Reclaim Local Storage Space by Removing iCloud Drive Downloads – LA Business IT Services

With iCloud Drive, Apple provides an Optimize Mac Storage checkbox that, when checked, stores the full contents of iCloud Drive on the Mac only if there’s enough space. However, you may wish to recover local storage space without selecting that option—luckily, that’s easy to do. Open iCloud Drive in the Finder, Control-click a file, and choose Remove Download. The file remains in iCloud Drive, and if you need it locally, you can click the cloud icon next to its name to download it. If you’re not sure which files in the iCloud Drive window occupy the most space, choose View > As List, and then click the Size column so the largest files sort to the top (click again if they’re sorting to the bottom).

(Featured image based on originals by Denny Müller on Unsplash and Mahir Uysal on Unsplash)

Take a Few Minutes to Lock Down Your Facebook Privacy Settings – Los Angeles IT Services

Even beyond its often controversial behavior in the 2020 US presidential election, Facebook continually makes news headlines for its numerous privacy and security problems. Most notable, of course, were the 50 million Facebook profiles gathered for Cambridge Analytica for the 2016 election. Closer to home, the company pushed a VPN service in the Facebook iOS app that collected all your mobile data traffic for Facebook. After pressure from Apple, Facebook pulled the VPN but reused it for the Facebook Research program, which paid users as young as 13 for their data. Apple caused that to be shut down too.

Facebook has also silently shared user data with other tech giants, received confidential health data from other apps without users’ informed consent, and stored hundreds of millions of Facebook and Instagram passwords in an unencrypted form, among much else. The criticisms of Facebook go on and on.

Because of this, many have encouraged Facebook users to delete their accounts. That even includes the billionaire co-founder of the WhatsApp messaging service, which Facebook bought in 2014. If you’re done with Facebook, you’re welcome to deactivate or even delete your account. Facebook provides instructions for both actions. Deactivating your account just makes you invisible on Facebook, whereas deleting your account may eventually (up to 3 months) result in most of the data being removed.

The problem is that Facebook can be useful. It may be the only connection you have with certain friends or family members, and many informal groups use Facebook for meetup logistics. For many, losing access to Facebook would hurt real-world relationships and activities. Plus, lots of companies have Facebook pages, and taking those down might result in a loss of business from customers who would find out about the firm only through Facebook. What to do?

If you’re a business, the most sensible approach is to keep your Facebook page but avoid relying on it. Remember, Facebook is not your friend. Back in 2018, Facebook said it would be prioritizing posts from friends and family over public content, which is a nice way of saying that Facebook is deprecating business-related posts. So make sure you have a Web site that you control, and make sure that customers can easily find it and contact you through it. It’s also a good idea to offer customers multiple ways to contact you, particularly via email.

On a personal level, there are two ways to think about privacy on Facebook: limiting the information you share with other people on Facebook and limiting the information that you’re willing to provide to Facebook. If Facebook doesn’t have data about you, it can’t sell it to the highest bidder, let it be harvested by hackers, or use it in ways you might find creepy.

Facebook’s Privacy Checkup walks you through many of Facebook’s privacy settings:

  • On the Mac, sign in to the Facebook website, click the down-pointing arrow button on the top-right corner of the page, click Settings & Privacy, and click Privacy Checkup.
  • In Facebook’s iOS app, tap the hamburger button in the bottom-right corner, scroll down to and expand Settings & Privacy, tap Privacy Shortcuts, and then tap “Review a few important privacy settings.”

For each of the five tiles in the Privacy Checkup, work through the steps to make sure you’re comfortable with the settings. Although all of them are important, pay special attention to “Your data settings on Facebook,” which lets you control what apps could leak data about you, whether Facebook can use facial recognition to identify you in photos and videos, and if Facebook can know your precise location.

If you don’t want to go through the entire Privacy Checkup just to check a single setting, look at Facebook’s Privacy Settings and Tools in the overall Settings collection (accessible from that dropdown menu on the Mac—choose Settings & Privacy > Settings > Privacy, or from the iOS app’s hamburger button—tap Settings & Privacy > Settings > Privacy Settings). This page also provides a link to help you review the posts you’re tagged in, removing those that you don’t want on your timeline.

