August Brice
Aug 8 · 7 min read

Protecting Yourself From The Technology You Love

We chatted about Alexa and Facebook, Apple and Android Apps and our smartphones and how they are listening and following and frankly, getting to know way too much about all of us. Listen to the Podcast and you will hear our Expert talk about how he thinks the idea of using Alexa is “hysterical” Wondering who would ever risk their privacy in such an outright way. And now Apple has been hit with a class action law suit that charges people have been hired to listen to recordings of Siri requests. Apple isn’t commenting, but plenty of other people are happy to.

Bryan Neumeister, head of USA Forensic, helps law enforcement, government agencies and the legal system. He reveals just how much he can access, from erased information on cell phones, laptops and wired and wireless devices. Things like your bank accounts, exactly where you’ve been, the passwords to all your accounts, every photo you’ve ever taken-when and where and so much more.

If you’re seeking privacy with your technology, listen to the wealth of information in the podcast at the end of this guide — But First —

THE Top 20 Internet and Online Privacy Tips

  • Prevent Cameras on Computers and Phones From Watching you When You Don’t Want Them To- SO Not Cool. Block/Cover Computer Camera’s and Your Selfie Camera With Creep Blockers Webcam and Microphone Blockers
  • Be mindful of “Smart Devices” that are always listening! From Amazon Alexa, to Smart Toys our Connected Devices are always on. And now we’ve confirmed, something we learned way back when Hello Barbie was introduced — that it’s not always just AI(artificial intelligence) that’s hearing your every word. Buzz Feed released a story of how Amazon employees thousands of people to listen to Alexa — listen to YOU.-Just like Barbie, they use the recordings of your conversations. Not just your commands — but the conversations in your home — to help the “robots” learn speech and to help Alexa better respond to commands.
  • AI really is not so Artificial. — When you use Apple HomePod or Google Home or Alexa — your utterances are recorded. That’s the key. DISABLE Recordings going to Amazon. On Amazon: Go To Privacy Settings on the Amazon Echo App and Opt Out of Amazon Using Your Voice Recordings. Note: Even if they are not “used” utterances are most likely still recorded.
  • For Siri — It’s similar. Apple tells us in their privacy policy that your voice input data may be retained for period of time to improve Siri, Dictation and other Apple products and services. This “Data” includes Audio Files — aka Recording of What You Say to Siri! The Guardian broke a story recently explaining how Apple was hiring people to LISTEN TO SIRI recordings — just like Amazon. A class action suit was filed according to Business Insider, which is awesome, but doesn’t stop the recordings-yet. — In order to stop these recordings — Siri must be disabled. So stop Siri by going to Siri on your phone: Siri & Search: Toggle off Listen for Hey Siri and Press Side Button for Siri. Also turn off Siri Suggestions. All of them. Next go to General and go to Keyboards and toggle off Enable Dictation. Ahh, that feels better!
  • Limit Sharing Location: Does everyone or anyone need to know where you are? For iPhone: Settings>Privacy>Location Services — You can turn it off or scroll through every app and decide which ones need your location. Be extra careful-Turn on Location Services: and toggle off every app option and then turn Location Services off. For Android: Go to Settings>Location Toggle it Off You also have the option to allow individual apps — like Google and Google maps permissions. We recommend never giving Google any of your information.

Build better voice apps. Get more articles & interviews from voice technology experts at

  • Does the Website you’re visiting really need to know your location or your IP address? Browse anonymously and unblock websites when you’re traveling internationally with a VPN (Virtual Private Network). There’s a bunch of options out there, we like several including Express VPN**(Resources Below!)
  • Shopping on line? Who isn’t? Your Data is Being Collected and saved. My theory is more collected data, more chances of it being leaked. Use an International Shopping Platform (you’ll know who they are because they MUST warn you they are placing cookies on your computer) Shopping platforms and sites can utilize other apps for things like ratings or photos and those apps can also have access to your data. In our store at Tech Wellness we automatically exercise the option of ERASING OUR CUSTOMER DATA using our Shopify platform according to the European General Data Protection Regulation.That means that we erase each record one at a time and personally email every customer about the process. We do it because we value our customers and their privacy. Approximately 6 months after a customer makes a purchase they will receive a note with the details.You can request your data from any GDPR regulated site(it’s pretty scary to see what they have on you) and then you ask for it to be erased. Please Do!
  • Keep hackers and computer viruses out of your computer. Use Anti-Malware software to safeguard your computer from Hacking, Spyware, Malware, keyloggers and more. We like Malwarebytes or SuperAntiSpyware*
  • Recently Apple Announced that FaceTime had a Bug that allowed users to unknowingly be seen and heard after the call was completed(Gasp!) Facebook’s Messenger has had similar issues. Prevent Your Calls And Texts from Being Intercepted by Stingray and other eavesdropping technology by using apps with end to end encryption for privacy. We like the FREE Signal**
  • If Your Phone is With You(Is It Ever Not?) You may want to consider a Faraday Bag to prevent your cell phone provider, apps or any nasty tracker from knowing your location and intercepting data. A quality Faraday Bag stops radio frequency signals and wireless signals from powering your device.
  • Know which Apps are accessing your Microphone:(another great reason to have your phone in a Faraday) On an iPhone under Setting > click Privacy >under Privacy> click Microphone, here you’ll see a list of the apps you have that want to access your mic. Toggle to disable.
  • Most people have no idea- Google Vault saves all your e-mails even the ones you delete- even the words you backspace over . . . Google and Chrome are privacy No-No’s. For so many reasons. In so many ways. For private and secure email, try this fully encrypted email based in Switzerland: For IOS, Android and computers: Proton Mail**
  • Interested in knowing who might be reading those un-sent, but well-written(!) emails? Check our story on Google Vault
  • When you and your phone walk into a coffee shop or any public venue — your phone can tell everyone who you are: YOUR Phone’s NAME (typically your name) appears as Hotspot or as someone to Air Drop: So Change it. Touch Settings>General>About>Name. Then, type in your new name — Video and More
  • Do You Use an Electronic Key for Your Apartment or Car? It’s really quite unbelievable -but some people are hacking the codes and breaking into cars and homes — Check This Out
  • Your Apps Want To Get To Know YOU! To avoid being tracked and “advertised to,” disable apps that you’re not using-honestly get rid of many as you can- each one is an additional risk. Enable them when you need them.
  • Check your Cellphone Settings for other privacy issues like: what apps have camera and microphone access, know your location, auto-join settings, and more. Find more settings to check and instructions on how to change them for iOS / Android here
  • Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn all think you’re fascinating and they want to know oh so much about You. Check privacy settings on your social media accounts We have the Ultimate Guides to Facebook Privacy Settings and Instagram Privacy Settings

And one last Tech Wellness online privacy tip: If you care about privacy: Keep Google off your phone! Other Excellent Privacy ideas here

For more detail and for more online privacy information, listen to the full podcast of our discussion with Bryan here. And we have the fun and interesting transcript posted along with it too.

Voice Tech Podcast

Voice technology interviews & articles. Learn from the experts.

August Brice

Written by

Advancing less toxic tech. By way of 50+videos and solutions based, I explore the correlation between health, security and balanced tech use.

Voice Tech Podcast

Voice technology interviews & articles. Learn from the experts.

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