Category Archives: Social Media

Opt Out from Behavioral Online Advertising with tools

Interest and online behavior advertising inundates us daily when websites use your browsing history to predict what ads you should see. Luckily, there are some free tools with participating advertisers that allow you to opt out. The advertisers in question dig into your life, peeking into your browser cookies so they can tell where you recently visited and what may entice you into clicking more ads.

The Digital Alliance Advertising Consumer Choice page allows you to view over 125 participating advertising companies and have a simple tool to help you opt out. I personally have visited this page more than once because this tool needs to be used on every computer you use to browse the Internet.  I also make sure to visit the Your Online Choices page that offers similar services but different companies appear. Depending on your browsing habits you may need to visit both.

Digital Alliance Advertising Consumer Choice - You can view the entire list of participating companies, see what companies have current ads customized based on your behavior and see what you have opted out from already. Use the Select All checkbox to make it even quicker to opt out.

Digital Alliance Advertising Consumer Choice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Online Choices - this service is a bit harder to scroll through the long list, with no select all. It does offer you the ability to quickly toggle on/off each advertiser, including those that are not reporting correctly.  It was interesting to see the variance of companies found on each page.

Your Online Choices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I suggest you bookmark this page as I update tools or bookmark those sites themselves.  I was shocked the first time I visited to see the number of companies in the alliance that are not affiliated but share data access in the cookies for advertising.  Some would say you could also exclusively use Private Browsing services that every major browser now offers. However, it is not the default action of Internet browsers and you must actively switch to private tabs and sessions.

Leave other tools and sites in the comments below.  I am guessing many will say to turn off all cookies or use add on tools, but those can block cookies you use for other preferences or slow your browser down.  Either way you need to take prevention steps.

Instagram – thank you for new Landscape, Portrait and Layouts

instagram logo

Instagram has finally listened to users and now allows you to post landscape and portrait mode photos. While you could previously do this using other applications, the whole act of going into another app made no sense and was obvious in the timeline.

Instagram landscape mode

As you can see, the picture on the left is the old way where you had to select a specific portion of a picture and crop it down to make it fit.  With the new button in the lower left corner it easily drops the photo to the landscape or portrait size and then you can slide and zoom as needed.  The final result shows on the right of the sample image.

Previously you had to launch a third party app that you authorize to post on Instagram under your account and do the work there.  It then tossed the picture over to Instagram for the final filters and description. This not only saves a step but removes you authorizing numerous third party applications.

Instagram also took matters into it;s own hands months ago and introduced Layout, it’s own companion app for making collages and other formatted pictures.  In Layouts you can take up to 9 photos (some 3rd party apps do 15) and choose the layout design and post to Instagram.

Hopefully they soon add the ability to put multiple photos into a single scrollable posting like advertisers are allowed to do. This could mean uploading a few shots of an event into a single post.  I have to see the developers at Instagram/Facebook would want this ability to come together for users as well much like they did with tagging photos.

Let’s hope everyone gets the update and posts some great landscape shots.  Leave some links to your best ones in the comments.

Instagram adds post notifications to help you stalk better

instagram logo

Instagram has added a new feature in their current release called Post notifications that allows you to get notified the moment someone posts a new photo.  You can think of this much like following someone with an added bonus.  Instead of them just appearing in your regular feed (or you having to manually visit their profile) you instantly know when a new picture was uploaded.

Instagram Post Notifications

To access this new feature you go to the persons profile you are wanting to be notified about.  Click the three dots in the upper right corner and the above menu will appear.  From there simply turn on post notifications. You will then get a separate prompt from mentions of your name, and comments or likes on your pictures letting you know they have a new photo to view.  Of course normal block and privacy rules apply.

So does this really mean more stalking? It does remove the need for someone to constantly refresh your page or profile. Mainly if you are public. Understandably a person would block someone they did not want following them. But how do you know someone is not trying to suddenly show up at places you are. It is all about posting smart and controlling what and when you share something.

StarStar MyInfo – contact sharing with no app required

StarStar My Info

StarStar MyInfo has taken a new approach to contact and business card sharing for mobile devices. There is no app to download, no bumping of cell phones and no sending contacts via SMS.  The person simply dials ** (followed by your phone number) and they are told that they will get a link to your shared contact card. Your phone then gets a text message, with a link, saying who has requested your contact information to confirm the sending.

StarStar MyInfo experience

After clicking the link., you are then able to choose sending a personal or business profile card (or both) to the requester. This allows you to have a couple personas established depending on if it is business or friendly encounter.  What I did not like is the inability to simply reply via text to approve the sending of my card. Why could I not have responded with a 1,2 or 3 saying send personal, business or both. Instead I always have to launch a web browser. That made it a bit cumbersome and multiple clicks needed.