How to use AirPlay on an iPad to stream content or mirror your screen on a TV

woman holding ipad
  • You can use AirPlay on an iPad to mirror or stream content to a larger display, like your TV. 
  • You can generally find the AirPlay command in the Share button menu in iPad apps. 
  • You can mirror your iPad’s entire display using the Screen Mirror button in the iPad’s Control Center. 
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Thanks to AirPlay, you can easily stream content from your iPad to a nearby television, streaming media player or Mac wirelessly. The only requirement is that your iPad be connected to the same WiFi network as the compatible device you want to stream to. Depending upon your needs, you can stream photos or video from an app or mirror the entire iPad’s display.  

How to use AirPlay to stream from an iPad to a TV

1. Make sure that your iPad is connected to the same WiFi network as the AirPlay-compatible device you want to stream to.

2. Start the app with the content that you want to stream, such as the Photos or YouTube app. 

3. Tap the AirPlay button. Usually, you’ll find this by tapping the Share icon first, but you might need to explore a bit — there’s no single standard place that all developers put the AirPlay button. 

The Share menu in the iOS Photos app
Tap the Share or AirPlay button when you’re in the app you want to stream.

4. In the dropdown menu, choose the AirPlay-compatible device you want to stream to. 

The Share menu in the iOS Photos app
Choose the AirPlay-compatible device you want to stream to.

5. If requested, enter the code that appears on the TV or other device onto your iPad. 

6. The video should appear on the screen you’re streaming to. 

7. To end your AirPlay session, tap the AirPlay or Share button and choose Turn off AirPlay.

How to use AirPlay to mirror an iPad to a TV

1. Make sure that your iPad is connected to the same WiFi network as the AirPlay-compatible device you want to stream to.

2. Open the Control Center on your iPad by pulling it down from the top right of the screen. (On iOS 11 or earlier: Swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen.)

3. Tap the Screen Mirroring button. 

The iOS Control Center on the iPad
You can mirror the iPad to an AirPlay display using the Control Center.

4. In the dropdown menu, choose the AirPlay-compatible device you want to stream to. 

5. If requested, enter the code that appears on the TV or other device onto your iPad. 

6. The video should appear on the screen you’re streaming to. 

To end your AirPlay session, tap the Screen Mirroring button and tap Stop Mirroring.

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Google Play Points: How to sign up for the app store’s rewards program and redeem credits

Google Play
Google Play Points are divided into four reward tiers.

  • Google Play Points is a reward program that lets you earn credits for every purchase you make in the Google Play store.
  • Play Points is free to join and if you make enough purchases you can climb tiers to get more points and benefits from the program. 
  • You can apply these points within the Play Store to in-game purchases, movie rentals, and other items. 
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

If you have an Android phone or tablet, you are probably very familiar with the Google Play store — it’s where you can browse, purchase and install countless apps, games, movies, and other content. And like many retailers, Google has a rewards program that lets you earn credit for every purchase you make. It’s free and easy to sign up for Google Play Points, and depending upon how many points you accrue, you can qualify for higher levels that help you earn points faster. 

What are Google Play Points?

Play Points is Google’s rewards program that earns you points for every dollar you spend in the Google Play store. The points are assigned to your Google account, not a specific device, so all your points are pooled no matter which Android device you use (as long as you use the same Google account). 

You don’t earn Google Play Points automatically; you need to sign up for the free program. After doing that, you are automatically assigned to the lowest rewards tier, called Bronze, where you earn one point for each dollar you spend on purchases on anything in the Google Play store, including apps, games, movies, ebooks, and subscriptions. During special promotional events, you can earn up to four points per dollar, depending upon the rules of the promo. 

Google has divided the program into four tiers:

Bronze

  • Earn one point for every dollar spent
  • Up to 4x points on in-game purchases in games each week
  • Up to 2x points on books and movie rentals during monthly events

Silver

  • Earn 150 points per year to maintain Silver level
  • 1.1 points for every dollar spent
  • Up to 4x points on in-game purchases in games each week
  • Up to 3x points on books and movie rentals during monthly events
  • Weekly Silver level prizes can earn you up to 100 points every week awarded

Gold 

  • Earn 600 points per year to maintain Gold level
  • 1.2 points for every dollar spent
  • Up to 4x points on in-game purchases in games each week
  • Up to 4x points on books and movie rentals during monthly events
  • Weekly Gold level prizes can earn you up to 200 points every week

Platinum

  • Earn 3,000 points per year to maintain Platinum level
  • 1.4 points for every $1 spent
  • Up to 4x points on in-game purchases in games each week
  • Up to 5x points on books and movie rentals during monthly events
  • Weekly Platinum level prizes can earn you up to 500 points every week

Points expire one year after your last purchase, so if you have a lot of points, you should use them before they expire (or make a new purchase to extend their life). In addition, once you earn a new tier status, you keep it for the remainder of the current and the following calendar year, after which your current points determine your new tier. 

