Jere’s Tech Tips

Jere's Tech TipsWindows, Android, Linux tips from Jere Minich, Advisor, Region 5

(AL, FL, GA, SC)  

HOW TO CONNECT TO A WIRELESS NETWORK IN WINDOWS 10Maybe you’ve recently reset your entire network or made the switch from a wired connection to a wireless one. Either way, you’ll need to make that connection happen. The first thing you’ll need to do is make sure Wi-Fi is enabled in Windows so that your computer can “see” the available networks in your area. FYI: You will the security key, or password, to your modem/router. Read this How-To Geek article, with screenshots,  to find out how to accomplish this task: http://bit.ly/2IyynJq

WHY RESTARTING YOUR PHONE MAKES IT PERFORM BETTER AND FIXES COMMON ISSUES – We’ve all heard it: “have you tried turning it off and back on again?” It’s the first step when troubleshooting any tech problem—it even makes your phone perform better when nothing is wrong. But why?

Go to this How-To Geek article and read about why turning it OFF is good. http://bit.ly/2wQ5M0I

INSTANTLY JUMP TO THE RIGHTMOST TAB IN ANY BROWSER – Need to quickly get to the rightmost tab? Press Ctrl-9, or Command-9 if you’re on a Mac. This works in every major browser, no matter how many tabs you have open. You probably know you can press control and a number to quickly jump between tabs—Ctrl-1 takes you to the first tab; Ctrl-2, the second; and so on. But Ctrl-9 is different: it takes you to the rightmost tab, not the ninth, which is very useful when you’re managing dozens of tabs. How-To Geek – http://bit.ly/2IApqiQ

HOW TO USE THE READER VIEW IN FIREFOX – How many times do you go to a website to read an article and once the page loads, you’re bombarded with banners and distracting ads? Firefox’s Reader View removes the clutter and simplifies the page for better readability, leaving only what you want to see: the article.

Safari sort of pioneered the reader view, but other browsers have also started to adopt it. Firefox is no exception, and you can enjoy the reader view in both the desktop and mobile versions. Enabling Reader View is surprisingly easy on both PC and mobile and only requires that you have Firefox installed before getting started.

Go to this How-To Geek article and read about this easy feature.  http://bit.ly/2IMwQ5U

It can be enabled in other browsers also. Google it for your browser. Ex: Readers View Safari.

YOU CAN NOW @ PEOPLE IN GMAIL – Apps like Twitter, Slack, and Facebook let you direct messages to a user by typing @ followed by a username. Gmail now does the same thing, sort of.

RELATED: The New Gmail Interface Launches Today

Compose a new message in the new Gmail and, while writing the text, type “@” followed by the first few letters of a contact’s name. You’ll be recommended a few people. Select someone, either by hitting “Enter” or by clicking them. Their email address will be added to the “To” line, and a link to their email address will show up in the text. It’s not a mind-blowing feature but I could imagine it being occasionally useful. More importantly it makes email “feel” more like a modern messaging app, which I suspect will be important in coming years. I wonder what other features Gmail will copy from other messaging apps? See screen shots at this How-To Geek article: http://bit.ly/2rUGo5f

SECRET HOTKEY OPENS WINDOWS 10’S NEW EMOJI PICKER IN ANY APP – Windows 10 has a hidden emoji picker you can use to type emoji in any application, even desktop programs like Google Chrome. It’s accessible by pressing a keyboard shortcut combination.

The emoji picker was added in Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update and improved on in the April 2018 Update.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and get the simple procedure. Learn more about Emoji. http://bit.ly/2rBFNVM

HOW TO MANAGE STARTUP PROGRAMS IN WINDOWS 10’S SETTINGS APPWindows 10’s Settings app now lets you disable the programs that automatically run when you sign in to your computer. This same functionality was previously hidden in Windows 10’s Task Manager and was hidden under MS Config in previous versions.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and learn how to manage Startup Programs on your PC. Startup programs that are not required rob your PC resources. http://bit.ly/2Kf3Kco

THE BEST NEW FEATURES IN ANDROID P, AVAILABLE NOW IN BETA – Android P was officially released in beta at I/O 2018 yesterday, and as expected, it brings a slew of enhancements and new features. Here’s how to get the beta right now, and what you can expect from it.

How to Get it Now
If you’re interested in trying out Android P, and the new features it brings, you can install the beta build right now on a compatible handset. Unlike past builds that were only available for Pixel (or Nexus) phones, Google has leveraged Project Treble to make the P beta available across 11 different phones—including many from other manufacturers.

What phones are affected, how to get it, etc. is covered in this How-To Geek article. http://bit.ly/2IaFP1p

REMEMBEAR PASSWORD MANAGER – If you’re hesitant to adopting a password manager, Remembear might be right for you. If you’re a mobile user, you’ve probably heard of Tunnelbear—that whimsical VPN tool that helped make using a mobile VPN client something anyone could feel comfortable with. Well, the makers of that user-friendly tool have released yet another tool that could find favor among those with less-than-elite aspirations with their mobile devices. That tool is a password manager called Remembear.

This new password manager, that carries the same sense of whimsy as does its sibling, makes using such a tool as simple as possible. In fact, anyone you know—end-users, friends, family, etc.—who has refused to finally adopt a password manager would have a hard time shirking this application.

Go to this TechRepublic web page and get the facts about installing, setting up and using this password manager tool for mobile devices. https://tek.io/2IcKKut

IT’S NOT JUST YOU: CHROME IS CRASHING ON WINDOWS 10’S APRIL 2018 UPDATE – If your computer is hanging or freezing after installing the Windows 10 April 2018 Update you’re not alone, and Microsoft is aware of the problem. An official Microsoft post (via Thurrot.com) states that the latest version of Windows is freezing or hanging while running certain applications, including Hey Cortana and Google Chrome.

Here’s how you can get your PC working again without forcing a restart, according to that post:

If you have a keyboard connected, simultaneously press the Windows logo key + Ctrl + Shift + B. If you’re on a tablet, simultaneously press both the volume-up and volume-down buttons, three times within 2 seconds.  If Windows is responsive, a short beep will sound and the screen will blink or dim while Windows attempts to refresh the screen.

Laptop users can simply close and open the lid instead of all that.

None of these fixes are really elegant, and it’s kind of embarrassing this update shipped with a bug like this—especially after it was delayed so long. Microsoft hopes to include a fix for this problem in the next monthly update, which should come out on May 8.

TWITTER – KEEPING YOUR ACCOUNT SECUREWhen you set a password for your Twitter account, we use technology that masks it so no one at the company can see it. We recently identified a bug that stored passwords unmasked in an internal log. We have fixed the bug, and our investigation shows no indication of breach or misuse by anyone.

Out of an abundance of caution, we ask that you consider changing your password on all services where you’ve used this password. You can change your Twitter password anytime by going to the password settings page.

About The Bug

We mask passwords through a process called hashing using a function known as bcrypt, which replaces the actual password with a random set of numbers and letters that are stored in Twitter’s system. This allows our systems to validate your account credentials without revealing your password. This is an industry standard.

Due to a bug, passwords were written to an internal log before completing the hashing process. We found this error ourselves, removed the passwords, and are implementing plans to prevent this bug from happening again.

Tips on Account Security

Again, although we have no reason to believe password information ever left Twitter’s systems or was misused by anyone, there are a few steps you can take to help us keep your account safe:

  1. Change your password on Twitter and on any other service where you may have used the same password.
  2. Use a strong password that you don’t reuse on other websites.
  3. Enable login verification, also known as two factor authentication. This is the single best action you can take to increase your account security.
  4. Use a password manager to make sure you’re using strong, unique passwords everywhere.

We are very sorry this happened. We recognize and appreciate the trust you place in us and are committed to earning that trust every day.

SEVEN OF THE BEST HIDDEN FEATURES IN ANDROIDAndroid is loaded full of features—many of which aren’t completely obvious or are possibly even hidden behind “secret” menus. Here’s where to find some of the most useful features in Android that you may not be using.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and read the article with screen shots.

http://bit.ly/2HVh754

THE BEST WAYS TO MAKE FREE CONFERENCE CALLS – You can now host your own conference calls more easily than ever before. Whether you’re working from home, own a small business, or just want to stay in touch with friends and family, there are dozens of free services available to you.

Between audio-teleconferencing, screen sharing, video calls, and text chat, we’ll cover some of the best options for you to get started with free conference calling. Most of the applications we’ll cover below provide support for mobile phones, landlines, and VoIP, which essentially means you can call using the internet.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and read about 8 different conference call options for all mobile devices.  http://bit.ly/2KHNnpO

HOW TO COMPLETELY ERASE ANY DEVICE – FREE WAY TO ERASE IOS AND ANDROID DEVICES – Maybe you’re super-paranoid, or maybe you just want to sell your old device and have piece of mind. Either way, being able to delete data is a valuable skill. Here’s everything you need to know about securely wiping hard drives (HDDs), solid state drives (SSDs), flash drives, and even iOS and Android devices.

iOS and Android devices both have built-in tools to erase the devices.

  • On iOS: Settings > General > Reset and then tap Erase All Content and Settings.
  • On Android: Settings > Backup & reset > Factory data reset and then tap Reset phone or Reset device.

You can also securely wipe the devices remotely using Find My iPhone for iOS or the Google Account associated with the Android device.

Encrypt the whole drive

One of the easiest — and certainly the cheapest — ways to erase data on a device is to encrypt the entire drive with a complex passphrase. You can use built-in tools such as BitLocker on Windows or FileVault on macOS, or a third-party tool such as or third-party VeraCrypt. Encrypt the drive with a strong throw-away passphrase and you’re done.

No passphrase, no data. You can then format the drive, from which point it should be sterile and ready to accept a reload of the data.

Erase using manufacturer utilities

Another way to erase SSDs is to use the manufacturer utilities. Here are some links to get you started.

The hands-on method

Not sure how to erase a device? I guarantee you that if you get a big enough hammer and spend enough time hammering, this will work on anything! This method also works great if you just want to destroy drives before you take them to the recycling plant. It’s also a great stress reducer!

You will need:

  • A hammer
  • A thick nail (a 6-inch nail will do fine)
  • Thick gloves – because you’re going to be hammering that nail through the drive using the hammer, and hammers seem to be magnetically attracted to thumbs
  • A block of wood — so you don’t nail the drive through your floor (it’s preferable to do this outside if you can)
  • Eye protection — you’ve only got a maximum of two to start with, so it’s silly to take chances!

Now you apply brute force. Ideally you want to put a nail through the platters of the drive, going all the way through (it’s actually not as hard as it sounds). I aim for the spot marked by the red X on hard drives.

Alternatively, you can use a power drill to make holes, but make sure that you have a way to securely hold the drive, for example, using a vice. Don’t hold the drive in your hand because if the drill bit catches and the drive starts to spin — or helicopters — then there’s a real risk of injury.

Another thing to bear in mind is that the data in SSDs is held on small flash storage chips rather than large platters, and to securely erase the data you need to smash the chips. Usually, this means taking the cover off the drive before you start swinging.

If you’re not sure which are the flash storage chips, just drive a nail through all the large chips to be on the safe side.

MICROSOFT’S WINDOWS 10 APRIL 2018 UPDATE ARRIVES ON MONDAY – Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 feature update has an official name and a release date. You’ve got questions? I’ve got (some) answers.

Windows 10 “Redstone 4” has an official name: The Windows 10 April 2018 Update. And it also has an official availability date. On Monday, April 30 — the last day of April — it will begin to roll out to non-Insider testers.

Q: When will existing Windows 10 users be able to get the April 2018 update?

A: Tech savvy users who are interested in proactively grabbing the April 2018 Update can get it starting on April 30 by downloading it.

Microsoft will start rolling it out to other Windows 10 users via Windows Update on Tuesday, May 8.

More info will be presented at the APCUG 2018 Spring Virtual Technology Conference (VTC28) Saturday May 5, 2018 – REGISTER AT:  http://bit.ly/May5VTCRegistration

GOOGLE’S MAJOR GMAIL UPDATE BOOSTS YOUR PRIVACY AND PRODUCTIVITY – Google has rolled out a major update to its Gmail web client, bringing a new interface and strong privacy features.

 

Just when you thought it had completely forgotten about the Gmail web client, Google has launched a brand-new version, with a fresh design, new features, and a new way of thinking about email. As previously rumored, Google is rolling out a slew of interface and feature changes to the Gmail web client today, but as with all things web and Google, it may take a while to reach your browser.

 

Go to this PCWorld web page and read about the improvement to Gmail. http://bit.ly/2I2RpYT

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF THE NEW GMAILThere’s a lot of good stuff in Google’s major Gmail update. These include high-priority notifications, confidential mode, and better offline support. The bad news is many of the best features aren’t here yet. Here’s what you can put to work now.

Additional info can be found here. TechRepublic: Gmail redesign: Everything you need to know about the new features

Go to this ZDNet web page and get the info about Gmail changes that are great. https://zd.net/2Hvt4xT

THE BEST FREE SCREENSHOT APPS FOR WINDOWSThere are many ways to take screenshots on Windows. Windows 10 itself has quite a few built-in screenshot tools, and there are some excellent free options out there if you want more features.

Here’s the truth: Most of these screenshot programs are pretty capable. Which you will prefer comes down to which features you want and which interface you like best.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and get a comprehensive list of apps to capture your Windows 10 screen. http://bit.ly/2JikOOb

UPCOMING WINDOWS DEFENDER FEATURE WILL TELL YOU WHEN SECURITY FAILSMicrosoft is planning a new feature for Windows Defender that will continually check for system integrity, informing users if any secure part of the operating system has been compromised.

A feature added to the latest test build of Windows 10 is making Windows Defender a next-level security tool that can detect changes anywhere in a system, all the way down to kernel changes.

Called Windows Defender System Guard runtime attestation, the new security feature is designed to protect against system tampering that Windows Defender may otherwise miss.

Go to this TechRepublic web page and read about the security improvements for Windows 10.

https://tek.io/2Jigs9S

MICROSOFT MAKES WINDOWS DEFENDER ANTI-PHISHING PLUGIN AVAILABLE FOR CHROMEA new Microsoft plugin for Google Chrome for Windows users adds Windows Defender support.

Microsoft has made available in the Chrome Web Store as of today, April 18, a free plugin version of its Windows Defender anti-phishing product.

The plugin seemingly doesn’t disable Chrome’s own built-in security protection, but is meant to supplement it, I guess. (There’s no Microsoft information beyond what’s in the store, that I can find.)

On its browserprotection.microsoft.com site, officials say:

“The Windows Defender Browser Protection extension for Google Chrome allows you to add an additional layer of protection when browsing online, powered by the same trusted intelligence found in Microsoft Edge. The extension alerts you about known malicious links and gives you a clear path back to safety.”

The Defender plugin is for use by Windows users running the Chrome browser, not by those using Chrome OS. It will provide protection against a set of known malicious links.

SHUTTING DOWN DOESN’T FULLY SHUT DOWN WINDOWS 10 (BUT RESTARTING DOES)When you click “Shut Down” on your Windows 10 PC, Windows doesn’t fully shut down. It hibernates the kernel, saving its state so it can boot faster. If you’re experiencing computer problems and need to reset that state, you’ll need to restart your PC instead.

We’ve personally experienced this problem ourselves. When faced with weird system problems that may be caused by a buggy driver or other low-level software issues, the problem persisted after shutting down our PC and booting it back up.

In the traditional shutdown process, Windows fully shuts down everything, discards the running system state, and starts up from scratch the next time the PC boots. When you hibernate, Windows saves the entire system state, including all your open programs and files, to disk so you can quickly resume from where you left off.

Fast Startup mixes the traditional shutdown process with hibernation. With Fast Startup enabled, Windows 10 discards all your open programs and files (as it would during a traditional shutdown) but saves the state of the Windows kernel to disk (as it would during hibernation). The next time you boot your PC, Windows restores the kernel and starts up the rest of the system.

You can also perform a full shut down by pressing and holding the Shift key on your keyboard while you click the “Shut Down” option in Windows. This works whether you’re clicking the option in the Start menu, on the sign-in screen, or on the screen that appears after you press Ctrl+Alt+Delete.

Read the full article at How-To Geek web page. http://bit.ly/2EXq1bG

WHY DOES REBOOTING A COMPUTER FIX SO MANY PROBLEMS?Ask a geek how to fix a problem you’ve having with your Windows computer and they’ll likely ask “Have you tried rebooting it?” This seems like a flippant response but rebooting a computer can solve many problems.

So, what’s going on here? Why does resetting a device or restarting a program fix so many problems? And why don’t geeks try to identify and fix problems rather than use the blunt hammer of “reset it”?

This Isn’t Just About Windows

Bear in mind that this solution isn’t just limited to Windows computers, but applies to all types of computing devices. You’ll find the advice “try resetting it” applied to wireless routers, iPads, Android phones, and more. This same advice even applies to software — is Firefox acting slow and consuming a lot of memory? Try closing it and reopening it!

In all cases, a restart wipes away the current state of the software. Any code that’s stuck in a misbehaving state will be swept away, too. When you restart, the computer or device will bring the system up from scratch, restarting all the software from square one so it will work just as well as it was working before.

POST

A Power On Self Test is the first step of the boot sequence. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just restarted your computer or if you’ve just powered it on for the first time in days; the POST is going to run, regardless.

POST doesn’t rely on any specific operating system. In fact, there doesn’t even need to be an OS installed on a hard drive for the POST to run. This is because the test is handled by the system’s BIOS, not any installed software.

THE NEW GMAIL IS HERE, AND IT’LL CHANGE THE WAY YOU USE EMAILThe new Gmail for web is here, and it’s designed to take the stress out of managing email overload. It’s a ground-up rewrite with an eye towards making it safer and more productive for workers – not just businesses who pay for it, but also for everyone who uses the free version to manage their work.

One of the biggest changes to Gmail is a new Confidential mode, which is designed to make Gmail more secure and prevent loss of sensitive information through hijacking of accounts.

Go to this TechRadar web site and read about major changes to Gmail. http://bit.ly/2vPxCts

HERE IS WHAT’S NEW IN WINDOWS 10 VERSION 1803 SETTINGS APPSince its initial release, Microsoft has been moving system settings from the classic Control Panel to the new Settings app in Windows 10. For a comprehensive article on the changes in Settings up to last year’s Fall Creators update read groovyPost’s article on what’s new and improved in Windows 10 Settings. In this article, they look at what else has been moved into Settings since the last feature update. http://bit.ly/2HfETZ4

WHAT IS A CSV FILE, AND HOW DO I OPEN IT?A Comma Separated Values (CSV) file is a plain text file that contains a list of data. These files are often used for exchanging data between different applications. For example, databases and contact managers often support CSV files.

These files may sometimes be called Character Separated Values or Comma Delimited files. They mostly use the comma character to separate (or delimit) data, but sometimes use other characters, like semicolons. The idea is that you can export complex data from one application to a CSV file, and then import the data in that CSV file into another application.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and get the facts on how to open, import and view CSV files. http://bit.ly/2qIOGwr

HOW TO FIND OUT WHAT MODEL OF ANDROID PHONE YOU HAVEBecause of the sheer number of Android phones out there, it can be a challenge to figure out (or remember) which handset you have. Here’s how you can find out.

Look for the Model on the Phone Itself

The first thing you should try is looking on the phone itself to see if the model number is printed there, so start by flipping your phone over. If you’re running a Samsung or LG handset, there’s a good chance the model is listed right there on the back. Pretty simple!

But if there isn’t anything on the back of the phone, or you need more info (like a specific model number), you can find this info in the phone’s settings.

You should have the model number and serial number of your phone written down and available when you report your phone lost or stolen. Keep it handy in your purse / pocket book or wallet.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and see the screen shots and steps to identify your cell phone.  http://bit.ly/2HjFPei

SEVEN ANDROID GESTURES YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUTGestures make using your phone faster and more efficient—but only if you know the gestures in the first place. To see a collection of some of the best ones for Android that you may not already be using, go to this How-To Geek web page and see what these gestures can do. http://bit.ly/2H5R6eU

THE COMPLETE GUIDE FOR REDDIT NEWBIESReddit is a social media site that is very much unlike Facebook or Twitter, for better or worse. This article covers the basics and a few reasons why you should give it a try.

