How To Almost Completely Erase Your Digital Footprint

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Although its almost impossible to completely wipe out your entire digital footprint as if you’ve never had access to the internet, but you can get close. If you’d like to make an attempt to completely remove yourself from the internet, we’ve got a few tips and tricks that could help you along the way. 

To go the full off-the-grid route, “it’s cash, barters,” Bradley Shear, a lawyer specializing in social media told The Washington Post. “Do not use any electronic device that can lead back to your whereabouts.”  Which leads us to the first item to consider.

The first thing you want to do is the hardest for some, but its the most obvious. You need to quit appearing online.  Stop posting on Facebook or Twitter and no longer use search engines.  All of those will track your location and Internet usage leaving behind your digital footprint. Of course, just not using the internet isn’t quite enough if you’d like yourself completely gone in full-off-the-grid fashion.

The next step would be deleting your online accounts. Every single one of them. Having a social media account is, more or less, ensuring your active participation in letting the Internet learn more about you. Facebook, in particular, knows a lot about you and is very good at tracking what you do across the rest of the Web, even when you’re not actively using it. If you need help deleting your accounts, consider JustDelete.Me, which provides tips and links to remove accounts.  But you can’t just remove your accounts and expect that it’s done and over with. You will also need to remove any and all information and content that is posted about you by others.  This can get a little trickier, but you could consider trying Abine’s DeleteMe, which for a fee can assist in removing your personal contact information and your photos and will provide you with a regular report and updates.

Next, you want to search for yourself on the Internet.  This will help you discover if there are any old accounts (does anyone even remember MySpace?) that you may have forgotten you had just lingering around. If you happen to come across an account you cannot delete, just start falsifying the information.  Change the name on the account to whatever you want it to be, that’s different than yours, obviously. Change the city and state and leave the gender “unselected” if possible.  The less information you put in, the less you have to falsify.

You are also going to want to unsubscribe from all of those mailing lists you’ve accidentally signed up for during your Internet travels. That’s usually pretty easy to do.  Go into your junk folder and open up the advertisements.  Scroll to the bottom of the email and click the tiny word “unsubscribe.”  When it directs you to, make sure you choose to no longer receive ANY email that you’d consider “junk.”  Afterall, that’s why it was in that folder, to begin with anyway, right?

If you still need the Internet for work, you may have to stop here.  Having removed social media and cleaning up your email will go a long way in minimizing your online trail.  But for those who wish to continue on and “go dark,” your next step would be deleting search engine results. Google has a URL removal tool that could help. The next step would be contacting webmasters of websites you have no control over.  Be kind, and let them know you’d like your information and comments removed.  Be prepared to be told by some that all public information should remain public, in which case, you may be out of luck.  You’ll also need patience.  Not every single webmaster will get back to you in a timely manner.

Once you’ve completed everything listed above, you should consider removing your information from data clearinghouses.  Many companies track your online behavior and sell that data to others.  Intelius, Spokeo, and People Finders are a few examples of such data clearinghouses. In order to remove your information from these, however, will take up a lot of your time.  You’ll need to make a lot of phone calls and fill out tons of paperwork.  A paid service called DeleteMe could be considered if you’ve got some extra cash laying around.  For all others, you will need time and patience and determination to get through this step.

Once you feel you’ve gotten yourself removed from data clearinghouses, you should contact the phone company and be sure to make your phone number unlisted.

The last step would be to delete your email. “Every time you access it, they have your IP address,” Shear said.  This is last simply because, during the completion of the previous steps, an email address is likely going to be required at some point.

If you’ve decided you cannot completely “go dark” as far an internet use is concerned, consider protecting your data and information by using an encrypted email service such as ProtonMail. And if you want your activity not to be tracked across the Web, you would have to essentially use a virtual private network, or VPN, every time you access the Internet unless you exclusively access the Internet from public machines (such as those at a public library). For searching online, you can use sites such as DuckDuckGo instead of Google or Yahoo, or any other search engine that tracks you. Also, consider Signal, a text and phone-call encryption app that comes with a recommendation from Edward Snowden himself.

