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Use search engines that don’t collect data about you

By Staff | Jan 3, 2019

Using Google for searches just gives the company more information about you and allows it to better track your movements around the web.

In the past few years, Microsoft’s Bing, Yahoo, and even underdog DuckDuckGo have improved their search algorithms; all three are virtually indistinguishable from Google’s. I recommend DuckDuckGo, since its business model doesn’t rely on collecting data about you. To enable it, go to Settings>Safari>Search Engine and tap DuckDuckGo.

The contents of your iPhone contain personal and private details about every aspect of your life. If the worst happens and someone steals it, it’s good to know the thief won’t have endless opportunities to guess your passcode. Once they get it wrong for the tenth time, all the data on your iPhone will automatically be deleted and can’t be recovered. To enable it, go to Settings>Face ID & Passcode (Touch ID & Passcode on an older iPhone), and at the bottom of the screen, toggle the “Erase Data” switch to on.

Need to translate a word from Swahili to English? Simply tell Siri to “translate text,” followed by the phrase you want translated, and tap the language.

A tip on saving your iPhone battery from the experts: to keep your battery running at full strength, try charging it off and on throughout the day and keeping energy levels above 60-70 percent.

If it feels like your phone takes forever to charge, there’s an easy way to fix that. Simply enable Airplane Mode on your iPhone or Android, and you’ll be amazed at how much faster your battery powers up.

Not sure what’s going wrong with your car, but aren’t in the mood to pay a mechanic hundreds of bucks to tell you it’s nothing? There’s an app for that.

Download the Automatic Pro app for your iPhone or Android device and you’ll get an adaptor that allows you to plug it into your car’s ODB-II port, usually located near the base of the steering column.

Once it’s plugged in, the app can remind you where you parked, diagnose engine trouble and even alert your loved ones in the event of an accident.

While you once had to have a specialized QR code reader app on your phone, now you can simply point your iPhone camera at a QR code and have it scan automatically.

All you have to do is open your camera app, focus your camera on the QR code and then tap the resulting notification that takes you to the product page or website.

Want to quickly and easily undo a mistake? Simply shake your iPhone, and an option to undo what you’ve just written will pop up. Luckily, for those using Androids, there’s a Shake to Undo module that you can download to enjoy the same effect.

Are you scared walking down Front Street after dark? The bSafe app, available for both iPhone and Android, allows you to send invitations to selected contacts to track your location and set a timer that will trigger a distress call to your contacts if you haven’t made it home within a specified time frame.

With Viper SmartStart, you can lock, unlock and even remotely start your car with the touch of an app.

Better yet, depending on the system you use, you can easily diagnose problems with your car using the app as well.

Wondering what that plane is doing flying so low over your neighborhood? There’s an easy way to find out.

Simply ask Siri what planes are overhead, and you can immediately see which airlines are flying near you, and at what angle and altitude.

Send your computer-related questions to mauimist8669@yahoo.com.