How much Google tracks you and your medical, financial and personal issues was one of the topics at the March Mac Group meeting. The suggestion was that if you are worried about Google’s invasiveness (Notice how you search for something, then suddenly and mysteriously start to see advertisements on the same subject?) the suggestion is that you try the alternative search engine with the odd name of DuckDuckGo. Worth downloading it (free) and trying it out, anyway. It’s big claim is that it does not track or record anything you do, and blocks all other trackers. Nor are the search results loaded up swith advertisements. You can turn on ad

It was noted that Google’s “incognito” setting is really nothing of the sort— it only blocks your recent searching history. Google is still watching!

This in turn led to a discussion on how to delete a Facebook account. Just deleting the Facebook app is not enough. Once you delete your account, it all goes from you…unless you rejoin, when it may all magically reappear. You have to open a web browser and go to the Facebook “delete account” page. That is in the HELP section. Click on “delete account”, authenticate with your login and password, and confirm. It will take a few weeks before your account is deleted, and if you try to log back in during that time, all will be reactivated.

We then talked about how to check a Mac for speed and performance, trying a piece of software that gives a trial run, but seeks payment if you really want to go into things deeply. But it does give an indication. For testing hard drives or SSD drives, download free program BlackMagic Disk Speed Test. Google (or DuckDuckGo) it. A 2011 machine should give up to 90 Megabits a second on the hard drive, and up to 420 MB/s on an SSD drive.

We also viewed instructional videos on renaming files, and recovering lost files using Time Machine.

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