How to sign up for Google Play Points

You can sign up for Google Play Points from your Android device or from the Google Play website. 

Using an Android device

1. Start the Google Play app on your phone or tablet.

2. Tap your account icon at the top-right corner.

3. Tap Play Points.

Google Play store on Android
You can find Play Points in the menu that appears when you tap your account icon.

4. Tap Join for free.

5. If you don’t already have a credit card or other payment method on file with your Google Store account, you’ll need to enter one now. 

Google Play store on Android
Signing up for Google Points is as simple as tapping a button.

Using the Google Play website

1. Open Google Play in a browser.

2. On the left side of the page, click Play Points.

Google Play store on Chrome
Tap Play Points on the left side of the webpage to sign up.

3. Click Join for free.

4. If you don’t already have a credit card or other payment method on file with your Google Store account, you’ll need to enter one now. 

How to redeem Google Play Points

Once you have accrued some Google Play points, you can use them at any time. You can use your points to make purchases within the Google Play store or within apps and games. You can also use points to get coupons or get Google Play credit. 

1. Using the Google Play app on your phone or tablet, tap your account icon at the top-right corner.

2. Tap Play Points.

3. You should see your available points. Tap Use

Google Play store on Android
You can redeem Play Points from the Google Play store.

4. In the tabs at the top, choose whether you want to apply points to in-game purchases in Your apps & games, Play Credit that goes toward purchases on apps, movies, and other media, or Donations (to give your credits to charity). 

5. In the list below, choose the item you want to purchase with your points. 

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How to connect your MacBook or Windows laptop to a TV in 2 different ways

friends watching tv on laptop
There are multiple ways you can connect a Windows laptop or MacBook to your TV.

  • You can connect your laptop to a TV using either a wired (with an HDMI cable) or wireless connection.
  • You can use an inexpensive Chromecast device to “cast” your Windows laptop to a TV.
  • If you have an Apple TV, it’s easy to use AirPlay to send your MacBook’s display to your TV.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Need a bigger display for your laptop? You can buy a second monitor, but don’t overlook the giant flatscreen TV in your living room — the HD or 4K display can do a superb job of serving as a large desktop for your computer. There are a few easy ways to connect your Windows or Mac laptop to your TV.  

How to connect a PC laptop to a TV

You can connect your laptop to a TV by either a wired or wireless connection.

Connect your laptop to a TV with an HDMI cable

The most straightforward way to connect your laptop to a TV is via HDMI. Simply plug an HDMI cable into your laptop and then plug the other end into an available HDMI port on your TV. It’ll automatically transfer both audio and video to the TV. This approach is most practical if your laptop has an HDMI port. If it doesn’t, you will need a USB-C-to-HDMI adapter. 

Connect your laptop to a TV using Chromecast

If you prefer, you can connect your laptop to the TV wirelessly via Chromecast. 

1. Plug the power cable into the Chromecast. 

2. Plug the Chromecast into one of your TV’s available HDMI ports. 

3. Plug the Chromecast into a wall outlet. 

4. Install the Google Home app on your iOS or Android phone. After it’s installed, start the app and follow the instructions to set up Chromecast on your TV.

5. On your laptop, start Chrome.

6. At the top right, click the three-dot menu and click Cast…

7. In the list of available devices, choose your TV. Your laptop’s display should now appear on the TV. 

Chrome for Windows
Find the option to cast your screen in Chrome’s three-dot menu.

How to connect a MacBook to a TV

You can connect your MacBook to a TV by a wired, HDMI connection or wirelessly with an Apple TV.

Connect your MacBook to a TV with an HDMI cable

Like a Windows laptop, you should be able to connect your Mac laptop into a TV using HDMI. In most cases, you’ll need an adapter to connect the Mac’s Thunderbolt port to HDMI for your TV. 

An HDMI cable and adapter
You’ll probably need an adapter to connect your MacBook to your TV’s HDMI port.