What is Reddit and how do you get started with it? This is a question several people have asked me recently, because to the uninitiated observer, Reddit can seem intimidating and off-putting.  There’s a reason for this of course. Reddit is a massive and diverse community. And just like a vibrant city, there are the nice parts of town and there are those notorious streets where you shouldn’t park your car. As it were, whenever Reddit ends up in the news, it’s usually a reflection of the latter.  In the same way you shouldn’t dismiss all of New York or Los Angeles or Chicago because of their skid row neighborhoods, you shouldn’t write Reddit off without visiting some of the nicer subreddits first.Go to this GroovyPost site and take a look at what Reddit is, why you should care about using it, how to get started with it, and much more.  http://bit.ly/2qDDtfY

HOW TO TROUBLESHOOT PROBLEMS IN WINDOWSYou can often fix glitches in Windows with help from the right troubleshooters.

Are you bumping into trouble with Windows? Maybe it’s freezing or crashing, or perhaps an application or feature isn’t working right.

Trying to narrow down the cause and fix the problem can be challenging and time-consuming. Instead, let Windows itself come to your rescue via its built-in troubleshooters.

Available in any supported version of Windows, the built-in troubleshooters target specific types of problems based on the feature or category. Having trouble connecting to the internet? Run the Internet Connections troubleshooter. Bluetooth headaches? Run the Bluetooth troubleshooter. The troubleshooter analyzes the problem, suggests a solution, and in some cases even implements the fix itself. See how the Windows troubleshooters can pinpoint and resolve problems in this PCMag article:

http://bit.ly/2JNTA3d

THE BEST WAYS TO AUTOMATICALLY BACK UP THE PHOTOS ON YOUR SMARTPHONEThe best camera is the one you have with you, and most of the time that’s going to be your smartphone. You probably capture lots of important moments with your phone, so you also need to make sure you’re keeping those moments backed up. Go to this How-To Geek web page and there are 4 different methods you can use. http://bit.ly/2EN1O87

REMINDER: REMOVING “VOID IF REMOVED” STICKERS DOESN’T VOID YOUR WARRANTYTech companies aren’t allowed to void your warranty just because you removed a sticker—regardless of what that sticker might say.

That’s according to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), who yesterday posted a press release warning car, phone, and video game console makers to stop using warranty terms that aren’t legally enforceable.

The sticker thing comes up, and it’s a good reminder: the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975 makes it illegal for companies to deny you warranty coverage for attempting repair yourself. Also, in the release: companies can’t force you to buy first party parts as part of a warranty:

Unless warrantors provide the parts or services for free or receive a waiver from the FTC, such statements generally are prohibited by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a law that governs consumer product warranties. Similarly, such statements may be deceptive under the FTC Act.

SOON YOU WON’T HAVE TO SIGN CREDIT CARD RECEIPTSUsing signatures to verify a purchase dates to the Roman Empire, but it’s ending in America—when it comes to credit cards, at least.

American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa will all stop requiring signatures for credit card purchases this month, meaning it’s up to individual stores to decide whether to ask for them or not. Large chains including Target and Wal-Mart have already opted not to.

Which is good news: signatures are useless for verifying identity, as Stacy Cowley demonstrates writing for the New York Times:

For nearly a decade, Doug Taylor, a sales manager who travels often for work, has signed credit card receipts with a doodle of a dog wagging its tail. No cashier has ever rejected his “signature” as invalid.

Stories like this are common. No one checks your signature anymore, because there are better tools for detecting fraud. Chip readers, which create unique codes for every transaction, go a long way, as does data analysis.

Smaller shops might take longer to make the change and be patient with them: many don’t have chip detectors installed yet. But it’s only a matter of time until you can stop picking up pens in stores.

How-To Geek article.  http://bit.ly/2qrCYGh

CHROME, EDGE, FIREFOX USER? Coming your way: New spec that cuts out passwordsChrome, Edge, and Firefox will support a new Web Authentication API that should give more protection against phishing and reduce the need for passwords.

The WC3 Web Authentication API specification, or WebAuthn, promises a simpler and safer way of signing up to a site. Rather than register with a username and password, the user registers a fingerprint, retina, or other biometric stored in a smartphone.

The system relies on public-key cryptography and ensures that each site a user signs up to has its own key pairs, addressing the common problem of password reuse.

Go to this ZDNET web page and ready this interesting article. https://zd.net/2Hl4q2o

 HOW TO SEE WHICH APPS ARE DRAINING YOUR BATTERY ON AN ANDROID PHONE OR TABLETIf your Android phone’s battery always feels a little low, you can find out exactly where that power is going. Android’s Battery screen shows you what’s used battery power since your last charge, from apps to system services and hardware devices.

Go to this How-to Geek web page and get the steps plus Screen shots. The article has information on What Are All These Hardware and System Services? http://bit.ly/2JHafoU

HOW TO UPGRADE OR REPLACE YOUR PC’S RAM – Adding memory is one of the easier ways to boost your PC’s performance. There are a few things to check before spending your money. This article will help you find out how to: choose your new RAM, how much you need, how much RAM you have now and in what configuration, how much RAM your PC can hold, and more. As usual, How-To Geek has lots of screen shots: http://bit.ly/2qrK8ua

HOW TO DISABLE NOTIFICATIONS EVERYWHERESome notifications are helpful, but notification overload is a real problem. Apps on your phone, tablet, and computer all want your attention, but that constant buzz of alerts can be a distracting waste of your time. Here’s how to tame them.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and get the steps for Android. http://bit.ly/2Jf4EWE

groovyTip: DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN BOOKMARK INDIVIDUAL GMAIL MESSAGES? – Well, you can. If you’ve ever looked at the address bar while using Gmail in a web browser, you may have noticed that the URL changes whenever you look at a different email message. These are essentially permalinks to emails in your Gmail account. Read this groovyPost by Jack Busch, with screen shots, at: http://bit.ly/2q465OP

ANDROID TIPS AND TRICKS: 10 GREAT WAYS TO BOOST YOUR PHONE EXPERIENCEThere are many easy things you can do to improve your Android experience. Here are some of the best. With a few simple tips, you can make your Android smartphone life better. These are some of my favorite ways to block spam, stop unwanted calls from annoying me, and keep an eye on just how much data I’m really using.

Go to this ZDNET web page and get the tips and tricks. https://zd.net/2pGIDak

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR FACEBOOK ACCOUNT GETS “HACKED”A few days ago, I got a strange Facebook message from my uncle. It was clearly out of character for him, so I knew something was up: his account had been compromised. Here’s what to do if this happens to you or someone you know.

Let’s Talk About Getting “Hacked” – The term “hacked” gets thrown around a lot—loosely, to be honest—and has become the popular term for any time an account becomes compromised. Since it has become such a vague term in popular culture, let’s lay down a quick definition: leaving your phone somewhere so your friend/gf/whatever gets access to it is not getting “hacked.” We’ve all seen those posts— “Hacked! Love you baby!” This is not a hack. Not even close. And we’re not talking about that today.

There’s another phenomenon common on Facebook where somebody else creates a new account using your name, and sometimes a profile picture they obtained from your page, and then starts spamming your friend list with invites and other messages. This is also not a hack. Report that fake user to Facebook, and they’ll help you sort it out.

What we are talking about is when your account becomes truly compromised. This is when your account credentials fall into the wrong hands or your account otherwise starts to allow activity that you didn’t authorize. While we wouldn’t always call this getting “hacked,” it’s the term that’s most widely used to describe the situation.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and get the When, What and How with screen shots. http://bit.ly/2GwYlQ1

EVER WONDER HOW MUCH FACEBOOK KNOWS ABOUT YOU? HERE’S HOW TO SEEFacebook has a lot of information about—every post shared, photo uploaded, message sent, item clicked on, and pretty much every other data points you can imagine. And it’s all in the name of serving you better ads and keeping you on Facebook.

The thing is, this is still your information. You can’t get access to the weird metrics that Facebook tracks behind the scenes, but you can easily download everything else: messages, posts, photos, and more. So, let’s dig deep and have a look at how to see all the info Facebook keeps stored on you.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and see the screen shots with full explanation. http://bit.ly/2GtfHgj

HOW TO DOWNLOAD YOUR PHOTOS FROM FACEBOOKFacebook isn’t the best place for keeping your photos, but its convenience makes it a decent space for sharing them. If you want to download a photo you’ve uploaded (or even one your friend has uploaded), here’s how.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and get the procedure for individual photos or all photos and info on mobile devices with an app. http://bit.ly/2pFhvcO

HOW TO DELETE, DISABLE, OR LIMIT YOUR FACEBOOK ACCOUNTIf the news of Facebook’s data handling has got you spooked, here’s how you can limit third-party access to your account.

When it’s time to leave Facebook for good, do it by following these steps, and we’ll also show you how to back out if you change your mind.

There was a time when deleting your Facebook account was a pie-in-the-sky fantasy, but this week’s news might have you thinking twice. In a series of reports, we learned that an employee at Facebook erroneously handed a trove of data to a company called Cambridge Analytics, which in turn used that information to target voters and spread influence ahead of the 2016 election. So, we totally understand if you’re having second thoughts about your account.

The good news is, you have options. First you can limit what third-party apps and the Facebook community can see about your account. If that’s not enough, you can deactivate your account, which can be undone, or full-on delete it—and even then, you have a chance to change your mind. Here’s how it works.

Open your Facebook account on the PC and follow these instructions. http://bit.ly/2G2eauo

HOW TO TRANSFER PHOTOS FROM ANDROID TO YOUR WINDOWS PCGetting pictures from your Android phone to your PC can be a daunting task if you don’t know where to start. Fortunately, it’s pretty straightforward once you know where to look.

They say the best camera is the one you have with you, and more often than not that camera is the one built into your smartphone. If you end up shooting a lot of pictures or videos with your phone, you’ll undoubtedly want to get those pictures onto your PC at some point.

There’s no shortage of ways to automatically back up your images to the cloud (and then move them from the cloud to your PC), but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Instead, we’re going to look at how to get pictures from your phone to your computer via a simple, old school USB transfer.

Regardless of which method you choose below, you’ll need to make sure your phone is ready to transfer pictures. Go ahead and connect your phone to your computer with a USB cable. Then, pull down the notification shade and make sure the option to transfer images is selected. The option may be named “Transfer images,” but it could also be named “MTP,” “PTP,” or even just “File transfer.” They all basically do the same thing.

Go to this How-To Geek web page for step-by-step on two different methods. http://bit.ly/2IHd88V

TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION: WHO HAS IT AND HOW TO SET IT UP –  Everyone is concerned about online safety. Whatever you use, keep it secure with two-factor authentication (2FA).

In 2014, the Heartbleed exploit left everyone’s login information potentially up for grabs thanks to one itty-bitty piece of code, and in the past few years our security nightmares have only gotten worse. In fact, more data was leaked in the first half of 2017 than in all of 2016 combined. Things aren’t getting any easier in 2018, so what is the average internet user afraid for their security to do? Well, you should definitely change your passwords—regularly! By sheer brute force or simple phishing, passwords are, to be honest, a laughable way of authentication.

What you really need is a second factor of authentication. That’s why many internet services, several which have felt the pinch of being hacked, have embraced two-factor authentication for their users. It’s sometimes called 2FA or used interchangeably with the terms “two-step” and “verification” depending on the marketing. Even the White House once had a campaign asking you to #TurnOn2FA. But what is it exactly?

Go to this PCMag web page and get the facts on 34 different sites for 2FA. http://bit.ly/2FW3GRc

HOW TO WIRELESSLY TRANSFER PHOTOS FROM YOUR PHONE TO A PCMicrosoft’s Photos Companion app transfers photos from a mobile device to Windows 10 PCs over Wi-Fi.

You can send photos from your mobile phone to your computer using a variety of tricks, from email to Google Photos to a direct connection. But one of the newest and handiest methods is through a Microsoft mobile app called Photos Companion.

Designed for iOS and Android phones and tablets, Photos Companion quickly and easily sends photos from your mobile device to your computer via Wi-Fi. With both your phone and your Windows 10 PC on the same Wi-Fi network, select the photos you want to transfer. From there, your pictures are sent to the Windows Photos app where you can view them, edit them, print them, or organize them.

Go to this PCMag web page and get the 9 steps with screen shots. http://bit.ly/2py0MYJ

HOW TO FIX “THE DRIVER BEING INSTALLED IS NOT VALIDATED FOR THIS COMPUTER” ON INTEL COMPUTERSIntel’s graphics drivers will refuse to install on some computers, even if they use Intel graphics chips. If you see this error message, your computer manufacturer wants you to install drivers from their website, not directly from Intel. But there’s a way to bypass this message and install the Intel drivers anyway.

Why are they blocking that driver and what you can do about it is explained in this article from How-To Geek. http://bit.ly/2tC9Tw4

WHAT’S THE LATEST VERSION OF ANDROID?Android can be confusing. There are a lot of different versions, and many of them are still running on devices today. Keeping up with the latest version can be a challenge, but fret not—we have you covered.

Major Android versions are generally released once per year (though it wasn’t always like this), with monthly security updates released in between. Occasionally, Google also releases point updates (.1, .2, etc.), though those generally come without regularity. Oftentimes, more significant updates that aren’t quite as significant as full version releases warrant a point update—like the update from Android 8.0 to Android 8.1, for example.

Alongside every version of Android is a code name, which many people use instead of the version number. Each one is named after a dessert or some other form of confection, which is more for fun than anything else.

Read a short history of Android and find out how to get the latest updates to your device from this article by How-To Geek. http://bit.ly/2p4UHCJ

HOW TO RECOVER MICROSOFT OFFICE EXCEL, WORD OR POWERPOINT FILESLosing work can be gut wrenching. Auto Recover for Microsoft Office is an amazing feature that allows you to recover Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Let’s review how it works!

The frustration of losing work to a computer crash is possibly one of the most disheartening feelings a professional can get hit with. Luckily technology has advanced in a way that has lessened the chance of losing work. Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, for example, allow you to both repair your documents and spreadsheets as well as automatically take backups of your un-saved documents. Let’s review the feature as well as where you can find your lost work after a crash!

This GroovyPost article is short and to the point. Get the facts. http://bit.ly/2p474z2

HOW TO VIEW PHOTOS OF YOUR SNAIL MAIL BEFORE IT ARRIVESWith Informed Delivery from the US Postal Service (USPS), you can preview your mail before it reaches your mailbox.

Are you curious about what letters, bills, checks, or other items will be arriving in your mailbox? Wondering if you even need to pick up the mail today? Well, a free option from the US Postal Service can help answer those questions.

With Informed Delivery, the Postal Service sends you email each morning with photos of the front of each envelope due to hit your mailbox that day, including the return address. Informed Delivery can be of value if you’re waiting for a check or other important piece of mail. It can also be helpful if you’re away from home for a few days and want to keep tabs on what’s gathering in your mailbox.

nformed Delivery has been available in select locations since 2014 but rolled out to more locations last year. How do you sign up for this free service? Read on.

Go to this PCMagazine web page and see if your zip code is eligible. This article has screen shots of how to sign up for this free option service. http://bit.ly/2FGVzI5

HOW TO GET MORE MEANINGFUL BATTERY STATS ON YOUR ANDROID PHONEAndroid battery life and the tools for monitoring usage have gotten better over the last few years, but the stock options are still sometimes not enough. But there are ways to gauge your battery usage, remaining time, and even hunt down apps that steal your precious juice.

Before we get into the details, though, let’s talk about one thing you shouldn’t do to your battery. We’ve all seen those awful “optimization” apps that promise to improve battery life, but you should stay far away from those. Basically, they operate under the old-school thinking that background apps are chewing through your battery, so they just kill them. That’s really a terrible idea, because these apps are effectively just glorified task killers. And no one should ever use a task killer on Android. Ever.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and get the facts. http://bit.ly/2Dh4oSS

HOW TO USE GOOGLE KEEP FOR FRUSTRATION-FREE NOTE-TAKINGThere are a lot of note-taking apps out there. Google Keep may not be as powerful as services like Evernote, but its value is in its simplicity. Let’s talk about how to make the most of it.

What Is Google Keep?

Keep is a free-form note-taking app. When Keep was first announced back in 2013, there were a lot of conversations on whether or not we needed another note-taking app. People made comparisons to Evernote and other similar services. But in the end, Keep is its own thing. It’s simple where it matters, but Keep still offers enough features to make it powerful.

Keep is also prolific. You can use it on the web, so it’s available on all your computers, and there are also Android and iOS apps. Since it’s a Google product, Keep syncs to your Google account, so it’s always up-to-date regardless of which device you’re using it on. There’s also a Chrome extension to make it easy to add things to keep as you find them.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and read all about Google Keep. http://bit.ly/2FJzN5Q

HOW ANDROID “P” WILL BLOCK APPS FROM SPYING ON YOUPrivacy is a major concern these days, and it’s easy to worry about smartphones that are “always listening.” To combat this, Google is making a major change to how background apps are handled in its upcoming Android P.

Go to this How-To Geek web site and see the steps and screen shots. http://bit.ly/2p6fpBp

ANDROID P: NEW FEATURES, RELEASE DATE, AND EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOWGoogle’s latest mobile operating system is here — and we have all the details currently available.

Google has given developers a taste of Android P, the next major version of its mobile operating system. It’s still early days and trying to decipher just what Android P brings to the table and what that ultimately means for users and the platform will be an ongoing process.

That said, we do know quite a bit about Android P in its current state. Here’s everything we know — and everything you need to know — about Android P.

Go to this ZDNET web site and read all about the next change to Android. http://zd.net/2FrzD3s

WINDOWS LOGO SHORTCUTS FOR WINDOWS 10 & WINDOWS 7The Windows logo key gives you quick access to Windows functionality.

Pressing the Windows logo key alone or in combination with other keys enables you to move around and work with Windows without using the mouse or other pointing device.

Go to this Softwarepro web page and see the short cuts in PDF format, ready to print out.  http://bit.ly/2oEH6C4

HOW TO TAKE AMAZON’S ALEXA WITH YOU IN THE CARDo you find yourself wishing you had an Echo Dot with you in your car? You need a Roav VIVA by Anker.

Increasingly I’m finding that Amazon’s Alexa is my voice assistant of choice, and now thanks to the Roav VIVA by Anker, I can have the equivalent of an Echo Dot in my car.

Anker — the company that you may know better for its high-quality yet competitively-priced powerbanks, chargers, and charging cables — has taken an Echo Dot and compacted it down to the size of an in-car charger.

So, how does it work? Go to this ZDnet web page and get the facts. http://zd.net/2F9HleA

MELTDOWN AND SPECTRE: IS YOUR PC VULNERABLE?A new app gives you a simple overview of your system’s vulnerability status, as well as what kind of performance hit the patches might be having.

Want to know if your PCs are vulnerable to the Meltdown and Spectre attacks? Want to get an idea of the sort of performance hit the patches might entail? Want to temporarily disable the update for testing purposes? There’s an app that can do all this.

Enter InSpectre, yet another excellent freeware utility created by Steve Gibson of GRC.com.

Download the small program here. https://www.grc.com/inspectre.htm

Using InSpectre is about as simple as it gets — download the 126KB file (yes, kilobytes, not megabytes!), and on first run (no, there’s no installation process) it will give you a clear overview of your system’s Meltdown and Spectre status, as well as offering an indication as to whether the patches have an impact on system performance (this is based on the processor/operating system information and not a benchmark).

HOW TO CHECK IF YOUR PASSWORD HAS BEEN STOLENMany websites have leaked passwords. Attackers can download databases of usernames and passwords and use them to “hack” your accounts. This is why you shouldn’t reuse passwords for important websites, because a leak by one site can give attackers everything they need to sign into other accounts.

Have I Been Pwned? – Troy Hunt’s Have I Been Pwned website maintains a database of username and password combinations from public leaks. These are taken from publicly available breaches that can be found via various sites on the web, or dark web. This database just makes it easier to check them yourself without visiting the sketchier parts of the web.

