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GDPRI’m sure you have received them too. Tons of annoying emails where companies or organisations are explaining to you how they value your privacy, and that because of the new GDPR directive from the EU, they are asking for your consent to continue sending you emails.

Yes, there is a new directive that will soon be put into action. The original date was on May 25th, but it’s now been postponed until June. However there was most likely no need for the company to send you an email asking for your consent. In fact, these emails are most likely illegal and a violation of both GDPR and privacy rules that already are in effect!

In an article in the Guardian,  Toni Vitale, the head of regulation, data and information at the law firm Winckworth Sherwood, says that businesses are not required to ask for your consent. They already have your consent because of the existing 1998 Act, which was made in preparation for GDPR.

Also: Consent is just one of the six legal grounds under GDPR. The others are contract, legal obligation, vital interests, public interest and legitimate interests.

In addition, recital 171 of the GDPR makes it clear that you can continue to rely on any existing consent that they already had from you, which you gave them by signing up in the first place. There is absolutely no reason to ask for your consent again. All an organisation has to do is to make sure the consent met the GDPR standard, and that they are properly documented.

In short: You have received tons of unnecessary annoying emails for no reason other than a lot of consultants wanted to make a shitload of money by preying on the misguided fear that companies could be fined insane amounts of money. Naturally these companies wanted to cover their asses.

Not only that, but by emailing you these GDPR emails, the sender will most likely be breaching the rules set by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, which makes it an offense to email someone to ask them for consent to send them marketing  by email!

To quote Vitale: “If the business really does lack the necessary consent to communicate with you, it probably lacks the consent even to email you to ask you to give it that consent.”

On the positive side, if you just ignore these emails and don’t click on any of the links in them, you will not receive more annoying marketing emails from the companies that sent them to you…

Microsoft scamYesterday I got another «Hi, this is Fucker Fuckerson from Microsoft Security calling” call. They had even managed to fake a Norwegian cell phone number this time, which is the only reason I replied. (I never reply to call from abroad anymore. If people outside of Norway wants to get hold of me, they have to send me an email, or message me via one of the many online services I’m on. Once I was called from abroad and they asked “Is this Hogne?” Unfortunately, I replied “yes” and they recorded it and used it as a verification that I had said yes to a lot of services, which I was then was charged for via my phone bill).

However, back to yesterday: I realised it was a fake call when he said he was from Miscrosoft (remember, Microsoft would never ever make an unsolicited call to tell you that your computer is infected). Unfortunately for him I was in a bad mood for other reasons already, so I decided to hurt the fucker. Here’s what I did:

I played along. After he told me my computer was infected, I went “oh no” and confirmed that I would sit down at my computer and let him connect to my computer and help me fix it. What I instead did was sitting down with my trusty old Imac and I started looking through my sound effects library for one particular sound.

You see, I make movies and radio programs, so I have an extensive library of great sound effects. A lot of those are made by yours truly. I was looking for a sound that is a combination of an old modem, a Norwegian civil defence siren (with a higher pitch than usual), a dentist drill sound and nails being scraped along a school chalk board. In short: Sounds that really hurt the ear.

I found the sound, loaded it into my music player, turned the volume of my subwoofer powered speakers to 9, put on my noise cancelling head phones for protection, held the phone as close to my speakers as I could, and turned the sound on.

Even with my noise cancelling headphones my ears hurt. But it didn’t matter. The scream I heard coming from the other end of the phone line was worth it.

In these days where Facebook is rocked by the Cambrigde Analytica scandal, more and more people are starting to wake up and reliase how much personal information they are actually giving Facebook. Especially now that Facebook is showing that not only are they not that concerned about protecting your data, they are now even trying to cover their tracks by almost lying about why they shared so much data to third parties.

But do you know exactly what Facebook knows about you? Do you want to find out? It’s very easy.