After that, do this:

1. On the Mac, click the Apple logo and then choose System Preferences…

2. In the System Preferences window, click Displays

3. In the Resolution section, make sure Resolution is set to Default for display.

Display settings for MacOS
Be sure to configure your Mac’s display settings.

4. Click the Back arrow at the top of the window and then click Sound

5. Select your TV’s speakers from the list of audio options. 

Connect your MacBook to a TV using Apple TV

1. On the Mac, click the Apple logo and then choose System Preferences…

2. Click Displays

3. At the bottom of the window, click the drop-down menu to the right of AirPlay Display and make sure Apple TV is selected. 

Display settings for MacOS
Set the AirPlay Display to Apple TV.

4. A four-digit code should now appear on your TV. Enter that code in the AirPlay Device Password pop-up window and click OK. The MacBook’s display should now be on your TV.

Video: How to connect laptop to TV

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How to create Google Sheets formulas to help you make calculations on a spreadsheet

Google Sheets phone laptop
You can create Google Sheets formulas on a computer or mobile device.

  • To add a formula in Google Sheets, click the cell where you want the answer, then choose one of the hundreds of functions.
  • To start a formula in a web browser, you need to enter an equals sign. 
  • You don’t need the equals sign in the mobile app unless you’re entering a function manually. 
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

While almost anyone can perform rudimentary calculations in Google Sheets without resorting to formulas, if you want to do more than simple arithmetic, it’s incredibly useful to be able to create formulas in Google Sheets. There are hundreds of potential formulas you can work with, making Google Sheets a powerful tool. 

Simply put, a formula performs some sort of calculation on the contents of one or more cells. When properly formatted, a formula always begins with an equals sign, is followed by a function (which tells the formula what to do), and you typically need to specify one or more cells for the function to act on within a set of parentheses. 

How to create Google Sheets formulas on a computer

1. Open Google Sheets in a web browser and click the cell in which you want the formula’s answer to appear. 

2. Find the Formula Bar above the spreadsheet. It’s a blank field to the right of the Fx symbol. Click in the field and type the equals symbol “=”.

Google Sheets in Chrome
Start every formula with an equals sign.

3. Type the function you want to add to the formula. For example, if you want to sum up a column of numbers, type “SUM” and click SUM when you see it appear in the list of functions. 

4. Google Sheets automatically adds an open parenthesis.

5. Enter the range of cells you want to sum. You can type the range, such as A1:A9, or you can click and drag the mouse from the first cell in the range to the last. 

6. Type the closing parenthesis and press Enter

Google Sheets in Chrome
A formula is typically composed of a function that works on a range of cells, contained in parenthesis.

If you don’t know the exact function you need, you can browse the list of functions. Click in the Formula Bar and choose Insert, then Function. Find the function you want from the menu and click it. 

How to create Google Sheets formulas on a mobile device

1. Start the Google Sheets app on your Android or iOS device and tap the cell in which you want the formula’s answer to appear. 

2. On an Android phone, tap the fx symbol below the spreadsheet. On iOS, tap the Pencil icon at the bottom right, then tap the fx symbol.

Google Sheets app on iPhone
To create a formula in Google Sheets for iPhone, you need to tap the pencil to get to the fx symbol.

3. In the list of functions, tap browse the categories. Tap the category you need followed by the function you want to insert in your formula. 

4. Google Sheets guides you through creating the formula with formatting hints. Choose the cell or range of cells you need to properly complete the formula. To make a range of cells, tap the first cell in the range and then tap the last cell in the range. 

5. Tap the checkmark to the right of the Function Bar

Google Sheets app on iPhone
After entering the function and specifying the range, tap the checkmark to save your formula.

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7 ways to use your AirPods Pro’s controls to take advantage of all their features

airpods pro
Once you pair them, AirPods Pro offer a lot of features.

  • You can control your AirPods Pro by squeezing the earbud stems, speaking aloud, and more.
  • Squeezing your AirPods Pro’s stems lets you control music, answer calls, and change the noise cancellation mode.
  • Pairing the AirPods Pro with an iPhone gives you even more control over how they sound and function.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

AirPods are incredibly minimalistic. They’re smaller than your finger, and don’t have any buttons. To the untrained eye, they might just look like cheap scraps of plastic.

But AirPods — and especially AirPods Pro — have a lot of features baked into them. The white plastic itself is touch-sensitive, and you can control your music with just a squeeze.

Here’s a full guide to your AirPods Pro’s controls, and how to unlock all their features.

