Ira Wilsker's archive

In recent months, I have written several columns about Internet and smart device privacy issues. Apparently, a large number of popular apps for both Android and Apple iOS devices utilize access to personal information of various types for other than the legitimate functioning of those apps.

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Now that the spring semester is starting, it is quite obvious that almost all of my college students have and are using smart phones and other digital communications devices for much more than the traditional calling function. With the near universal use of smart phones and related devices in our daily lives, it is inevitable that crooks and other dishonest people will find a way to illicitly capitalize on the popularity of these devices. 

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Since announcing in a column here several weeks ago that my wife and I each have a new, high-end Android smart phone, several people have asked me what apps we put on our respective phones.

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Early last summer in this column, I explained several of the alternative methods of purchasing factory new or refurbished smart phones at deeply discounted prices, without any long-term contracts. One of the sources mentioned was Google and its “Google phones,” which are sold directly by Google from its “Play Store” at play.google.com/store/devices.

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You may have seen the recent TV commercials for a new device from Amazon called Fire Stick, which is so new that it is just starting to be shipped. Another device that recently came on the market with great fanfare is the Roku Streaming Stick. Several other comparable devices are in development, or recently came on the market, creating a crowded, competitive field.

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