To use this tool, go to this How-To Geek web page and see if you have been pwned. http://bit.ly/2CnC856

HOW TO SEE WHAT PACKAGES AND MAIL YOU HAVE COMING BEFORE IT ARRIVESThe United States Postal Service, UPS, and FedEx all offer online dashboards where you can see exactly what packages (and letters, in the case of the US Postal Service) are scheduled to arrive at your address. They’ll even email and send you text message notifications so you can stay on top of things.

These are all free services, although UPS and FedEx have a few additional paid features. For example, you can sometimes pay to schedule a precise package delivery time with UPS or FedEx, but you can always keep tabs on incoming packages for free.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and check it out. http://bit.ly/2EXAity

HOW TO MONITOR YOUR ANDROID DEVICE’S BATTERY HEALTHBattery health is a big deal—perhaps now more than ever, with the whole iPhone slowdown debacle. While that in itself doesn’t necessarily have any bearing on Android phones, keeping your device’s battery health in mind is never a bad idea.

The thing is, there isn’t an easy or built-in way to check your battery health on Android. It’s a clear omission on Google’s part, but fortunately one that you can fill with a third-party app. And while there are a several options to do this, we recently found an app called AccuBattery that does the job better than anything else we’ve tried.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and read all about it. http://bit.ly/2CKWkth

TRANSFER PICS AND VIDEO TO WINDOWS 10 FROM MOBILE WITH PHOTOS COMPANIONThis Microsoft Garage project for Android and iOS makes it easy to transfer photos from your phone directly to the Windows 10 Photos app.

When it comes to transferring photos from your phone to your PC, you can always plug your phone directly into your computer. Of course, there are other ways to do it like using an automatic backup to OneDrive or Google Photos. But Microsoft has created an interesting new app called Photos Companion that is available for both Android and iOS. It allows you to transfer photos and videos on your phone over Wi-Fi directly into the Windows 10 Photos app.

Go to this groovyPost web page and see the screen shot and try it. http://bit.ly/2F5mjRF

BLUETOOTH 5.0: WHAT’S DIFFERENT, AND WHY IT MATTERS – Modern smartphones and other devices, from the iPhone 8 and iPhone X to the Samsung Galaxy S8, advertise support for “Bluetooth 5.0” on their specifications list. Here’s what’s new in the latest and greatest version of Bluetooth.

What is Bluetooth? – Bluetooth 5.0 is the latest version of the Bluetooth wireless communication standard. It’s commonly used for wireless headphones and other audio hardware, as well as wireless keyboards, mice, and game controllers. Bluetooth is also used for communication between various smart home and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

The official Bluetooth marketing material from the Bluetooth standard organization advertises that Bluetooth 5.0 has four times the range, two times the speed, and eight times the broadcasting message capacity of older versions of Bluetooth.

Go to the How-To Geek web page and get the all the information. http://bit.ly/2t4Vecs

EVERYONE SHOULD USE A VPN TO PROTECT THEIR INTERNET PRIVACYFor $3/month, you can protect your privacy from marketers, hackers, and other snoopers. Let’s discuss why a VPN is totally worth it and who we recommend.

Occasionally, there are moments when niche tech topics spill over into public awareness. For me, that usually comes with a feeling of excitement and vindication, like when the Serial podcast exploded, and everyone was like “Oh, you can have STORIES play in your head no matter what you are doing…” and I was like “Yes! This is the ‘podcast’ thing I kept pushing on you ten years ago!”

Next up on the horizon in terms of tech-trending-to-the-mainstream: VPNs. A virtual private network, or VPN, is basically a proxy that prevents others from tracking which sites and services you access on the internet. And the reason we are talking about VPNs right now is because of a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution signed in April 2017 that rolled back a privacy rule created by the FCC last year. The FCC rule was supposed to regulate the ability of ISPs to collect your internet browsing data and sell it for marketing purposes.

The rollback of that FCC rule is controversial, of course. But what I think really struck a nerve with the public is this realization:

“What? My ISP can see and record what I’m looking at on the internet?”

Yes. They totally can. And this has been true since the dawn of the internet.

The technical aspect of this shouldn’t be a huge shocker. It’s not much different than your phone company knowing what phone numbers you are dialing. They kind of need to have that information to provide you service. But the thought of an ISP tracking and analyzing your internet activity probably never crossed your mind. Until now.

So, whether you are for or against the regulations barring ISPs from collecting your data for profit, the fact stands: ISPs can and do watch where you go on the internet.

That is unless you use a VPN.

Go to this groovyPost web page and get the facts and a simple explanation of VPN. http://bit.ly/2GtoyuL

MICROSOFT RELEASES WINDOWS 10 UPDATE KB4074588 BUILD 16299.248It’s Patch Tuesday and Microsoft rolled out cumulative update KB4074588 for Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (Version 1709).

Microsoft today rolled out cumulative update KB4074588 for Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (Version 1709). This new update will bump your build number up to 16299.248. There are no new features to report, but there are several important security patches and bug fixes that you will want to be sure to get. It’s Patch Tuesday so remember that there are cumulative updates for other earlier versions of Windows 10 and Sever available today as well.

To check and see if you have the latest update: Start > Settings > System > About: OS Build: 16299.248

Go to this groovyPost web page and read the facts. http://bit.ly/2GrdXAI

CREATE A WINDOWS 10 SYSTEM RESTORE POINT FROM A DESKTOP SHORTCUTSave time by creating a system restore shortcut on your Windows 10 desktop that allows you to make one with a simple double-click.

Whenever you make a major change to your Windows 10 system, like doing a registry hack or installing a major software suite, it’s important to create a system restore point. If something goes awry, it allows you to revert to a previous state when your system was working. Normally, you can create a restore point manually. But if you make frequent changes to your system, being able to quickly create and roll back to a known good configuration can come in handy.  So, here’s how to make a new restore point with just a double-click of a shortcut icon.

Go to this groovyPost web page and get the steps and screen shots for the set up. http://bit.ly/2HqtNge

HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR CHROMEBOOKChromebooks are fantastic little devices—they’re simple enough for nearly anyone to use, and often come in at prices a fraction of Windows laptops or MacBooks. Whether you’re a Chromebook veteran or a first-time buyer, here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your machine.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and learn the easy steps. http://bit.ly/2HuBIZS

HOW TO ENABLE AND CONFIGURE WINDOWS 10 STORAGE SENSE – Automatically delete temporary system and application files using Windows 10 Storage Sense. Let’s review how to enable and configure this new feature of Windows.

Windows 10 has a bad habit of keeping old temporary files lying around which don’t do anything other than take up hard drive space. A new feature in Windows 10 called Storage Sense helps solve this issue by automatically deleting temporary files and content from your recycle bin. It’s not enabled by default so let’s jump in and review hot to enable and configure it to keep your hard drive nice and clean.

Go to this groovyPost web page and find out how, with screen shots. http://bit.ly/2Cvuwct

MOST ANDROID SECURITY SCARES ARE BSAndroid offers a more open and customizable experience than Apple’s comparatively locked down iOS platform. However, that also means Android users could encounter more malware threats in the wild. The key word there is “could.” Many of the Android malware stories we see making the rounds end up amounting to nothing because of the way the platform operates these days. While Android malware is definitely out there, you don’t always need to panic. Let’s look at the anatomy of an Android malware scare to see when panic is warranted.

A very interesting article, when you own an Android device.

Go to this Extremetech web page and get the facts. http://bit.ly/2C1UJ6z

HEY MICROSOFT, STOP INSTALLING APPS ON MY PC WITHOUT ASKINGI’m getting sick of Windows 10’s auto-installing apps. Apps like Facebook are now showing up out of nowhere, and even displaying notifications begging for me to use them. I didn’t install the Facebook app, I didn’t give it permission to show notifications, and I’ve never even used it. So why is it bugging me?

Windows 10 has always been a little annoying about these apps, but it wasn’t always this bad. Microsoft went from “we pinned a few tiles, but the apps aren’t installed until you click them” to “the apps are now automatically installed on your PC” to “the automatically installed apps are now sending you notifications”. It’s ridiculous.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and perform the easy steps. http://bit.ly/2HhNdDP

SKYPE IS VULNERABLE TO A NASTY EXPLOIT: SWITCH TO THE WINDOWS STORE VERSION – If the desktop version of Skype is on your Windows computer, you’re vulnerable to a really nasty exploit. A flaw in Skype’s update tool could give attackers full control over your system, and Microsoft says there isn’t going to be a fix any time soon.

Happily, you can avoid the problem completely by replacing the “desktop” version of Skype with the one available from the Microsoft Store. Still, it’s embarrassing for Microsoft’s own software to have a weakness this fundamental, and the exploit in question is one Redmond has warned other developers about multiple times.

Here’s what this exploit works, and how you can make sure you’re using the safe Windows Store version of Skype.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and read all about it. http://bit.ly/2HgP2Rw

PERFECT COMPUTER SECURITY IS A MYTH. BUT IT’S STILL IMPORTANT – Maybe you’ve heard it before: “Security is a myth.” It’s become a common refrain after a never-ending string of high-profile security breaches. If Fortune 500 companies with million-dollar security budgets can’t lock things down, how can you?

And there’s truth to this: perfect security is a myth. No matter what you do, no matter how careful you are, you will never be 100 percent safe from hackers, malware, and cybercrime. That’s the reality we all live in, and it’s important to keep this in mind, if only so that we can all feel more sympathy for victims.

But remember: perfect is the enemy of good. Perfect security is a myth, but that doesn’t mean resolving to lock down your tech is pointless. You’ll never be completely safe, but that’s no reason to stop caring about security all together. Read more of this How-To Geek article at: http://bit.ly/2Byvtnd

HOW TO OPT OUT OF TARGETED ADS AROUND THE WEBYou’ve spend some time researching a product on your phone, then you open your laptop and find ads for that product plastered all over the place. This has happened to everyone—it’s called targeted advertising, and there are steps you can take to reduce its effect on you.

What Is Targeted Advertising? You can probably assume as much by its name, but targeted advertising is a way for advertisers to target potential consumers based on several factors. These include race, sex, age, level of education, income level, employment, economic status, personality, attitudes, opinions, lifestyle, and other interests. Yeah, it gets pretty detailed.

But that’s not really what’s happening here:

  • No one is sitting there, watching your every move.
  • This data is collected anonymously, by a machine, and not tied to your identity—at least, not specifically.
  • Instead, it’s just a collection of data about “some iPad user” that likes these things, shops at these stores, frequents these web sites, and so on.
  • They just don’t know “some iPad user” is John Smith at 1234 Main Street.

Thankfully, there are measures you can take to lessen the impact it has on you if you’re rattled by this sort of tracking.

Go to this How-To Geek article and get the facts on how to ‘control targeted ad content’. http://bit.ly/2FSPCDr

5 HIDDEN FEATURES AND SETTINGS IN MICROSOFT WORD 2016 Microsoft Word is one of the most popular programs in the Microsoft Office arsenal. From students to professional writers, everyone seems to use it. While being a simple word processing tool, it also contains a few hidden gems that can make using Microsoft Word 2016 even better. Learn some of its hidden features and settings and start boosting your productivity and enhancing your documents.

Go to this groovyPost article and get the hidden features. http://bit.ly/2EJn7sw

HOW TO MANUALLY UPDATE YOUR SAMSUNG PHONE WITH ODINOdin, all-father, rules the realm of Asgard as the supreme deity of the Norse pantheon. Odin, a piece of Windows software released internally by Samsung, is used to flash firmware images to Android-based phones and tablets. It’s important not to get them confused.

Unlike Google and some other phone manufacturers, Samsung keeps a tight lid on its software, using locked firmware and bootloaders to dissuade users from running custom ROMs and making other modifications. That means Odin is often the easiest way to load up software onto a Samsung phone, both legitimate and home-made. So, toss on a copy of Thor and let’s get started.

What Is Odin? – Odin is a Windows-based program that automates the process of flashing firmware to Samsung’s Android-based devices. It’s not intended for consumers: the tool is meant for Samsung’s own personnel and approved repair centers. All the versions of Odin that have leaked on the Internet are posted to enthusiast sites and user forums, specifically for end users to repair or customize their devices.

Go to this How-To Geek article and use Odin to update your Samsung device. http://bit.ly/2sc9cbP

INSTANTLY DECLUTTER YOUR INBOX WITH SEARCH FOLDERS IN OUTLOOK 2016Search folders in Outlook 2016 are a powerful way to quickly sort the signal from the noise in your inbox.

How out of control is your inbox in Outlook 2016? If finding emails feels like searching for a needle in a digital haystack, then Search Folders may be just the thing you need. Instead of painstakingly reviewing, sorting, and organizing emails into folders, Search Folders lets you instantly pull up emails that meet certain criteria. This is a major timesaver, especially if your inbox is a veritable firehose of incoming emails.  While you may still want to tag and organize your emails in greater detail, Search Folders help you quickly narrow down the emails that deserve your immediate attention.

Go to this groovyPost web page and get the 6 easy steps to create search folders. http://bit.ly/2E7s7u0

HOW TO RUN WINDOWS SOFTWARE ON A CHROMEBOOKChromebooks don’t normally run Windows software—that’s the best and worst thing about them. You don’t need antivirus or other Windows junk…but you also can’t install Photoshop, the full version of Microsoft Office, or other Windows desktop applications.

Luckily, there are ways to use Windows desktop programs on a Chromebook: either running them remotely on an existing Windows system, through various Android workarounds, or getting your hands dirty in developer mode and running them on your Chromebook itself.

Go to this How-To Geek article and read about the 5 different options. http://bit.ly/2E0D0Og

DOWNLOAD NETFLIX FILMS AND TV ON WINDOWS 10 TO WATCH OFFLINEIf you know in advance that you will be in an area with limited or scarce Wi-Fi, you can download Netflix videos to watch offline on your Windows 10 PC.

The Netflix app on Windows 10 allows you download and watch certain videos so you can view them offline later. This is a perfect solution for long flights or if you need something for the kids to watch when no Wi-Fi is available. Or, you might want to catch up on some shows and only have a limited data plan. Whatever the case, here’s a look at how to download videos from Netflix to watch offline later using the Windows 10 Netflix app.

Go to this groovyPost web page and get the step by step with screen shots. http://bit.ly/2nHpUut

HANDS-ON WITH THE MICROSOFT TO-DO APP IN WINDOWS 10Microsoft To-Do is a sleek to-do list app that makes it easy to get things done.

You want to start organizing your life, but can’t seem to grasp where you should begin? How about starting with a to-do list? If your mind has automatically wandered into thoughts of multiple sticky notes around the house that end up on the floor, then get prepared to learn that in recent years the to-do list has been slightly upgraded. Microsoft To-Do can not only help you get organized, it’s also fun to use — making it a breeze to prioritize and get things done. A to-do list will help declutter your life and your mind, making it easier to manage your time so you can spend more time doing things you actually enjoy.

Go to this groovyPost web page and get the steps with screen shots. http://bit.ly/2E1Jyw0

FIVE WAYS TO FREE UP SPACE ON YOUR ANDROID DEVICEAndroid phones and tablets can fill up quickly as you download apps, add media files like music and movies, and cache data for use offline. Many lower-end devices may only include a few gigabytes of storage, making this even more of a problem. The less space you have, the more time you’ll have to spend micromanaging the internal storage. If you find yourself regularly running out of space and needing to manage it, consider getting a phone or tablet with more storage next time around. Learn more at this How-To Geek article: http://bit.ly/2DtXwn2

FUN WITH GOOGLE CHROME: TIPS AND TRICKSGoogle’s chrome browser is the most widely used browser, worldwide. Perhaps you’ve been using it for years, but there’s always a new trick to discover. Read Bob Rankin’s article to learn about some awesome, advanced, and secret features of Chrome that can make it even more useful… http://bit.ly/2CYufQ3

   

SECURITY FLAW IN WEB BROWSER AUTOFILL TOOLS CAN STEAL YOUR DATA – Web browsing can sometimes feel like navigating a huge minefield. It’s filled with hidden foxholes, traps, and other tricky dangers that can endanger you even when you least expect it. These days, nothing seems safe online – there’s always an enterprising hacker poking holes on every would-be stalwart system out there. Every day it seems, a vulnerability is always waiting to be discovered. And who knew even one of the conveniences of modern browsers can be exploited to gather more information about you and even potentially steal your data?

Find out about the autofill flaw at this Komando.com article: http://bit.ly/2DbP8eI

HOW TO FIND AND DELETE GOOGLE ASSISTANT’S STORED VOICE DATA – Every time you use Google Assistant, a recording of the command is uploaded to Google—that’s how it does what it does. A copy of this recording is also stored on your Google account, unless you manually go in and remove it. So, why is this data stored? Well, it can be useful to have. For example, if your Google Home stops responding to commands, you can actually hunt these recordings down and listen to them, which can help you pinpoint mic/listening issues. It’s pretty valuable. That said, if you prefer to delete them, it’s not too hard to do. http://bit.ly/2DsIFcs

WHY YOU NEED TO BE ON NEXTDOOR, THE LOCAL SOCIAL NETWORK – There are all sorts of niche social networks. There are networks for gamers. Networks for beer drinkers. Even networks for academics. But possibly the best social network that you haven’t joined yet is Nextdoor. Nextdoor is a free, private, local social network for people that live in a neighborhood. That might not sound like such a cool thing, but hear me out. It’s a fantastically useful tool. You can buy and sell things more reliably than on Craigslist and get locally-relevant news — even get help with projects. Checkout Nextdoor at this MakeUseOf article: http://bit.ly/2DcCIm8

HOW WILL THE MELTDOWN AND SPECTRE FLAWS AFFECT MY PC? – What Are Meltdown and Spectre? – Spectre is a “fundamental design flaw” that exists in every CPU on the market—including those from AMD and ARM as well as Intel. There is currently no software fix, and it will likely require a complete hardware redesign for CPUs across the board—though thankfully it is fairly difficult to exploit, according to security researchers. It’s possible to protect against specific Spectre attacks, and developers are working on it, but the best solution will be a CPU hardware redesign for all future chips. Read more of this How-To Geek article at: http://bit.ly/2qshuf6

LOCK DOWN YOUR TECH IN 2018 WITH THESE RESOLUTIONSIf you’re a human person who occasionally engages in commerce, hackers are probably targeting you. This year, resolve to do something about it. You know you need to take better care of your personal information, but you keep putting it off. It’s understandable, but this is the year you take your security into your own hands. Here are seven resolutions you can make to lock down your data in 2018. Like going to the gym regularly, it might be annoying to get started, but you’ll be better off once you build better habits. Read more of this How-To Geek article at: http://bit.ly/2qeyB3T

CALIFORNIA HEALTH OFFICIALS RELEASE GUIDELINES ON CELLPHONE RADIATION – Even though this is specific to California, I thought you might be interested in the information from the Department of Health. California health officials have a new safety message for cellphone users. CBS San Francisco reports that for the first time ever, the California Department of Public Health is releasing guidelines about cellphone radiation and how you can reduce your exposure. Read about the guidelines at: http://cbsn.ws/2lAMhAr

CYN’S TECH TIPS – IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE COMPLICATED – Happy 2018! A new year calls for a new outlook. I think it’s a good time to make some tech resolutions. Are you with me?