Playing and pausing music

Almost all of your AirPods Pro’s basic controls are based around the force sensor, a small touchpad built into the stem.

To use the force sensor, you need to lightly squeeze the stem. Just tapping or pressing it won’t do anything.

What happens when you squeeze depends on how many times you do it.

AirPods Pro Force Sensor
The force sensor is the small indent on either stem.

Squeeze the stem once to play or pause whatever’s currently playing. If you’re receiving a call, squeezing once will answer it.

Squeeze the stem twice to fast-forward to the next song. If the app you’re using doesn’t support this, squeezing twice won’t do anything. And if you’re receiving a call, squeezing twice will reject it and send the caller to voicemail.

Squeeze the stem three times to rewind, either to the beginning of the current song or to the last one. If the app you’re listening to doesn’t support this, squeezing three times won’t do anything.

Controlling noise cancellation

One of the AirPods Pro’s signature features is Noise Cancellation mode. Both earbuds have a small microphone that picks up outside noise, and then suppresses it with “anti-noise.” It’s great for blocking out background noise if you need to focus while wearing your AirPods.

On the other hand, you can also use Transparency mode. Transparency does the exact opposite, using the microphones to help you hear what’s going on around you even while your earbuds are in. 

Squeeze and hold the AirPods’ stem to switch between Noise Cancellation mode and Transparency mode. You’ll hear a light ding when the change goes through.

You can also change between them by opening your iPhone’s Control Center, pressing and holding the volume meter, and then tapping the Noise Control option at the bottom.

Talking to Siri

Siri is easy to activate, even without AirPods. But setting up your AirPods Pro unlocks new features.

First of all, you can wake Siri with your AirPods just by saying “Hey Siri” out loud, followed by your request. So if you want to know the weather, for instance, say “Hey Siri, what’s the weather like today?”

Apple Airpods 3
You can talk to Siri without using your hands.

You can also set up Siri so it’ll automatically read you any message you receive while you have your AirPods on. Open the Settings app, tap Notifications, and then tap Announce Notifications.

Once you’ve turned it on and have your AirPods connected, Siri will read out any text message you receive, along with messages from a variety of third-party chatting apps. 

And when Siri finishes reading the message, your AirPods will listen for a few seconds so you can respond. Just tell Siri that you want to reply, and then say what you want to reply with.

Activating spatial audio

Spatial audio is a feature that makes your AirPods imitate a real surround sound system

You can turn on spatial audio by opening your iPhone’s Control Center, pressing and holding your finger on the volume meter, and tapping the Spatial audio icon at the bottom of the screen.

Here you can turn on Fixed or Head Tracked spatial audio. Fixed makes the audio surround you, but it sounds the same on all sides. Head Tracked makes it so the sound will change if you move your head, as if you were listening to a single speaker in front of you instead of headphones.

Alternatively, select Off for a standard stereo sound.

Customizing your AirPods’ controls and name

What we’ve described so far are your AirPods Pro’s default controls. But you can edit some of these features from the Bluetooth menu.

Head to your iPhone’s Bluetooth menu and connect your AirPods, then tap the i icon next to their name. This will open a menu where you can change their settings.

Use the Press and Hold AirPods section to change what happens when you squeeze your AirPods’ stems. By default it’ll turn Noise Cancellation on and off, but you can set it to activate Siri instead.

Turning on Automatic Ear Detection will pause whatever you’re listening to when you take an AirPod out of your ear.

And Connect to This iPhone is useful if you have multiple devices paired to your AirPods, like an iPad and Macbook. Set this to Automatically, and your AirPods will connect to whatever device you’re using as soon as you turn it on. Set it to When Last Connected to This iPhone, however, and the AirPods will only connect to the device you last used them with.

Finally, tap Name at the top of this page to change your AirPods Pro’s name. This is the title it’ll show up with in the Bluetooth menu.

The menu on an iPhone where a user can change their AirPods' settings.
There are a variety of menus, options, and settings to configure on this page.

Charge your AirPods Pro and check their battery level

You’ll charge your AirPods Pro by placing the earbuds into their case, closing it, and then either connecting it to a Lightning cable (the same kind of charger that the iPhone uses) or a Qi-certified wireless charging pad. When you start charging your AirPods, the case’s LED light will glow either orange (meaning that it needs more charging) or green (meaning that it’s fully charged).

You can check how much battery your AirPods and case have by opening the case near your iPhone, or by using the battery widget. Check out our article on how to enable the battery widget if you don’t already have it.

