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Friday, January 10, 2020

Upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10

It is time to upgrade to Windows 10 whether you want to or not. Microsoft will not be supporting Windows 7 as of January 14th!  That is only 11 days from now. If you are still running Windows 7 on your computer you have two choices. You can upgrade to Windows 10 on the same computer OR you can decide to upgrade to a new computer.

If you go to the Microsoft website to upgrade to Windows 10 it will cost $139 for the home version. When it first came out Microsoft offered an upgrade free for one year. If you did not upgrade at that time both Techdator News and CNET tell you how to get a free upgrade to Windows 10 still.

Techdator News
https://techdator.net/heres-how-to-upgrade-windows-10-for-free-before-microsoft-ends-windows-7-support/

CNET
https://www.cnet.com/how-to/upgrade-to-windows-10-free-heres-how/

In order to upgrade you need to have a computer with some basic capabilities. 

  • A 2-GHz processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 100 GB of hard disk space
To find out if your computer has these
1. Go to the START MENU and left click on the word Computer on the right side.
This will open a thermometer looking gauge that shows how much storage space there is on your computer and what you have used so far.
Storage thermometer
2. Go to START again, but this time right click on the word Computer. This will open up a window where you can see information about your Windows Operating system. It will tell you there how many GHz your processor has and how much RAM your computer has.

windows 7 system


p.s. I just tried this on a computer that had Windows 7 Pro. I was able to do it for free!  It took a while, but it worked!!

Making a Contact into a Favorite on your iPhone

MAKING A CONTACT A FAVORITE
ON YOUR IPHONE

This morning I was wanting to add someone to my FAVORITES list in my phone contacts. I could not figure out how, so I used Google searching to find the answer and it came right up:
Here's how it's done:
  1. Launch the phone application and click on favorites in the lower left corner.
  2. Tap the + button in the top right.
  3. Find the contact you wish to add as a favorite and tap on their name.
  4. Select the information you wish to favorite (phone number, email, FaceTime, etc)
  5. That's it!
So this tip is a double tip.  Now you know how to make a contact your favorite and also how to find out about just about anything you need to do!

The only thing I have not included so far is WHY to make a contact your favorite.  It may be obvious, but there are a few people that I contact often. If I put them in my favorites list calling them is much faster.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

PROTECTING YOUR PASSWORDS - Learn how people are stealing them!

The following article was sent to me by Chris Jones @turnonVPN. Since it fits so well into what this blog is about I am glad to share it with you. 


Monday, July 29, 2019

HAVING DISCOMFORT USING YOUR COMPUTER?

5 THINGS TO ADJUST IF YOU ARE HAVING DISCOMFORT USING YOUR COMPUTER
  1. ADJUST YOUR DISPLAY: Your monitor should be at eye level.  Sit back in your chair and point with your right hand. If it is not at the center of the screen you may want to make adjustments.
  2. dual monitorsUSE TWO MONITORS: If you do work with lots of data or creative work you can expand your view size by using two monitors. Second hand monitors are cheap and tough to recycle, so this is a good use for them. You can plug both monitors into the same computer and they will act like one!
  3. KEYBOARD AND MOUSE PLACEMENT: The ideal height of a keyboard is two inches above your knees. If you have to bend your wrists in order to type you can become injured with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Your mouse should be easy to reach and not cause you to bend over in order to use it.
  4. OFFICE CHAIRS AND DESKS: You should be able to sit comfortably with no compression of the thighs. Your feet should be flat on the floor and there should be at least 1 inch of space around your hips and thighs. The best Stand Up desks allow both standing and sitting since it is movement that is most beneficial.
  5. people bent over smartphonesSMARTPHONE POSITIONING: The well known posture of bending over a Smartphone is not a good practice. Instead hold your phone at near eye-level. Notice one person in this picture doing it right!

A FEW MORE PASSWORD THOUGHTS



NEW PASSWORD RECOMMENDATIONS
Password If you are like many people and prefer NOT to use a Password Vault (Dashlane is what I use) and struggle with remembering all of those passwords you might really like this advice. The newest advice that I have read urges user friendliness.