  1. Secure your device. Install third-party security programs and make sure you protect your lock screen with either a password or a biometric lock like a fingerprint reader. Consider password-protecting important files if you have that option. Read the rest of Cyn’s tips at: http://bit.ly/2Cb6KTP

TOO OLD FOR TECH? NO WAY!Cyn Mackley (formerly of WorldStart and now the Tech Whisperer) shared a reader’s assertion that there ought to be a cut-off age for new tech. (He suggested 85.) Your response: No way! Read the original article and responses (mine was to join a computer / tech club to learn about new technology and get help with computers, devices, phones, IoT gadgets, etc. and suggested readers check out apcug2.org to see if there is a club in their area. Judy) at:  http://bit.ly/2CuT4nD

17 TECHNOLOGIES THAT DIED IN 2017 – The circle of life applies as much to technology as it does to living things, and so every year brings a wave of old products and failed ideas that make way for newer and better ones. This year, we lost some once-iconic products that lost their utility long ago, along with some that probably shouldn’t have existed in the first place. Read the PCWorld rundown of the most notable technology that died in 2017: http://bit.ly/2EdkQ8m

GOOGLE AND APPLE ARE KILLING IT WITH PHOTO TECHWhen it comes to hardware, phone makers are bored because there’s not much left to improve. However, when it comes to the camera in your phone, Apple and Google still have a lot they can do on the software side. On this front, both companies are absolutely killing it. Read more of this How-To Geek review at: http://bit.ly/2Clhj9Z

THE 12 BIGGEST HACKS, BREACHES, AND SECURITY THREATS OF 2017 The biggest security hacks, leaks, and breaches of 2017 may impact your privacy for years to come. Security issues took a turn for the serious in 2017. This time around we still suffered the password breaches, malware annoyances, and stolen credit card numbers that have become commonplace in recent years. But the headlines were dominated by more sobering issues. We saw foreign adversaries trying to infiltrate critical infrastructure; major U.S. government hacking tools exposed; a major breach that called into question the use of social security numbers as identification; the U.S. government turning negative towards online user privacy; and popular consumer software dragged into the world of corporate and state espionage. Read more of the PCWorld article at: http://bit.ly/2ltcCQP

FACEBOOK LAUNCHES NEW SECURITY FEATURE YOU NEED TO USE NOW – We all use Facebook for connecting with our friends and family, or engaging with peers online. It is a great system for most, but also having tragic consequences of bringing out some of the worst in our society. Hackers, foreign governments, and even false advertisers take advantage of the great networking capabilities Facebook offers to cause harm in as many ways as you can think of. 

Facebook has had its feet to the fire lately regarding security concerns. The media giant has come under heavy criticism for everything from national security and fake news, to individual account security and the prevalence of hacking and phishing scams.

Read the Komando.com article to learn about Facebook’s new focus on security. They are unveiling a new feature that can help users avoid having their account information stolen by hackers. Also learn how to use Facebook’s snooze on annoying friends. http://bit.ly/2BV3wHU

HOW TO SET UP ALL YOUR NEW HOLIDAY GADGETS – It’s the holidays, which means new gadgets for everyone! Whether you’re rocking a new PC or trying to get a handle on what the Amazon Echo really does, How-To Geek has you covered. Read their article to find out how to set up all your new tech gifts (and, let’s be honest: your family’s). http://bit.ly/2C8Spb1

THE BEST WINDOWS 10 APPS – Windows 10 apps are better than ever. Their design and usability is unrecognizable from a couple of years ago; Microsoft has largely got the problem of fake and imposter apps under control, and the selection of apps is the most diverse it’s ever been. Yes, some universal apps in the Windows Store are still poor imitations of their desktop cousins. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t find some really useful, high-quality apps – you just need to know where to look. 

MakeUseOf has rounded up some of the best Windows 10 apps. Make sure you let them know what they missed! http://bit.ly/2BTzQei 

SO, YOU JUST GOT A GOOGLE HOME. NOW WHAT? – So, you scored a Google Home for Christmas. That’s awesome, because this is a killer little smart speaker that can do a lot of different things—in fact, it can be a little overwhelming. The good news is that we’ve got you covered. How-To Geek has some ideas on where to get started with your new Home. http://bit.ly/2pFkKD8

HOW TO TURN YOUR COMPUTER INTO A DLNA MEDIA SERVER – Many boxes you plug into your TV, including the Roku, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and even some smart TVs themselves offer DLNA (“Digital Living Network Alliance”) streaming support. They can stream video files and music over the network from your PC—as long as you set up a DLNA server on the PC first.

This feature is also known as Play To or UPnP AV. Using it is easier than you might think, as the server software you’ll need is built into Windows. There are also third-party DLNA servers with more features, and you can run them on any operating system. Here’s how to set up DLNA on your machine.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and get the facts and different options. http://bit.ly/2jRT20T

HOW TO SET UP CORTANA TO CHECK YOUR GMAIL AND GOOGLE CALENDAR – Microsoft this week added the ability to connect your Google account to Cortana. This will provide Gmail, Calendar, and Contact support. Like with other connected services, once you set it up, Cortana will be able to give you information about upcoming events on your calendar, messages, and more. Google joins other connected services like LinkedIn, Office 365, Outlook.com, Skype, and others. Here is a look at how to set it up and begin using the new ability.

Go to this GroovyPost web page and see how to set it up with Screenshots. http://bit.ly/2l5u9SA

ADD A SLIDER TO CHANGE YOUR DISPLAY BRIGHTNESS IN WINDOWS 10 – Windows 10 aims to make your system easier to manage, but there are still some things that are done best by a third-party utility.

Microsoft is currently moving all system setting from the classic Control Panel to its new Settings app in Windows 10. With each new release, you’re finding more and more system configuration settings end up there. And while that is making some settings easier to access, currently there isn’t a simple way to manage the brightness of your display.

Go to this GroovyPost web page and get started with the Screen Brightness slider. http://bit.ly/2z3fvzT

MICROSOFT ISSUES EMERGENCY WINDOWS SECURITY UPDATE FOR A CRITICAL VULNERABILITYIf your computer is running Microsoft’s Windows operating system, then you need to apply this emergency patch immediately. By immediately, I mean now! Microsoft has just released an emergency security patch to address a critical remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability in its Malware Protection Engine (MPE) that could allow an attacker to take full control of a victim’s PC.

Enabled by default, Microsoft Malware Protection Engine offers the core cybersecurity capabilities, like scanning, detection, and cleaning, for the company’s antivirus and antimalware programs in all its products.

According to Microsoft, the vulnerability affects many Microsoft security products, including Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials along with Endpoint Protection, Forefront Endpoint Protection, and Exchange Server 2013 and 2016, impacting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Server.

Tracked as CVE-2017-11937, the vulnerability is a memory corruption issue which is triggered when the Malware Protection Engine scans a specially crafted file to check for any potential threat.

To see if you’ve been updated properly, bring up Windows Defender. If you see Engine Version 1.1.14306 your machine hasn’t caught up yet.

If your machine isn’t yet up to the latest version, 1.1.14405.2, I strongly suggest that you not touch the machine until it updates itself. 

THE BEST “LITE” VERSIONS OF YOUR FAVORITE ANDROID APPSIf you’re looking for a good way to speed up your phone or cut down on your data usage, there are a lot of official “lite” versions of popular apps like Facebook or YouTube. These are generally less feature-rich than their full-powered counterparts, but they’re often a great middle ground between features and function.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and get the info. http://bit.ly/2kbDFzw

HOW TO CHECK OUT LIBRARY BOOKS ON YOUR KINDLE FOR FREETired of paying so much for e-Books? Most libraries these days let you check out eBooks, for free, just like regular books. It works similarly: libraries have a certain number of copies to lend. If all copies of the book you want are already checked out, you must wait for someone to check it in. Unlike regular books though, you can often schedule an automatic checkout when a copy is available, and you don’t have to worry about dropping by the library for returns.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and get the facts. http://bit.ly/2kENWYS

HOW TO HIDE SPECIFIC ADS ON FACEBOOKFor a while, Facebook thought I was into basketball. Almost every ad was for something to do with basketball. The thing is, I’m not sure Ireland even has a basketball team. We certainly don’t have a professional one and I’ve never watched a game in my life. It was a confusing phase of my digital life and it took a few months before I started seeing relevant ads again. Facebook won’t always be so off base with who you are or what you’re into, but there’s a good chance that it will occasionally show you ads you have no interest in, annoy you, or even offend you. If that happens, it’s simple to hide them. The process is the same whatever platform you use, so here’s how.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and see what can be done. http://bit.ly/2AJ8hSX

TECH TITAN WAR: GOOGLE BLOCKS YOUTUBE ON AMAZON DEVICES IN BITTER FEUDGoogle is pulling its popular YouTube video service from Amazon’s Fire TV and Echo Show devices in an escalating feud that has caught consumers in the crossfire. The decision to block YouTube is retaliation for Amazon’s refusal to sell some Google products that compete with Amazon gadgets. That includes Google’s Chromecast streaming device, an alternative to Fire TV, and an internet-connected speaker called Home, which is trying to catch up to Amazon’s market-leading Echo. Amazon’s high-end Echo Show has a screen that can display video.

“Given this lack of reciprocity, we are no longer supporting YouTube on Echo Show and Fire TV,” Google said in a Tuesday statement.

Go to this CIOTODAY web page and read about the feud. http://bit.ly/2y85LAT

MICROSOFT SAYS WINDOWS 10 DEVICES CAN BE MADE SECURE: HERE’S HOWIf you have an up-to-date device running Windows 10, Microsoft has enabled new standards that it said can ensure “a highly secure experience.” The new security standards apply to PCs, laptops, tablets, 2-in-1 devices, and mobile workstations running processors certified for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update that began rolling out last month. Those processors include Intel’s 7th-generation i3, i5, i7, and i9 chips and 7th-generation AMD silicon, along with the Intel Core M3 and Xeon E3 processors and Intel’s latest Atom, Celeron, and Pentium chips.

Microsoft has described its latest version of Windows 10 as its most secure operating system to date, with many new built-in features to protect against malware and other threats such as ransomware. The update includes several new security enhancements specifically for enterprise users, among them a suite of Windows Analytics services for business applications and devices.

Go to this CIOTODAY web page and get the facts. http://bit.ly/2iFOgCA

WATCH OUT: HOW TO BUY A USB TYPE-C CABLE THAT WON’T DAMAGE YOUR DEVICESUSB Type-C brings a new universal connector to laptops and smartphones, and many devices are already starting to use it. But beware: many USB-C cables aren’t designed properly and could potentially damage your hardware.

efore buying any USB Type-C cables for your new devices, you should look up whether the cable is compliant with the USB-C specification. More people are sure to run into this problem as more USB Type-C-enabled devices are released.

he cheap charger or USB cable can ruin your device. Buy only Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) accessories, and stay away from cheap replacements. Go to this How-To Geek web page and read all about it. http://bit.ly/2jMnHvz

MICROSOFT AND ADOBE PATCH MORE THAN 100 BUGSOn November’s Patch Tuesday yesterday, Microsoft and Adobe pushed out many bug fixes. They included updates to resolve serious security flaws in Microsoft Office, the Internet Explorer and Edge Web browsers, and Adobe’s Acrobat, Reader, Photoshop, and Flash Player.

Microsoft’s update addressed a total of 53 vulnerabilities, four of which could open the door for security attacks. However, none of them appears to have been exploited in the wild at this point.

Adobe, meanwhile, patched more than five dozen vulnerabilities, including critical flaws that could enable remote code execution in Shockwave, Acrobat/Reader, and Flash Player.

HOW TO STOP SAMSUNG’S APP PERMISSION MONITOR FROM DISPLAYING NOTIFICATIONSIf you have an Android phone, you should be aware of the permissions your apps have been granted. For instance, there’s no reason for a calculator app to connect to the web. On the Galaxy Note 8 (and probably any phones coming after), Samsung has automated this process with a tool called the App Permission Monitor, which notifies you if any apps use a permission that’s especially important or outside their normal operating range.

It’s a really good idea! But sometimes it gets annoying. For example, I use an app called bxActions to repurpose the Bixby button on the Note 8 to turn on the flashlight. Since the LED light is technically part of the phone’s camera, it has to use

Android’s Camera permission to power up the LED. The App Permission Monitor thinks that might be fishy, and sends me a notification about it…every single time I use the button to turn on the flashlight. Which is, in fact, much more often than I actually use the camera.

If you have an app that constantly uses one of these permissions and trips the monitor, here’s how to disable it…or at least tell it to chill out.

Go to this How-To Geek web page and get the screen shots and procedures. http://bit.ly/2zPTmGB

HOW TO RESET WINDOWS 10 ACCOUNT PASSWORD FROM LOGIN SCREENUh oh, you forgot the PC’s password. No worries. Microsoft makes it simple to reset your Microsoft account with Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Have you been in a situation where you lost or forgotten your password to your Windows 10 machine? No worries, we’ve all been there at some point or another and Microsoft is making it easier to reset your code with Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709). Now, from the lock screen, you have the option to reset your Microsoft account password.

Go to this GroovyPost webpage and get the short simple procedure with screenshots. http://bit.ly/2hB3GHQ

MICROSOFT RELEASES WINDOWS 10 CUMULATIVE UPDATE KB4048955Microsoft rolled out cumulative update KB4048955 for Windows 10 Fall Creators Update version 1709 and other supported Windows versions, too. This update comes as part of Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday which rolls out fixes and improvements to all currently supported versions of Windows. As is usually the case with these types of updates, there are no new features, but a lengthy list of bug fixes and stability improvements. You should get the update automatically, but if you want to stay on top of things head to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update. After you the updates are downloaded, a restart is required to finish the update process.

After the update hit the Windows key and type: winver (in the search bar) and you will see your build number has been bumped up to 16299.64 for version 1709.

Go to this GroovyPost webpage and read about the update. http://bit.ly/2zjyisv

HOW TO DOWNLOAD VIDEOS TO AMAZON FIRE TABLETS TO WATCH OFFLINEIf you’re ever in a situation where there’s limited or no Wi-Fi, you’ll want a collection of videos already downloaded to watch while offline on your Fire tablet. The Amazon line of Fire tablets is aimed at being an affordable fun and entertaining device. The company’s new Fire HD 10, for example, has a quality 10.1-inch 1080p HD display that’s great for watching movies and TV shows. Obviously, you can stream your video content from Prime video and other non-Amazon services like Netflix. But if you’re in a situation where you have limited or no Wi-Fi, you’ll want to have a collection of video content already downloaded to watch while offline.

Go to this GroovyPost webpage and get the procedure. http://bit.ly/2hEmg1C

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN QR CODES FROM YOUR ANDROID PHONEYou might think that QR codes are so 2006, but they’re coming back in a big way. Here’s how to create your own. You might be asking yourself, “Why would I ever want or need to create my own QR code?”, and that’s a valid question. QR codes are a sort of hidden gem that a lot of people underestimate, and they can be used in all sorts of different ways. When scanned, they can take you to a specific website, lead you to a file to download, or even just display a bunch of text about something.

For example, I frequently use a QR code of my phone number. If I want to give my number out to someone, they can just open the camera on their phone and scan the QR code image that I have stored on my own phone. If this is something that is of interest to you, here’s how you can create your own QR codes for just about any situation.

Go to this How-To Geek webpage and get the procedure. http://bit.ly/2iP0qIU

HOW TO SEE WHAT WEB SITES YOUR COMPUTER IS SECRETLY CONNECTING TOYour PC makes lots of Internet connections in a day’s business, and not all of them are necessarily sites you’re aware connections are happening with. While some of these connections are harmless, there is always a chance that you have some malware, spyware, or adware using your Internet connection in the background without your knowledge. Here’s how to see what’s going on under the hood.

This article covers three ways you can view your PC’s active connections. The first uses the good old netstat command from PowerShell or the Command Prompt. Then, we’ll show you two free tools—TCPView and CurrPorts—that also get the job done and may be more convenient.

Go to this How-to Geek webpage and see how to. http://bit.ly/2zw27FC

HOW TO STOP WINDOWS FROM AUTOMATICALLY CONNECTING TO A WI-FI NETWORKWindows automatically connects to Wi-Fi networks you’ve previously connected to. On Windows 10, you can tell Windows not to automatically connect to certain networks. Windows will remember the passphrase and other connection details, but will only connect when you manually initiate a connection. This is useful for public Wi-Fi networks that you don’t always want to connect to automatically—especially if they require a sign in or have slow internet.

Go to this How-To Geek Webpage and see how to: http://bit.ly/2AvZnEV

HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MAC ADDRESS IN WINDOWS 10 (AND WHY YOU MIGHT WANT TO)Windows 10 includes the ability to edit the physical address (MAC) for your network adapters. Find out how to do it and why you would want to. As we’ve explained in our article on how to find your MAC address, a MAC address serves as a permanent, physical identifier for any device that connects to a network. That includes your phone, your router, your computer, your printer, your Apple TV, anything that connects to your internet. If your computer has an Ethernet port and a Wi-Fi adapter, you have two MAC addresses: one for Ethernet and one for wireless.

MAC addresses are useful for identifying devices on a network. For home users, you might use MAC filtering to restrict access to your WIFI network.  The reason that a MAC address works better for these administrative tasks is that, unlike IP addresses, the MAC address doesn’t change. Or at least it’s not supposed to.

The MAC address is “burned-in” to the physical device at the factory. But it’s fairly simple to change your MAC address by “spoofing” it as another MAC address.

Why would you want to do this?

MAC spoofing can be used maliciously to circumvent network controls, but it’s only effective for blacklists—that is, if someone specifically blocked your device from the network. For whitelists, you’d have to know the MAC address of a specific device you’re trying to spoof.

Changing your MAC address has legitimate uses as well. You can use it to test your own MAC filtering settings. Or you can use it to assign specific rules to a set of devices within a certain MAC address range.

At any rate, the fact that you’ve read this far means you probably have a vested interest in changing your MAC address. So, without further ado, here’s how to do it.

Go to This GroovyPost webpage and get the steps: http://bit.ly/2mg2cIh

HOW TO USE VOICE DICTATION ON WINDOWS 10Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update makes voice dictation much easier to use. Now, you can immediately begin dictation by pressing a key Windows+H on your keyboard. You don’t have to dig through the Control Panel and set anything up first.

The old Speech Recognition tool is still accessible via the Control Panel. It has some advanced features you won’t find in the new dictation tool, like the ability to navigate your desktop with voice commands. But most people will prefer the new dictation tool for more basic dictation.

Go to this How-To Geek Web page and try it out. http://bit.ly/2hm8VOX

HOW TO FIND YOUR LOST OR STOLEN ANDROID PHONEYou’re having a night out. With dinner down the hatch, you’re walking down the street with your sweetheart to the next destination. You reach into your pocket to pull out your phone, when that feeling hits the pit of your stomach: your phone is missing. Did you leave it at the restaurant? Or maybe at home? Did someone steal it? Your mind races. You have no idea.

Apple users have “Find My iPhone”, but is there a “Find My Android” function for Google folks? Fortunately, there is: previously called Android Device Manager, Google’s “Find My Device” is now wrapped up nice and neat under the Google Play Protect umbrella. With this tool, you can track your phone so you can hopefully get it back.

There’s a good chance you’ve stumbled across this article after having lost your phone, so instead of telling you what you should’ve done before losing it, let’s get right to it: you want to know what to do right now.

The good news is that you can quickly find your missing phone with Google’s Find My Device, even if you don’t have the app installed on the lost handset. You can do this in one of three ways:

Go to this How-To Geek Web page and find out how: http://bit.ly/2zsJu4P

HOW TO TETHER YOUR ANDROID PHONE AND SHARE ITS INTERNET CONNECTION WITH OTHER DEVICESTethering is the act of sharing your phone’s mobile data connection with another device—such as your laptop or tablet—connecting it to the Internet through your phone’s data connection. There are several ways to tether on Android.

Tethering is useful when you’re somewhere where and don’t have Wi-Fi access, do have cellular data access, and want to do something on your computer instead of your phone. But you may pay extra for the convenience.

Go to this How-To Geek Web page and get the facts. http://bit.ly/2iEMpgN

HOW TO USE THE MY PEOPLE FEATURE IN WINDOWS 10 FALL CREATORS UPDATEOne of the new features in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is My People. Here’s a look at what it is, how to use it, or disable it if you’re annoyed by it taking up space on the taskbar.

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes a lot of new features. One of which is My People hub. It’s a new people-centric experience that allows you to pin your favorite contacts to the taskbar and it provides a quick and easy way to send a message, start a chat or share files with the people you need to be in touch with the most. Here’s a look at how to use it for keeping track of contacts and communicate via Skype and email.