Pick the right AirPods Pro tips for your ears

Unlike other AirPod models, the AirPods Pro have plastic tips that are supposed to bend to the shape of your ears. But everyone has slightly different ears, and the default tips won’t always fit. That’s why every new pair of AirPods Pro come with three sets of plastic eartips, each one a different size. 

You can remove your AirPods’ current tips by pinching firmly and pulling them off the earbuds. It takes some force, but don’t worry — they’ll pop off without issue.

To attach the new eartips, line up the oval on the edge of the tip with the oval on the AirPods’ speaker, then press the tip into place.

If you’re not sure which size ear tip to use, take the Ear Tip Fit Test. Connect your AirPods to your iPhone and open the Bluetooth menu, then tap the i icon next to their name. In the menu that opens, select Ear Tip Fit Test.

You’ll be led through a series of short exercises that test how well the AirPods fit in your ear. At the end of the test, it’ll tell you if your current eartips make a “Good Seal” or if you need a different size.

How to change AirPod Pro Tips   6
If you’d like to take the test again, tap the blue “Play” button.

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Can you use a PS4 controller on a PS5? Yes, here’s how

PS4 controller fortnite
You can use a PS4 controller on a PS5 to play PS4 games only.

  • To use your PS4 controller on a PS5, connect it to the PS5 with a USB cable and press the PlayStation button on the controller to pair it.
  • The DualShock 4 or a supported third-party PS4 controller can be connected to work with a PS5 console.
  • You can’t use a PS4 controller with PS5 games; it only works with PS4 games.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

There are a lot of reasons you might want to use a PS4 controller on your new PS5. It’s an inexpensive way to add additional controllers to your console, it is handy for playing PS4 games on the backwards-compatible PS5, and, well, you already have one lying around, so why not? In addition, you’ll definitely need a DualShock 4 controller to play PS VR games. The good news is that your legacy controller does, in fact, work on a PS5 — although there’s a key limitation. 

How to use a PS4 controller on a PS5

1. Plug your DualShock 4 controller into one of the USB ports on your PS5 using a microUSB cable. 

2. Press and hold the PlayStation button on your controller for about five seconds until the status light flashes. 

3. The PS5 should now ask you to choose which player will use the controller. Make your choice. 

4. Unplug the cable. 

The controller is now paired with the PS5 and you shouldn’t need to use the microUSB cable again. 

The most important limitation of using a PS4 controller (DualShock 4 or third-party) on a PS5 is that even after connecting it, the controller will only work with PS4 games that you play on the PS5. You can’t play any native PS5-only titles with a PS4 controller. If you try, you’ll simply see an error message that advises “PS5 games can’t be played using the DualShock 4.”

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How to avoid data breaches and keep your personal data secure online

photographer using laptop with earphones and camera at desk
Data breaches are a risk for anyone who uses the internet, no matter their age.

  • A data breach is when your personal data is accessed, copied, or changed by someone without your permission.
  • Most data breaches involve hacked email accounts and stolen bank information.
  • The best way to protect against data breaches is to use strong passwords, make backups, and be wary of clicking links.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Our daily lives revolve around the internet more than ever. And while this is great for working remotely, making friends in other countries, and shopping from your couch, it also comes with risks.

In 2020, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 791,790 complaints from victims of cyber crime. And while a lot of these complaints came from users who were simply tricked into sending money to scammers, a massive amount of them stemmed from data breaches.

Data breaches are the most common form of cyber crime, and experts estimate that there’s a new victim every two seconds. Despite this, data breaches aren’t hard to protect yourself from — it just takes some care and skepticism.

Here’s everything you need to know about data breaches, including how they work, how to protect yourself, and what to do if you’re hacked.

What is a data breach?

A “data breach” is a general term for any time that someone accesses electronic data or information that they’re not supposed to.

The simplest example of a data breach is a hacked email account. If someone gets your email password and logs into your account, they’ve breached your data. At that point, they can send emails with your name, see all your contacts and sell their email addresses to marketers, and of course see any personal info that you’ve sent or received.

Hackers might also target your bank accounts. Someone who gets access to your credit card information, social security numbers, or even online banking password can wreak a lot of havoc on your finances.

senior woman shopping online on laptop holding credit card
Be careful about which websites you give your credit card information to.

Things get trickier if it’s the servers of a major company that get breached. In 2019, First American Financial — one of the biggest mortgage insurance companies in the world — announced that over 800 million real estate documents had been leaked and stolen from its website. This included 16 years of bank records, phone numbers, home addresses, and more.

