Top TwosDay: My Phone’s Adulterous Behavior

A few weeks ago I noticed that my smart phone was warm! It felt as if I needed a potholder, or I’d get burned!

The only thing I was doing was putting home decor pictures on virtual bulletin boards.

What was my phone doing?

Without missing a beat, I dove into the device’s subterranean settings, checking on its unfaithful habits.

I could call it a blabbermouth, but then I’d be labeling it unjustly. I was the one who welcomed it into my arms, treating it like a member of the family by inviting it into the unseen corners of my home.

Maybe your phone is a kindred spirit. Beware, the treason runs deep.

My apps, some that came on the phone and some I downloaded, tell others about my internet visits. One app in particular, suggests sites that may be unimportant.

It knows if I’ve been bad or good.

It sees my wifi connections, like when I’m on Pinterest or Twitter at a particular time – when I’m sleeping and when I’m awake.

But I’m a smarty pants and know that I have control.

Under the heading “Settings” I can adjust many things, from apps data downloads to picture permissions. I can even limit who is allowed to find accounts on my device and read the SD card.

I understand its data consumption needs, let it go so far and then intervene to clear cache, cookies and history.

Accordingly, I did a check and all was quiet. Hurrumph! There was no reason for it to be so fired up hot.

But then I saw it and the double take caused me whiplash.

This was infidelity plus, if there is such a thing!

I was in my g-mail address settings, under the category “Ads” where you can choose to let others “build profiles and show me personal ads”.  Whaaaat? When did that arrive?

Every phone has a particular number or ID associated with it, and cannot be removed. Just like your computer IP address, this information is golden to those who mine it.

Apparently the mine was working overtime as I was on Pinterest.

I reset the advertising id and opted out of personalized ads, and a few minutes later my phone chilled.  🙂

Don’t have a smart phone? You’re not in the clear. Maybe you have a laptop or desktop that’s updated. Check the settings.

Even kid’s toys are not so cute. That plush animal, that interacts with a child? That almost-like mommy’s tablet, with picture capability?

Yes.  And, Yes.

Now that I have you playing data hide and seek, let me pass another bit of info on. There is a comprehensive site, that will help you stop leaky information. Particularly those invisible ones.

Common Sense Media is a nonprofit groups that enables parents to use “smart” information wisely. Here are their suggestions to protect your family’s data.

Each of our devices has vulnerabilities. But if we can keep up with their disloyalty, than we can decide what information we provide, and what we’d like it to do with the data.

If you like cautionary tales, here are two recent posts: Forget Facebook, You Have Big Brother Issues   and    Money for Nothin’ and the Cards for Free

And there’s more Top TwosDays here…


  1. It’s gotten so complicated. You always have to be on guard – not only with people but with your darn phone!
    Really bothersome is with some phones, everything there’s an update, it managed to turn everything back on – so you have to go back and once again turn it all off. ARRRGGGHHH
    Great post – we have to keep up!

    1. you’re right, they get us with the updates, turning everything on again! constant hide and seek with what they change, very frustrating! Maybe cutting the cord was the wrong thing, but there’s no going back.

  2. When I got my latest phone I turned everything off on principle and then restarted ONLY what I was using … and did it have a hissy-fit or what! Even now I occasionally get a sad little dialogue window asking if I’d like to turn ‘whatever’ on, or connect ‘the other thing’ to the internet. I’m brutal with them and they return from whence they came … until the next ‘update’. 🙂

    1. That’s a superb idea, I never thought of doing that! Oh you are exactly right, those updates sneak in changes undoing stuff! Thanks for the suggestion, I’m certain it will help others, too!

  3. Hello Roxie 🙂
    A friend of mine once said, “Even my smart phone is stupid !”. I don’t have a smart phone, but I do have a Windows 10 laptop. I recommend to anyone to go to Privacy in Settings and switch off everything that apps and Windows can monitor and use. The only thing I have switched on is the Voice Recorder for a voice to typing app I use. I also recommend to uninstall everything you don’t use. I don’t even have a Start menu or desktop shortcuts anymore, as everything I need is on the taskbar. Windows loads much faster. 🙂 ❤

    1. hey, that’s super advice, Ralph! Yes, keep bare minimum for faster loading. great reminder! I’ve got too much crap starting up so I’ll follow your suggestion… now!

  4. YIKES! For a techie stumblebum like me, I’m in more trouble than I think. OK, I’m yelling for the teenager down the hall. Even though he now has his own home. Help! Mommy needs you.

    So sneaky, all the brilliant young minds who build cameras into devices and programs meant to make our lives easier.

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