Go to this Groovypost Web page and see what is what. Great screenshots. http://bit.ly/2yh0GXG

MICROSOFT ADDS PREMIUM OUTLOOK.COM FEATURES FOR OFFICE 365 SUBSCRIBERSMicrosoft today confirmed that it is bringing Premium Outlook.com features for Office 365 subscribers. The new features include an ad-free inbox, enhanced security protections, larger mailbox sizes and more. Here’s a look at the changes you can expect.

If you use Outlook client email, go here and read about the new enhancements.
http://bit.ly/2zlm3eJ

HOW TO BOOT INTO SAFE MODE ON WINDOWS 8 OR 10 (THE EASY WAY)One of the most common steps when troubleshooting a PC is to boot into Safe Mode. Up through Windows 7, you did this by pressing the F8 key during boot—right before Windows started loading. This all changed with Windows 8 and its introduction of Automatic Repair mode—something that continues in Windows 10.

If you mash the F8 key at just the right time (or get lucky spamming the key during boot up), Windows might still take you to a screen that lets you get into the recovery environment. From there, you can boot into Safe Mode (and we’ll talk about that environment a bit later. The trouble is that some computer manufacturers disable this option. And even on PCs that still support it, Windows startup (and particularly the hand off between the regular boot process and Windows startup) happens so much faster now, you barely have time to press the key.

The good news is that getting into Safe Mode is doable. The process is just more hidden now. Go to this How-To Geek Web page and get the step-by-step with screen shots: http://bit.ly/2xHiURK

THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO IMPROVING ANDROID BATTERY LIFE – Once upon a time, you had to really keep an eye on your Android phone to make sure the battery wasn’t being depleted prematurely. Manually toggling connections, constantly adjusting brightness, and the like are basically all things of the past now—but there are still things you can do to maximize your handset’s battery life.

Go to the How-To Geek Web page and get busy with screenshots. http://bit.ly/2xG78XW

PENTAGON TO SCRUB KASPERSKY FROM DEFENSE SYSTEMS FOLLOWING DHS BANThe Defense Department is doing a thorough review to ensure software from the embattled Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky does not touch any military systems, a Defense spokeswoman tells Nextgov.

The move follows a September order from the Homeland Security Department directing all civilian government agencies to remove Kaspersky software from their systems within three months. That directive cites intelligence community concerns that the Russian firm is too closely tied to the Kremlin.

That order does not apply to the Defense Department, which is outside Homeland Security’s jurisdiction, but the Pentagon plans to “follow the intent of the directive” and the department’s top information security officer is assessing what changes need to be made, if any, Defense Spokeswoman Heather Babb said.

Make your own choice. Personally, I would dump Kaspersky Anti-Virus if I had it.

ANDROID 7 NOUGAT: UPDATE INFORMATION AND NEW FEATURESAndroid Nougat was Google’s big refresh of its phone and tablet operating system in 2016. Android is an OS that’s been so thoroughly refined that the company is now more than halfway through the alphabet with names.

It hasn’t stopped at Nougat either as there’s now the eighth iteration of Google’s OS called Android Oreo. That is out now for a select number of devices, so it may be worth checking whether your phone is ready to upgrade to even newer software.

Google released the latest version of Nougat as Android 7.1.2 software in July 2017, and many phones are still being upgraded to it now. There’s a good chance your phone already has the latest Android Nougat software update waiting, or it’s coming very soon. Go to this Cio-Today Web page and get the information. http://bit.ly/2zRxTu4

WINDOWS 10 FALL CREATORS UPDATE ADDS RANSOMWARE PROTECTIONWindows 10 Fall Creators Update has a nifty security feature which perhaps hasn’t been trumpeted by Microsoft as much as it should: namely anti-ransomware defenses.

In a blog post detailing how the Fall Creators Update is being deployed in a phased rollout (as all these big upgrades are), Microsoft mentioned that it had hardened security and added protection against ransomware.

Specifically, the main countermeasure is a ‘controlled folder access’ feature which is activated in the Windows Defender Security Center app in Windows 10, in the Virus & Threat Protection section, as the Register reports. Go to this Cio-Today Web page and read all the facts. http://bit.ly/2iBCxIr

HOW TO LIMIT WINDOWS UPDATE’S DOWNLOAD BANDWIDTH ON WINDOWS 10Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update gives you more control of Windows Update’s downloads and uploads. You can now set a download bandwidth limit, ensuring Windows Update won’t hog your Internet connection with its background downloads.

The Settings app also gives you more control of Windows Update’s background uploads and keeps track of how much data Windows Update has downloaded and uploaded. This setting also applies to app updates from the Store and updates for other Microsoft products, not just Windows updates. Go to this How-To Geek Web page and find out how to make the setting. http://bit.ly/2gMgJJJ

HOW TO BLOCK SPAM CALLS AND TEXTS IN ANDROID, MANUALLY AND AUTOMATICALLYIt’s dinner time. You’re just sitting down when you get a call. On the other line, a robotic voice says: “We have important information regarding your credit accounts. Please hold to speak to a representative.”

*click*

How many times has that scenario happened to you or someone you know? Even if the answer is “once,” that directly translates to “too many times.” It’s scammy, annoying, and downright rude.

If you have an Android phone, though, you don’t have to deal with it. There are actually a few different ways to go about blocking numbers on Android, and we’re going to talk about a few of the easiest ones. Go to this How-To Geek Web page and real all about it. Screen shots provided. http://bit.ly/2zHGoXK

HOW TO INSTALL CUSTOM THEMES AND VISUAL STYLES IN WINDOWS 10, 8.1, 7 – Windows has had support for themes, also known as “visual styles”, since Windows XP. By default, Windows will only load Microsoft-signed themes—but you can get around this fairly easily.

There’s a thriving community of theme-builders who are still creating themes for Windows 7 and 8. These aren’t your standard Windows themes, though—they modify the appearance of window title bars, buttons, and other visual elements.

PATCHING YOUR SYSTEM FILESWindows checks if themes are signed by Microsoft before loading them. If they aren’t, Windows won’t load them at all. To use them, you’ll have to modify Windows system files—uxtheme.dll in particular—and disable the check. In the past, this required booting into Safe Mode and manually replacing system files. Today, there are easier ways to do this. Go to this How-To Geek Web page and find the work around so you can have a Theme or Background on your PC that suit you, not just Microsoft. http://bit.ly/2yNwTcE

WATERPROOF? DUST-RESISTANT? MAKING SENSE OF GADGET RATINGSIP67? IP68? MIL-Spec? It sounds fancy, but it’s not that complicated. Learn what all these designations on your electronics really mean for protection and ruggedness. Go to this PCMag Web page and increase your knowledge. http://bit.ly/2gMa5mz

AMAZON ANNOUNCES ALL-NEW KINDLE APP FOR ANDROID AND IOSAmazon is rolling out a major update of its Kindle mobile app for Android and iOS this week. It includes an all-new design and makes it much easier to turn your phone or tablet into a book that you can read anywhere. It makes it easier to flip between pages and find other items while you’re on the go.

This is a big overhaul for the Kindle app and the result is essentially a brand-new product. “The all-new Kindle app that makes it easier than ever to turn your phone or tablet into a book—so you can read anytime, anywhere,” an Amazon announcement notes. “We’ve built the new Kindle app from the ground up for book lovers, giving readers easy access to everything they might want to do with their books, all in one place,” said Chuck Moore, Vice President, Kindle. Whether you use Android or iOS, here’s a look at what you can expect. Go to this Groovypost Web page and get the information. http://bit.ly/2gKDj5l

WHAT’S NEW IN WINDOWS 10’S FALL CREATORS UPDATE, AVAILABLE NOW – Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update, codenamed Redstone 3, is available to download now. Here are all the new features you’ll see in the latest version of Windows—and some big, splashy features Microsoft announced that never arrived. Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update, codenamed Redstone 3, is available to download now. This article covers all the new features you’ll see in the latest version of Windows—and some big, splashy features Microsoft announced that never arrived. Read more of this How-To Geek article at: http://bit.ly/2qdcQiM

 5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOUR TABLET CAN DO – It’s hard to believe the first iPad was released in 2010. We use tablets for entertainment, work, and even to pay for a mocha at the local café. The device that once looked like science fiction is now a staple of American homes. But most of us don’t realize how many different ways we can use our tablets. Switch around a few settings or download the right app, and you can perform all kinds of digital magic tricks. Read more of Kim Komando’s article at: http://bit.ly/2i2d6vK

18 THINGS YOU MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN GOOGLE PHOTOS CAN DOGoogle Photos may seem like a simple image hosting service, but it’s actually quite powerful. Google Photos bridges the gap between cloud storage, image hosting, and image sharing services, giving stiff competition to Flickr, iCloud, Dropbox, and OneDrive.

Search for People, Places, and Objects – Google Photos will automatically arrange your uploaded pictures by location and by date taken. Using advanced image recognition and Google’s large database of information, it can recognize the subject of your photos quite easily. Search your photos for anything: a wedding you attended last month, pictures you took during holidays, pictures of your pets, food, and much more. At the bottom right, touch the search icon and from the box, type what you want to find–like food, cars, or your pet and touch “Enter” or “Search.” Read more at this How-To Geek Web page: http://bit.ly/2h5t48u

HOW WINDOWS 10 DICTATION WORKS – Dictation within Windows has lived in the shadows for years. Finally, with Windows 10 and the Fall Creators Update (see our review!), dictating text is almost as easy as talking to Siri, Cortana, or Google. Within Windows 10, you can turn on dictation with just a keystroke. It’s easy. I wrote this whole article with just my voice. I edited it, though, with my mouse and keyboard. It’s all part of Windows 10’s new emphasis on modality: first touch, then writing with a pen, voice control, and finally dictation. Read more of the PCWorld article at: http://bit.ly/2zObLAX

WINDOWS 10 FALL CREATORS UPDATE: TOP 10 NEW FEATURESThe latest update to Microsoft’s OS adds new app capabilities, sharing features, and helpful tweaks.

The latest version of Microsoft Windows 10, the Fall Creators Update, is upon us. Well, that’s not entirely true: Windows no longer really comes in full-stop updates; it’s delivered as a continually updating service.

For example, several of the Fall Creators features have been steadily making their way into Windows, like the video editing and Fluent Design aspects.

In addition to Fluent Design, which features attractive translucency and new animations in the interface, mobile device integration, My People contact pinning, and OneDrive Files On-Demand are highlights of the new version. But there’s lots more, as you’ll see when you visit this PC Mag Web page: http://bit.ly/2ijGYY8

KRACK ATTACK WIFI VULNERABILITY: WHAT YOU NEEDAnother day, another scary-sounding widespread cybersecurity vulnerability in the news. This time, it’s about Wi-Fi—specifically, the WPA2 encryption protocol that practically everyone uses. As Ars Technica reported, Key Reinstallation Attacks—or KRACK—lets attackers intercept data between your device and a Wi-Fi router including emails, passwords, personal information and anything else you’d transmit over the supposedly secure WPA2 connection.

So, how worried should you be? And what should you do? Here’s what we know right now.

Go to this Groovypost Web page and get the facts. http://bit.ly/2yvl2it

HOW TO CONVERT A PDF FILE INTO AN EDITABLE TEXT DOCUMENTAdobe’s PDF standard is handy whenever you need to distribute some information and be sure that it’s seen the same way by all recipients. But PDF files are also infamously tough to edit.

Unless you’ve paid for Adobe Acrobat (the full version, not just the Reader), you’ll have to look for a specific tool to edit the text of PDFs. Many of these are available on various platforms, but for an easy and free method that works across all kinds of desktops and mobile devices, you can use Google Docs. Go to this How-To Geek Web page and find out how to: http://bit.ly/2x3oEVQ

HAS LINUX’S MARKET SHARE REALLY DOUBLED IN TWO MONTHS?Something weird just happened. Linux – the sprightly insurgent of operating systems – just saw its market share double. According to NetMarketShare, its share of the desktop jumped from around 2.5 percent in July, to nearly 5 percent in September.

Read more at this TNW NYC article: http://bit.ly/2fKhaUg

WHAT IS NET NEUTRALITY? – Net Neutrality aims to make sure that all traffic accessing the Internet is treated the same by the companies providing the access. They would include ISPs like AT&T or your cable company and companies that route the traffic between you and that company. Read more of Cyn Mackley’s article at:  http://bit.ly/2xHPIN9

GOOGLE’S ANDROID NOUGAT 7.1.2 UPDATE IS OUT NOW – Android Nougat is Google’s big refresh of its phone and tablet operating system. Android is an OS that’s been so thoroughly refined that the company is now more than halfway through the alphabet with names at letter 14 of 26. Android 7.1.2 is out now while Android Oreo is now in beta for very select devices too.

Read the techradar article for all of the devices they know have the update already and the latest information on when it will launch. That said, you need to bear in mind the official release date for the update won’t always be reflected in the software update section on your phone. http://bit.ly/2fHpKjv

MICROSOFT: WINDOWS 10 IS BETTER THAN BEFORE – With the Fall Creators Update just around the corner, Microsoft is talking up the improvements it has made to Windows 10 so far. Specifically, the Windows 10 Creators Update released in April 2017. This is, according to Microsoft, “the most performant and reliable version of Windows 10 ever!”

According to John Cable, the Director of Program Management, Windows Servicing and Delivery at Microsoft, the Windows 10 Creators Update is a quality product. And this is thanks to Microsoft’s “dedicated focus on customer obsession – listening and responding to user and partner feedback”. Read about what’s new in this MakeUseOf article:
http://bit.ly/2fotl8Z

HOW TO ENABLE AND USE THE NEW FIREFOX SCREENSHOTS FEATURE – If you are a Firefox user and have upgraded to version 55, you might have noticed a new screenshot button on the toolbar in the upper-right corner of the browser. However, not all users have it yet. It’s still in beta and the company is gradually rolling it out as it works out any remaining bugs. The screenshot tool will be available to all users when Firefox 56 is released at the end of September. If you don’t want to wait, read the groovyPost article to look at how to turn on and use Firefox Screenshots.
http://bit.ly/2yw55Xk

HOW TO RECORD & RUN MACROS TO AUTOMATE TASKS IN WORD – Macros in Microsoft Word allow you to record a series of actions and then execute them with a single click of a button. Microsoft Word Macros are like using Automator on a Mac. They can save you time on actions you perform often in Word. This groovyPost article covers 7 steps to creating and running a Word macro: http://bit.ly/2xphsnM

CCleaner COMPROMISED WITH MALWARE – CCleaner version 5.33 was compromised with malware. Please check to see which version of CCleaner you have on your computer.

Open CCleaner and you will find the version number in the upper left corner on the title bar.

Version 5.33 of the CCleaner app offered for download between August 15 and September 12 was modified to include the Floxif malware, according to a report published by Cisco Talos a few minutes ago. Updating to recent versions removes malware.

Floxif is a malware downloader that gathers information about infected systems and sends it back to its C&C server. The malware also had the ability to download and run other binaries, but at the time of writing, there is no evidence that Floxif downloaded additional second-stage payloads on infected hosts.

The malware collected information such as computer name, a list of installed software, a list of running processes, MAC addresses for the first three network interfaces, and unique IDs to identify each computer in part. Researchers noted that the malware only ran on 32-bit systems. The malware also quit execution if the user was not using an administrator account.

Avast recently bought Piriform – below from Avast CTO:

In an email to Bleeping Computer, Avast CTO Ondrej Vlcek said that updating CCleaner to the most recent recent versions fixes any issues, as “the only malware to remove is the one embedded in the CCleaner binary itself.”

“The affected software (CCleaner v5.33.6162 and CCleaner Cloud v1.07.3191) has been installed on 2.27M machines from its inception up until now,” Vlcek also added. “We believe that these users are safe now as our investigation indicates we were able to disarm the threat before it was able to do any harm.”

“There is no indication or evidence that any additional “malware” has been delivered through the backdoor,” Vlcek added.

Read the complete Bleeping Computer article at: http://bit.ly/2f5XmGX

FORMER GALAXY NOTE 7 OWNERS CAN GET A GREAT DEAL ON A NOTE 8The Galaxy Note 7 was something of a disaster for Samsung. Those fans who put down the better part of a thousand bucks for the flagship phone a year ago were disheartened to learn that their top-of-the-line gadgets had an unusually high chance of melting through their pockets. It was, to put it lightly, a bummer.

But there’s good news for those of you who are still firmly in Samsung’s camp, and who didn’t use your return and refund to go out and buy something equally expensive. Samsung has a fantastic trade-in deal for former Galaxy Note 7 owners, offering $425 off the new Galaxy Note 8 with a valid trade-in phone. Combined with free pre-order accessories, that’s an effective value of well over $500—not a bad way to say “sorry” to those customers who had to bid farewell to their Notes last year. Here’s how to get the best deal and the maximum rebate.

Go to this How-To Geek Web page and find out how to get that savings. http://bit.ly/2gGJJSB

USERS STILL RUNNING WINDOWS 10 VERSION 1511 HAVE UNTIL OCTOBER 2017 TO UPGRADEAnother version of Windows 10 is about to bite the dust; support for version 1511, which was launched in November of 2015, will end October 2017. In early May 2017, Microsoft ended support for version 1507; the first version of Windows 10 released in July of 2015.

Since then, Microsoft has released four feature updates, with the next release expected in September, called the Fall Creators Update or version 1709. Users should expect each feature update to receive 18 months of support before Microsoft require users to be on a current release in order to continue receiving updates and support.

Go to this proovyPost Web page and read the news.  If you have not updated, you will lose support. http://bit.ly/2eE9G4O

 HOW TO TAKE A SCREENSHOT ON ALMOST ANY DEVICE, (INCLUDING YOUR DESKTOP OR LAPTOP)You’re a grownup. You know how to use a computer and a phone. So, when it’s time to show off some portion of your screen, don’t try to take a photo of it—that’s kid’s stuff, and it looks like junk anyway. Just about every modern operating system has some method of saving what’s on your screen, and most of them make it pretty easy. Keep this simple guide bookmarked for every method you’ll ever need.

Go to this How-To Geek Web page and learn how. http://bit.ly/2eybmsX

NO BARS? HERE’S EVERYTHING THAT CAN AFFECT YOUR CELLULAR SIGNAL STRENGTHCell signal is weird. One moment you could have five bars, but walk a few feet and it drops to two. In my house, the signal downstairs is awful, but it’s perfect upstairs. There’s a lot going on with cell reception, so let’s look at some of the main factors that affect it.

Go to this How-To Geek Web page and get informed. http://bit.ly/2eDuM3i

 ANDROID NOUGAT FEATURES AND TIPS YOU NEED TO START USINGAndroid Oreo is coming, but you probably haven’t tried everything in Nougat. Now’s the time.

Google used to produce a rather bare-bones version of Android, counting on OEMs like Samsung and LG to add in all the other cool features people might want. But today’s stock Android is more powerful, more feature-rich, and more attractive without any help from the device makers.

In fact, Google has pushed OEMs to use even more of the basic Android experience without making unnecessary changes. This could mean some awesome features are lurking inside your phone that you don’t even know about. So here are eight cool features inside Nougat (Android 7.0) you’re probably not using.

Go to this PCWorld Web page and read all about the eight cool features. http://bit.ly/2eHlu32

WHICH FILES SHOULD YOU BACK UP ON YOUR WINDOWS PC?Your PC’s hard drive could fail tomorrow, or a software bug could erase your files, so backups are critical. But you don’t need to back up all the files on your PC. That would just waste space and make your backups take longer to complete.

The All-Important Rule of Backups – The most important rule of backups is that any important data should exist in two or more physical locations at once. You cannot create a backup and delete the original. If you do, it’s no longer really a backup. You still have just one copy of your data—you just moved it to a different place.

You might think this is obvious, but you’d be surprised how often we’ve been approached by readers that lost their data after their “backup” drive died.

Go to this How-To Geek Web page and read about the best method for backups. http://bit.ly/2gySVoB

HOW TO GET OUT OF WINDOWS SAFE MODESolutions, Tips and Answers for PC Problems. You went into Windows Safe Mode to fix something, and now you can’t get out. Luckily, you have two emergency exits. Watch the Windows 10 Safe Mode

video at the below Web page for more details.

