10 Privacy Settings You Must Have On Your Accounts

This is 2015 and here everything is dependent on technology. No matter what, directly or indirectly everything is dependent on tech. What you eat, what you do and even what you shop. Everything is tracked. The browser you are using to read this article is using cookies, which store all the information. At what time you read this, which other tabs were open while you were reading this, what other pages you visited and many other things are being recorded without coming to your notice.

These cookies not only help Google, Facebook and other big companies to help you provide better search results (knowing what you read often, which page you visit and search), but also helps online advertisers to serve you advertisements related to your personal life and spammers to spam you.

All your personal information is going out. Even a device without internet connection would be tracking you. So, where's your privacy? You are actually selling the internet and other gadgets your personal information. Your information is used by tech giants and is manipulated to serve you advertisements, products and even further sold to CIA and FBI. You are continuously under surveillance of others. So, how safe do you feel now?

Here’s Privacy Settings you must have:

1. Strict Filtering Setting
Strict Filtering on Facebook
Most of the social networks provide this now, what it actually does is filters spams, and any other stuff which may feel fishy to the algorithms in real-time. The people who had been (already) blocked or spammed by other users, would automatically come in the surveillance of the admins and he might not be able to do something to harm you by any mean. You can activate Strict Filtering on Facebook, Google+ and some matrimonial social networks.

2. Browsing in Incognito Mode
The word Incognito stands for having one's true identity concealed. This means if you will be surfing web in Incognito mode (on your web browser) the history, cookies would not be recorded, you will get complete privacy over what you are doing, Although it is complete private, but there is a drawback that companies may still track you (to collect your information), might the browser company won't , but the toolbars, the add-ons, you have installed could. Almost all web browsers support Incognito mode.

3. Not Linking Your Profile to Search Engines
Most of the people do this mistake, they don’t know, while making a new social profile it’s in their default settings that they will link your profile to search engines, which means, you could be easily found on the internet with just a query of your name. If your professional profile is linked, then it’s fine, but personal should be avoided. There have been many cases of online frauds because of fake identity, anyone can copy your photos and fake your identity.

Also read: 10 Ways To Take Revenge On Someone Online

4. Customising Your Updates
Custom Updates on Facebook

Facebook, Google+ allows this customising feature, which lets your control over your updates, who can see them, who can comment on them. Everything could be customised, this way you can hide your personal stuff from the people who you don't want to see them, without even un-friending them. I personally like Google+ customising settings, they are quite useful.

5. Installing an Ad-blocker
This won't help create anything to the cookies which has already collected your data, but from next time it stop connecting to advertisement servers resulting, less of data collection and more of privacy. Cherry on the top is you won't be seeing any more of advertisement. I'll recommend using AdBlock Plus, it's the best.

6. Using A Proxy Server
Well, this may be considered illegal in some of the countries, but is one of the best ways to hide your location and identity. This is beneficial if your using torrent or porn portals. No one would know what you visited, ever.

What it does: it routes your network through other IP addresses. IP is the address of your network. There are plenty of proxy applications available for all the operating systems, even for web. Just search on the internet.

7. Installing a Web Anti-Virus
Most of the well-known brands already offer this service, they will provide you a firewall and a link checker. What it does is it won't open any link that may seem suspicious and could harm your system or online activity. The best and most reliable one is offered by McAfee. If you are a Chrome user, you can try Avira Browser Safety.

8. Avoid Beta Internet Software
It may seem fancy to update to the new version of your favourite application, but it could be potentially harmful. It’s in beta stage, you have no idea about its vulnerability. For those who those who don’t know what a beta stage is, it’s actually second version of an Application (after alpha) just made for user testing, not for a stable work.

9. Add Syntax to your Passwords
If even by chance your account is hacked, most of the hackers won’t understand your password and think of the syntax as codes. This is the must known tip. Syntax could be any character of your choice.

10. Subscribe to Tech Sapling: Yes, we will help you.

Bonus: You can install a TOR web-browser if you want to completely hide your identity. TOR could be found on Mac, Windows, Android and Linux. Tor also provides various proxy based applications, like Internet Messengers.

If you are in trouble online related to your privacy:
  • Facebook Help: visit this link, email: info@facebook.com or call: 650-543-4800
  • Twitter Help: visit this link, tweet @support or call: 415-222-9670
  • Google Help: visit this link, or call: +1 650 253 0000
  • Yahoo Help: visit this link, or call: 1-800-266-0010
  • Microsoft Help: visit this link, or call: 00 1 800-102-1100

How To Make Professional Looking Photos Easily

Since the social networks have come, popularity of photography has been increasing among people. It's just not among teenagers, but everyone. Everyone seems to have developed a craze for photos these days, you are no hidden from those hundred likes on the selfie of the girl who you hate, that one popular kid who is getting thousands of shares and likes on his images. Jealous of them? Be no more. I will help you to make the photo of your dreams.

