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2023, internet and social media are now integral to our daily lives. Every picture we take, every place we visit, needs to be up on the plethora of social networking sites we’re subscribed to; as if no experience is really complete without it. We love to keep our friends and followers updated, make them aware of every little detail. At hindsight, it might seem that we are more keen on putting everything out in the open, instead of keeping things private. Yet, interestingly, we are now more paranoid about privacy than we have ever been.
Photos and videos are the most sensitive blocks of data on our devices. Thanks to our obsession with capturing every moment, the physical storage on our devices isn’t always enough. So, more often than not, we turn to cloud storage for uninterrupted preservation. Google, the pioneer in the industry, has developed an app to cater to our obsession – Google Photos.
On paper, subscribing to Google Photos seems like a no-brainer, but there are still a couple of things to consider before committing to the lucrative service. For most people, it’s a necessary service, but there are still a few concerns about how secure the platform actually is.
Where are photos and videos stored?
Google Photos, like other Google services, requires you to have a Google account. Once you successfully create one, you’ll be allowed to upload your images to the cloud. So, every photo you store will be under your account only.
Who can see your photos?
By default, Google Photos keeps all of your media private. So, unless you specifically share the photo or album with people, your media is only for you to see. Google is also very keen on providing the optimum level of security to its users, so, it has developed a system that’s almost impossible to hack. Even Google’s staff won’t get to sniff around your photos.
Where can you access it?
How to increase security?
We’ve already covered how much Google values security, but if you want, you can add another added layer of security to your account by enabling 2-Step Verification. The first step is obviously your password, the next one can be a prompt on your phone or a text/call alert. If you choose the former, you’ll be required to tap the prompt to help prove the authenticity of your login. The latter, on the other hand, will give you a six-digit code to enter on the screen where you’re signing in.
Will they show up in Google search?
Google doesn’t make your photos public, so, it most definitely won’t show up in Google search.
How to remove a photo completely?
Removing a photo from Google Photos is fairly straightforward. Just select the photo and move it to trash. Then, go to trash and empty it to get rid of the picture for good. And yes, the process is irreversible.
It’s beyond doubt that Google Photos is a secure service. The company will not make your photos public, show them in Google search, or use your photos for endorsement without taking explicit permission. However, as we all know, nothing in the world is free, and this service is no exception.
We have seen a comprehensive rundown of the service, but ultimately, it boils down to your trust in the company; whether you have faith in their assurances. If you are already a part of the Google ecosystem, which most of us are, Google Photos doesn’t pose any added “threat” you aren’t aware of.
That was a breakdown of Google Photos; the cheat sheet before putting your photos up on the cloud.
You're reading How Secure Is Google Photos?
This complete guide shows you how to upload photos and videos stored inside your Mac’s Photos app (your entire macOS Photo Library) or a Finder folder to Google Photos. We show you both automatic and manual methods.
1. Use iCloud to Google Photos transfer
Apple lets you transfer a copy of your photos and videos stored in iCloud Photos to other services like Google Photos. So, if you use iCloud Photos on your Mac, you can follow the steps to request a transfer of your photos and videos in iCloud to Google Photos. The entire process happens in the background, and you don’t have to transfer the photos manually.
Tip: If you’re using iCloud Photos, the same pictures & videos are on your Mac and other Apple devices like your iPhone and iPad. In that case, you can also auto-upload the images from your iPhone to Google Photos.
2. Automatically upload your entire Mac’s Photo Library to Google Photos
Google Photos doesn’t have a native Mac app. But its bigger brother, Google Drive, does. So, here’s how to use Google Drive on Mac to automatically upload all images and videos from your Mac’s Photos app to Google Photos:
1) Download the macOS Google Drive app, install and open it. You’ll also notice that it has installed Google Slides, Docs, and Sheets. You can uninstall them later if desired.
3. Manually upload Mac’s photos to Google Photos
If you don’t want to upload your entire Mac’s Photo Library but just some selected images, you’ll have to pull out the pictures and videos from the Photos app to a folder and then upload them to Google Photos.
Transfer pictures from Mac’s Photos app into a folder
Here are two ways to do that. For me, the first method is easier.
1. Drag them out
3) Hold the Command key and select the images.
4) Drag the photos from the Photos app onto the desktop or a Finder folder. Next, you can upload these to Google Photos.
