Your smartphone — and other devices that use Wi-Fi — broadcast a unique number when they search for nearby Wi-Fi networks. A device’s unique MAC address is sent along with “probe requests” that search for nearby Wi-Fi networks. This tracking problem isn’t just theoretical. Advertisers in London used Wi-Fi-enabled garbage cans to track people’s movements around the city . The Wi-Fi specification wasn’t designed for a world where people carried Wi-Fi-scanning devices in their pockets all day long. Why Your Devices Have Unique MAC Addresses RELATED: How (and Why) to Change Your MAC Address on Windows, Linux, and Mac Each physical network interface — whether it’s a wired Ethernet card in a desktop PC or a Wi-Fi chipset in a smartphone — ships with a unique MAC address. This number is designed to be unique to the hardware. This lets networks you connect to identify the device. For example, at home, you could adjust your home router’s settings to assign static IP … [Read more...] about Your Devices Broadcast Unique Numbers, and They’re Being Used to Track You
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In a world stuffed full of articles and stories, it can be hard to find the stuff that really interests you . As the name implies, Google Discover is one solution to this problem, and you probably already have it. A Brief History of Google Discover Google Discover’s origins go back to 2012 when it was called “Google Now.” The idea of “Google Now” was to give you information throughout the day without your input. In other words, Google would do the Google Searches for you. Google Now could show you boarding passes, upcoming sporting events, calendar events, tracking numbers, and much more. Slowly, Google stripped down the product and moved many of these features to Google Assistant’s “ Snapshot .” Eventually, it was trimmed down to mostly articles from around the web, and it became referred to simply as the “ Google Feed .” In 2018, Google officially announced a new name and look for it, and that’s the Google Discover we have today. RELATED: What Is the … [Read more...] about What Is Google Discover, and How Do I View It on My Phone?
Many smarthome apps don’t make it quick and easy to control a device, but with Wink Shortcuts, you can create a single button that can perform a number of tasks all at once. RELATED: How to Set Up the Wink Hub (and Start Adding Devices) Without having a shortcut, you’d normally have to open up the Wink app, access the menu that lists all of your devices, select the specific category, and then you can finally control the device you need. That’s not really all that convenient, which is why Wink Shortcuts are great to have for devices that you frequently access. You can use these shortcuts from within the Wink app, or put them on your home screen (Android) or notification center (iPhone). Here’s how to set them up. Start by opening up the Wink app and tapping on the menu button in the top-left corner of the screen. Tap on the “Shortcuts” tab at the bottom. You can see that I already have a couple of shortcuts ready to go, but we’re going to create a new one, … [Read more...] about How to Set Up Wink Shortcuts for Quick Smarthome Control on Your Phone
There are a ton of generic OBD-II adapters you can use to make your car smarter . However, one stands out above the rest. Automatic Pro does more than just pair with your phone over Bluetooth. It has its own GPS, 3G radio with 5 years of free service, plus OnStar-like Crash Alert. Here’s how to set yours up. Setting up an Automatic Pro is a little different than most other OBD-II adapters. If you’re not familiar with OBD-II adapters, you can check out our guide here . While you can get a basic adapter for as little as $20, Automatic Pro costs $130 . For that extra cost, though, you get a more advanced system that’s not dependent on your phone. It can track your car even if someone else is driving it, it can sync to your phone without Bluetooth, and it comes with a free Crash Alert system. If Automatic detects that you’re in a severe accident, it will call your phone and ask if you need emergency services and send them to your location. What You’ll Need Before you get … [Read more...] about How to Set Up Your Automatic Pro OBD-II Adapter
Signal secures all your conversations with end-to-end encryption, offering more privacy and security than your average chat app. But Signal offers some other useful security options. Here’s how to take advantage of them. Enable Registration Lock to Protect Your Signal Account Your Signal account is tied to your phone number, with no need for a password at all. When you first register for Signal (or re-register a device at a later stage), Signal will verify who you are by sending a code to your number. Enter the code to prove you are who you say you are and you’re good to go. But what happens if someone gets access to your phone number? While this might seem like an unlikely eventuality, it’s within the realm of possibility. Someone could steal your smartphone’s SIM card or fool your phone service provider into transferring your number to a new SIM using social engineering techniques . With access to your phone number, someone could gain access to your entire Signal … [Read more...] about How to Make Your Signal Chats as Secure as Possible