My Strategy for Defending Christmas against the Internet Titans.
So, let me take a minute to set the context for the recommendations I’m making below. Number one, last year my daughter had a blast playing with some vintage army soldiers that I had as a kid. As time went on, and she continued to play with them, I decided to try and hunt some more down on eBay for Christmas. Figured they would be a perfect gift from Santa Claus, and it ended up being a nice trip down nostalgia lane. Couple days later she came bolting down the stairs, “Dad! eBay just notified me we won some of those army guys!”. So much for that Santa gift. Not happening this year!
Context number two. Last January we were out in Palm Springs for a lacrosse tournament. We were driving to the fields in pouring rain and my wife started talking about UGG boots and that she’d wished she had hers with her. A few hours later, she calls me over, “Is Facebook listening to us? Look at these UGG Boot ads”. More than likely but I know Facebook will tell you otherwise.
So, I need to prevent companies from notifying my family members of what I purchased and what I’m shopping for. This includes those tracking my browser activity as well as those listening in. I can see it now, “hey honey I used your computer to check email and there’s purse ads all over the place. Something you want to tell me?” Yeah, stay off my computer!
Alright, so if you also think it’s Time to Defend Gift Mode, here are my recommendations and strategies for the season.
- Change your computer passwords. Keep family members out.Establish new, specific accounts for gifts only. Gonna miss my Amazon Prime, but don’t want any accidental discoveries.
- Use Firefox loaded up with Ad Blockers and with Privacy Settings locked down. Just in case item number 1 fails. NOTE: Remember your settings, if they’ve changed, you’ve got the digital version of a package-shaker on your hands.
- Change passcodes on your smartphone and iPad. You may have given it offhand a month ago, but some people’s memories get remarkably clear when gifts are on the line. Don’t want any accidental discovery from prying eyes.
- Keep all smartphone microphones locked down. At our house that means every smartphone has a Privoro SafeCase on at all times! Sorry Facebook, regardless of the season, we think our conversations are worth protecting.
Good luck everyone and feel free to add your mobile security ideas or tips in the comments.