  1. Go to the pull down menu next to the help button (?):
    Pulldown
  2. Click on it:
    Pulldown
  3. Find the item Settings and click on it:
    Settiings
  4. General Settings will now open up. At the bottom of the list, in small writing, you will find a link called Download a copy of your Facebook data:
    Download a copy
  5. Click on this link. You will now see this page:
    Download
  6. Click on Start My Archive
  7. You will be prompted for your password. Type it in and click Submit
  8. You will then get the following message:
    Start request
  9. Click on Start My Archive
  10. You will now be told that Facebook has started to create your archive, and that you will receive an email to the displayed email adress when the archive is finished.
  11. Click OK
  12. You will now receive an email from Facebook telling you that they have received your request, and that they will send you a new email when your data is ready for download
  13. Go on using Facebook as normal, while waiting for the email from them. This might take a while!
  14. When your Facebook data is ready for download you will get both an email and a notification in Facebook. Click on the link, and you will be taken to this page:
    Download
  15. Click on Download Archive
  16. You will be prompted for your password again. Type it in and click Submit
  17. A zip-file with your data will now be downloaded. Choose where you want to save it. If your browser doesn’t ask you where you want to save it, you will find it in the Downloads/Nedlastinger folder.
  18. Find the file on your computer. The file will be called facebook-[yourname].zip
  19. Doubleclick on it. The file will now open up and show you the contents:
    ZIP
  20. Mark the index file and all the folders by clicking on them while holding down the CTRL key on your keyboard:
    Marked Files
  21. Hold down the CTRL key on your keyboard while hitting the letter C on your keyboard. Alle the files and folders will now be copied.
  22. Go to the My Documents/Documents/Mine dokumenter/Dokumenter folder, right click on it and then click Paste/Lim inn:
    Paste
  23. The index file and all the folders will now be pasted in there. Wait for it to finish copying, it will take a while.
  24. When it has finished copying, double click on the index file.
  25. A web page will now open in your web browser. And you can see
  26. You can now click on the links in the web page’s menu to see exactly what Facebook knows about you, and what you have shared and uploaded.

You can se EVERYTHING you have done on Facebook.

Here’s what I found by going through my own data:

  • The names, numbers, email and adresses of all my phone contacts that I had on my phone up until I removed Messenger from the phone
  • A list of every single call I received or made between 2008 and 2016. The list even told me if the call was a missed call or not
  • A list of every single text message and MMS I sent and received in the same period
  • Every single conversation I’ve ever had on Messenger, even from people how have blocked me or that I have blocked
  • All my interests and pages that I have liked
  • Every single comment and like I have made
  • Every single comment and like YOU have made on my postings
  • Every single song I’ve listened to on Spotify in the period I used Facebook to log on to Spotify
  • Surprisingly few of my photos, but the ones that were there had all comments and likes listed
  • Most videos and live broadcasts, including comments and likes
  • A list of all Facebook friends, including the ones I no longer have in my friends list
  • Every single event that I have created or attended
  • Every single place or device I used to log on to Facebook
  • Every ad I’ve made or (accidentally) clicked, including sponsored postings
  • Every single application I’ve ever used

Imagine having this information for billions of users all over the world. Now, imagine people using stupid Facebook quizzes that give these quiz apps the same access to all of your friends’ data.   The next time people ask you why you should care about privacy, tell them this:

All this data is a total profile on you. And it’s a profile about your beliefs, your political views, your sexual orientation, who your friends are, what you like, what you don’t like… It’s so much, that the people who have all this knowledge about you can actually use it to influence you on what to vote, what to think and even how you behave!

Lately there have been more and more focus on exactly what the Facebook and Messenger apps are doing on your phone. And the revelations have been quite an eye opener for a lot of people. There is no logical reason for Facebook reading your phone contacts list, your text messages or any other content on your phone.

Especially Android users have been affected by this, because on the Iphone there are more restrictions.

However, I’m going to show you how you can use Facebook and Messenger on your phone without having to worry about the Facebook corporation accessing anything on your phone:

  1. If you have the Facebook and Messenger apps installed on your phone, uninstall them now
  2. Open your phone’s web browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera Mini etc)
  3. Go to this adress: https://mbasic.facebook.com/
  4. Log in to your Facebook account. If your web browser asks you for permission to give you notifications, you can safely accept.
  5. You will now see the basic version of Facebook:
    FB Basic
  6. Click on the browser’s menu button and choose Add to homescreen:
    How to Geek
  7. An icon will now be placed on your home screen on your phone:
    Icons
  8. Use this icon to open and browse Facebook.

That’s it. Now you can use Facebook and Messenger without having to worry about giving away your data or information about your cell phone contacts and text messages.

Be warned thought, that the basic version of Facebook is just that: Basic. Most of the functionality will be there, but it’s a bit more cumbersome to use. But after a while, you get used to it.

 

In the following days I will post a series of postings showing you how to secure your Facebook account in the best possible way. Each tip will take you less than two minutes to follow. 

I’m sure you have used Facebook to log in to apps an web sites. I am also sure you have used the “comment with your Facebook profile” in comments sections and similar. And of course, you might have played Farmville, taken Nametests questionnaires and so on.