Go to this PCWorld Web page and get the tips. http://bit.ly/2x8MOkI

GOOGLE MAPS TIPSDon’t take Google’s trusty Maps app for granted. It gets even better once you dig into its settings and start customizing it. Here are some tips to make it even more efficient.

Go to this PCworld Web page and learn the new capabilities for Google Maps. http://bit.ly/2grAKop

AMAZON AND MICROSOFT AGREE THEIR VOICE ASSISTANTS WILL TALK (TO EACH OTHER)Those betting big on AI making voice the dominant user interface of the future are not betting so big as to believe their respective artificially intelligent voice assistants will be the sole vocal oracle that Internet users want or need.

And so, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos announced a tie-up, which will — at an unspecified point later this year — enable users of the latter’s Alexa voice assistant to ask her to summon Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant to ask it to do stuff, and vice versa.

Go to this Techcrunch Web page and read the story. http://tcrn.ch/2elLgsS

HOW TO REMOVE THIRD-PARTY FACEBOOK APPS FROM YOUR ACCOUNT – Logging in with Facebook is a fast and handy way to avoid making a new account and password for every web service under the sun, but that free convenience sometimes comes with a price: access to your data. Companies treasure details of your personal life and the implicit right to send you messages. Read this How-To Geek article to learn how to cut off that connection when you’re done with it. http://bit.ly/2xyI71h

BEST WEB BROWSERS OF 2017: CHROME, EDGE, FIREFOX, AND OPERA GO HEAD-TO-HEAD – It’s important to make sure you’ve always got the best tool for the job; this PC World article looks at the four major (and modern) browsers to see how they stack up in 2017. Interested in checking out their roundup of 10 intriguing alternative browsers? Click on the link in the article. http://bit.ly/2vGxwjp

HOW TO STOP GOOGLE ASSISTANT, SIRI, CORTANA, AND ALEXA ACTIVE LISTENING – The devices don’t record or transmit any data until the digital assistant is activated by the wake word first – in theory anyway. However, convenience and ease of use will trump security and privacy. After all, the selling point is the how simple it is to get things done — hands-free. However, you might want to have more control and kill the active listening on these devices when not in use. Read more at this groovyPost web page: http://bit.ly/2vGUUx7

FEDS STOP USING KASPERSKY ANTIVIRUS OVER REPORTED RUSSIAN CONNECTION; STATES MAY STICK WITH ITHaving an antivirus program and malware prevention suite on your computer is a good idea. A great idea, in fact. Everyone should have one, especially businesses and government agencies. But now one security company, Kaspersky Lab, is under fire for its Russian connections — leaving local, state, and federal agencies figuring out what to do next.

Make up your own mind and read the article at consumerist.com. http://bit.ly/2v3ENO1

HOW TO CALIBRATE A WINDOWS 10 TOUCH SCREEN DEVICE – Microsoft’s Surface line of devices are designed to optimize the Windows 10 touch and pen input capabilities. However, after a period of time, the input accuracy can decline. Also, there are a lot of other touch-enabled two-in-one laptops and hybrid devices from other manufacturers on the market. And not all of them are calibrated with the best touch input accuracy when they leave the factory. That results in swipes and on-screen targets not being as responsive as they should be. See how to improve your experience by calibrating the touch screen in Windows 10.

Go to this groovyPost Web page and get the facts with screen shots. http://bit.ly/2v53eG3

GMAIL FOR ANDROID: TIPS, TRICKS AND SECRETSAndroid’s oldest app still hides some cool secrets. The Gmail app has been on Android literally since the beginning, but it’s gotten much more powerful over the years. Today, the app does so many things, it can be hard to keep track of them all. Now, you don’t have to know everything Gmail can do in order to improve your efficiency, so here are the six most useful Gmail features you probably aren’t using.

Go to this PCworld Web page and get the facts with screen shots. http://bit.ly/2vMg4e4

14 TIPS FOR PUBLIC WI-FI HOTSPOT SECURITYWi-Fi Hotspots can be a hacker’s paradise. Following these basic security tips can mean the difference between safe surfing and an identity-theft or data-loss nightmare. Public Wi-Fi Hotspots can be a hacker’s paradise. Following these basic security tips can mean the difference between safe surfing and an identity-theft or data-loss nightmare.

Go to this PCmag Web page and make yourself safer at Wi-Fi hot spots. http://bit.ly/2fNwqzs

CONNECT YOUR ANDROID PHONE TO WINDOWS 10 WITH “CONTINUE ON PC”Your smartphone today has a ton of computing power, but not everything can be done on it. A lot of times, for complex tasks you need to complete your workflow on a PC. Microsoft understands this, and with the upcoming Fall Creators Update, it’s introducing a new Phone-to-PC linking feature that lets you start work on your phone, and then transition it to your Windows 10 system.

groovyPost has shown how to use Continue on PC with iOS and here’s a look at connecting your Android phone with Windows 10. Note that for this to work you’ll need to be running Build 16251 or above.

Go to this groovyPost Web page and see the step-by-step instructions with screenshots.
http://bit.ly/2vRXsMN

HOW TO SEE A LOG OF EVERYTHING YOU’VE EVER DONE ON FACEBOOK – Facebook keeps an Activity Log of absolutely everything you do—tracking things you like, post, or share on someone’s Timeline. You can view that Activity Log anytime you like.

Go to this How-To Geek Web page and get the information with screen shots. http://bit.ly/2hIteFM

GALAXY S8 BATTERY LIFE TIPS: HOW TO CONTROL BATTERY DRAINIs your Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ draining too fast? These battery-saving tips can help you get a few more hours of use.

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 has a power-saving mode to help the battery last longer. We’ll walk you through setup and some best practices for extending battery life.

Tips for prolonging your Galaxy S8’s battery life

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are two of the best Android smartphones available, but if you’re going to get any use out of features like Bixby Voice and Samsung’s stellar camera, you’ll want to implement a few power-saving strategies.

Fortunately, Samsung bundled in a helpful power-saving mode to keep the Galaxy S8’s battery steadily pumping throughout the day. We’ll teach you how to set it up, as well as how to implement some best practices for prolonging the life of your shiny Samsung phone.

The best part is that you don’t need to download anything to improve the health of your Galaxy S8’s battery. All you have to do is read on.

Go to this PCworld Web page and get the facts. http://bit.ly/2usc5pT

HOW TO LOG IN TO WINDOWS 10 WITH A NON-MICROSOFT cMAIL ADDRESSBy default, Windows 10 asks you to create a Microsoft account when you log in to Windows for the first time. But if you’d prefer to use an email that you actually use for, you know, email, that’s an option too. Windows 10 accepts new non-Microsoft email accounts on setup, and you can create a new Windows user with any email account.

Doing this will get you most of the benefits of using a Microsoft account—like syncing your settings between Windows PCs. But you won’t have to remember an entirely different email address to do it.

Go to this How-To Geek Web page and get the facts. http://bit.ly/2vSgaDm

HOW TO CHANGE THE SIZE OF DESKTOP ICONS AND MORE IN WINDOWS 10In general, Windows 10 does a good job of adapting to the screen resolution of whatever device you are running it on. However, one size doesn’t fit all and you might want the shortcut icons to appear larger. Or maybe there isn’t enough room for everything on your desktop and you’d like to make things smaller. Here’s a look at how to change the size of icons on your desktop and File Explorer.

Go to this groovyPost website and read about the changes you can make. http://bit.ly/2uNWTQM

MANAGE YOUR GOOGLE CALENDAR WITH CORTANA IN WINDOWS 10Windows 10 includes a built-in calendar app, and if you’re a Google Calendar user you might want to connect the two. Maybe you’re using Google for work and Windows for personal activities or vice versa. Here’s a look at integrating your Google Calendar with Windows 10 so you can use Cortana to create and edit appointments.

Go to this groovyPost Web page and find out how. http://bit.ly/2tOOXNH

HOW TO COMPLETELY REMOVE A BOOK FROM YOUR KINDLE LIBRARYYou’ve probably been happily reading eBbooks on your Kindle (or the Kindle app) for years, accruing a nice digital library full of interesting titles. But what if, for some reason, someone else needs to see that library of yours…and there are some items within that you’d rather they didn’t? Say, perhaps, one of those steamy romance novels that makes up a massive 34% of fiction sales in US?

Don’t worry, dear reader. We’re not here to judge your taste in fiction. But if for some reason you want to scrub your Amazon Kindle library clean of any not-so-family-friendly novels, here’s how to do it.

Go to this How-To Geek Web page and get the information. http://bit.ly/2u9SXYQ

HOW TO AVOID TOLL ROADS IN GOOGLE MAPSNo one likes to pay to be able to drive on a specific road, especially if you’re just passing through. Thankfully, Google Maps has an easy way to bypass toll roads when using navigation.

Aside from just toll roads, Maps can also bypass highways if you’d prefer the scenic route, and avoid ferries if that can be a problem where you live. The only issue here is that avoiding these modern conveniences will almost definitely increase your mileage and drive time, but if you’re okay with that (and plan ahead) then it’s definitely worth the extra hassle to make your day a little bit better.

Go to this How-To Geek webpage and get the step by step with screen shots. http://bit.ly/2wboNp9

HOW TO PROPERLY TEST 911 SERVICES ON YOUR CELL PHONERecently, OnePlus owners got a scare when users discovered the new OnePlus 5 would reboot upon trying to call to 911 emergency services. Other Android users then showed up to say the same thing happened to them—many on non-OnePlus phones. The last thing you need is for your phone to not work when you need it most, so here’s the right way to test 911 services on your phone to make sure it actually works.

Before we get into it, however, I want to point out that OnePlus is aware of the 911 issue and is reportedly sending a fix. So if you’re a OnePlus 5 owner, make sure you always have the latest software. This is exactly why you should always have the latest software on any device you use, regardless of manufacturer. Automatic updates save lives!

But if this whole mess has gotten the ol’ noodle wondering if you’d have that issue on your phone, then the time to address that curiosity isn’t when an emergency happens—it’s right now.

Go to this How-To Geek Web page and get the step-by-step procedure to check out your 911 call from your cell phone. http://bit.ly/2vINtWE

WHAT’S NEW IN WINDOWS 10’S FALL CREATORS UPDATE, ARRIVING SEPTEMBER 2017Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update, code named Redstone 3, will be released in September 2017. Here are all the new features you’ll see in the latest version of Windows—and some big, splashy features Microsoft announced that never arrived.

This post was originally written based on features Microsoft announced at its BUILD 2017 event on May 11. It’s been updated with features added up to Insider Build 16241, released on July 13. There will be many more new features and small changes that make Windows better to use, just as there were in previous updates. We’ll learn about those through the Insider Previews released between now and September, so check back with this post for more useful, smaller, geeky features.

Go to this How-To Geek webpage and get a jump on things to come with the next Windows 10 Update. http://bit.ly/2h295dx

HOW (AND WHY) TO DISABLE 2.4GHz WI-FI ON YOUR NETWORK AND USE 5GHz – Technology is an odd duck: in less than 20 years, Wi-Fi has gone from an amazing (and expensive) luxury to an assumed inclusion in every device you own. And yet, there’s plenty of room for improvement…which is why you should consider disabling the old 2.4GHz band on your home’s Wi-Fi network and using the newer, faster, less crowded 5GHz band exclusively.

Why? Let’s break it down. Go to this How-To Geek Web page and get the facts. http://bit.ly/2h375Sq

13 SECRET CODES THAT UNLOCK HIDDEN FEATURES ON YOUR PHONEThe USSD protocol allows you to access hidden features you didn’t know about right from your smartphone’s dialer. But there is some trickiness you’ll need to know about.

The USSD protocol allows you to access hidden features you didn’t know about right from your smartphone’s dialer. But there is some trickiness you’ll need to know about.

Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD)—sometimes known as “quick codes” or “feature codes”—is an extra-UI protocol, which allows people to access hidden features. This protocol was originally created for GSM phones, but can be found on CDMA devices as well (if that’s a bunch of acronym gibberish to you, here’s a quick primer).

Go to this PCmag website and learn about the different codes. http://bit.ly/2w0DVpC

GOOGLE’S SEARCH PAGE IS ABOUT TO CHANGE FOREVER – Google’s homepage on the web – which has pretty much always been a sparse white page with a simple logo and search box – is about to become very different, as the company intends to populate it with a personalized newsfeed, Facebook-style.

The new look is set to replicate the Google mobile app, which witnessed the introduction of such a feed for both news and event (appointments, travel info and so forth) updates at the end of last year.

Go to this Techradar Web page and real the news. http://bit.ly/2uiMkoN

SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 8 RELEASE DATE, NEWS AND RUMORS – Update: The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 launch date has been confirmed to be August 23, and new renders appear to gives a full look at the new phablet.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the biggest comeback story in phones following all of the disastrous Galaxy Note 7 battery failures last year.

And now that our Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus reviews are up, we’re focused on what next for Samsung’s S Pen-equipped smartphone and its launch date.

Go to this Techradar Web page and read the predictions. http://bit.ly/2uiu12H

MICROSOFT CUTS OFF WINDOWS 10 CREATORS UPDATE FROM SOME OLDER DEVICES – No Windows 10 Creators Update for you, Microsoft says—at least, not if you happen to be the unlucky owner of certain older Atom-based Windows devices, and other aging models in the future. After stories arose of failed attempts to upgrade such hardware to the Creators Update, Microsoft confirmed late Wednesday that any hardware device that falls out of the manufacturer’s support cycle may be ineligible for future Windows 10 updates.

In the case of the four “Clover Trail” processors (part of the Cloverview platform) that have fallen into Intel’s End of Interactive Support phase, they will be ineligible for the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft confirmed. Instead, they’ll simply be offered the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, plus security updates through January, 2023, the end of the original Windows 8.1 support period.

Go to this PCworld web site and get the facts. http://bit.ly/2tncFRb

FREE Microsoft eBook Giveaway by Microsoft Director of Sales Excellence Eric Ligman. Largest FREE Microsoft eBook Giveaway! He is Giving Away MILLIONS of FREE Microsoft eBooks again. http://bit.ly/2vccysX

HOW TO TAKE A SCREENSHOT ON ANY ANDROID PHONE – No matter what phone you have, we’ll help you figure out the easiest way to snap the screen.

Every Android phone is different, and so is taking screenshots with them. Even though Android 4 introduced simple screenshots for all with the handy power-and-volume-down-key combo, nailing it can still be tricky. That’s why some phone makers have introduced new methods. We’re here to help: Just find your Android phone on the list below to learn the various ways to snap, share, and save a screenshot.

Go to this PC World webpage and get the steps. http://bit.ly/2tXQtyc

MICROSOFT WORD’S DESKTOP PUBLISHING TOOLS – Smarter, faster ways to get things done. Better graphics, better features, more options. Microsoft Word has come a long way since the “pre-Windows, non-mouse” versions used between 1983 to 1990. Back then, there were NO graphics, not even a graphical user interface. The Word 1.0 for Windows 3.0 version was a notable improvement, but then it took two decades for Microsoft to figure out how to integrate quality graphics successfully.

Insert images from a hard drive or other source. Now, with Word’s many amazing graphical improvements, our jobs are much easier, plus you don’t need a separate desktop publishing program anymore. Word 2016 can now adequately fulfill that task.

Go to this PC World web site and get the step by step procedures with screen shots on the graphics available in Word 2016. http://bit.ly/2v4PyMv

CLOUD COMPUTING – GOOGLE BACKUP AND SYNC LETS YOU BACK UP EVERYTHING ON YOUR PC – Whatever digital data you have on whatever device, Google has a new way for automatically backing up those files in the cloud: Backup and Sync. Announced last month, the new backup service, available to anyone with a Google account, combines the capabilities of two previous Google apps: the Mac or PC app for the cloud-based data storage service Google Drive and the desktop uploader Google Photos.

The new Backup and Sync, which Google said yesterday was now live for most users, is an app for both Mac and PC that also backs up data on any device regularly connected to a desktop, including phones, digital cameras, and SD cards. Users can specify which folders on their desktops to automatically and continuously back up, while USB devices and SD cards can be backed up and synced when they’re connected to desktops.

Go to this cio-today.com Web page and get the facts. http://bit.ly/2tWlqEw

MICROSOFT BOOSTS RANSOMWARE DEFENSES FOR WINDOWS 10 – Users of newer, patch-supported versions of the Windows operating system aren’t the only ones to receive security updates aimed at protecting them against ransomware attacks such as last month’s WannaCry. Citing the “elevated risk for destructive cyberattacks at this time,” Microsoft said yesterday it’s also making those updates available to customers with older versions of Windows no longer supported with regular patches.

Also known as WannaCrypt, the WannaCry ransomware attack hit computer systems around the world that are still using outdated software like Windows XP and Windows 7. Among the organizations affected were FedEx and the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS).

Go to this cio-today.com Web page and read the facts. http://bit.ly/2ujEqLt

WINDOWS 10 WILL USE PROTECTED FOLDERS TO THWART CRYPTO RANSOMWARE – Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (the next major update of Microsoft’s popular OS) is scheduled to be released in September, and will come with major new end-to-end security features.

As announced last week, the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) is making a partial comeback, along with new vulnerability mitigations, in a new feature called Windows Defender Exploit Guard.

“Using intelligence from the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph (ISG), Exploit Guard comes with a rich set of intrusion rules and policies to protect organizations from advanced threats, including zero day exploits. The inclusion of these built-in rules and policies addresses one of the key challenges with host intrusion prevention solutions which often takes significant expertise and development efforts to make effective,” the company explained.

Windows Defender Application Guard is designed to isolate threats like downloaded malware from the rest of the corporate network, and Windows Defender Device Guard, integrated with Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection will allow the automated management of the safe application lists

The latest Windows 10 build (16232) for PC has also brought improvements aimed at stopping ransomware from encrypting users’ important files.

Help is on the way!

MANUALLY INSTALL STANDALONE AND CUMULATIVE UPDATES AND VIRUS DEFINITIONS IN WINDOWS 10 – For any Windows 10 PC—be it in an office, a home, a school, or a government institution—there are endless Windows Updates to install. Microsoft has gone to great lengths to make this process unobtrusive. In fact, for most home users with steady internet connections, Windows Updates are installed automatically with little to no input from the user. In an ideal world, this is how updates would go for everyone.

. For reasons technological and logistical, you may not be able to get on board with set-it-and-forget-it automatic Windows Updates. Microsoft has made welcome update service improvements that make installing Windows Updates require fewer resources and install faster. Still, there are times when you might need to install updates manually.

Go to this groovyPost web page and read all about it. http://bit.ly/2v3eNxW

HOW TO UNSEND A GMAIL MESSAGE WITH UNDO SEND – Have you ever found yourself in the embarrassing situation where you sent an inappropriate email in haste to your boss or to the wrong contact? Or, maybe you inadvertently forwarded a distasteful message or image to the wrong individual thanks to the autofill feature. If you deal with hundreds of emails every day it’s an easy mistake to make.

But what if you’re using Gmail for your personal communications and need to recall a message? No worries, Google has you covered with the Undo Send feature.

Go to this groovyPost Web page and get the details. http://bit.ly/2u07vy6

HOW TO PERFORM A REPAIR UPGRADE IN WINDOWS 10 – When your Windows 10 installation gets funky or slow, you will try anything to get it fixed: system file checker, DISM, check disk just to name a few. Usually, the last resort ends up being a clean install, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. We all know, Microsoft’s reinstall options for Windows 10 include Start Fresh, Reset and a clean install from setup media such as DVD or USB. But another handy option is the Repair Upgrade.

What exactly is a repair upgrade though?

It is simply a way to perform a fresh install of Windows 10 without deleting your apps, files, and settings. In this article, we take a quick run through the process of performing a repair upgrade.

Go to this groovyPost Web page article and get the facts. http://bit.ly/2tzzN1t

THE BEST PASSWORD MANAGERS OF 2017 – Everyone Needs a Password Manager – once you start one, you will love it.

Are you oppressed by passwords? You know that you should use a different password for every website, and that each one should be strong and un-guessable, but it’s just so hard! Fortunately, you can get help with declaring your independence from the tyranny of passwords. Just install a password manager, and help it learn all your existing logins. Then go through and start upgrading those passwords so that each is a different, random collection of characters. The software should help you by generating those new passwords for you. PCMag has evaluated dozens of password managers to help you make an informed choice.