Even my own friends have been asking me about how I capture so good stuff that without without any professional equipment or much of professional software knowledge. I have been editing their pictures since some long back now and I guess it's time I should teach them how to do things on their own.

Please keep a note: "Every monkey with a camera cannot be called a Photographer".

Understanding the Photography
(c) Ankit Puri
Capturing something is not called Photography, capturing someone's feelings, or actions that could be described & elaborated is. Before you begin with something, decide what you want to do. I mean what you want to capture, why you want to capture and how will you capture. Pressing the camera button is easy, but getting a good shot is not. I'll be using some technical terms here which you may already be familiar with (since you are reading this). For a better photo, you must learn how to deal with:

Flash: Flash is that yellow led light that blinks when you click the capture button. Its whole purpose is to provide external brightness to the object or person you are capturing, although even if you won't use Flash, you can edit photos later and increase their exposure and brightness, but that could spoil the pixels. Proper use of Flash could help you many ways. You must avoid using Flash while doing Outdoor Photography and some external light is already there.

White Balance: The removal of unrealistic colours from an image is called adjusting white balance. It completely depends upon how you use it and what your needs are. Excessive use of White Balance will result in blur of photos. White Balance option would be found both on your smartphones and professional cameras.

Picture Size: Keep in note, the bigger the picture, the more the pixels, the better it will be. So, until and unless you don't have a particular size to make, make the biggest them of all that your phone or camera supports.

Focus: The title defines it all. If you don't have any particular thing to focus on, I will suggest sticking to default and if there is something you want to particularly highlight in a picture, chose Macro mode.

ISO Level: You must make sure your camera is not too sensitive to light. If you are not a professional let this be on auto mode. Lower ISO number means your camera is less sensitive to light, and vice-versa.

Tilt-Shift: means making a specific area of a photograph for example say background and making it blur or pixelated to display something that you want to be get noticed better.

Effects: anything you do on your photo that would make it look different from the actual one could be called an effect. It could be from adjusting brightness and contrast to apply filters.

Please Note: One thing I would also like to discuss is the angle. The position from which you take your photograph could entirely change its meaning. Great photographers know this thing, from which angle they will get better shots.

(c) Ankit Puri
Captured it with a 5MP Nokia Smartphone

You have captured the photo. Now what? Now it's time for editing. No matter how good your photo is, you would need to do some touch ups for sure and for that you will need software. Don't worry I won't be talking about Photoshop, Lightroom or any other Adobe stuff here, I don't use them much, how can I recommend you? I'll be listing five software which would satisfy almost all your deeds and are free (or very cheap/affordable).

For computers: Mac & Windows

Pixelmator: This is what I use for my most of the photos. It's Macintosh only software so Windows users, there is no luck for you. It has all the things one may need. A proper repair tool, which could almost fix anything, list of awesome effects which also includes vintage. It is mini Photoshop and Lightroom mixture, but far easy and cheap. You can find it on Mac Store or any of your favourite torrent portal, if you wouldn't like to spend money. PS: I don't support piracy, it's completely your own decision. Better get from the App Store. You will get free updates for lifetime.

Photoscape: It's been two years I haven't used it since I shifted from Windows to Mac, but it's good. I won't ever use GIMP or some other Window's photo editor. Photoscape provides great batch editing tool, which can help you edit multiple photos on one go. Plus the FX filters and its very own and unique text editor.

Bonus: you can try fotor.com for editing photos on the internet.

For Tablets and Smartphones

Model: Ankit Puri
Created using Studio & Instagram
Instagram: Popular social networking app, provides a great number of filters and Lux effect which you may not find anywhere else. It's great for a ready to go effect edit, but not proper editing.

Autodesk Pixlr: This is I will recommend to everyone. The best Android photo editor ever made, leaving Photoshop for mobile and Snapseed behind.

Studio: If you are my friend on Facebook you would have noticed me sharing some cool text written photos along with some designs, all credits goes to this app. Best thing about it? It's completely free and doesn't even support advertisements. I use the iPhone and iPad version, have tried Android too though, but it's not that great.

Tricks to make better photos:
  • Try mixing two or more effects together (in a limit). 
  • Try adding lights and designs to the photo. 
  • Play with contrast and vintage effects. 
  • Use different borders than you usually would. 
  • Blur or pixel-ate some areas of the photo.
I hoped this would help you capture and make good photos. If you are still having some problems, send me your photo I'll edit it for you just like you want it for free. You can also follow me on Instagram with username @aaranpuri and on Google +Ankit Puri.
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