The actual customers couldn’t do anything to protect themselves here. It was the company that they trusted with their personal data that caused the problem.

If you use a password manager, you might occasionally get a notification saying that a password of yours was included in a data breach. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your accounts have been hacked — more likely, your password was included in a massive company leak like we described above. Still not good, but it gives you more time to protect yourself.

A warning from Google Chrome that a user password was found in a data breach.
Some programs, like Google Chrome, will warn you if your passwords are leaked.

And hackers aren’t always the computer masterminds you see in movies, constantly prodding at big websites to find a way in. A great deal of breaches stem from social engineering scams, where a user gets tricked into giving up their passwords to a scammer they think they can trust. Some breaches even happen accidentally — maybe a company stores user passwords on a public website without realizing. 

But no matter the cause, when it comes to your personal cybersecurity, there are a few best practices you should follow to protect yourself.

How to protect yourself from a data breach

Dave Hatter, a cybersecurity specialist from InTrust IT, tells me that “It’s never been easier to have access to tools that make yourself a much more difficult target.”

You can protect yourself against data breaches and hacks in the same ways that you protect against most cyber crimes: Be proactive, be unique, and be skeptical.

Be proactive

The best time to worry about cybersecurity is before you’re ever in danger. This means making a security plan and sticking to it.

If you have data stored online that you can’t risk losing, make backups of it. This might mean taking screenshots, downloading documents, and moving things onto an external hard drive. The more backups you have, the safer you are.

Keep a close eye on your finances. Aside from checking your monthly statements, cybersecurity experts I spoke to all recommended signing up for a credit monitoring service that can keep track of any suspicious activity in your credit report.

Hatter also says that computer users should make sure they have a good antivirus program installed. Windows users are lucky that all new PCs come with Windows Defender, one of the best antivirus programs available, pre-installed. But “the top antivirus changes all the time,” he says, “so be aware of what options are out there.”

If an app or website offers two-factor (also called multi-factor) authentication, enable it for your account. It’s a simple but powerful way to lock strangers out of your data.

Google asking for a verification code to prove that the user really owns this Google account.
When you log into an account with two-factor authentication set up, you’ll need to enter an extra code.

Enterprise users and companies should invest in a good firewall, keep a dedicated cybersecurity team on retainer, and perform regular “vulnerability tests” to see how strong their defenses really are. Also make sure you have a cyber insurance policy that can keep you safe in the event of a hack.

Darren Shou, the CTO of cybersecurity firm NortonLifeLock, says to keep all your devices updated — even including “printers, Wi-Fi routers, and smart devices.” It’s easy to brush off updates as being useless or annoying, but they almost always come with important security patches to help keep you safe against new threats.

Be unique

Most websites only ask for a single username and password combo to log in. This means that if you have an easy-to-guess password, or use the same password on multiple websites, it’s incredibly easy to break into your account.

This means that you want to use a different password for all your separate accounts. And that password should be “strong” — in other words:

  • It should be long (at least 12 characters, minimum)
  • Use upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols
  • Don’t use common words or phrases like “password,” or personal details like your birthday
Password Pin security
Stay away from common phrases, words, and number combinations.

If you’re reading this and feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry: This is what password managers are made for.

Dave Hatter, along with every cybersecurity expert I’ve spoken to, fully recommends using password managers like LastPass. These apps will create incredibly strong passwords for all your apps, and then automatically enter them when you need them. This lets you keep your data secure without needing to remember dozens of different passwords.

The only password that you need to create for yourself and keep ultra-safe is your LastPass master password. This is the password that protects all the others, so don’t skimp on it.

Some cybersecurity experts also recommend changing all your passwords every few months. And while this certainly doesn’t hurt, having strong passwords and two-factor authentication set up is much more important.

You can test how good your passwords are for free using NordVPN’s “online strength checker.”

Be skeptical

Backups are important, updates are important, and passwords are crucial. But all the time you spend keeping yourself safe doesn’t mean anything if you don’t apply what Darren Shou calls “common-sense skepticism.”

If you receive an email from someone you don’t know asking you to download an attachment, you probably know not to do it. But what if you get a text, seemingly from your bank, warning about fraud on your account? Or a private message from a friend asking you to click a “hilarious” link?

Darren Shou refers to these scams as “an attack on the human operating system.” They’re designed to prey on users who aren’t thinking about what they click, or who completely trust that they’re protected.