2. Unpack the Photos Library
Here’s how to go to the Mac’s Photos app folder location where images are stored:
1) Open the macOS Photos app and press Command + Comma (,).
4) Open the originals folder, and you’ll see the images in many sub-folders here. You can upload them from these folders to Google Photos.
Upload photos from Mac to Google Photos
Once you have the images in a folder uploading them to Google Photos is easy. Here are three ways to do that.
1. Use a web browser
1) Visit chúng tôi and sign in to your Google account if required.
2) Reduce the size of the browser window. Now drag photos and videos from a Mac folder to the Google Photos browser tab.
2. Use the Google Photos Chrome app
1) Visit chúng tôi and sign in with your Google account.
4) Open Mac’s Launchpad, and you’ll find the Google Photos app there. Open it, and you’ll notice that it looks similar to Google Photos in a web browser.
If you work a lot with images and don’t want to drag and drop or even open Google Photos every time in a browser or as a Chrome app, the steps below have you covered.
We will show you how to create a folder on your Mac, and every image or video you add to this folder will automatically upload to Google Photos. You only have to put the pictures in this Finder folder and do nothing else! Once photos are uploaded to Google Photos, you can access them on a web browser or the Google Photos app on your smartphone.
1) Download the official Google Drive Mac app, install and open it.
By now, you know how to upload your entire macOS Photo Library to Google Photos. You also know how to drag images and videos out of the macOS Photos app and upload them manually to Google Photos.
The Apple ecosystem is exceptional and unique, but more importantly, it is the only system that gives the massy Android as well as Windows ecosystems a major run for their money. Yet, we would be fraught with ignorance if we dismissed Google in this whole mix. The tech giant has a strong influence even in the exclusive Apple ecosystem because at the end of the day, many Apple users use Gmail and other Google apps; applications for which there is no replacement. So it’s not surprising that even the staunchest Apple fans may find themselves backing up their photos and videos in Google Photos.
But Apple does not make it comfortable for a user to use Google Photos on the iPhone. A unique ecosystem comes with its own caveats and incompatibility is a major problem that users tend to face in a cross-ecosystem clash. What is a non-issue for a non-Apple user becomes an additional step for an Apple user. So here’s everything you need to know about how to download Google Photos in JPEG format.
What is the difference between a JPEG and HEIC file?
The universal and age-old format of JPEG or Joint Photographic Experts Group is a universal file format that is used for saving digital photos. This format has is popular across all systems, including Android, Mac, Windows and iOS because of its ability to greatly minimize the file size of images. Even Apple devices used the JPEG format to save and store images, both on-device as well as on Cloud.
As Apple worked to become more exclusive with each OS update, the tech manufacturing giant introduced the HEIC or High-Efficiency Image Format as part of its iOS 11 update. This effectively meant that all images on Apple devices would be automatically saved in the HEIC format.
Unlike in the case of JPEG, the HEIC format is extremely exclusive and restricted to the Apple ecosystem. However it is a better space-saving solution as images that are saved in the HEIC format take up only half as much space as their JPEG counterpart and in terms of quality, there is no noticeable difference between images saved in both formats.
Why are my Google Photos downloading as HEIC files?
The ecosystem restriction kicks in very strongly when Google Photos is involved. If you are backing up your images in Google Photos, then the images are being saved in the .heic format instead of .jpeg format. Google Photos for iOS devices started supporting the HEIC format so that users would be able to use the cloud storage service to back up their images.
Otherwise, the application will become obsolete on Apple devices and this would be a big inconvenience for users who rely on Google Photos for Apple. But while Google saves the images in the HEIC format, it does not automatically change the images to a JPEG format when the image is downloaded. So the image ends up being downloaded in the same format that it was uploaded i.e. HEIC.
Can I download from Google Photos in JPEG format?
HEIC images can only be shared and viewed amongst devices in the Apple ecosystem which makes it very inconvenient if a user is also using Windows or any other software that is basically not iOS. Fortunately, HEIC images can be downloaded in JPEG format and we have converted the tutorial for the same in the next section.
How to download from Google Photos in JPEG format
Download a single photo in JPEG
Your HEIC image will now be saved as a JPEG image.