Although it seems it may be futile to attempt to “go dark,” you just might be successful. Best of luck to those who have the desire to disappear from the Internet, because you’ll need it, and all the patience you can muster.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Prepper Podcasts for the Preparedness Community!

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When I started prepping, listening to podcasts was a means to gain a lot of information.  I tried out a lot of different podcasts and then settled on a few that I felt were great.  I have a category over at Prepper Website where you can find a bunch of podcasts.  But just like so many websites, some aren’t around any longer.  So, I decided to put together a list of podcasts that I have set on my APP to help anyone looking for an excellent podcast.

Preparedness Podcasts

The Survival Podcast – If you listen to only one Prepper Podcast, you will probably want to listen to Jack Spirko and The Survival Podcast.  TSP is the most popular and has been around for a long time!  His podcast comes out every weekday so that you can listen to a new podcast Monday through Friday.  Jack covers a broad range of topics.

Doom and Bloom – Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy were probably the first prepper podcast I every listened to.  I think medical preparedness is one of the most critical needs.  Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy are retired medical professionals, so they know what they are talking about.  But they also cover gardening and other preparedness information.  If you don’t have their Medical Survival Handbook, you need to get it!  It is a must for every prepper library!  You can check out their OTHER podcast here.

SurvivalistPrepper – Dale and his wife Lisa do a great job of providing great prepper podcasts. They cover a broad range of topics.  SurvivalistPrepper comes out once a week.

PrepperRecon – Mark discusses preparedness from economic, current events and spiritual perspectives.  He releases two podcasts a week.  He has also written several popular fictional prepper book series.

The Prepper Website Podcast – Yes, a shameless plug for Yours Truly!  The Prepper Website Podcast is a little different than other prepper podcasts.  Instead of taking the time to discuss prepping topics, the podcast provides audible versions of articles that have been linked on Prepper Website.  I also provide some commentary when appropriate.  The podcast is a weekday podcast!

Other Podcasts that I Listen To

I don’t only listen to prepper podcasts.  I listen to podcasts of all sorts.

Entre Leadership – Dave Ramsey’s Leadership Podcast.

Ancient Jewish Wisdom – This is actual a video cast with Rabbi Daniel Lapin.

Duct Tape Marketing

The Brooklyn Tabernacle – I try never to miss a message by Pastor Jim Cymbala.

Rainer on Leadership – A church leadership podcast.

Understanding the Times – Olive Tree Ministries w/ Jan Markell.

Stuff You Missed in History Class

Radical Together – Messages by David Platt.

Prager University – 5-minute podcasts that pack a punch!

5 Minutes in Church History

The Christian History Podcast

I don’t always listen to every podcast on my device.  I tend to look at the description of the episode and decide from there.  I can say that instead of just listening to talk radio, which says the same thing over and over again, or just music, I learn a lot from all of these podcasts.

If you’re not listening to podcasts, you’re missing out.  With the advance in APPS and smartphones, we have a lot of useful information right in our hands!

Peace,
Todd

 

 

Keep an Eye on Extreme Weather With the Storm App

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storm appI don’t think it’s odd at all that I have multiple weather apps on my phone or that one of my favorite gifts ever was an indoor/outdoor thermometer.  I’m a total weather junkie. I track rainfall amounts and brag to our relatives in Phoenix when our daily amount of precipitation exceeds their annual rainfall!

When I learned about a new severe weather app, I figured it was a sign from heaven and I downloaded it immediately. Storm by Weather Underground is the ultimate weather app and lives up to its claim, “The best app for the worst weather.”

Storm came in handy yesterday when my 14 year old son was set to go kayaking with his buddy. He was ready with extra water, sunblock, a snack, and a hat – and then Mom checked her Storm app. What I saw on the high resolution radar was pretty ugly. Splotches of pink, red, and orange indicated that a line of severe weather was headed our way and approaching quickly. I could tell from the high resolution radar that my son would be well out on the river when the storm hit and far from help.

I had to break the news to him that I was putting the kibosh on the kayak trip and just a short time later, when the massive storm hit, he and his friend were ensconced in our family room with hot pizza. Storm’s advance storm tracking saved the day.

