The Dangers of 3rd Party Apps and Keyboards


Apple released a new capability in IOS 8 that allows the user to replace their phone's keyboard with an alternative provided by a third party.

Applications like these can also replace the calendar functions on a phone as well as its contact functions.

When these apps are installed, the user gives permission to third parties (the developer of the app) access to their device. If it's a keyboard, that developer can convievably see anything that you type (like passwords, account numbers, or confidential information); like your calendar (which you may presume is private); or your contact list (who may not appreciate you sharing their information).

If you are subject to federal or state restrictions over classified forms of information (like HIPAA, GLB, or transferring social security numbers or drivers licenses), it's absolutely vital that you do not install these kinds of applications on your mobile device when working with your business account for mail, contacts, calendar, or drive. Just don't do it.  Don't install these applications. There's no guarantee of privacy if there's a middle man between you and your data.

if you're at all concerned about privacy and security, just don't do it. Don't install these applications.

if you use your device to take credit cards for your business, please - for the love of everything holy - do not install these applications.

If you do use these applications, bear in mind that the licensing agreement for use may stipulate what those third parties do with their access to your data. You may want to read those end user license agreements, usually found within the app or on the developer's website.

And if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me. I may be able to help coach you through your options.  Thanks.



Can't Forward Voicemail on iPhone 6

Struggling to do a command forward for voicemail on iPhone 6 for AT&T and other GSM networks, like:


And this is frustrating you because the iPhone 6 continues to report an error?

Here is the work around using specific Conditional Call Forwarding codes (replace 1234567890 with the number you are forwarding to, like your Google Voice number, for example):

  • Call Forward if Unanswered: *61*1234567890#
  • Call Forward if Unreachable: *62*1234567890#
  • Call Forward if Busy: *67*1234567890#

Each of these discrete commands should accomplish the same goal.




Remove GPS Data from iPhone Pictures


The iPhone, like many modern cell phones, can take pictures. When those pictures are taken, information about the location of where the picture was taken is embedded into the photo. This is called metadata, and specifically it's referred to as a geotag.

Geotags are an interesting feature in that they can be pulled up on a map, then, sequenced in time to replay where you were when the photo was taken, even down to the very accurate location of a room within a household.

Very clever and fun. Until you start thinking about children using iPhones - their privacy and security become compromised in that it lays out a predictable pattern of their whereabouts.

Photos (along with the metadata) are uploaded conveniently into social media networks and distributed to whomever in uncontrolled ways. 

This date is also used by professional computer forensics technicians (hey, like me!) to identify potential evidence in the court of law. 

Further, if someone wanted to "case" another (a term used in hacking meaning we collect personal private information about individuals in order to break into their accounts), geotagging provides a unique and easy exploit. Imagine a stalker determining the predictable locations and timing to harm a victim?

So ... You may be curious on how to turn off geotagging on your iPhone or iPad.

1. Go to Settings.

2. Privacy. 

3. Location Services. 

4. Camera Setting and flip to OFF position. 

Doing this will prevent the device from storing geo-tag metadata in future photographs.  The photos you've already taken and uploaded probably already have the geotag information in them and it cannot be removed, other than deleting the photo, or, Using an app like deGeo (you can find it in the iTunes App Store).

It's not perfect, but it is one step you can take to control the distribution of your whereabouts, and the whereabouts, safety, and privacy of your children.