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Tech Tip 025 – Install HTTPS Everywhere on your browser

Increase your safety on the internet. Install HTTPS Everywhere on your Chrome, Firefox, or Opera web browser. A free extension from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, this “…encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure.”

From the EFF website:

Many sites on the web offer some limited support for encryption over HTTPS, but make it difficult to use. For instance, they may default to unencrypted HTTP, or fill encrypted pages with links that go back to the unencrypted site. The HTTPS Everywhere extension fixes these problems by using clever technology to rewrite requests to these sites to HTTPS.

Tech Tip 024 – Stop Windows 10 from getting to know you

Did you know Windows 10 collects information about your calendar events, contacts and speech nuances (if you use Cortana) to make better suggestions for you? If you would like to turn this feature off, go to Settings, then Privacy, then Speech, Inking & Typing.

From here you can click the Stop getting to know me button, then confirm your choice by clicking Turn off.

Tech Tip 023 – macOS – Block your webcam

You could disable your webcam on your mac laptop or desktop by opening the Terminal app and copying/pasting the following five lines of code:

sudo chmod a-r /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreMediaIO.framework/Versions/A/Resources/VDC.plugin/Contents/MacOS/VDC

sudo chmod a-r /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/CoreMediaIOServicesPrivate.framework/Versions/A/Resources/AVC.plugin/Contents/MacOS/AVC

sudo chmod a-r /System/Library/QuickTime/QuickTimeUSBVDCDigitizer.component/Contents/MacOS/QuickTimeUSBVDCDigitizer

sudo chmod a-r /Library/CoreMediaIO/Plug-Ins/DAL/AppleCamera.plugin/Contents/MacOS/AppleCamera

sudo chmod a-r /Library/CoreMediaIO/Plug-Ins/FCP-DAL/AppleCamera.plugin/Contents/MacOS/AppleCamera

 

…and then re-enable your webcam in Terminal by copying/pasting the following five lines of code:

sudo chmod a+r /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreMediaIO.framework/Versions/A/Resources/VDC.plugin/Contents/MacOS/VDC

sudo chmod a+r /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/CoreMediaIOServicesPrivate.framework/Versions/A/Resources/AVC.plugin/Contents/MacOS/AVC

sudo chmod a+r /System/Library/QuickTime/QuickTimeUSBVDCDigitizer.component/Contents/MacOS/QuickTimeUSBVDCDigitizer

sudo chmod a+r /Library/CoreMediaIO/Plug-Ins/DAL/AppleCamera.plugin/Contents/MacOS/AppleCamera

sudo chmod a+r /Library/CoreMediaIO/Plug-Ins/FCP-DAL/AppleCamera.plugin/Contents/MacOS/AppleCamera

 

…or you could purchase a webcam cover for $12 on Amazon.

Tech Tip 022 – Search within Google Chrome

In Google Chrome, highlight a word or phrase that you want to search Google with, right-click (or control-click for Mac users) and select Search for. A Google search page tab will then launch with your highlighted word or phrase, hopefully saving you some mouse clicks and typing.

Tech Tip 021 – macOS – Disable Notifications

If you need some uninterrupted time while working on your Mac desktop, hold down the option key then click the three horizontal lines in the upper-right corner of your screen. These lines should change color from white to gray. Option-click again to resume your desktop notifications.