A Twitter post promising "100,000,000 DOGE" to users who clicked a fake link.
An example of a scam that went viral on Twitter in early 2021, with a fake account promising free bitcoin to anyone who clicked a malicious link.

Don’t click links if you don’t know exactly where they’re taking you. When you get a suspicious email or text, ask yourself: “Was I expecting to receive this? Do I know the sender? Is it even important?” If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

If you’re not sure, directly contact your bank, or friend, or whoever is claiming they know you and ask. There’s a good chance that they’ll tell you you’re dealing with a fake.

And if you’re managing a large group of people, make sure that they’re educated about internet scams, data breaches, and suspicious links. It doesn’t matter how strong your locks are if someone inside just opens the door.

What to do if your data is breached

But what if someone does manage to slip past your defenses and access your accounts? How do you recover and repair the damage?

Before anything, remember: Don’t panic.

In the aftermath of a data breach, “You have to keep calm and keep your common sense,” says Shou. Lots of scammers are trained to strike at people who have just been scammed by someone else, hoping to take advantage of their desperation. Keep your guard up and stay skeptical.

Ideally, you’ll want to figure out how many accounts were hacked, and change all their passwords. If you use a password manager, change your master password too.

Triple-check your financial records, and if anything seems off, don’t hesitate to freeze your accounts and credit. Some identity theft monitoring services will let you meet with an attorney, if need be.

Man frustrated at computer at work
A data breach doesn’t isn’t the end of the world.

If you’re a company that’s been breached, get in touch with your cyber insurance team and report the breach, along with your in-house legal and IT teams. While your IT team works to limit the damage, you’ll need to make some decisions about whether to notify your customers (it’s required by law in some cases) and whether to contact law enforcement.

Dave Hatter warns that while you might be tempted to delete everything that the hacker saw, you shouldn’t do it. If you do decide to get law enforcement involved, deleting too much data can count as destroying evidence.

Insider’s takeaway

Data breaches can be devastating, and only get more common as we move our lives online.

But both consumers and businesses can take concrete and simple steps to protect their data and themselves. Create strong passwords, keep your electronics updated, make copies of your data, and don’t trust every link that comes your way.

And of course, don’t go crazy trying to manage everything alone. Services like LastPass, NortonLifeLock, and SentinelOne are designed to make cybersecurity easier. If you have the money and want to boost your security, check them out.

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How to use Instagram’s Sensitive Content Controls to filter your Explore page

instagram iphone
You can filter your Explore page with Instagram’s Sensitive Content Controls.

  • Instagram’s Sensitive Content Controls let you limit how much graphic content appears on your Explore page.
  • Sensitive Content Controls are turned on by default, but you can make them stricter or turn them off.
  • The Sensitive Content Controls affect content that’s “sexually suggestive, non-graphic violence, or about drugs or firearms.”
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Instagram’s Explore page does more than just let you search for your friends. Every time you open it, you’re recommended dozens of new photos and videos that the site thinks you might like. And although the algorithm is pretty fine tuned to match your tastes, it’s not hard for more unsavory content to make its way onto the page.

To give users more control over the Explore page, Instagram introduced the Sensitive Content Controls page. This menu lets you make the Explore page’s filters even stricter, or turn them off entirely.

Here’s how to use your Sensitive Content Controls in the Instagram app on both iPhone and Android.

How to change the Sensitive Content Controls on Instagram

Instagram considers “sensitive content” to be posts which are “sexually suggestive, non-graphic violence, or about drugs or firearms.” They provide some more details in a Help Center article, but there’s no exact definition of what all these terms mean.

These controls only affect the Explore page, not your feed, Direct Messages, Stories, or Reels.

1. Open the Instagram app and tap your profile picture in the bottom-right corner.

2. On your profile page, tap the three stacked lines in the top-right corner, and then Settings.

The options menu in the Instagram app, with the Settings option highlighted.
Head to your Settings menu.

3. Tap Account, and then Sensitive Content Control.

The "Settings" and "Account" menus in the Instagram app.
The content filters are in your “Account” menu.

4. Pick whether you want the default Limit, Limit Even More, or Allow. Each option comes with a short explanation of how it works.

The Sensitive Content Control page on Instagram.
Choose how filtered you want the Explore page to be.

5. Once you’ve picked an option, exit the menu. Your changes will take effect immediately.

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How to delete iPhone calendar spam and prevent clutter from reappearing in your phone’s calendar

Woman surprised using iPhone
You can unsubscribe from iPhone calendar spam to remove it and prevent it from reappearing.

