Here’s a tip that a lot of folks forget about now that we use smartphones more than landlines. Your phone keeps the last number dialed available so you can easily call them back. In both iOS and Android, you can press the call button in the phone app for a quick call-back feature. This is great in dead spots when calls drop, when you get a busy signal or when you are on a conference call.
Instead of using your smartphone to send a text message (SMS), use an app like WhatsApp or Signal. Both apps are free and offer encryption for text messages along with voice and video calls, pictures and documents. Text messages may not protect your information and your privacy could be at risk. Both apps are available for Android, iOS, Windows and Mac.
Images store a trove of hidden data. Information such as location data, camera settings, serial number, model number and much more can be hidden in an image or photo. Performing a simple web search for viewing metadata will return many results. My favorite online line metadata viewer is Metapicz. While some data may not be embedded in photos because of privacy, investigators will often find even a little data is helpful.
Speedtest is a quick and easy way to check your internet speed. Just visit speedtest.net and hit go and you will see your upload and download speed. Speedtest is also available as a mobile app on iOS and Android.
With video conferencing and remote workers, it’s common to speak to business partners across the globe. I am always looking at my phone and trying to calculate the time difference. Google has a quick and easy solution. Type “time (location name)” in your Google search box and you will get the time in the place. For example, if you want to know the time in Seattle, type “time Seattle Washington” in the search field.
The Neighbors app, from Ring, gives you real-time crime and safety alerts from your neighbors and local law enforcement. It’s a quick and easy way to see when crime happens in a given area. It allows users and law enforcement to post emergency information, package theft and other criminal activity. It is available for both iOS and Android for free.
If you want to charge your iPhone faster, you can use your iPad charger. The iPad charger has a higher wattage output which will charge your phone faster.
Forensically is a great tool for digital image forensics. It includes clone detection, error level analysis, meta data extraction and much more.
If you have a need to find out who owns a cell tower or site, the FCC has a search tool for Antenna Structure Registration (ASR). Visit https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/AsrSearch/asrRegistrationSearch.jsp to find the owner of the tower.
Google, Facebook and Apple have ad platforms that can send ads based on the information they collect about you, like your name, address, age, gender, internet habits and location. You can opt out of these targeted ads, usually in the platform’s settings. This won’t change the number of ads you see, but they won’t be targeted and in some cases it limits the information the platform can collect.