It’s time to check your Facebook app permissions

Facebook is facing its biggest scandal to date as its user data was harvested by marketing firm Cambridge Analytica and then used for political propaganda. If you’re not one of those millions who have since deleted their Facebook accounts, the next best thing to do is to check your Facebook app permissions.

Cambridge Analytica took advantage of a Facebbok loophole few years back. By using a simple quiz on Facebook, the firm was able to gather personal data for about 50 millions Facebook users. Facebook had corrected the loophole of app permissions. Nevertheless, you’re still giving away your personal info to apps that has your permissions.

To revoke app permissions, signin to Facebook on the web. Click on the down arrow on the far right of menu and select “settings” from the drop-down menu.

On the left pane, click on “Apps” for a list of all apps that you have given permissions to. To remove an app, hover over the app icon and click the ‘x’ Remove button.

It’s a best practice to regularly review your app permissions in Facebook, so that you can remove any unused apps from gathering your personal data.

You can disable Dock app icon animations when opening Mac apps

When an app is launched on macOS, the app icon on the Dock will animate with soft bounces. This is a helpful visual indicator that the app is launching. The animation is on by default, but you can turn it off if you so choose to.

To disable the animation, go to System Preferences > Dock. Uncheck the box “Animate opening applications”.

How to check internet speed using Google search

You might be familiar with using tool such as Speedtest by Ookla to check the speed of your Internet connection. A more convenient method is to run the speed test directly using Google search. Simply search for “speed test” under Google.

Check your Internet speed with Google Search

On the top portion of search result, click on the blue button “Run Speed Test” to start the test.

How to Internet speed test with Google Search

The speed tool provided by Google search will carry out the usual upload and download speed test. Once completed, you will see the upload and download speed of your connection, the server used for the test and the latency.

Instagram shows your last activity status

For better or worst, the latest Instagram update brings a new “Show Activity Status” feature which you’d normally find on chat apps. Accounts that you follow or anyone you message will now be able to see when you were last active on Instagram.

Show Activity Status is turned on by default. If you have privacy concern about broadcasting when exactly you’re using Instagram, you might want to switch it off.

Open the Instagram app, go to the Account tab, and tap on the Settings icon next to the “Edit Profile” button.

Scroll down to look for “Show Activity Status” and tap to switch off the settings.

With this feature disabled, you also won’t be able to see the activity status of other people.

Apple begins automatic rollout of High Sierra to older Macs

If you’re running macOS 10.12 Sierra or earlier, and do not wish to upgrade to macOS 10.13 High Sierra, be careful as Apple is now downloading High Sierra update automatically to your Mac in the background, making it all too easy to upgrade inadvertently.

This is a change of behaviour from Apple. In the past, only minor changes or security updates are forced into users like that. Apple explained this change in its support article:

If you’re using OS X El Capitan v10.11.5 or later, High Sierra conveniently downloads in the background, making it even easier to upgrade your Mac. When the download has completed, you receive a notification indicating that High Sierra is ready to be installed. Click Install in the notification to get started.

If you want to install High Sierra later, just dismiss the notification. Install it at any time by opening the file named Install macOS High Sierra from your Applications folder, Launchpad, or Spotlight. Or delete the installer by dragging it to the Trash. You can always get it again from the App Store.

Please note that this ‘convenience’ imposed by Apple is an automatic download of a 5.21 GB Installer in the background. Apple does not bother if you have limited disk space or bandwidth for the download. This could cause users some extra telco fees without them agreeing.

Please note that even if you’ve configured your Mac to prevent downloading updates in the background, the High Sierra Installer will still be forced into you.

If you’re not ready to upgrade to High Sierra, you may want to search under the Applications folder and remove the large “Install macOS High Sierra” file.

macOS High Sierra, together with iOS 11, are the most unpolished releases from Apple in recent years. It is advisable to upgrade to them when their .2 versions are released. Wait for macOS 10.13.2 High Sierra and iOS 11.2.

Reduce system animations in iOS 11

If you’ve been using iOS for a few years, you might notice that Apple has tuned up system animations up a little in iOS 11. This is Apple saying it has a brand new animation library and want you to take notice.

Some people might find the animation annoying. Good thing is there is a setting for you to reduce the motion.

Goto Settings app > Accessibility > Reduce Motion and turn on the “Reduce Motion” switch. You will notice opening and closing apps are now almost instantaneous. Try it out, you might prefer the less motion setting.

Use iOS Restrictions to hide system apps

iOS Restrictions is build for the use case when you want to restrict usage of phone features when someone else is using your phone. It is very useful for example to restrict “In-App Purchases” while your kid is using your phone for some games.

You can however use Restrictions for yourself by hiding unused system apps from the home screen. For example to reduce web browsing time or you use primarily other browser, you can hide Safari. If WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger is your video chat apps, you can hide the FaceTime app. Or hide the Podcasts app and use one from third party developer. Sometimes disabling “In-App Purchases” for yourself is a good choice when self-control is not enough.

To use it, go to Settings app > General > Restrictions. Tap “Enable Restrictions” to switch it on, and iOS will prompt you for a passcode to access this settings.

Simply turn off the switch to disable the feature you want. Not all Apple apps are available for you to disable. If you like your home screen tidy, go ahead and hide some unused apps and features.

Share your live location in WhatsApp

WhatsApp has just launched a new feature to allow you to share your location in real-time. This is a simple way to let family and friends to know your whereabout and that you’re safe.

To get started, open a chat with the person or group that you want to share your location. Tap the “+” button at bottom left corner and select “Location” on the popup menu.

There is now a new “Share Live Location” option. Choose the duration (15 minutes, 1 hour or 8 hours) and tap Send to let people in the chat see your real-time location in a map. If more than one person in the chat group share their live location, all locations will appear in the same map.

Your live location will be updated to the chat even when you’re not using WhatsApp. You can choose to stop sharing at anytime.