Download photos in bulk in JPEG
You cannot directly convert bulk HEIC photos into JPEG photos. However, you can first download the images in bulk in their original HEIC format and then run the images through an online converter. This process can be a little tedious, however, this is the most efficient way to convert HEIC photos into JPEG photos in bulk. This Google search will help you out here.
You can also look for software for this on Windows Store or on the web.
That’s everything that you need to know about how to how to download Google Photos in JPEG format. We hope you found this article helpful. Take care and stay safe!
Secure Driver Updater – is it safe or not?
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Possible scams or deceptive programs can get downloaded and installed on your Windows 10 system without your consent. Such tools or apps might be flashed alongside other processes especially if you aren’t using a specialized antivirus/antimalware security solution. So, when noticing something with which you aren’t familiar, don’t hesitate and try to find as much info as possible about that certain process, app or program – just use Google since in most situations you will not be the only one who has the same questions.
Anyway, during these lines we are going to discuss about such program: the Secure Driver Updater.
There are many questions around this tool:
Is Secure Driver Updater a virus?
How do I remove Secure Driver Updater?
Is Secure Driver Updater a malware tool?
Secure Driver Updater is a third-party platform designed to help you search and install the right drivers for your Windows 10 computer. It’s not part from the default Microsoft suit, thus it’s not an essential app available for your PC.
Usually, Secure Driver Updater is installed in the background without asking for your permission – it can be applied alongside other apps or it can be downloaded while you navigate towards suspicious webpages.
As you can tell, this is a deceptive program, a scam through which your PC might get infected with different viruses. So, the best decision you can make is to remove the Secure Driver Updater from your computer, and here is how you can complete the removal operation.
To ensure your OS will remain stable and benefit from the latest drivers, we recommend using professional third-party software that has proved to be efficient without harming your user data or device.
Here’s how to do it:
Download and install the Outbyte Driver Updater app.
Launch the software.
Wait for the app to detect all incompatible drivers.
Afterward, it will show you a list of the drivers found to select the ones to Update or Ignore.
Restart your PC to ensure the applied changes.
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Disclaimer: You may need to upgrade the app from the free version to perform specific actions.
Additionally, we recommend installing an antivirus program on your Windows 10 system – if you use Windows Defender, a good idea will be to download and set a more specialized security solution (read this tutorial and learn which antimalware software to use for better protecting your PC). Then, run a full scan and remove the files which might represent a security breach on your computer.
So, now it should be clear for you if Secure Driver Updater is really safe or not. Overall, you should know better what apps and files you recently installed on your Windows 10 computer. Anyway, the main idea is that you should double-check before choosing what to keep and what to remove from your device; and always set up a dedicated antivirus program for protecting your personal files and other general data.
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Some driver-related issues can be solved faster by using a tailored driver solution. If you’re still having problems with your drivers, simply install OutByte Driver Updater and get it up and running immediately. Thus, let it update all drivers and fix other PC issues in no time!
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WhatsApp will soon be adding an amazing feature to the app, which is also good in terms of security. According to reports, using this feature, photos sent on chat will be automatically deleted from the chat. WABetaInfo, a site tracking WhatsApp, gave information about the feature on social media.
WABetaInfo told via tweet that WhatsApp is testing the self-destructing photo feature. It is being tested for both Android and iOS users. As the name suggests, this feature will allow photos sent on chat to be deleted manually. Apart from this, this feature will do many things.
Also read: 7 Best Woocommerce Plugins to boost your Store you must know
The special thing is that photos sent in self-destructing mode will not be able to be exported. This may signify that the photograph won’t be stored in the gallery nor does some user be able to forward it to anybody.
WABetaInfo stated that WhatsApp has not yet added screenshot detection with a self-destructing feature, which instantly informs the consumer of this photograph the moment it’s taken a screenshot.
Shared some screenshots of this attribute in the tweet. In which details about the characters are provided. This demonstrates that after sending a photograph to the individual to whom you’ve sent the photograph, and after shutting the conversation, the photograph sent will vanish.
The screenshots also reveal that to use the self-destructing feature, the user has to select a photo from the gallery. The screenshots also show that to utilize the self-destructing attribute, the user needs to pick a photo from the gallery. After picking out the picture, you need to tap the icon. This clock-like icon will look near ‘Add a caption’. After doing so, you’ll have the ability to send a photograph to somebody utilizing the self-destruct attribute.
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) March 3, 2023
WhatsApp has also rolled out the capability to export custom animated decal packs in the program. So that you can utilize this feature, you have to be on WhatsApp variant 188.8.131.52 or more on Android and 184.108.40.206 or newer on iOS.
WhatsApp wrote on Twitter: “For your eyes, not your ears. You can now mute the audio on your videos before adding them to your Status or sending them in chat. Now available on Android.” The new Mute Video feature can be found on the video-editing screen.
Your iPhone has a ton of sensitive and private information. This includes your photos, videos, audio notes, bank apps, notes, passwords, contacts, and more. Therefore to ensure your valuable data isn’t misused, stolen, or hacked, you must take measures to keep your iPhone secure.
In this guide, we give you 17 tips that will help you further strengthen your iPhone and keep its data safe.
1. Add a strong alphanumeric passcode
You should never keep your iPhone without a passcode. And even the passcode you set should be long and difficult to guess. This will make it almost impossible for anyone else to guess your passcode, even if they happen to get physical access to your device.
2. Add additional app-specific passwords
Many chat apps, bank apps, payment apps, notes apps, etc., offer an extra option to add a password lock. Dig inside the respective app setting and enable that. If an app doesn’t have one, you can contact its app developer and request such a feature.
3. Don’t let apps unlock with Face ID or Touch ID on shared iPhone
Have you added a second Face ID or Touch ID of other people on your iPhone? If yes, they can get inside your iPhone and your apps that are unlocked by biometrics. To address this, set up your concerned third-party app to open via passcode and not Face ID or Touch ID.
Alternatively, you can also remove extra unnecessary fingerprints or face from Face ID.
4. Remove fingerprints and Face ID of other people
You can add up to five fingerprints to iPhone’s Touch ID and two faces to Face ID.
When you got your iPhone, you might have excitedly added fingerprints of multiple family members or set up a second face to Face ID.
Tip: When you’re on the Touch ID screen and place your finger on the Touch ID button, it will highlight the added fingerprint corresponding to that finger.
5. Make sure Find My iPhone is enabled
Find My service lets you know the location of your iPhone, lock it, display a message on the Lock Screen, play a sound, and erase the device in case it’s misplaced.
6. Remove unknown and unnecessary configuration profiles
If you aren’t using the beta version of iOS or your iPhone isn’t given to you by your organization/school or not managed by them for special settings, apps, etc., then ideally, there should be no configuration profiles on your device.
7. Set a shorter auto-lock duration
8. Use two-factor authentication for all supported services
Two-factor authentication acts as an extra wall of protection. Almost every major service, from email, and social media, to banks, support this. Dig inside the privacy and security settings of the concerned service to find the two-factor authentication option.
9. Prevent sensitive information from appearing on the Lock Screen
10. Control app notifications on the Lock Screen
If you have some sensitive apps, you can prevent their notification from showing on the Lock Screen. This will ensure that any onlooker can’t see a preview of these notifications.
11. Review app location access
Some apps like Uber must have access to your location to function. However, several apps request your location but can work perfectly fine even if their location privileges are withdrawn.
12. Double-check other privacy settings
App developers regularly publish updates to fix bugs and add new features. The newest version of an app is generally better with security patches and improvements.
14. Install the latest version of iOS
15. Prevent your iPhone from auto-joining Wi-Fi and hotspots
You can stop your iPhone from auto-joining open Wi-Fi networks and hotspots as these can be easily exploited (and are deployed publicly in many cases) to steal your data.
Besides that, you can tap (i) next to a previously joined network and turn off Auto-Join or tap Forget This Network if you don’t plan on using this Wi-Fi network in the near future.
16. Don’t unnecessarily use free VPN
Free VPNs have to find a way to make money, and most of the time, it’s with your data. If you must use a VPN, it’s better to research and get the paid version of a reputable VPN. And if you don’t want to do that, make sure you use free VPNs sparingly.
17. Don’t download just about any app, and do your research first
App Store is well regulated, and Apple has checks and balances in place. Still, there have been ample cases of imposter or insecure apps making their way to the iOS App Store. Therefore, when you wish to download an app for a particular task, do your due diligence and get apps that have seen regular updates, have good ratings & reviews, etc.
And even when you open an app, don’t go about tapping “Allow” on every popup it presents. Read the alert and allow the app to access your location, contacts, microphone, etc., only if you think necessary.
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