IMG_0040In our neck of the woods, we take weather pretty seriously. Just this year, rainfall in Texas has hit record amounts in many areas. Homes have been flooded, businesses permanently destroyed, and as much as I enjoy my life as an amateur meteorologist, weather can get pretty serious, quickly. It’s important to stay ahead of the storm so you can prepare for it.

The Storm app has a number of features you’ll be impressed with. It’s designed to track extreme weather, in particular, so if you live in tornado or hurricane country or have to deal with any type of storms, you’ll appreciate these:

  • Global Radar, which accesses data from the national network of NEXRAD radar sites.
  • Lightning View, which tracks lightning strikes within 100 miles around (Continental U.S. only)
  • A detailed analysis of impending storms – you know where they’re coming from and where they’re headed.
  • A customizable map screen with highest resolution radar
  • “Information galore,” according to my husband.

Storm provides weather information and data at levels suitable for everyone. If all you really want to know is, “Should I wear a jacket or take an umbrella today?” Storm has you covered with daily and hourly forecasts. But if you’re a weather junkie like me, you can delve deeply into extensive charts that detail things like cloud cover, dewpoint, and “feels like” temperatures.

With the occasional tornado warning, I’ll be able to get storm tracks, radar, and up to the minute watches and warnings.

This is the most detailed weather app I’ve ever used.

I have it downloaded on my Android phone as well as on my mini iPad. I love having massive amounts of weather info handy on my smartphone, but I have to admit, the experience on my larger mini iPad is glorious. Check out this screenshot:storm app

Learn all about Storm here and enjoy their glorious weather photography on Instagram.

Weather junkies, rejoice! And now go download Storm!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Weather Underground. The opinions and text are all mine.

storm app 2

Some of Our Favorite Educational Apps

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Educational Apps for K-3 @MamaKautz

Screen shot from my iPad.

I have a folder for each subject.

I got the iPad for school

 

Since my their (my kids) tastes change so often I am posting an update of our their favorite apps. Most of these apps are free. I sometimes will pay .99….not more than, say, $2.99…unless it is something I think they will love and use…
Geography Apps

Geo Walk HD – 3D World Fact Book – Vito Technology Inc.

Google Earth – Google, Inc.

Stack the States™

Stack the Countries™

Learn US State Flags and Capitals – Quiz and Study Guide – mindwarrior
 

Science & Critical Thinking Apps

Cross Fingers – Mobigame

Moon Globe – Midnight Martian

SkyORB

Anatomy 3D – Organs – Real Bodywork

Periodic Table Shoot ’em Up – Brian West

Rush Hour Free – ThinkFun, Inc.

 

History and Citizenship

Presidents vs. Aliens™
… Yes, I thought this was not an ok app at first…same people that made Stack the States…12 year old LOVES IT and is learning.

USA Presidents

U.S. Quarters – Wooblue, Inc.

US Presidents (Match’Em Up™ History and Geography) – EnsenaSoft
 

Math

undefined – Marcel Widarto

Fractions App By Tap To Learn

Math is Easy – Prime Factorization and Equation Solver

Math Battle

Pearl Diver HD

Math Bingo – ABCya.com
 

Language Arts and Spelling

BrainPOP Featured Movie – BrainPOP®

Grammar Dragon – NRCC Games

Bluster! – McGraw-Hill School Education Group

Story Maker HD – BlueFinger
 

 

Art Apps

Van Gogh’s Dream

Monet HD
 

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TeamSnap App: The Perfect Tool For Busy Families

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TeamSnap App: The Perfect Tool For Busy Families via The Survival Mom

I’m busier as a stay-at-home mom than I ever was when I had a full-time job. From keeping the house fairly clean to homeschooling the kids and trying to figure out what’s for dinner every night, life gets crazy. Add a few extracurricular activities, and there have been days when I thought my head would explode!

If your kids are in sports, clubs, Scouts, and even group activities at church, you know what it’s like to play chauffeur, master coordinator, minor injuries medic, and overall operations engineer! You also know what it’s like to realize how beneficial these activities are to kids. Kids are best prepared for the future when their education includes knowledge and skills they gain from a variety of activities.