Here’s how to go through the list of your apps to see exactly who and what you have given access to your profile data:

  1. Go to the pulldown menu up in the right corner of Facebook:
    Settings menu
  2. Choose Settings:
    Settings menu choice
  3. A new page will open up. There is a menu to the left. Find the one called Apps:
    Apps
  4. Click on it and a new page will open up where you will see all apps where you use Facebook to log on:
  5. Hold your mouse pointer over one of the app icons, and these two new smaller icons will appear:
    Edit App
  6. Clik on the pencil to see what exactly you give this app access to (warning: You might be shocked):
    Permissions
  7. If you scroll down in the list, you can also see that you give this app permission to do on your Facebook account (warning: This might scare you even more)
  8. To remove permissions, click on the blue check mark to the right, so that it turns white:
    Check box
  9. Click the Save button and you will be taken back to the app list.
  10. You can now do the same with the other apps, or you can simply remove the app completely. Do this by clicking on the x-icon:
    Remov app
  11. You will now be asked to confirm that you want to remove it. You may also be given the opportunity to select a checkbox saying that you want to delete everything you’ve ever posted on Facebook with this app. My recommendation is that you do this! Then click Remove.
  12. Congratulations. You have now taken control of your apps (if you do this with your entire app lists).

 

Here is How You Block Nametests

February 24th, 2018 | Posted by elfworld in Facebook | Social Media - (0 Comments)

Since my last posting about what Nametest (and such quizzes and tests) do to the profile of your friends, I’ve gotten a lot of private messages asking me how to block them.

First I have to point out something: The data that the company behind nametests, namely Social Sweethearts (now that’s an ironic name for ya), already has collected about you and your friends is not gonna be affected by this move. They already have it. However, this can prevent them for gathering even more data about you in the future (you do add more and more data as time goes by).

I’m sure you have some “friends” who insists on still taking these tests, even if you have pointed out that they are helping to violate privacy of their Facebook contacts (probably defending themselves with “there will always be threats and viruses, and this is just for fun,” not realising the reason there will always be threats and viruses are because of people like them).

These are good steps to take to prevent your data from being snapped up by unwanted third parties.. These tips can also be used for any other app your friends use that you don’t feel comfortable with. So I hope this is useful for you.

Note: These tricks won’t stop you from seeing that your friends post the annoying results of their annoying tests. If you don’t want to see those postings at all you either have to unfriend those friends, or install FB Purity. The latter makes it possible for you to clean up your news feed to look just like you want it to.

These instructions are done in a web browser on a computer. The menus will be different in the mobile app, but the principle will be the same.

Block information that you don’t want apps to see

  1. Go to to the pull down menu in the upper right corner of Facebook and click on it:
    Pull down menu 
  2. In the menu that appears, click on Settings:
    FB settings
  3. A new page will open up. There is a menu on the left side. Click on the menu item called Apps:
    Apps menu choice
  4. Yet another page will open up. Find the section called Apps others use:
    Apps others use
  5. Click on the Edit button. This screen will appear:
    Checkboxes
  6. Make sure that you uncheck all the check boxes, so that it looks just like the picture above (click on a check box to uncheck it). When you are finished, hit Save.

Set other public information to be private

Note that all public data you have on Facebook profile  will still be available to these apps. You can however change it so that only you can see the information about your self such as gender, relationship status and so on:

  1. Open your Facebook profile
  2. On your cover photo is a  button called Update Info:
    Update info 
  3. Click on it and a new page opens up.
  4. In the left side menu you see several categories for information about yourself. Click on the category where the information you want to change privacy settings for is located. In this example I’m choosing Contact and Basic Info:
    Information categories
  5. I’ve decided that I want to change the privacy settings about my cell phone:
    Mobile phone 
  6. When I hover the mouse button over this setting, I get a link called Edit on the right:
    Edit
  7. When I click on it I can now edit the information. In the upper right corner there will be an icon signifying how public this information is:
    Edit menu 
  8. I click on the globe and get a menu where I can choose who I want to see this information. Since I don’t want any of my friends’ apps to see it, I choose Only Me:
    Only me 
  9. Then I hit Save.

You can go through all your information in this way, and control exactly who should be able to see what. If you set Only me your friend’s apps won’t be able to go through it.

Make your  friends list private

If you don’t want the apps to read your friends list, you can prevent that in the following way:

  1. Open your Facebook profile
  2. On your cover photo is a  button called Update Info:
    Update info
  3. Click on it and a new page opens up.
  4. In the left side menu you see several categories for information about yourself. Click on Contact and Basic Info:
    Information categories
  5. A new page opens up. Scroll down to the Friends section and klikk on the pencil on the far right and choose Edit privacy:
    Friends settings
  6. You can set the privacy level for who can see your friend list, who should be able to see people, pages and lists you follow and who should able to see your followers. Behind each of these you have a pull down menu where you can set the privacy settings. Click on each of them and set them to Only me:
    Friends pricavy
  7. When all are set to this, click Done.

Now your friends list should be safe from those pesky apps.

Go nuclear!

If you want to block these apps completely, you have another step you can take. You can go to the section called Apps, Websites and Plug-ins:

Block all apps

If you click Edit, you are given the choice of turning off access for all services like this. Be warned, however, that the following will happen:

  • You will not be able to log into websites or applications using Facebook.
  • You will not be able to log in to mobile games or applications using Facebook.
  • Your friends won’t be able to interact and share with you using apps and websites.
  • Apps you’ve logged in to (with Facebook or anonymously) will be removed.