Go to this pcmag.com web page and get started. http://bit.ly/2sH79Zq

SHOULD I BUY A CHROMEBOOK? BUYING GUIDE AND ADVICE – A Chromebook is a laptop of a different breed. Instead of Windows 10 or macOS, Chromebooks run Google’s Chrome OS. (Operating System) These machines are designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, with most applications and documents living in the cloud. These machines have done quite well in the education market, but their appeal has broadened. Low prices, long battery life and ease of use are just a few reasons why Chromebooks are attractive. Chromebooks outsold Macs for the first time in 2016, and Gartner is predicting that Chromebook sales will grow by 16.3 percent in 2017.

But is a Chromebook right for you? Laptop Mag’s Chromebook buying guide has the answers to these and other questions. Go to this laptopmag.com web site and read one opinion: http://bit.ly/2tgwLQN 

GOOGLE TO STOP SCANNING GMAIL MESSAGES TO SERVE UP ADS – Google apparently has enough data about your online activity to serve you targeted ads without its controversial email-scanning program.

 Google already knows so much about you that it has decided it no longer needs to read your emails in order to serve up targeted advertisements.

That’s not to say Gmail will now be ad-free: the search giant simply announced on Friday that it is bringing its email service in line with the rest of its free consumer web services, which display ads based on your search history, YouTube viewing history, and a wealth of other data Google collects about your online activity. Go to the PCMag.com website and read the entire article. http://bit.ly/2tdoZ9v

ADOBE SCAN TURNS ANY PHYSICAL DOCUMENT INTO AN EDITABLE PDF – A free mobile app released by Adobe yesterday lets users photograph documents of any kind using their smartphones or tablets and turn them into PDF documents that can be edited, shared, and searched. 

Available for iOS and Android devices, the Adobe Scan app  cleans up photo images of documents using Adobe’s Sensei artificial intelligence service. Through Adobe’s optical character recognition tool, the Scan app can also convert photographed text into digital text that can be annotated using the Adobe Document Cloud’s Acrobat or Acrobat Reader. Go to this cio-today.com web site and read the rest of the story. http://bit.ly/2si4Vi0

8 EASY WAYS TO MAKE YOUR ANDROID PHONE LESS ANNOYING – Smartphone frustrations can snowball and add real stress to your day. Here are eight quick and simple things you can do to make your life a bit easier.

(Note: There are many versions of Android; these tips were tested on a Galaxy S7 Edge and Nexus 7 tablet, both running 7.0 Nougat.) Go to this pcmag.com web site and get to the 8 different things you can do. http://bit.ly/2thSY0F 

 WHAT’S NEW AND IMPROVED IN THE WINDOWS 10 SETTINGS APP? – Once upon a time, tweaking and configuring Windows was done entirely through the Control Panel. Then, along came Windows 8, which introduced the more streamlined and intuitive Settings app. The Settings app organizes various Windows system settings and user preferences into navigable categories with a much more modern interface. 

In Windows 10, Microsoft has continued to improve the Settings app by adding new settings and refining others. The Anniversary Update saw the most improvements and the Creators Update takes it even further. Not only are there more options to customize Windows 10, but new categories make it easier to find and access settings; and even more are coming in the next revision called the Fall Creators Update. In this article, we take a step back and review some of the significant changes over the past two years. Go to this groovypost.com web site to see some screenshots and read all about it. http://bit.ly/2udc5oU 

WHAT IT WILL TAKE FOR CYBERSECURITY TO BECOME COMMON SENSE – Changing your password needs to become like washing your hands after using the bathroom — a habit. We’re a long way off from that. Look both ways before you cross the street. Wash your hands before leaving the bathroom. Put a seat belt on when you get in the car. Don’t eat the yellow snow. These are all common-sense tips for safety that people have learned, whether from parents or one really embarrassing moment in the winter. But when it comes to cybersecurity, common sense is rare. Thanks to Jim Fromm, the Hawaii group’s editor/webmaster, for sending this CNET article. Take the test to see how you compare to the average American. Read more at: http://cnet.co/2teQFLR

6 GREAT ANDROID FEATURES MISSING FROM iOS 11 – Sure, iOS 11 looks cool, but Android’s still cooler in some key ways. Call me (author Ben Patterson) a flip-flopper, but the new features in iOS 11 have me thinking of jumping back to iOS after switching to Android barely a year ago.

Indeed, the new version of iOS brings such enticing features as a revamped App Store, a customizable Control Center, and drag-and-drop for iPad users, plus such catch-up features as one-handed typing and easy person-to-person payments.

But returning to iOS would mean leaving behind many Android features I’ve grown to love, from the ability to set up multiple user profiles to one-touch Google searches on whatever’s onscreen at a given moment. Read the PCWorld by IDG article for six awesome Android features that iOS 11 has yet to match.  http://bit.ly/2t2dp0F

HOW TO BACK UP ALL YOUR PHOTOS WITH AMAZON’S PRIME PHOTOSMillions of people are Amazon Prime subscribers, but many of them don’t realize that in addition to free shipping and Prime Instant Video, they also get unlimited photo storage for all their computers and mobile devices.

We’ve been encouraging people to get more out of their Amazon account by taking advantage of all the extra features—and unlimited photo storage is definitely a feature that Prime subscribers should take advantage of. Even if you already have a total PC backup system in place, or you’re taking advantage of another type of backup service for your photos like iCloud, we’d still encourage you to take advantage of Prime Photo storage—after all, you’ve already paid for it, and you can never have your irreplaceable photos backed up in too many places.

Thanks to a combination of manual upload through the Prime Photos site, the Amazon Drive + Photos app for Windows and Mac computers, and mobile apps for iOS and Android, it’s absolutely trivial to get your photos into Prime Photo and keep them up to date. Let’s take a look at each method, starting with the no-software-needed manual way.

Go to this HowtoGeek website and get the picture. (Bad Pun) http://bit.ly/2svdoSsJTT

10 COMMAND LINE TIPS EVERY WINDOWS 10 USER SHOULD KNOW (ADVANCED USERS) –  In this day and age, many users would probably say they have no reason to be exploring a command prompt; especially with all the richness of the graphical user interface (GUI) advancements over the past 20 years.

True, but it doesn’t hurt to collect a few tricks or more, especially for those times you might be in a tight spot.

The command line is an interface that provides all the same facilities as those found in the GUI. In fact, for many years, this is how users operated a computer; it was just a fact of life. Once you get comfortable with the command line, you may even prefer it to the GUI for some tasks.

Command Line Operations in Windows 10 Every User Should Know. Our psyche has been so greatly changed by the power of the GUI, for many of us, the command line can feel primitive. But it shouldn’t and that’s why we are going learn some fun ways you can use it to perform some of the same tasks you normally do using point and click.  Command line operations come in handy when you want to create scripts and automation tasks, too.

Before we begin, check out our previous article for instructions how to find and open the Command Prompt. https://www.groovypost.com/howto/find-restore-open-command-prompt-windows-10/  Some of these commands call for administrator privileges, so, that’s a good way to start off our adventure.

Go to this Groovypost.com website and read the entire article with screenshots. http://bit.ly/2tynz77JTT

40 POPULAR TOURIST SCAMS EVERY TRAVELER SHOULD KNOW ABOUTThese are some of the scams that are covered in this Senior Safety Online article: On the Street – The dropped wallet, the Photographer, the Music Artist; Travelling – Drop and Swap, Overnight Bus, Train pickpockets; Shops and Services – Slow counting, Fake Policeman, Fake Ticket; Locals and Children – Overly Helpful Local, Map Seller, Broken Camera; At the Hotel – Fake Front Desk Call, Fake Takeaway Menu. All of these scams and more can be found at: http://bit.ly/2tAB4mM

WHAT DOES LOOKING UNDER THE HOOD OF YOUR BROWSER REVEAL ABOUT YOU? – Imagine you’re running a nonprofit site dedicated to keeping seniors safe online. You write articles about conmen bilking people out of their life savings, romance scams, identity theft and the like.

One day, somebody recommends a chat app called Tawk that enables you to respond in real time when your visitors write in with questions. The price is right, particularly for a nonprofit: it is, in fact, free.

All you have to do is copy a simple line of JavaScript into the HTML of your website, and you’re off and running: the chat widget starts working instantly. Read more of this naked security by SOPHOS article at: http://bit.ly/2rHBypI

SKYPE OUTAGE TO BLAME ON ‘DDOS ATTACK’, HACKING GROUP CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITYThe Skype outage first began on Monday, and problems have continued into Wednesday. Microsoft hasn’t said much about it, but did say on its website earlier this week that Skype was suffering from connectivity problems. Beware – Steam might be next. Read more of the Inquirer article at: http://bit.ly/2rWftTz

THE 11 MOST INTRIGUING FALL CREATORS UPDATE FEATURES IN WINDOWS 10 BUILD 16215Microsoft just revealed a service pack’s worth of additions as part of Windows 10 Build 16215: dictation, predictive typing, a “Find My Pen” mode, full-screen Microsoft Edge, and tons more. Microsoft’s blog post lists dozens of changes, so PC World picked 11 especially cool features you definitely need to know about. Read more at: http://bit.ly/2sAW7Ix

WINDOWS DEFENDER ANTIVIRUS IN THE WINDOWS DEFENDER SECURITY CENTER APPIn Windows 10, version 1703 (also known as the Creators Update), the Windows Defender app is now part of the Windows Defender Security Center.

Settings that were previously part of the Windows Defender client and main Windows Settings have been combined and moved to the new app, which is installed by default as part of Windows 10, version 1703.

All of the previous functions and settings from the Windows Defender app (in versions of Windows 10 before version 1703) are now found in the new Windows Defender Security Center app. Settings that were previously located in Windows Settings under Update & security > Windows Defender are also now in the new app.

Go to this docs.microsoft.com web page and read about the updated security setting app.; http://bit.ly/2rkoDK4JTT

12 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO BEFORE INSTALLING WINDOWS 10 CREATORS UPDATE (VERSION 1703)The “Spring 2017” Windows 10 Creators Update has been released. This is the second major revision of the operating system since 2015. Microsoft has put an immense amount of work into making sure Windows 10 updates happen smoothly. But inevitably, there are a handful of users who experience difficulty during the upgrade. This is due to the millions of configurations that exist and the complexity of making a product like Windows 10 work on the vast majority of them.

If you haven’t upgraded, this post shows you a few things to do in advance. Some of these are simple safeguards that everyone should do. Others are more conservative measures that might only be worth your time if your Windows 10 PC is mission critical.

In this guide, we’ll walk through: backing up your data, creating recovery media, and disabling software and hardware that might interfere with the upgrade. Use this guide for reference for what you need to do to make sure the Windows 10 Creators Update goes off without a hitch.

Before You Begin: Am I Eligible to Upgrade?

Go to this groovypost website and get the 12 things to do that will ensure you a better update of the Creators edition of Windows 10.; http://bit.ly/2rzONrGJTT

MICROSOFT ELIMINATES PASSWORDS FOR SIGNING INTO ONLINE SERVICES – HERE’S HOW TO SET IT UP!Microsoft is enhancing its approach to two-factor authentication and looking beyond the password as a means of security and identification. With our smartphones now a mechanical extension of our physical being (I know… depressing isn’t it), the mobile device is likely the safest way to sign into your accounts. That’s exactly what Microsoft has done using its Authenticator app, which we looked at previously. Now, instead of having to remember a complex password; you can ditch the password altogether and use your phone to log into all your Microsoft accounts and services.

Use Your Phone to Sign Into Microsoft Services – Users will need to have the free Microsoft Authenticator app for iOS or Android installed. If you already have an account setup in the app, then all you need to do is Enable Phone sign in.

Go to this groovypost website to read all about it.: http://bit.ly/2tqWh1IJTT

The Microsoft Authenticator lets you quickly and securely verify your identity online, for all of your accounts. A variety of features are available for all types of accounts.

Two-step verification: Two-step verification helps protect your account by providing an extra layer of security beyond simply your password. Here’s how it works – when signing in, after entering your password, you’ll be asked for an additional way to prove it’s really you. Either approve the notification sent to the Microsoft Authenticator, or enter the verification code generated by the app. With this feature, even if someone manages to find your password, they’ll be stopped if they don’t have access to your phone too.

Phone sign-in: Introducing phone sign-in for personal Microsoft accounts! After enrolling your account through the app, you can sign in to your account with only your phone. Just approve the notification sent to the Microsoft Authenticator after entering your username. Available on most Android devices.

Device registration: Some organizations require that you register your device before accessing certain files, emails, or apps. This way, they know that the sign-in request is coming from a trusted device. This can easily be completed through the app.

This app replaces the Azure Authenticator, Microsoft account, and Multi-Factor Authentication apps.

Enroll in our beta program! Follow this link for an early preview of our latest updates: https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.azure.authenticator

Go to this groovypost web page to find out how to use the Microsoft Authenticator App.:

http://bit.ly/2ssYhJrJTT

ONELOGIN SUFFERS DATA BREACH, AGAIN – OneLogin, a popular single sign-on service that allows users to access thousands of popular cloud-based apps with just one password, has suffered what seems to be a serious data breach.

According to a short blog post by the company’s Chief Information Security Officer Alvaro Hoyos, they discovered the breach when, on Wednesday, they detected unauthorized access to OneLogin data in their US data region.

“We have since blocked this unauthorized access, reported the matter to law enforcement, and are working with an independent security firm to determine how the unauthorized access happened and verify the extent of the impact of this incident,” Hoyos noted, and added that impacted customers have been notified via email and provided with specific recommended remediation steps.

Go to this Helpnetsecurity web page and read all about it if you use Onelogin. http://bit.ly/2tibYrHJTT

WHAT TO DO WHEN WINDOWS WON’T BOOT – You turn on your computer one day and Windows refuses to boot—what do you do? “Windows won’t boot” is a common symptom with a variety of causes, so you’ll need to perform some troubleshooting.

Modern versions of Windows are better at recovering from this sort of thing. Where Windows XP might have stopped in its tracks when faced with this problem, modern versions of Windows will try to automatically run Startup Repair.

Go to this How-to Geek web page and read about what you can do to get things back to normal.
http://bit.ly/2sYEqQaJTT

AMAZON JUST DISCOUNTED ECHO, KINDLE AND MORE FOR FATHER’S DAY Login into your amazon account and check it out.

MICROSOFT SHOWS OFF BIG CHANGES FOR WINDOWS 10 – Released yesterday, the latest developer preview build for Microsoft’s Windows 10 brings a large number of changes to the operating system. New features include a more easily resizeable user interface for the Start menu and Action Center, the ability to pin favorite Web sites and other improvements to the Edge Web browser, Cortana intelligent digital assistant, and a pen-based handwriting experience.

Other improvements arriving with this preview are a new panel for quicker and easier selection of emojis, new phone keyboard-like experiences for PCs, and a one-touch microphone button for desktop dictation in English or Chinese.

Go to this cio-today.com web page to get a look at what is in the future for Windows 10. http://bit.ly/2skvNl4

HOW A SUPREME COURT RULING ON PRINTER CARTRIDGES CHANGES WHAT IT MEANS TO BUY ALMOST ANYTHING – Last week, the Supreme Court dealt a major blow to corporations that try to use patent law as a weapon against other firms, saying that companies can only be sued for patent infringement in the places they actually do business. Now, the Court has ruled again along those same lines, handing a victory to consumer groups in a case about printer cartridges — or more specifically, toner cartridges, the kind used by laser printers. Thanks to Lou Torraca, MOAA User Group in Hawaii for the link. Read more of the Washington Post article at: http://tinyurl.com/y7ev245x

WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T DOWNLOAD THESE APPS – THEY’RE HIDING MALWARE! – Do you play games? How about your grandkids? Usually, Google’s official Play Store is the safest source for Android apps but as evidenced by the recent massive Judy malware campaign, unscrupulous developers sometimes find ways to smuggle malware through official apps and circumvent Google’s screening process.

Two Google Play apps that appear to be innocent games were discovered to be hiding pesky malware and you should delete them immediately. Read more about these apps in the 5/31/17 Kim Komando article (link below). Don’t forget to click on the massive Judy malware campaign link in the article to see more games with malware. (I think I’m going to change my first name—Judy Taylour 😊)
http://bit.ly/2rlzzYY

WATCH OUT! TECH SUPPORT SCAMS EXPLOITING WORLDWIDE RANSOMWARE SCARE – It’s been less than two weeks since WannaCry ransomware started creating havoc all over the globe. It infected hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries in a very short period of time. This ransomware campaign was especially scary in the way that it spread. Scammers have started sending out fake tech-support warnings, piggybacking on fears from WannaCry. How the scam works is, victims see a pop-up warning on their computer that’s supposedly from Microsoft tech-support. The pop-up message claims that the user’s gadget has been infected with WannaCry ransomware.

Read more by Mark Jones, Komando.com: http://bit.ly/2qpiScX

HOW FAST WILL IDENTITY THIEVES USE STOLEN INFO? – If you’ve been affected by a data breach, or otherwise had your information hacked or stolen, you’ve probably asked yourself, “What happens when my stolen information is made public?” At the FTC’s Identity Theft workshop this morning (5/24), our Office of Technology staff reported on research they did to find out. Read more at: http://bit.ly/2rTYRw8

12 ANDROID APPS WIN 2017 GOOGLE PLAY AWARDS The results are in for the second annual Google Play Awards, the company’s new tradition to honor excellence in the world of Android apps.

Go to this PC World website and see the list with descriptions.: http://bit.ly/2pWFbeRJTT

MICROSOFT REDESIGNS ONENOTE UI (USER INTERFACE) to make it more universally accessible – OneNote is changing to benefit users with vision and mobility impairments, Microsoft announced Thursday. The redesign will place navigation on the left-hand rail, where screen readers and Microsoft’s own Narrator will find it more accessible. The redesign will apply to what Microsoft calls the Windows 10 Universal Windows Platform (UWP) version of OneNote, as well as the versions for iOS and Android, the Mac, and the Web.

Go to this PC World webpage to read all about it. http://bit.ly/2qEXVi1JTT

HOW TO DIAGNOSE YOUR CAR’S CHECK ENGINE LIGHT (WITHOUT GOING TO A MECHANIC), but using your Cell Phone and an App – The Check Engine light on your car is both useful and infuriating. You know something is wrong (which is good!), but you don’t know what. Rather than taking your car all the way down to your mechanic, you can get a pretty good idea what’s wrong with your car with a simple OBD-II adapter. Every car sold in the US after 1996 has an OBD-II port that you can use to connect your car to your phone. This is the same port that a mechanic will connect to in order to find out what’s wrong with your car when the Check Engine light comes on. For a long time, you needed special hardware to use it, but cheap Bluetooth OBD-II adapters (and your cell phone) have made it easy to do it yourself.

There are several ways to diagnose your check engine light, but we’re going to use an app called Dash. This app lets you store important information about your car, track your driving and, as a bonus, diagnose check engine lights. It’s available for Android and iOS, so download it before moving on. If you’ve never used an OBD-II adapter before, check out our guide here to get set up.

Go to this How-to-Geek website and get all the info.: http://bit.ly/2q6MThIJTT

The OBD II adapter is available at Amazon.com.

HOW TO DEAL WITH BAD PHOTOS ON FACEBOOKNot everyone is model pretty and capable of posing perfectly on a split second’s notice. For most mere mortals, photographs can be a risky business. If you’re caught mid-word, after a few drinks or, God forbid, while you’re dancing, no amount of work in Photoshop can ever save the photo.

While most of the time these pictures are fairly harmless fun, if it’s a really bad photo (or perhaps you’re trying to curate a specific professional image) then you might need to do something about it. Here’s what to do if someone else posts a bad photo of you on Facebook.