  • iPhone calendar spam creates unwanted events that clutter your phone’s calendar.
  • To delete calendar spam, tap an unwanted event in your calendar and tap Unsubscribe.
  • If you have an older version of iOS, you can unsubscribe using the Calendars link at the bottom of the Calendar. 
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Spam is bad enough when it litters your email inbox, but spam in your calendar can be absolutely infuriating, especially if it gets in the way of clearly seeing upcoming events on your actual agenda.

If you see unwanted events and invitations, you might have accidentally subscribed to a spam calendar. Thankfully, the remedy is very straightforward (but it depends on which version of iOS is installed on your phone). 

How to delete iPhone calendar spam

If your iPhone is running iOS 14.6 or later, do this:

1. Start the Calendar app on your iPhone. 

2. Tap one of the unwanted calendar events.

3. At the bottom of the page, tap Unsubscribe. Confirm you want to do this by tapping Unsubscribe again. All the unwanted events associated with that subscription should disappear from your calendar. 

The Calendars app for iOS
You can unsubscribe to a calendar by tapping any event within that calendar.

If you have an older version of iOS, do this instead:

1. Start the Calendar app.

2. At the bottom of the page, tap Calendars

Calendars app for iOS
You can get to all the calendars your app is using from the link at the bottom of the page.

3. In the list of calendars, look for an entry you don’t want or don’t recognize. When you find it, tap the i to the right of the calendar’s name. 

The Calendars app for iOS
Tap the i to the right of a calendar you want to get rid of.

4. At the bottom of the calendar’s page, tap either Unsubscribe or Delete.

If this doesn’t work, you have one other remedy:

1. Start the Settings app.

2. Tap Calendars.

3. Tap Accounts

4. Tap Subscribed Calendars.

5. Look for a calendar you don’t want or don’t recognize and then tap it, followed by Delete Account

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Is PS5 backward compatible? Yes, more than 4,000 PS4 games work on the next-gen console — here’s what to know

PS5 Playstation 5 controller
With very few exceptions, the PS5 is backward compatible with PS4 games.

  • The PS5 is largely backward compatible with PS4 games, with more than 4,000 available titles.
  • There are only about a half-dozen known PS4 games that are incompatible with the PS5.
  • There are some limitations; for example, the Share menu can’t be displayed on the PS5 when playing a PS4 game.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

A new game console like the PlayStation 5 is a substantial investment, so ideally you can extend its value by continuing to play older PS4 games on it. If you are wondering if your existing library of PS4 games will work on your new PS5, you’re in for some good news: It’s a qualified “yes.”

The PS5 is backward compatible with PS4, to an extent

An overwhelming majority of PS4 game titles will play on a PS5 console. That’s about 4,000 games, so with rare exception, your existing game collection will play fine (though you should be sure your PS5 has all available updates installed before trying to play PS4 games). Sony also advises that you should verify the core game works properly on the PS5 before purchasing or installing any add-ons for the game. 

In fact, some PS4 games may see an overall improvement when played on the PS5. Select games can take advantage of the PS5’s Game Boost feature, which allows the game to run at a higher frame rate. Games that run better on PS5 thanks to Game Boost include Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Crysis Remastered, God of War, Ratchet & Clank, Rocket League, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and others. 

If you enjoy PlayStation VR, you’ll be pleased to learn that PS VR titles are included in the list of compatible games. Playing VR games on a PS5 requires a PS VR headset, PlayStation Camera for PS4, and a PlayStation Camera adaptor, and the games perform best when you use a DualShock 4 controller. 

Specific PS4 on PS5 limitations

The list of PS4 games which are known to be incompatible with the PS5 is quite short. At this time, these are the only games to avoid:

  • Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma Volume One
  • TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 2
  • Just Deal With It!
  • Robinson: The Journey
  • We Sing
  • Hitman Go: Definitive Edition
  • Shadwen

Even though most other games will run on the PS5, the gaming experience might not always be 100% seamless. Some features or functionalities that were available on the PS4 might not work when you play the game on the PS5. For example, the Share menu can’t be displayed on the PS5 when playing a PS4 game. You can take screenshots by pressing the Create button on your DualSense controller, however. Likewise, some PS4 games can’t record video at 3840 x 2160 even if you start recording at that setting — you will only get a resolution of 1920 x 1080. 

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