stored in iCloud  — the files that were on your local machine are replaced with an iCloud ‘stub’ or reference file (basically, a wayfinding placeholder. Or an IOU). The trouble comes when 3rd-party replication systems — like Dropbox or Mylio — are set up on Sierra machines with Optimize Mac Storage enabled. Because iCloud may delete local files synced with Dropbox or Mylio, leaving only the iCloud reference file. Which isn’t happiness if you go to your Dropbox or Mylio directories and find only iCloud IOUs. Yikes! Is this a first shot across the bow in a Cloud War?… Continue reading Alert: macOS Sierra Might Be Deleting Your Dropbox and Mylio Files

26 Ways Google Tracks “The Things That Make You ‘You'”

By now, it shouldn’t shock you to learn that everything you do in this Internet-connected world leaves a trail of breadcrumbs. You can reasonably expect that if a web-enabled service is involved, and an activity can be tracked, it will be. Now I’m not talking about Edward Snowden-level revelations, or hacking (whether celebrity– or politically-driven). I’m talking about the personal data collected from us each day, with our consent, by the companies that make the products we use. Let’s call it the part of the personal data iceberg that’s underwater, but visible if you just take the trouble of looking down. The stuff you can take at face value. Do you know what you’re agreeing to when you click one of those Terms of Service announcements that pop up when you first use or update a product? Me either. So I decided to find out, starting with the Biggest Brother of them all: Google. What does Google know about me? How do they find out? And what steps can I take to protect myself and my personal data? Do you think it was easy digging up this stuff? Well, in a word: yes. Much has been made of Google’s early “don’t be evil” resolution,… Continue reading 26 Ways Google Tracks “The Things That Make You ‘You'”

Q&A with Ana V. Ramirez, Winner of the 2016 Mylio Grant

Our relationship with The Luminous Endowment for Photographers is one of the ways in which Mylio works to support the preservation of digital memories. The $2,500 grant is awarded twice annually to artists dedicated to preserving images and memories important to a life, or to telling the true stories of that life in pictures. “Mylio is proud to support developing photographers preserving important memories.” David Vaskevitch, Founder and CEO of Mylio Today, we’re excited to announce and congratulate our most recent grant winner, Ana V. Ramirez. Her body of work, pictured below, is entitled The Things We Leave Behind, a series of still-life photographs of items left to Ana by her mother when she died. I spoke with Ana about her work and her process. Click to enlarge. What can you tell us about yourself? I can’t put myself in one category… I am a photographer, artist, and writer, but not always in that order. I’ve  been an entrepreneur since I was a kid — I see the business possibilities in what I love to do. I’m also a dogaholic, specifically for  the Siberian Huskies I’ve had in my life. What does a typical working day look like for you? I have a lot of projects going at the same time. Besides being an photographer and… Continue reading Q&A with Ana V. Ramirez, Winner of the 2016 Mylio Grant

Pro Tips from a Past Master: Josef Scaylea

These days, taking pictures is as common as eating (never mind taking pictures of what we’re eating). But some of us remember a time when making an image was a more intentional exercise, and sharing it involved chemicals, fumes, and a certain amount of technical know-how. I’m not getting all misty-eyed about the film days, but I do wonder: what can we learn today from these craft masters of yesterday? One such past master is award-winning photographer Josef Scaylea, who served as Chief Photographer to The Seattle Times for 35 years, as well as head photographer for Pacific Magazine. From War to Washington State Josef Scaylea learned his trade the way many of the World War II generation did —  in the military. As an Air Corpsman, he’d photograph missions over Okinawa, the Philippines, and Japan. Postings to Washington State introduced Scalea to a region that enthralled him; he settled there after leaving the military, staying until his death in 2004 at the age of 91. Scaylea’s camera skills — particularly in black and white — landed him a job with the State’s leading daily newspaper, where he soon became Chief Photographer, winning awards from Look, Life, Graflex, and the National Press Photographers Association along the way. After retiring from the Seattle Times, Scaylea taught and mentored… Continue reading Pro Tips from a Past Master: Josef Scaylea

Why Evernote’s Plan to Reduce Cloud Service is Just the Beginning

This week, Evernote announced changes to its free “basic” plan, limiting users to two devices. They’ll also raise prices on all paid plans. This comes in the wake of the uproar Flickr caused after first adding — then removing — the bulk upload tool from free accounts. The Internet responded to Evernote’s change in a similarly peevish way: And the downfall of evernote has begun. – joshserrano @ EVERNOTE USER FORUM The Evernote team has made some questionable decisions over the last few years, and these changes aren’t likely to sit well with its users, paid or otherwise. – JEFF BENJAMIN @ 9TO5MAC.COM For those that have been using Evernote for years without paying, today’s changes are surely to sting a bit. – DAN SEIFERT @ THEVERGE.COM It’s probably worth noting here that cloud services like Evernote, Google Drive, Flickr, Dropbox, and iCloud are so new that we have yet to see what maturity of the industry looks like. So rather than take up pitchforks and torches at each inevitable feature and business model change (and there are more coming, for sure), it might be more useful to take a step back and consider our options for data organization, storage, and protection. Back in 2007, I had a… Continue reading Why Evernote’s Plan to Reduce Cloud Service is Just the Beginning

Creating your Digital Legacy with Mylio

I love talking to people about digital legacy. It’s a new problem, a product of the digital age that hasn’t had much consideration — how do you organize, safeguard and pass on stuff you can’t touch, like memories? So far, there are few solutions. Ancient humans told stories around the cook fire. Later, we took photographs to make memories tangible as they happened. We organized these into family albums, then got more creative with scrapbooks. But today, though we capture and share our memories like never before (we took over 1 trillion photos in 2015), most of them are intangible. Most of our pictures are somewhere in social media, websites, or  cloud services like Flickr, Google Photos, Apple Photos and Dropbox. We’re creating the most comprehensive data trail of any generation, yet we’re still in the infancy of managing our digital legacy. Take a moment and consider these important questions: Have I considered my digital legacy? Where do my precious memories and stories live? How will I pass on my story to my family and my friends? Am I in control of my life story? If you didn’t have an immediate answer to any (or all) of the above, you’re not alone. Most of us are too busy living for today and planning for the future to… Continue reading Creating your Digital Legacy with Mylio

Why Is My iPhone Storage Full? (And What Can I Do About It?)

I love my iPhone. It’s not only a great phone, but a great texter, video- and photo-taker and -viewer, gaming device, and so much more. But all that wonderfulness has a silicon ceiling: storage capacity. If you’ve ever seen regular messages with variations of iPhone storage full, you know what I mean. Apple offers a variety of options for iPhone memory capacity, but show me the biggest iPhone SSD out there (like my iPhone 6s+ with 128 GB of storage) and I’ll show you a way to fill it, fast. How? iPhone’s Worst Space Hogs: Photos & Camera Videos Music Messages (especially if you send/receive a lot of photo and video messages) Games Other Apps Tip: You can see what’s stored (and where) on your iPhone by opening Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage. iPhones Are Chock Full o’ Pictures Like other smart phone users, those of us with iPhones like to take a ton of pictures. But apparently we’re even more snappy than most: a 2015 study showed that iPhone users took an average of 250 photos per month — 65% more than the average Android user. That leaves a lot to be managed (not to mention a quickly… Continue reading Why Is My iPhone Storage Full? (And What Can I Do About It?)