The best digital photo services and why you should skip a VPN

The best digital photo services and why you should skip a VPN

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It may well really feel like we’re all the time doing it “flawed” with regards to know-how in our lives.

There may be numerous complicated recommendation on the market, and what’s proper on your finest pal won’t be the appropriate selection for you.

In a reside on-line chat final week, I answered a few of your urgent know-how questions, together with whether or not everybody ought to use a VPN (spoiler alert: no), the very best methods to avoid wasting your digital photographs and whether or not identification theft-monitoring companies are worthwhile.

This choice of reader questions and my responses have been edited for readability and so as to add new data.

Q: Do you employ a VPN? Ought to all of us be utilizing one? If that’s the case, prime 5?

A: No, I don’t use a VPN. (A digital personal community is software program that may cover what websites you’re utilizing or obscure your location while you’re related to an app or web site.)

Most safety consultants have informed me that in case you reside in the USA and wish to use a VPN for digital safety and privateness causes, don’t do it.

You’re primarily giving the corporate that owns the VPN a fowl’s-eye view of all the pieces you do in your telephone or laptop. Many VPN corporations are shady and a few on-line recommendation overstates VPNs’ safety protections.

My colleague Geoffrey A. Fowler wrote a column final yr recommending three VPNs you can belief.

For those who’re making an attempt to guard your digital safety, there are much better steps you’ll be able to take like creating distinctive passwords for all of your on-line accounts and utilizing two-factor authentication. Learn extra recommendation right here.

For those who’re researching delicate topics like despair and don’t need relations to know or firms to maintain information of your actions, you could be higher off utilizing a privacy-focused internet browser reminiscent of Courageous or the search engine DuckDuckGo.

Q: I like taking digital footage, however I can’t work out one of the best ways to retailer them. Any recommendation?

A: There’s no excellent reply, however I’ll offer you a rule of thumb.

When you’ve got an iPhone, it’s easiest to avoid wasting your digital photographs with Apple’s iCloud — and you’ll in all probability need to pay for it. (My colleague Heather Kelly has written about alternate options to paying for iCloud storage.)

When you’ve got an Android telephone, it’s easiest to avoid wasting your digital photographs to Google Images — and also you might need to pay for it. Though you won’t. Google is extra beneficiant with its free digital photograph and file storage. (Learn recommendation from Tatum Hunter on alternate options to paying for Google cloud storage.)

One massive drawback with this recommendation is it’s a ache to maneuver your photographs in case you don’t wish to maintain them in Google’s or Apple’s cloud anymore.

You might have many different choices. Microsoft’s OneDrive digital file storage works throughout Home windows PCs, Mac computer systems, iPhones and Android telephones. Subscribers to Amazon Prime have entry to limitless on-line photograph storage. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Put up. Interim CEO Patty Stonesifer sits on Amazon’s board.)

SmugMug is a non-Massive Tech subscription different. Some folks want to skip the cloud solely and save photographs on a tough drive that you just personal.

Q: There was a current digital safety incident on the brokerage agency we use. They prompt we glance into shopping for identification safety. What ought to we search for in these companies?

A: For people who aren’t acquainted, identification theft safety companies say they’ll monitor the online and notify you in case your private data was stolen or used to open a checking account or take out a mortgage. Typically they provide to assist reimburse you in case you misplaced cash.

I’ve spoken to shopper finance consultants who say these companies usually aren’t well worth the cash.

It stinks, however you must assume that your private data might be stolen sooner or later. (Louisiana and Oregon informed residents in current days that particulars from state motorcar information had been possible uncovered to hackers.)

When it occurs to you, your finest plan of action is free however time consuming: vigilance.

Now that you already know data out of your brokerage account might have been stolen, be alert for indicators that somebody is pretending to be you.

For those who obtain a textual content about telephone service you didn’t order, a invoice from an unfamiliar physician or a discover about an utility for presidency advantages that you just didn’t make, alarm bells ought to go off. Additionally, change the passwords in your essential on-line accounts.

One factor I’ve personally finished after speaking to shopper fraud consultants: I froze my credit score with the three giant credit score reporting bureaus. That is free by regulation.

Comply with the hyperlinks to freeze your credit score with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Or begin on (NEVER Google something associated to credit score or identification theft.)

For those who freeze your credit score, nobody can test your creditworthiness to use for a mortgage or lease a house in your identify. This discourages criminals from impersonating you and sticking you with unpaid payments.

It’s inconvenient, although. You’ll in all probability must unfreeze your credit score earlier than you apply for a bank card or purchase a brand new cellphone plan.

I learn all of your emails. Ask me your questions or inform me your internal musings about tech at My colleagues and I steer our reporting to matters which can be related to you.

Strive the Google Lens telephone characteristic to translate paperwork, menus, road indicators and different writing into your most well-liked language.

Google Lens is a separate app for Android telephones. On iPhones, you’ll discover Lens as an choice within the Google app. (Lens can be a characteristic within the Google app on some Android telephones, or within the Google search bar on the backside of your house display screen.)

To make use of Lens inside the Google app, faucet on the icon to the appropriate of the Search field that appears like a sq. digital camera with a dot within the middle. For Android telephones and iPhones, change the choice to “translate” on the backside of your telephone display screen.

Now level your telephone at any writing in an unfamiliar language. The textual content you see in your display screen mechanically morphs into your most well-liked language.

Like several translation software program, Google Lens doesn’t work completely. It’s additionally not sensible to translate a e-book or different voluminous writing.

However for a brief doc in a overseas language or a restaurant menu while you’re touring, Lens offers you the gist of what you’re . It seems like a sprinkle of magic.

(Google Lens ought to acknowledge each the language within the textual content and your most well-liked language. If the software program is flawed, you’ll be able to change both or each languages in a menu that pops up in your telephone display screen. Lens translation might not work in your most well-liked language.)


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