What if You’ve already started using Nametests?

What if you’ve already used Nametests and thereby given it access to your own profile, as well as those for your friends. How do you remove it?

  1. Go to the Apps menu:
    Apps menu choice
  2. At the top of the page you see this:
    Logged in with FB
  3. Find nametests.com in the list of apps and clik on the x to the right of it to delete it:
  4. When you are asked if you want to delete it, confirm.

So it’s up to you how well you want to protect yourself. The best way is to inform your friends what apps like Nametests do (and there’s so much we don’t know what Nametests do with your data) that they shouldn’t use them. If they refuse, you can always unfriend them, but that could create social awkward situations…

Did you find this useful? Leave a comment in the or send me a message. And I appreciate it if you share this posting.

Tests

In the past two weeks a lot of my Facebook contacts have been posting this “What Would I Look Like as a Movie star” results from a test taken via the Nametests app. DO NOT TAKE THESE TESTS!

Consider this. A person says the following to you: “Give me access to all your personal information, your photos, the contact information about all your friends and everything you write or say in the future, and I will tell you what celebrity you look like.”

What would you say? My guess is: Fuck off!

However, when people are given the same choice on Facebook, they say: “Yes, let me know what celebrity I look like!”

Do people really think Nametests (that’s the perpetrator for this test) make tests like this out of the kindness of their hearts? When you give Nametests access to your Facebook profile, you have to accept several pages of terms, that are written in such a difficult lawyer language that you really don’t understand what you are saying yest to. But hey, it’s all for fun, right?

Wrong! You are giving them access to not only your information, but also the information of your friends. They immediately start searching through your friends list on Facebook, gathering whatever information they can that your friends haven’t locked securely away. This is most likely sold to spammers who will use the information to things I’m sure your friends wouldn’t like.

So why do you take that risk just because you want to take a silly test?

What you’re really doing is this: you’re “purchasing” a test about you, and “pay” by allowing them access to your friend list and Facebook wall—including all your past, current and future posts.

So what if you’ve already used Nametests? Is it too late? No, you can remove it by going to your Security Settings in Facebook, find the lists of apps you have given access to your account and then remove Nametests and all other apps you’ve given similar access. Get rid of them, now!

Rule of thumb: If an app asks you for access to your Facebook account, with a lot of legal mumbo jumbo language, do no install it! Simple as that. Send me a photo instead, and I will tell you what celebrity you look like. And I won’t even ask for any of your or your Facebook friends’ personal information.

Aren’t there times when you where you are itching to post a scatching status posting about something or someone? But you can’t do it, because you don’t want any persons involved to read your posting.

Luckily Facebook has a function not many people know about that lets you do just that: Post something and then tell what people should not be allowed to read neither the posting itself, or any likes or comments either.

This is how you do it:

Write your posting:

Status posting

 

To the left of the Post button you have a pulldown menu:

Visibility button

 

Click on this button:

Pulldown menu

 

Go to Friends except… and click on it. This screen pops up (I have anonymized people in my list, but you will see your friends’ profile photos, names and workplace):

Friends list

 

In the top of my list I have the two last persons I blocked from seeing a posting. You can see that they are active, because of the red circle behind their names. If I do want them to see this posting, I simply click on the red icon, so that it becomes white:

Uncheck

Now the person in the top of the list will not be included in this exception list.

To choose a person that should not see this new posting, you simply search for their name in the search field:

Search field

 

Type as many letters as needed in the search field until you see the name of the person listed. Then simply click on the circle to the right of their name:

Check name

 

After clicking on it, it will turn red:

Checked

 

If there are other people you want to hide this posting from, simply search for them as well and click on the circle icon behind their names.

When you have found all the names you simply click on the button Save Changes.

However, it can be a good idea to review the list of people you want to block. To do so, click on the little x to the right inside the search field:

Close search

 

Now you can see the list of all the people you have blocked for this posting:

List of blocked people

As you can see I have two people whom I want to block from seeing this posting. The person I removed from the block list is still listed among the others that I’ve chosen, but as we can see the icon behind the name is white, which means he won’t be blocked.

Click Save Changes. You will now return to this screen:

Chosen

 

As you can see on the pulldown button, this posting will now be shown to all friends, except the ones you just chose. You can even see the names of people it should be hidden for it you click on  the pulldown arrow in the button:

Friends except

 

If you change this to Public or Friends, the people you just picked will still see the posting, like everybody else. You choice has to stay on Friends except…

However, the next time you choose Friends except…, all the people you just added to this list will still be listed here. So if you want any of them to see the posting the next time you choose Friends except…, you have to actively remove them from the list.

So that’s how you hide a posting from selected individuals. Neat, eh?