The new recommendations call passwords "Memorized Secrets" and encourage long passphrases rather than complex short passwords. It is still good to use special characters like !, @, #, $, %.  Use a whole sentence that you will easily remember. The fact that it is long and has some special characters will make it difficult to crack.

WHAT MAKES A BAD PASSWORD
These are all things I have seen people using! 
  • repetitive words (“passwordpassword”) (often because so many letters are required)
  • sequential strings (“password12345”)
  • variations on the website name (“FacebookPassword)
  • It always surprises me how often when told to use a capital letter people capitalize the first letter in the password or when told to use a symbol put ! (exclamation point) at the end or a number and put 1 at the end. Now that I have seen it so often I would build that into my password-breaking program if I was a geek.
On another note, what really matters is WHAT you are protecting. If you are online quite a bit and even pay bills or do banking you REALLY need to be careful. If you rarely use your computer and never do anything financial it is less important.

PASSWORDS AND THE END OF LIFE
Thinking ahead is important and since so much of our lives are online right now it is important to be prepared for what will happen with all of your accounts at the end of your life. Is there someone who will have to access some password protected sites after you are gone.
emergency contact

Start keeping a log book with passwords, preferably in alphabetical order. Or use a password vault. Whatever you do let someone know how to access your passwords when you are gone. This will save someone SO much pain and time later on. Password vaults can be set up with an emergency user. 

THE END OF GOOGLE +



Google Plus LogoYou may have received an email lately with the notice that "you have content in Google+"  
If you didn't even know you had Google+ you may have been concerned about what might be there (wherever there is????).  Google+ is actually Google's attempt at creating an alternative to  Facebook. If you have a gmail address you automatically had a Google+ page. Some people actively added to their pages and used them, but many (maybe even most) didn't use it at all. If you were unaware that you had one I doubt that you have anything on it at all. 

The rest of the warning is here.

"This is a reminder that on April 2, 2019 we’re shutting down consumer Google+ and will begin deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts. Photos and videos from Google+ in your Album Archive and your Google+ pages will also be deleted.
Downloading your Google+ content may take time, so get started before March 31, 2019."

SPAM PHONE CALLS


black dial phoneI know I am getting more and more SPAM phone calls and so I bet you are too. It used to be that whoever it is that does the SPAM calling could only call home phones, but they have figured out how to reach cell phones. You can block numbers on your cell, but they just seem to get another number and call again.


antique wall phoneI have learned that you DO NOT have to answer ANY calls. In fact that may be a good strategy. Your friends will leave a message (or you will see their names pop up on the phone) and you can pick it up or call them back. If you don't recognize the number why take a chance at being scammed? 

Some scammers make you very afraid and you might (by accident) give them information that you do not want them to have. If you do not answer and it is a legitimate number they will leave a message and you can get back to them in a calm thoughtful way.

There are a few other helpful things, but I have found that they don't work ALL of the time. I have ATT and I downloaded an app called "Call Protect". It will notify me if it thinks that a certain call is SPAM by putting a message across the screen where it usually says the name of the caller. It says ATT possible SPAM call. When one of those comes up I either hang up or let it ring until they get my answer message.

Here are steps recommended by CMIT solutions:
  1. Add your number to the Do Not Call Registry which is a Federal list of phone numbers. This is especially effective with landlines.
  2. Block Unfamiliar Numbers
  3. Use Do Not Disturb. The calls will still come in, but they will not interrupt what you are doing. You can filter that so that people you want to call can make contact with you.Stop Phone Scams
  4. Hang up as soon as you know that it is a robocall. If you engage with the robot who does the call it will move on to a real person and it is harder to hang up! Something that I had not thought of is this. "Be careful what you say, too; even automated robocalls can ask a variety of natural-sounding questions like “Can you hear me?” and if you answer “Yes,” that voice signature can be used at a later date to authorize fraudulent charges via telephone."
  5. Look into Apps that block Robocalls.