Tag Archives: Tips and Tricks

The gift of technology – My top 13 Gratitude List

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Doesn’t it feel so good to take time to focus on all the blessings in our lives?

One of my greatest blessings is being able to do work that I love and to be able to make other’s lives happier and richer.

You make this possible and I want you to know how much I appreciate you, your business and your referrals.

I love sharing my passion for technology and the many ways it can make our lives more simple, easy or fun.

Here’s A Baker’s Dozen of Techie Things I’m grateful for.  It’s not a complete list but it’s the things I enjoy almost every day.

What would you add to the list?  Share your suggestions in the comments section below and let us count the ways….

  1. The World Wide Web for education, communication and the answer to every question imaginable
  2. Google Search, Wikipedia, YouTube and all the researchers, educators, bloggers and writers that provide the information.
  3. Video conferencing apps that allow me to see my adult children who live far away and even tour their new homes, to offer remote Tech Support to frustrated clients and restore them to being happy campers and to share the joys of technology with more and more people.
  4. Email – It’s hard to remember what life was like before email
  5. Mobile phones, their amazing cameras and apps
  6. Photo sharing and editing apps
  7. Online shopping and online reviews of products and services
  8. Facebook – I don’t go there often but it’s always a good time when I do.
  9. Google Docs and OpenOffice – all the benefits of Microsoft office suite and it’s free
  10. Audiobooks and ebooks and all the amazing authors that provide education and entertainment on so many subjects.
  11. Google Maps and Google Earth
  12. Digital Music – iTunes, Amazon, Pandora, Spotify and others
  13. Digital video entertainment – movies, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, iTunes and others

 

 

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​Do You Use Skype or Face Time?

Why Use Skype?

Skype is an app that lets you connect with people using the video camera on your computer or mobile device.

Face Time does the same thing, but only works with Apple products. Even if you use Face Time, it’s a good idea to know how to use Skype as well. They are both very simple and easy to use and they are truly one of the best benefits of modern technology.

A friend of mine uses Skype to play checkers with her 9 yr. old grandson who lives out of state.

Parents use it to stay in touch with their children when they have to be away on business trips or vacations. They can read the children a bedtime story, watch them get tucked into bed, and throw them a kiss goodnight.

Several clients have had me show them how to use Skype for important job interviews. We practiced calling each other, chose the most flattering camera angle, picked the most attractive background, and discussed what to wear. It is so rewarding to see people gain confidence and be optimistic about getting the job!

Video chat is great for online dating and long-distance relationships too.

Businesses use Skype for video conferencing because they can have multiple people on a video call. They save a lot of money on air travel, hotels and meals.

On an internet enabled big screen TV, it can feel like you’re actually in the room with distant family members. You can even watch each other open Christmas presents!

On mobile phones, you can only use audio for group calls, but on your computer or internet enabled TV you can do video conference calls.

Skype also supports audio calls to traditional phones. Using Skype on your tablet or smartphone, you can call somebody on a regular telephone. This is really handy if you are traveling and don’t have access to phone service but do have access to wifi.

One of my clients who is retired from the Foreign Service, learned how to use Skype so he could stay in touch with his friends all over the world for free.

All of the features of Skype are free, except calling people on regular telephones. However, Skype phone calls are a lot less expensive than traditional long distance calls.

How to Use Skype

Skype is a free download from the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store and is already installed with Windows 10 and Window phones. (It’s owned by Microsoft.)

You need to have an account to use Skype. You can set up a free account or, if you already have a Microsoft account, you can just log in with that.

On iPads, iPhones, Android phones, and Android tablets, each version of Skype will look a little different but the functionality is the same. There are just a few minor differences on each device

When you login you will see three screens

  1. RECENT- shows the most list of people most recently talked to
  2. FAVORITES – shows the contacts you have marked as favorites
  3. PEOPLE – is your list of people you can call on Skype. They have to have an account also and they have to agree to be connected with you.

To Add a Contact

Search for the person in the Skype database. There are millions of people in the Skype database and lots of people with the same name…even unusual names. It’s amazing!

Therefore, the quickest and easiest way to find people is to search for their unique Skype name. Email address work sometimes too because there aren’t duplicates of those but it’s really easier to ask your person for their skype name.

When you find them, tap the button that says “add people.” Then tap “send a contact request.”

The person’s name will show up on your contact list but, they will not show up as online and accessible until they have accepted your request.

After they accept your request, you will be able to see their status next to their name, which lets you know when they are online for you to call them.

Note: some people leave the Skype app open all the time to receive calls. Other people text or email each other to set a time and then open the app. It depends on how often they use it.

To make a call

Select a contact and you will see buttons at the bottom of the screen. You can choose to do a video call or an audio call. They both work pretty much the same. Tap on the button for audio or video. The camera starts running right away so you can frame up your shot while you wait for the other person to pick up.

After you start talking, the buttons at the bottom of the screen will fade out of the way, but when you tap on the screen, they’ll pop up again.

You can mute and unmute your audio by hitting the mute button.

You can disable the camera by hitting the camera button if you want to talk and see them without them seeing you.

When you’re done, just hit the red hang up button.

To receive an incoming call

The app will make a sound and you will see a choice of buttons.

If you don’t want to answer a call, you can just hit the red button.

If you want to answer but only want to use audio, then hit the green button in the middle.

To see video and hear audio, hit the camera button.

To hang up, tap on the screen to bring up the controls and hit the red button

You can also use Skype to have a text chat.

On the screen, with a contact’s information, tap on the field that says “type a message”. Type and then hit the Send button. When he responds, you’ll see his response pop up.

Calling regular telephones

This feature is particularly useful when you’re traveling to a place where you won’t have a cellular phone connection, but you will have wifi.

This is called Voice Over IP, or VOIP. Using this feature, you can call a regular phone as long as you can connect to Skype on your mobile device.

This is the one feature that is not free but Skype is much less expensive than traditional long distance rates. To get an idea of the pricing options, check out their website. http://www.skype.com/en/

You can login to your Skype account on the website and add Skype credit to your account.

Or in the app on your mobile device, you can hit the “my account” button (top right), and there’s an option for “Skype credit”. This way, it’s an “in-app” purchase and it will be charged to your iTunes account or Play Store account. It will ask for your password for confirmation. Then hit “Buy”.

To make a call to a regular phone

At the bottom of the screen, there’s a dialer button and you can just dial a regular phone number. Also, there’s a button at the top that links directly to the address book on your device so you can find the person and tap on the number. When you hit the phone button at the bottom, it will dial. When he answers, you will be having a conversation just as if you were using a regular telephone. To hang up, just hit the red button at the bottom

Skype is a great app for video and audio calls because it runs on all mobile devices and computers no matter what platform. Group video calls are not available on mobile devices but video calls to individuals work.

I hope you will try this and enjoy it. If you need help, just let me know.

Please share this with your friends and relatives. Your referrals are the heart of my business and my mission is to help people more fully enjoy the many benefits of modern technology.

Thanks,

Mardi

Six Simple Maintenance Tips for Windows PCs

Most computer owners don’t know much about basic computer maintenance and their PCs are likely to slow down or crash as a result.

Of course, most of us don’t know much about cars either, but we know to give them gas, change the oil and keep an eye out for flat tires. It’s the same with PCs. You don’t need to be an expert to keep your PC in relatively good condition. You just need to perform a little basic PC maintenance and, more importantly, be observant.

Here are six simple steps you can take to keep your PC running quickly and reliably:

Windows Updates1. Keep the Window Operating System (OS) Updated with the Latest Patches

Windows Update scans your system and updates it with the latest security patches and service packs. You can schedule these updates to run automatically, so there is really no excuse for not having an up-to-date system.

To access Windows Update click on the Start button, All Programs and scroll through the list to find it.

2. Keep Your Applications and Utilities Patched  Java update message

This may surprise you, but all the applications and utilities on your system are prone to security risks and need to be updated regularly.

Programs that you use everyday like Adobe Acrobat Reader, QuickTime, Realplayer, Skype, WinZip and more require both maintenance and security updates from time to time. Even applications that run in the background like Flash and Java are at risk.

When update notifications pop up on your screen, allow them to install. Just read the screens as you go, to be sure they aren’t offering to install promotional software that you don’t want. You may need to uncheck some boxes.

If you have my business card, you have a list of safe updates on it. If you don’t have my care or aren’t sure if a pop up is a legitimate update, just give me a call.

Norton Expiration Notice3. Keep Your Spyware and AntiVirus Programs Updated

No matter how good your spyware and antivirus software, it won’t do you any good if it’s not updated or, worse, not running because it expired.

Most antivirus applications load an icon in the Windows tray, (lower right corner) which lets you verify its status at a glance. Always verify that the application is running after starting Windows.

In addition, these applications should be configured to perform definition updates everyday and complete system scans at least once a week.

4. Clean Off the Desktop  Cluttered Windows Desktop

Having a lot of files on the desktop will actually slow down your computer because each file and its icon preview take up RAM and resources. The less RAM you have the more you’ll notice the sluggishness resulting from a cluttered desktop.

It’s really more efficient to get in the habit of filing things in the appropriate folders instead of on the desktop; but if you can’t be bothered to do that, just grab all the files and move them into the appropriate folders from time to time.

If you can’t remember to do it yourself, there are apps that will automatically clean it for you by moving files and folders to a designated place at a regular interval.

IDrive Online Backup5. Regularly Backup Your Computer

Performing regular backups is essential for you to be able to quickly recover from potential disasters. I recommend iDrive or Carbonite. They are easy to set up and make it easy to restore your data when you have a disaster, or upgrade to a new computer. You can access your files from your mobile gadgets too! If paying the annual fee bothers you, just think of it as insurance, like your auto and home insurance.

6. Defragment and Check Your Hard Drive for Errors Regularly  Defragmenter Utility

In order to maintain the integrity of your data there are two hard drive tests that you should run at least once a month.

The first is to Defragment your hard drive. Over the course of regular use, your files get fragmented or spread out all over your hard drive. So while an MP3 or WMV file appears as a single file to you in Windows Explorer, small pieces of the file could literally be spread across the entire hard drive. Gathering all of these distant pieces back together into a single continuous order, makes files load faster. Defragmenting your drive can can make your system noticeably faster if you had lots of files fragmented.

The other test is Check Disk. This tool checks hard disk volumes for problems and attempts repairs. (It can repair problems related to bad sectors, lost clusters, cross-linked files and directory errors…but you don’t need to know all that.) Just remember that Disk errors are a common source of difficult-to-track problems, and running this test regularly can significantly reduce your risk of having problems.

Windows has a built-in defragmenter and check-disk utility. Just open Windows Explorer and right-click on the drive you want to examine. Select Properties and then click on the Tools tab. To defragment your hard drive, go to the Defragmentation section and press the Defragment now button. To perform a check disk, go to the Error-checking section and press the Check now button.

You don’t need to be a computer expert to keep your computer running well. Preventing problems doesn’t require much understanding about computers. You just need to pay attention and actually read those messages that popup on screen during an installation and use the tools that come with your computer.

Just follow these basic steps, and your computer will be safer and far more reliable.

How to Use Flash Drives

Some of my clients who use flash drives, have been at risk of losing their data because they needed to know a few important rules.  I hope you will find this information helpful and that you will share it with others so they can benefit too.  If you need a little tutoring to master this skill, just let me know.

What is a Flash Drive?

A flash drive, or USB flash drive, also known as memory stick, memory card, flash stick, keydrive, pendrive, thumbdrive and jumpdrive, is a data storage device that includes flash memory with an integrated Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface. USB flash drives are typically removable and rewritable.  They are physically much smaller and sturdier than CDs.

The Rules

  1. Flash drives are NOT intended to be used for the backing up of data. They are a good means of transferring relatively small amounts of data from one computer to another or archiving data that will not be edited later such as photos.  For backing up important data, use a cloud backup service such as iDrive or Carbonite, or an external hard drive, or both.
  2. NEVER work on documents directly from your flash drive. It is best practice to first copy the document to your computer, make changes to the document from the local computer, and then copy the file back to the USB flash drive.
  3. If the flash drive is removed improperly or files are worked on directly from the flash drive, the files can become corrupted or lost. This is why it is important to follow all instructions carefully.

To properly remove a flash drive from your computer

  1. Double-click the Remove hardware icon lower right hand corner.       Eject Media
  2. In the safely Remove Hardware window, Double-click on the “USB Mass Storage Device”
  3. In the Stop a Hardware device window, click on your USB flash drive
  4. Click OK
  5. After seeing the “Safe” statement, you can remove the flash drive from your machine.

Safe to remove hardward screen shot

On a Mac, right click, or for trackpad users hold down control and click on the drive at the same time to bring up the menu. Then click “eject”.

flash drive on Mac Desktop

How to copy files to a USB Flash drive from your Computer:

  1. Insert USB flash drive into any available USB port on your computer

*Note: If the USB flash drive is being used for the first time, Windows may need extra time to install the hardware. You will know your flash drive is ready for use when you see a message by the clock stating: “Your new hardware has been installed and is ready for use.”

  1. Locate the file or folder on your computer that you would like to copy to the flash drive.
  2. Right-click the file
  3. Highlight “Send to”
  4. Select “Removable Disk (“Drive letter:)”

On a Mac, the drive icon will appear on the desktop.  Locate your files in finder and drag and drop them onto the drive.

After following the Steps above, Please DO NOT do not immediately remove the flash drive from the USB port. Follow the instructions under “Properly Removing Flash Drive from Computer:”

Checking to Make Sure File was Copied to Flash Drive:

  1. Double-click My Computer
  2. Double-Click “Removable Disk (“Drive letter:)”
  3. The copied file or folder should appear on the removable disk. From here, it can be placed into a specific folder on the removable disk if desired. If the file is not there, retry the steps under “How to copy files to a USB Flash drive from your Computer:”

On a Mac, double click the drive icon to see the files.

After following the Steps above, DO NOT immediately remove the flash drive from the USB port. Follow the instructions under “Properly Removing Flash Drive from Computer:”

How to Copy files from a USB Flash Drive to your Computer:

  1. Insert USB flash drive into any available USB port on your computer  (If the USB flash drive is being used for the first time, Windows may need extra time to install the hardware necessary for the USB drive to function properly. You will know your flash drive is ready for use when you see a message by the clock stating: “Your new hardware has been installed and is ready for use.”)
  2. Double-click My Computer
  3. Double-Click “Removable Disk (“Drive letter:)”
  4. Locate the file or folder on your flash drive that you would like to copy to your computer.
  5. Right-click the file
  6. Highlight “Send to”
  7. Select “My Documents”
  8. The copied file or folder should now appear on your computer under the “My Documents” folder. From here, it can be moved to any desired location on your machine. If the file or folder does not appear in the “My Documents” folder, retry the steps under “How to copy files from a USB Flash drive to your Computer:”

On a Mac, locate the file on the flash drive and drag and drop on the Documents folder in Finder

After following the Steps above, DO NOT immediately remove the flash drive from the USB port. Follow the instructions under “Properly Removing Flash Drive from Computer:”

Crapware

Crapware:

Why manufacturers install it, what you can do about it, and why it’s not going to go away   Based on an article by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes  http://www.zdnet.com/

Crapware, also know as “bloatware” or “junkware,” are apps that hardware companies install onto their devices on top of the operating system (OS).  It’s a bunch of free trials and demos that nag you to buy the full version. Most annoying to me, is when you start using the app, not realizing that it’s a free trial, and then find out that you have to pay in order to continue accessing the work you’ve done.
snailThe worst consequence is that crapware can dramatically slow down system performance or even compromise your system’s security. I frequently see relatively new computers running slow because of the weight of the crapware that has been installed on them. They run great once all the junk is removed. One has to wonder about the number of people who spend hard-earned money on a PC only to end up getting a third-rate experience because of crapware.
Furthermore, many of these dissatisfied PC owners may end up blaming “Microsoft” or “Windows” for the performance issues, when the real problem is that the manufacturing company took money from third-parties to fill their computers with junk.
Microsoft is well-aware of this.  It’s now offering Signature which is free from the clutter that “can slow down your computer and junk up your Start screen or desktop.”  See it here
Screenshot 2015-03-07 at 1.35.12 PMScreenshot 2015-03-07 at 1.36.27 PM

If you ask the hardware makers why they install this stuff, they’ll tell you they are offering you extra value. That’s a lie.  They do it because they make money for doing it. Except for Apple products, computer profits are very thin. Hardware makers are happy to install junk onto new systems in exchange for a few extra dollars.

Photo courtesy of www.kitguru.net
photo.apple_.windows.crapware (1)

 

Eradicating crapware from Windows PCs isn’t easy, and when it comes Android smartphones and tablets it can be almost impossible.  There are tools out there for the PC such as PC Decrapifier and CCleaner that do a reasonable job of cleaning a system, but they’re far from perfect.

 

The purveyors of crapware have become wise to these tools and take deliberate steps to make it difficult. It’s best to call my friends at Desert Cow Computers. www.mydesertcow.com

desert cow computers

Hardware manufacturers operate in a cutthroat business environment and crapware can make the difference between almost no profit and a little profit, especially on budget systems.  Perhaps you will decide to stay away from budget systems now.
Microsoft offers the Signature range of PCs and Google sells Nexus-branded devices, These products are free from crapware. If you’re looking for a pure Windows or Android experience, then this might be worth investigating.  Another option is to switch to Apple or Chromebook.

nexus

If more people complain or vote with their feet by purchasing crapware-free products, perhaps equipment manufacturers will be persuaded to make crapware easier to remove.

 
Thoughts or comments about this topic?  Please comment below.  Thanks!

No More Password Hassles with LastPass

No More Password Hassles!

Treat your password like your toothbrush.
Don’t let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months.

Clifford Stoll                                      Read more at brainyquote.com

maxresdefault

Are you ready to put your password hassles to rest once and for all?  I’ve got a great solution for you!   Get LastPass password manager.  It’s free! It will generate secure passwords for all your accounts and insert them automatically. You only need to remember one master password.  Everything is encrypted and safe.

No more updating pages and pages of accounts and passwords or going through a bazillion steps to reset the ones you forgot!  LastPass even let’s you know if you have an account with a company whose data base has been compromised so you can change your password immediately.

I’ve been using the basic features of LastPass for years, but I just took a class on it to learn more and I am very impressed.  I had the opportunity to teach a client how to use it this week and she is so happy and relieved that she’s telling all her friends.

You can learn more about it here  www.lastpass.com  I urge you to use it.  The little bit of time it takes to install and learn how to use it, will be minimal compared to the time it takes to clean up a mess if someone hacks any of your accounts.

Please share this with everyone you know so they can be safe and feel relaxed, happy and confident with their computers and techie gadgets.

Please post your thoughts or comments below….

Thanks!

Would You Believe This?

If you received an email saying this would you believe it?  Think about this

“Your account PayPal is limited you have to solve the problem in 24 hours”

Hello PayPal customer,

We are sorry to inform you that you can not access all your paypal advantages like sending money and purchasing,due to account limitation 

Why my account PayPal™ is limited?

Because we think that your account is in danger from stealing and unauthorized uses .

What can I do to resolve the problem?

You have to confirm all your account details on our secure server by click the link bellow and following all the steps
I received this on Wednesday and I was immediately suspicious for several reasons:

  • The wording seemed awkward,
  • The  “24 hours” time frame seemed unnecessary,
  • My PayPal account is linked directly to my bank account, not a credit card that could be compromised
  • My PayPal password is very secure.

There wasn’t any apparent reason for my account to be “in danger.
I was pretty sure this was a scam.

Screenshot 2015-01-30 at 8.09.29 AM

Instead of clicking on the button in the email that said “Confirm Your Information,”  I went to PayPal directly, logged in to my account and saw that there was no problem there.  The email was a scam just as I had suspected.

If I had clicked on the button in the email that said “confirm your information” and logged in on their web page, I would have given the scammers the password for my PayPal account.  I don’t know if they would have asked for additional information, like the bank routing number or credit card number.  I know better than to go that far with the process.

Screenshot 2015-01-30 at 7.56.16 AM

I clicked on the button to test it for this article and the web address (URL) did not even have the word “PayPal” in it. It was http://realitygameforums.com/confirm.account/verifie.information/update/
“realitygameforums”!  Really!  If it weren’t so treacherous it would be funny!

The reason this is so disturbing is that the email and the verification web page looked so authentic.  Many people could be tricked by something like this and I don’t want it to be you!

This is a common technique for tricking people. It’s called Phishing.

Phishing is the attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.  Phishing – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If you ever get emails that appear to be from your Bank or credit card company or any other source that is asking for sensitive information, don’t click on any buttons or links in the email.  Go to your account online and login to see if there are any messages for you; or call the bank, credit card, or other company directly and ask them if there is an issue with your account.

nortonHere is more information from Norton Internet Security ttp://us.norton.com/transactsafely/phishingscam.jsp

To protect yourself against phishing, follow these basic guidelines:

  1. Be wary of emails asking for confidential information—especially of a financial nature. Legitimate organizations will never request sensitive information via email.
  2. Don’t get pressured into providing sensitive information. Phishers like to use scare tactics, and may threaten to disable an account or delay services until you update certain information.
  3. Be sure to contact the merchant directly to confirm the authenticity of their request.
  4. Familiarize yourself with a web site’s privacy policy.
  5. Watch out for generic-looking requests for information. Fraudulent emails are often not personalized, while authentic emails from your bank often reference an account you have with them.
  6. Never submit confidential information via forms embedded within email messages.
  7. Never use links in an email to connect to a web site. Instead, open a new browser window and type the URL directly into the address bar.
  8. Maintain effective software to combat phishing. Norton Internet Security automatically detects and blocks fake web sites. It also authenticates major banking and shopping web sites.

Senior_Year_by_ScarecrowArtist

I hope you have found this information helpful and that you feel more empowered and secure now.

Please send this tip to your friends so they will be empowered and protected too.
Thoughts or comments about this topic? Please share in the comments below.

Simple Fixes for Webcam Spying

Are you scared by all the news stories suggesting that hackers can spy on you through your computer and gadget cameras?

My mother has been really concerned about it and I understand how scary it can be.  It is almost overwhelming and really annoying when all these “advances” in technology bring new challenges and require more education!

You don’t need to worry though, I’m dedicated to calming your fears and giving you the information and help you need so you can relax and enjoy your toys again.

Despite the potential dangers, webcams are great tools for chatting long-distance with friends and family, and conducting  business.

When you understand how they work and how to secure them, you will feel much better and have more fun.  Enjoy!

Please help others by forwarding this to all your friends and relatives and encourage them to subscribe to my techie tips so they can be protected and have peace of mind also.  They can click right here to subscribe.  If you are into social media, you can use the sharing buttons provided. That will be a big help also. Thanks!

INTERNET-ENABLED CAMERAS  Internet Cameras

Internet-enabled security cameras and baby monitors are becoming more and more common because they are inexpensive and easy to set up.  These gadgets connect to your Wi-Fi network and they are a great way to keep an eye on kids, aging parents and your possessions.

However, many people don’t follow the directions when setting them up and leave the default username and password in place. Hackers have made it their business to know all the default login information for every gadget on the market.  If you don’t change the factory settings they could find your camera online, log in, and watch you or put you on a website with thousands of other cameras for curious snoops to browse.

Good News!
The solution is easy: just remember to change the default password when you set up any type of new gadget. If you buy a camera that doesn’t have a password, exchange it for a different model.

COMPUTER WEBCAMS  lamptop cam

Once hackers get on your computer, they can use programs to turn on your webcam without triggering alerts like the webcam light. Thus, covering or unplugging the camera when not in use is a good idea.

However, hackers could still have full access to your computer. They could rummage through your email, browser history, passwords, documents and anything else they want.

And, of course, when you do use the webcam, they can eavesdrop.

To get on your computer, hackers use a remote access tool, or RAT. That’s what tech support agents use to get on your computer remotely to change settings or fix a problem. Fortunately, remote access tools require your permission, so a person can’t just take control without your permission.

However, hackers have many ways to trick you into letting them on to your computer — fake email attachments, malicious links, Trojan viruses, and phony tech support calls.  Once you’re tricked into running a file, clicking a link, or inviting them on to your system, they can take control and do whatever they want.

More Good News!

The solution is pretty simple. Just avoid unsolicited email attachments and links, run up-to-date security software and don’t believe anyone who contacts you claiming to be tech support for a major company.

Operating systems on your computer may have a remote access tool (RAT) built in. This makes it easier for real tech support to get on your system, but it also makes it easier for a hacker to trick your system into letting them on.

To turn off Remote Assistance in Windows, go to Start>>Control Panel. In the Search box in the upper right corner, type “remote” and then click the “Allow remote access to your computer” link.

Uncheck the “Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer” option and click OK.

For Macs, go to the Apple icon and select System Preferences. Click the Sharing icon and uncheck Remote Login, Remote Management.

If you use a company laptop, it could have similar software on it. Companies are supposed to disclose the presence of that kind of software but they don’t always do it, so if it doesn’t belong to you, be mindful of what you do on it.

smartphone cameraTABLET AND SMARTPHONE CAMERAS

Tablets and smartphones also have cameras but I haven’t heard of any malicious apps or spying apps that can trigger the camera.  That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, or won’t exist in the future but I will let you know if that changes.

A word to the wise….if there is something you really don’t want the world to see, don’t put it on your smartphone or tablet.

If you have any questions or comments about this or if you have any suggestions for future tips, please post a comment below and let me know. I always love to know what you think and how I can help you. Thanks!

A Small Gift With A Huge Benefit

The Gift of Knowledge  

 

At this holiday time when we focus on our desire for more peace and joy in the world, it seems fitting to tell you about a techie tool that is changing the world for the better — Wikipedia

 
Jimmy Wales

 

I love Wikipedia!  I use it all the time to find answers to questions and the meaning of new terms.  When I think about how this extensive body of knowledge is available to everyone in the world at no cost, my heart just leaps with joy.  What an amazing resource!  This is modern technology at its best. If you have never used it, please take a look here . You will love it!!!

 

 

This time of year, Wikipdia.org puts up a banner asking for donations so that it will not have to resort to posting ads.  Since we all complain about ads on websites, it would serve us to make a donation now.  The good news is that if everyone who uses it paid only $3.00 the fundraising goal would be met!

 

Features and BenefitsWikipedia

Here are the reasons that Wikipedia, one of the world’s five most popular web properties, asks for financial support from its users and why you might want to participate. (Adapted from an appeal letter by Founder, Jimmy Wales.)

  1. Has a small number of paid staff, just twenty-three.
  2. Wikipedia content is free to use by anyone for any purpose.
  3. Annual expenses are less than six million dollars.
  4. Wikipedia is run by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, founded in 2003.
  5. At its core, Wikipedia is driven by a global community of more than 150,000 volunteers – all dedicated to sharing knowledge freely.
  6. These volunteers have contributed more than 11 million articles in 265 languages.
  7. More than 275 million people come to the website every month to access information, free of charge and free of advertising.
  8. Wikipedia.org is committed to a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.
  9. Your donation helps cover the increasing cost of managing global traffic to one of the most popular websites on the Internet.
  10. Funds also help improve the software that runs Wikipedia — making it easier to search, easier to read, and easier to write for.
  11. Wikipedia.org is committed to growing the free knowledge movement world-wide, by recruiting new volunteers, and building strategic partnerships with institutions of culture and learning.
  12. Wikipedia.org is the largest encyclopedia in history, written by volunteers.
  13. Your donation will help keep Wikipedia free for the whole world.

Gratitude

world peaceBelow is the thank you email I received after making my donation.  It will show you the scope of their amazing work in the world.  I hope it will inspire you to use the service, if you haven’t already, and motivate you to donate.

 

Thank you for your invaluable gift of bringing knowledge to every human around the world. My name is Lila Tretikov, and I’m the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. Over the past year, gifts like yours powered our efforts to expand the encyclopedia in 287 languages and to make it more accessible all over the world. We strive most to impact those who would not have access to education otherwise. We bring knowledge to people like Akshaya Iyengar from Solapur, India. Growing up in this small textile manufacturing town, she used Wikipedia as her primary learning source. For students in these areas, where books are scarce but mobile Internet access exists, Wikipedia is instrumental. Akshaya went on to graduate from college in India and now works as a software engineer in the United States. She credits Wikipedia with powering half of her knowledge.
This story is not unique. Our mission is lofty and presents great challenges.Most people who use Wikipedia are surprised to hear it is run by a non-profit organization and funded by your donations. Each year, just enough people donate to keep the sum of all human knowledge available for everyone. Thank you for making this mission possible.

On behalf of nearly half a billion people who read Wikipedia, thousands of volunteer editors, and staff at the Foundation, I thank you for keeping Wikipedia online and ad-free this year.

Thank you,  
Lila

Lila Tretikov
Executive Director,
Wikimedia Foundation
donate.wikimedia.org

OpenOffice.org

Sometimes I Feel Stupid Too!  Computer User Feeling Stupid

 

One of the biggest challenges for me in my work is that so many of my clients say they feel so stupid.  No one is stupid!  One of my goals in my work is to help my clients feel better about themselves.

 

No one is born with all the information they need in order to navigate life.   We either educate ourselves or we “wing it” based on what we are told by others (who may or may not have the best information).

 

Even those of us who take the time to do research, study and practice, will make mistakes. It’s part of the learning process.

 

My goal is for you to benefit from my mistakes and those of my clients.

 

Here are some really useful tips based on my work in the field this past week.

 

Great Money Saving Tip

OpenOffice.org

There is a great free office suite called Open Office that looks very much like the apps in Microsoft Office and has many of the same tools.  You don’t need to pay for Microsoft Office suite.

 

The Pitfalls

The address for Open Office is www.openoffice.org not “.com”  There is another site, http://www.openoffice.us.com that looks reputable but will download a bunch of malware programs on your computer.

firefox-os_logo-wordmark_RGB-vertical-300dpiThe Solution    Google Chrome

You should be using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

 

If you use Microsoft Internet Explorer as your web browser, you are at risk of getting add pop ups installed on it and having your home page changed to something you don’t want.  This is called “hijacking your web browser”.

Norton Internet Security

 

If you have installed the W.O.T (Web of Trust) extension on your web browser or if you are using Norton with Internet Security, you will see a notification that http://www.openoffice.us.com  is not safe.
(Buy Norton from Dom at Desert Cow Computers and save $20.) www.mydesertcow.com

 

 

 

Do a Google search for reviews of any app you are considering downloading before you proceed.

The Rules In Review

  • Use the right web browser and search engine
  • Have safety extensions on your browser
  • Do your research
  • Be sure you are going to the reputable site

 

If none of his makes sense to you, just call for an appointment.

The promise of successEverything will be OK.   We’ll do it together.

 

Hope this helps you “make peace with the ups and downs of modern technology.”