My own kids have been busy in various sports over the years, but this year they are both on a rowing team. Three mornings a week, we travel to the shores of Lake Houston, and I drop them off for practice. When we first joined the team, it was a chore keeping track of when it was my turn to bring water, when practice was cancelled due to rain or high winds, and how I could let the coach know if one of my kids couldn’t attend. Emails would arrive too early, too late, or be overlooked altogether. Fortunately, my friend and team mom, Monica, discovered TeamSnap and team life suddenly became easier and less stressful.

I wish there was a TeamSnap to organize everything else in my life!

Easier to use than I thought!

My Android phone is already loaded with apps and I was hesitant to try TeamSnap. What? Another app? Another learning curve? That’s not what this busy mom needs!

I was so grateful to discover that the TeamSnap app is easy to use. It makes my life easier, not more complicated. I click open the app, click on our team name, the name of each of my kids, and then indicate whether or not they’ll be able to attend a practice, regatta, or team party. TeamSnap is how we parents coordinate our monthly parent meetings and how the coach can enter information about each team member, race results, boat assignments, and more.

TeamSnap app

A single click and I can see our schedule and click Yes/No/Maybe for our attendance.

Our coach now knows ahead of time who will be at any given practice and can plan ahead how to configure the boats among the rowers attending. I’m sure it was no fun at all prior to TeamSnap when an odd number of kids showed up and all his boats require even numbers of rowers!

Now, with TeamSnap, he has the capability to send out emails to the entire group or single out specific team members or parents for individual contact. Instantaneous text alerts are also an option, and so handy when there’s a last minute cancellation or the weather requires rain jackets.

NOTE: TeamSnap offers a free 4-month trial with full access and no need to sign up with a credit card. Check it out in person at this link!

The Tracking feature helps coach keep track of who has brought permission slips, who has finished assignments, paid their dues, picked up their uniforms, or who has taken their turn in a volunteer position. Little details like this can drive a coach, team mom, or coordinator to drink!

Beyond the sports scene

If your kids are more into drama, chess, choir, or band, TeamSnap is still your one-stop shop for staying organized. My daughter is in a girl’s book club with a gaggle of other book-crazy, teenaged, homeschooled girls. Their book choices change each month and different girls are assigned to host the meetings with discussion questions, author interviews, and snacks. TeamSnap is the obvious solution to keeping this group organized and in sync with each other throughout the month.

I decided to set up a TeamSnap account for this club myself, to give it a try as a coordinator, not just a parent. Using TeamSnap’s offer of 4 free months, there was no need to enter my credit card information, which I appreciated!

Set up is a no brainer, with easy to follow instructions. I recommend signing up your group or team, and then taking a few minutes to explore the TeamSnap website. There’s plenty of help available, including a Live Chat option. Katie at Live Chat was prompt and polite in answering my questions.

It’s not just for the kids!

TeamSnap’s capabilities lend themselves well to any group, not just sports and kids. A MeetUp group, for example, could set up an account and use it to keep track of attendance, meeting agendas, guest speakers, food assignments, and a lot more. A PTA group, book club, poker club, and even a direct sales group could utilize the app and TeamSnap website for planning and preparing for their events. Set up automatic reminders so there’s no confusion about meeting dates, times, and location.

TeamSnap app

TeamSnap connects to Google maps, so you always know where you’re going!

There are so many applications for this app (see what I did there?). On an Android or iPhone, it’s user and mobile friendly, and the app is free.

What groups do you belong to that TeamSnap could help coordinate? Four free months of use will give you a better idea of whether or not the app will help organize your group. The basic level is free, which is awesome, but give the free trial period a try so you can explore all the different options. There’s no need to enter credit card information, so you won’t be surprised on Month 5 with a charge you didn’t expect.

Hey, TeamSnap! How about creating a new app, LifeSnap? I could sure use that for everything else in my crazy-busy life!

Disclaimer: I was compensated by TeamSnap for my time and research. Since I already use TeamSnap, I was happy to share this with my readers.

TeamSnap App: The Perfect Tool For Busy Families via The Survival Mom