Beware that you could also be sharing information about everyone you know—Facebook loves to know who you know, even if they don’t have Facebook accounts. You can prevent this, but doing so requires two steps, one on Facebook’s Manage Your Invites and Uploaded Contacts page and another on Messenger’s Manage Your Uploaded Contacts page. Just delete them all. Otherwise, you’re giving away your contacts’ personal information without their permission.

To ensure that contact uploading doesn’t happen again, in the Facebook iOS app, tap the hamburger button, scroll down, and then tap Settings & Privacy > Settings > Upload Contacts (at the bottom) and make sure the switch is off. In the Messenger app, tap your avatar in the upper-left corner, tap Phone Contacts > Upload Contacts, and make sure it’s off.

Also, in the iPhone Facebook app, tap the hamburger button again and then Settings & Privacy > Settings > Location, and turn off all the settings. Facebook doesn’t need to know everywhere you go.

If you’re perturbed by the way Facebook’s iOS app is trying to capture your contacts and locations, you could delete it from your devices and rely instead on the Facebook website, which can’t access as much information about you. To make it easier to open, in Safari, visit facebook.com, tap the Share button, and then tap Add to Home Screen in the share sheet.

Let us leave you with one thought. Always assume that anything you post to Facebook or allow Facebook to have access to could end up in the hands of companies who want to exploit you or on the front page of your local newspaper… or the New York Times. Nothing on Facebook is ever private—Facebook has shown that it isn’t trustworthy or reliable—and the best way to ensure confidential or embarrassing information doesn’t leak inadvertently is to avoid posting it to Facebook in the first place.

(Featured image based on an original by Michael Treu from Pixabay)


A Quick Shortcut to Create an Instant Slideshow from a Folder of Images – LA IT Support

You probably know that you can select an image in the Finder and press the Space bar to preview it in a Quick Look window. And you may know that you can use the arrow keys to preview other files in the same folder without closing and reopening the Quick Look window. But did you know that if you select multiple images in the Finder and hold down the Option key when pressing the Space bar, the Finder will run a full-screen slideshow with a 5-second interval between images? Move the cursor to display slideshow controls, including a button to bring up an index sheet. This feature isn’t something most people need every day, but it can be a lifesaver when you need to run a quick slideshow at a party or presentation.

(Featured image by 祝 鹤槐 from Pexels)

Too Many Home Screens in iOS 14? Here’s How to Hide Them! IT Services Los Angeles

The App Library in iOS 14 ensures that you can find all the apps installed on your iPhone without having to hunt through Home screens. So if you already have a lot of Home screens that contain a random assemblage of apps, it might be easier to hide those screens than to remove all the apps on them. To do this in iOS 14, touch and hold any empty spot on the Home screen to enter jiggle mode. Then tap the lozenge around the dots that represent your Home screens. In the Edit Pages screen, tap the checkmark under any Home screen to hide it (or tap an empty circle to add a checkmark and show that Home screen). To save your changes, tap Done. As a bonus tip, notice that swiping on that lozenge of Home screen dots is now a quick way to navigate between the Home screens.

(Featured image based on an original by cottonbro from Pexels)

Want Better Goals? Customize Your Move, Exercise, and Stand Rings in watchOS 7: LA IT Consultants

Ever since Apple introduced the Activity app to watchOS, you’ve been able to adjust your Move goal, which is measured in kilocalories, but your Exercise goal was locked at 30 minutes and the Stand goal at 12 hours. In watchOS 7, you can finally change these last two. In the Activity app on your Apple Watch, scroll to the bottom and tap Change Goals. Then, for each screen, adjust the goal numbers in whatever way will most motivate you. Some people like setting the goals higher than they’re likely to reach so they can more easily see how well they’ve done as a percent of the whole, whereas others might like to tweak them so the goals are just a little out of reach.

(Featured image by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels)