Nope 2.0 means you can stop sticking tape over your webcam

Even though I am (or perhaps, because I am) a technologist I still stick a bit of tape over the webcam on my laptop.  It’s not just that I think I may get hacked, it’s because I think I may be using some conference calling software incorrectly and my face will suddenly be broadcast to some corporate meeting.

And I’m not alone in my solution, I see co-workers regularly sticking tape on their computers, or slotting a business card in there.  Even Mark Zuckerberg does.

So, this is why Note 2.0 caught my attention.  It’s a purpose built little device that is only $5 on kickstarter.  It’s looks great, it permanent and doesn’t leave any mess on the laptop.  It can also work with most devices including iPads and iPhones.

It’s not on all the time, it has a flick mechanism which enables you to easily flick it open and shut.  When it’s shut over your webcam you can be safe in the knowledge that your webcam is really blocked.

On kickstarter they only aimed to raise $964, but at the time of writing have raised over $84k which puts them 8789% funded!

See the project and check out the video here.

How to secure erase a Windows 10 computer

Your computer stores your personal information, be it confidential business information or personal emails, photos and contacts. When you come to get rid of your computer, maybe selling it, gifting it or disposing of it you will want to make sure this data is gone. In this short guide, accompanied by a video, we’ll show you how.

Firstly, simply deleting files won’t do. Even if you empty the recycle bin they can still be recovered. In addition there may well be data that you don’t know about, in places that you don’t know about.

Windows 10 has a built in feature which will securely erase all your data and apps, and then reinstall the operating system (that is, Windows 10 itself).

Be warned, if you do this there is no going back and your data will be gone forever!

Follow these steps (shown in the video below, direct link here: to securely erase your Windows 10 computer and reinstall Windows:

  1. Make sure your PC is plugged in to a power source
  2. Click on start
  3. Open settings
  4. Select Update & Recovery
  5. Select Recovery from the options on the left
  6. Then select Get Started from under Reset this PC
  7. From the three options available choose Remove Everything – at this stage this isn’t necessary a secure erase
  8. Select the second option ‘Remove files and clean the drive’.  This is the critical part and will make sure all your data is destroyed

The process will take a few hours as it needs to reformat your computer’s storage. The PC will restart a few times and for a lot of that time the screen may be black – don’t be alarmed!

Once the process is complete you will need to set the computer up again as if it were a new one.

For further Windows 10 reading check out: Windows 10: The Missing Manual on Amazon

Windows 10 is a free upgrade. Click here to find out more.


Removing location (GPS) data from iPhone pictures

When you take a picture on your iPhone it will have your location data which stored in the image as meta data, assuming that you are using the standard settings.  This can be read by anyone that has the image.

This is great for organising your pictures, but sometimes you’ll want to remove this information for privacy purposes. Maybe you’re posting a picture online publicly or you’re simply sharing it without wanting people to know where it was taken.
One option is to change your phone setting so that location is not stored. However, this won’t work if you’ve already taken the picture and location is actually really useful for your personal pictures.

The alternative is to use an app. We use an app called Geo Destroyer which is fantastically simple to use. It cost a small fee, but this is tiny and well worth it. You can find it in the App Store here:

First take your picture as usual, then fire up the Geo Destroyer app:

Remove iPhone location details
Geo Destroyer App

Hit choose and select your image from you camera roll:

Load your photo
Geo Destroyer App

Hit share and select Without Location (this will keep other meta data such as time of day etc.. You can remove this too if you like by selecting the Without Data option):

Select Without Location
Geo Destroyer App

Then share by your chosen mechanism. You can save it, or could even just email it to yourself. We select full size image to keep the maximum image quality.

Share iPhone image without geo
Geo Destroyer App

Here’s the link to the Geo Destroyer app on the AppStore again invade you missed it.

Geo Destroyer – Geotag Remover, Photo data Privacy Tool – Christopher Collins