Go to this How-to-Geek website and read all about it.: http://bit.ly/2q6VCR3JTT

GOOGLE HOME GETS HANDS-FREE CALLING AND 6 OTHER COOL NEW FEATURESGoogle’s answer to the Amazon Echo and Dot equals Google Home. Google’s A.I.(artificial-intelligence) speaker gets hands-free calling, proactive assistance, and HBONow support, among other interesting tricks.

Google Home is barely six months old, and Google is piling on new features. On Wednesday at its I/O developer conference in Mountain View, the company announced upgrades focused on personalizing your interactions and making them hands-free. Presented by Rishi Chandra, Google’s Vice President for Home Products, the new features leapfrog Amazon’s popular Echo assistant in some ways, while in other ways Google is just catching up. Here’s what Google revealed:

Go to this PC World web site and get the latest information: http://bit.ly/2rCv0ZNJTT

What is Google Home? – is a voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant. … A simple voice request triggers Google Home to play music, podcasts or radio from services like Google Play Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, Pandora and TuneIn.

GOOGLE’S SMART REPLY FOR GMAIL may make automated replies sound less canned – Google is making it easier for people to dash off a quick email reply from Gmail on their smartphones. The Smart Reply feature, which offers a handful of contextually-aware, computer-generated responses, is coming to Google’s flagship email app for iOS and Android, the company announced at its I/O developer conference Wednesday.

The feature provides users with three machine-generated responses, based on the content of whatever message the user is replying to. It’s built using machine learning, and is designed for use with smartphones, so that people on the go can dash off a reply to their correspondence partners without much effort.

At first, Smart Reply will be available globally in English for users of the Gmail app for iOS and Android. In the coming weeks, Google will also make it available for users who write in Spanish, with other languages coming after that.

Go to this PC World website and read all about it.: http://bit.ly/2r3r9rNJTT

TWITTER ROLLS OUT NEW PRIVACY TOOLS as it ditches Do Not Track and expands data sharing – Privacy conscious Twitter users have some check boxes to de-select. Twitter is dumping its support for Do Not Track (DNT), changing how it shares user data with third parties, and holding any web browsing data it collects for a longer duration—all to better aid in ad targeting, of course. But, at the same time, Twitter is giving users more control over what kind of user data can be used for targeted advertising, as well as more transparency about the information it collects about you.

The privacy features are active now, but the new privacy policies that dump DNT, change data sharing policies, and hold your data longer don’t come into effect until June 18. Here’s a look at what’s going on.

Go to this PC World Web site and get all the new features and setting for your Twitter account: http://bit.ly/2qFaD0eJTT

MEDICARE SCAM ALERT: New Medicare cards are on the way – Changes are coming to your Medicare card. By April 2019, your card will be replaced with one that no longer shows your Social Security number. Instead, your card will have a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) that will be used for billing and for checking your eligibility and claim status. And it will all happen automatically – you won’t have to pay anyone or give anyone information, no matter what someone might tell you. Read more of the blog post by Andrew Johnson, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC, at: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/new-medicare-cards-are-way

WHAT’S NEW IN WINDOWS 10’S FALL CREATORS UPDATE, ARRIVING SEPTEMBER 2017 – I imagine many of us still don’t have the Spring Creators Update; here’s info by Chris Hoffman, How-to Geek, about the next Creators Update release.  

Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update, codenamed Redstone 3, will be released in September 2017. Here are all the new features Microsoft announced at its BUILD 2017 event on May 11. There will be many more new features and small changes that make Windows better to use, just as there were in previous updates. We’ll learn about those through the Insider Previews released between now and September, so check back with this post for more useful, smaller, geeky features. http://bit.ly/2qdcQiM

MICROSOFT ISSUES WANACRYPT PATCH FOR WINDOWS 8, XP – Microsoft Corp. today (5/13) took the unusual step of issuing security updates to address flaws in older, unsupported versions of Windows — including Windows XP and Windows 8. The move is a bid to slow the spread of the WanaCrypt ransomware strain that infected tens of thousands of Windows computers virtually overnight this week. Read more of the Krebs on Security article at: http://bit.ly/2pxiihJ

PASS IT ON: TECH SUPPORT SCAMS – Earlier today (May 12), the FTC announced a bunch of cases against tech support scammers: the people who act like there’s a problem with your computer and then try to convince you to fork over money to fix – ahem – “fix” it. Except there never was a problem, and they weren’t really from tech support. Read the rest of this post by Jennifer Leach, Assistant Director, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC at: http://bit.ly/2qCMQPq

AVOID A TECH TRAP – I will drive for a week with my car’s Check Engine light blinking, but if a security warning shows up on my computer, I act immediately. Scammers have been taking advantage of people like me, who care about computer security. They ran operations in the US and overseas that used pop-up messages and phone calls to convince people their computers needed fixing. The callers pitched unnecessary — and sometimes harmful — tech support services that cost people time and money. The FTC announced four new cases against these operations today, and — along with its state, federal and international partners — launched a national and international effort to stop these scams and get money back to the victims. Read the rest of this post by Bridget Small, FTC Consumer Education Specialist, at: http://bit.ly/2puQXfW

PRIVACY AWARENESS WEEK: A TIME TO LEARN – Privacy Awareness Week is May 8-12, 2017. It’s an annual initiative of the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities Forum that combines the efforts of privacy agencies in the region to share information about privacy practices and rules. If you’ve been following this blog, you know the FTC has tips on how to secure your routers, IP cameras and ‘Internet of Things’ devices, protecting them from hackers and malware attacks. We’ve also reminded you about steps to take to control online tracking by advertisers, as well as how to protect your personal information when connecting mobile devices to a rental car’s infotainment system….. by Melinda Claybaugh, Counsel for International Consumer Protection, FTC. Read the rest of her May 7 blog post at: http://bit.ly/2qKN6eP 

MICROSOFT BULLETIN – WINDOWS 10 VERSION 1507 WILL NO LONGER RECEIVE SECURITY UPDATES – After May 9, 2017, Windows 10 devices running version 1507 will no longer receive security and quality updates. Microsoft recommends updating devices to the latest version of Windows 10 by visiting the Software Download site and selecting Update now to manually update your device. For additional info, check out the Windows lifecycle fact sheet. See the rest of the article at:   http://bit.ly/2pb42Hi

DON’T INSTALL THE WINDOWS 10 CREATORS UPDATE ON YOUR OWN, MICROSOFT ADVISES – Microsoft would prefer it if you didn’t try to install the Windows 10 Creators Update yourself. Instead, the company is encouraging everyone but advanced users to wait for the Creators Update to become available via Windows Update. That means workarounds for excited users, like the Media Creation Tool or the Windows Update Assistant, are discouraged. 

Go to this PC World magazine website and read all about it.: http://bit.ly/2qekYOb 

HOW TO STOP WEBSITES FROM ASKING FOR YOUR LOCATION IN CHROME, EDGE, FIREFOX, OPERA, SAFARI – Browsers can supply your location when you permit it. If you have no plans of ever permitting it here’s how to turn that feature off.

Go to this PC World magazine web site and get the details.: http://bit.ly/2oSQSP9

CONTROL WINDOWS 10’S BUILT-IN LOCATION SERVICES WITH A FEW CLICKS – W
indows 10’s Creators Update makes it easier to disable location tracking and also erase location history. 

Windows 10 Privacy: How to Disable the Location Features – Go to this PC World magazine web page and get the facts.: http://bit.ly/2pFWGiQ

BLIND TRUST IN EMAIL COULD COST YOU YOUR HOME – The process of buying or selling a home can be extremely stressful and complex, but imagine the stress that would boil up if — at settlement — your money was wired to scammers in another country instead of to the settlement firm or escrow company. Here’s the story about a phishing email that cost a couple their home and left them scrambling for months to recover hundreds of thousands in cash that went missing. Don’t forget to watch the video! 

Read the rest of Brian Krebs, KrebsonSecurity, article at: http://bit.ly/2oS2yla

BE CAREFUL ON GOOGLE PLAY – These malicious apps were discovered on Google Play:

  • A modified version of the Charger mobile ransomware masquerading as a flashlight app
  • The BankBot credential stealer embedded in video apps
  • The DressCode backdoor found in 200 unique Android apps, ranging from style guides and books for children to Doodle applications
  • Spyware posing as an Android system update app.

The unfortunate reality is that most users don’t know enough about the technology they use to keep themselves safe, and aren’t interested in learning or simply don’t know where to start. 

LINKSYS SMART WI-FI ROUTERS FULL OF FLAWS, but temporary fix is available – Over 20 models of Linksys Smart Wi-Fi routers have been found to have vulnerabilities that, if exploited, could allow attackers to overload a router and force a reboot, deny user access, leak sensitive information about the router and connected devices, change restricted settings, and inject and execute commands on the operating system of the router with root privileges. 

They are still there and open to exploitation.

Go to this helpnetsecurity.com webpage and read all about it.: http://bit.ly/2onDjuP 

FLASHLIGHT APP ON GOOGLE PLAY DELIVERED HIGHLY ADAPTABLE BANKING TROJAN – A modified version of the Charger mobile ransomware has been downloaded from Google Play by up to 5,000 users. This new variant of the malware was shipped inside a legitimate-looking flashlight app called “Flashlight LED Widget” and, unlike its predecessor, locking the device and demanding a ransom from the user in order to unlock it is not its main goal. 

Charger.B: A highly flexible credential stealer – The threat was spotted by ESET researchers, who notified Google and got the app pulled from Google Play some ten days ago. 

According to their analysis, the malware works on all Android versions, and is able to minimize its visibility on the infected phones, display fake (phishing) screens mimicking legitimate apps, intercept text messages, and temporarily lock the device to prevent victims from interfering with the crooks’ fraudulent activity. 

How to remove the malware? Go to this helpnetsecurity.com website and read all about it.: http://bit.ly/2oDJrdw 

MASTERCARD INTRODUCES CARDS THAT WORK WITH FINGERPRINTS INSTEAD OF PINS – MasterCard has added fingerprint sensors to its payment cards, in an attempt to make face-to-face payments more convenient and more secure.

How does it work? “A cardholder enrolls their card by simply registering with their financial institution. Upon registration, their fingerprint is converted into an encrypted digital template that is stored on the card. The card is now ready to be used at any EMV card terminal globally,” the credit card provider explained. 

“When shopping and paying in-store, the biometric card works like any other chip card. The cardholder simply dips the card into a retailer’s terminal while placing their finger on the embedded sensor. The fingerprint is verified against the template and – if the biometrics match – the cardholder is successfully authenticated and the transaction can then be approved with the card never leaving the consumer’s hand.” 

Go to this helpnetsecurity.com website and read the entire article.: http://bit.ly/2oY1u1C 

SAMSUNG ANDROID OWNERS WILL GET SPECIAL GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC FEATURES – Samsung has always been special as the world’s largest Android smartphone maker, and on Friday Google made it even more special. The two companies are teaming up to make Google Play Music the default music app on Samsung Android smartphone and tablets starting with the Galaxy S8 and S8+—both of which start shipping today. 

As part of the perks, users of new Samsung mobile devices will be able to add up to 100,000 songs to Google Play Music’s cloud locker for free. Anyone with a non-Samsung device is limited to the standard 50,000 free song upload. 

In addition, new Samsung devices will come with the free three-month trial of Play Music for new users that Pixel customers and other select Android phones already see. 

HOW TO MAKE WINDOWS TROUBLESHOOT YOUR PC’S PROBLEMS FOR YOU – Windows includes a variety of “troubleshooters” designed to quickly diagnose and automatically solve various computer problems. Troubleshooters can’t fix everything, but they’re a great place to start if you encounter a problem with your computer.

Troubleshooters are built into the Control Panel on Windows 10, 8, and 7, so practically all Windows users can take advantage of them. On Windows 10’s Creators Update, most troubleshooters are now available through the Settings app. 

Go to the following How-to-Geek website and read all about this troubleshooting aid for all current Windows operating systems.: http://bit.ly/2pY22FP

HOW TECH SUPPORT SCAMMERS HAVE MADE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS – Ahhh, the sweet smell of revenge! Nothing like unleashing some ransomware on those tech support scammers, eh?  

However, fortunately for them, there aren’t hours enough in the day to turn the tables on the swindlers and social-engineer their pants off.  

Unless, that is, you’re talking about researchers at Stony Brook University, who recently cooked up a robot to automatically crawl the web finding tech support scammers and figuring out where they lurk, how they monetize the scam, and what software tools they use to pull off their dastardly deeds. Read more of this article by Lisa Vaas, Naked Security by Sophos, at: http://bit.ly/2osXD9h

WHAT’S NEW IN WINDOWS 10’S CREATORS UPDATE – The Windows 10 Creators Update—codenamed Redstone 2—began rolling out on April 11, 2017. Like other updates to Windows 10, it’s free, and includes a host of new features. It will be rolled out slowly like the Anniversary Update, so it will be a few months before Microsoft offers it to everyone. Read the rest of Chris Hoffman’s excellent article (with screenshots) at: http://bit.ly/2obgWEx

WINDOWS 10 CREATORS UPDATE WILL COME WITH CLEARER PRIVACY OPTIONS – Nearly two years after Microsoft released Windows 10, the company has finally revealed what data it collects from users. The revelation comes as part of a recent change of the company’s privacy statement, which has been made to reflect the company’s move towards more transparency.

Go to this Microsoft Website to see their statements.: https://privacy.microsoft.com/en-us/Updates

I recommend that all users of Windows 10 check their Privacy Settings after they install Windows 10 Creators Update.

LAPTOP/NOTEBOOK BATTERIES RECALL – The May 2017 issue of Consumer Reports has the following recall notice on page 22:

”HP and Toshiba are expanding recalls of lithium-ion computer battery packs that can overheat, posing burn and fire hazards. HP is recalling HP and Compaq packs sold from March 2013 through October 2016. Toshiba is recalling Panasonic packs sold from June 2011 through November 2016.

What to Do. For Toshiba, call 866-224-1346 or go to  go.toshiba.com/battery  for replacement Information; for HP, call 888-202-4320 or go to  hp.com/go/batteryprogram2016. If your battery is affected by the recall, remove it and power the computer only by plugging in into an outlet until you receive the replacement.”

6 EASY WAYS TO KEEP YOUR ANDROID PHONE SECURE – Protect your device from hackers with these tips. Nope, you’re not being paranoid. From pickpockets to malware, your Android phone is under siege from all sides. Wily attackers are continually switching up their tactics in hopes of taking control of your device.

Let’s acknowledge that there’s no foolproof way to protect your Android device from thieves and hackers. Indeed, as a wise technology guru once told me, if a sophisticated crook decides to target your phone, good luck trying to stop them.

That said, there are plenty of ways to keep your Android handset safe from the most common security threats, all with a minimum of effort. Just as a deadbolt will thwart a casual thief, so will a passcode foil a pickpocket, while the right security settings can keep most malware-infected apps at bay.

Read on for six easy ways to keep your Android phone secure, at this PC World Magazine Web page: http://bit.ly/2oHZ4ocJTT

BEST MEDIA STREAMING DEVICE – Whether you’ve just gotten rid of cable or want to supplement your TV package with online video, now’s an excellent time to buy a media streaming device. Compared to the typical smart TV, standalone streamers such as the Roku Streaming Stick and Amazon Fire TV tend to have bigger app selections, faster performance, and more features. And with so much competition between device makers, the hardware is becoming faster, more capable, and more affordable.

Here are some picks for the best streaming boxes and sticks, along with current product reviews. Recommendations will change over time as new products come to market.

Go to This PC World Magazine web page and read the reviews: http://bit.ly/2oHRhqDJTT

LASTPASS IS SCRAMBLING TO FIX ANOTHER SERIOUS VULNERABILITY – The flaw could allow for remote code execution or password theft. For the second time in two weeks, developers of the popular LastPass password manager are working to fix a serious vulnerability that could allow malicious websites to steal user passwords or infect computers with malware. Thanks to The TUG – MOAA Hawaii Aloha Chapter Computer User Group for the info. http://bit.ly/2owAfIn

WHY ARE SOME iMESSAGES GREEN AND SOME BLUE ON MY iPHONE? – You may have noticed that some messages in iPhone’s Message app are green, while some are blue. What do those colors mean and does it even matter?

Messages with green bubbles are normal SMS text messages. (SMS = Short Message Service)

Message with blue bubbles are sent via the iMessage instant messaging protocol—a messaging platform specific to Apple devices.

If you’re communicating between two Apple devices with iMessage enabled, you’ll see blue messages. If you’re communicating with any device that doesn’t use iMessage—like an Android phone, or an iPhone that doesn’t have iMessage turned on—you’ll see green messages.

Go to this How-to Geek webpage and read all about it.: http://bit.ly/2mEwZhoJTT

WHICH VERSION OF CHROME DO I HAVE? – Chrome is Chrome, right? You download Google’s browser—now the most popular in the world—and you’d think you have the same experience as everyone else. But like most large software vendors, Google releases Chrome in differing “channels,” testing out features in more unstable versions before they get to the release build that hundreds of millions of people use every day.

Whether you want to know what version number you’re on, what development channel you’re using, or whether it’s 32-bit or 64-bit, the About page will tell you everything you need to know.

Go to this How-to Geek web page and get the inside facts.: http://bit.ly/2nXrZ84JTT

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NOTEPAD AND WORDPAD IN WINDOWS? – If you have always used Microsoft Word since you started using a computer, maybe you’ve never looked at those other writing options in Windows.

Notepad and WordPad are both developed by Microsoft itself, and included in every copy of Windows. Don’t dismiss them out of hand—while neither are as powerful as paid software in the same niches, they might just do for you.

Notepad and WordPad, despite their similar names, serve different purposes.

Notepad is a text editor, meant for basic plain text entry.

WordPad is a word processor, meant for formatting and printing documents—like Microsoft Word, but not quite as advanced.

They aren’t the only programs in their respective categories, either. Let’s read a little bit about text editors and word processors, and their intentions.

Go to this How-to Geek web page and read all about it.: http://bit.ly/2o6N7WkJTT

HOW TO SET UP GOOGLE PHOTOS – Having access to all of your photos at a swipe is kind of like living the dream, at least for many photographers it is. If you’re snap-happy, then you owe it to yourself to make sure that you never lose another photo again with Google Photos. This service will back up, store, and organize your photos so that as soon as you capture that moment it’s protected from accidental deletion when your phone runs out of storage space. Getting everything set up is a quick process, provided you already have a Google account, and in many cases comes preloaded on your phone.
Detailed steps at: http://bit.ly/2mIDtfr

WARNING: DANGEROUS NEW GMAIL PHISHING ATTACK CAN EASILY STEAL YOUR GOOGLE LOGINWhy are the Windows and Android platforms always targeted by malware and other malicious attacks from nefarious hackers? Because they’re used by so many people that the odds of a successful attack are dramatically increased compared to less popular platforms like macOS. For that same reason, Google’s Gmail service is often the target of phishing scams that have become increasingly effective in recent years. Now, a new scam has been uncovered that may very well be the most well-executed scam in recent history, making it all too easy for victims to have their Google login credentials stolen. Read more at: fxn.ws/2nHDz6X

NEW ANDROID SMARTPHONES FOUND TO BE ALREADY INFECTED BY MALWARE: ARE YOU AT RISK?It seems that avoiding the insecure practices of clicking on suspicious links and downloading shady apps is no longer enough to prevent Android smartphones from being attacked by malware and ransomware, as new devices are found to be already infected right out of the box.

The discovery, made by cybersecurity company Check Point, raises fresh concerns on Android security and highlights the importance of malware scanners even on new smartphones.

Check Point Discovers Pre-Installed Malware
According to a blog post published by Check Point, the cybersecurity company discovered a “severe infection” on 38 Android-powered devices. While this is certainly not an unusual incident considering the increasing number of hackers using malware, the alarming detail is that the malware were not downloaded into the devices. Instead, they arrived with the malware pre-installed.

GO to this Tech Times Newsletter website and read the entire article.: http://bit.ly/2n9h5uMJTT

HOW TO GET FREE MONEY FROM GOOGLE BY ANSWERING QUICK SURVEYS – IN THE FORM OF GOOGLE PLAY CREDIT – A search engine always wants  more data. If you want to earn some extra money (in the form of Google Play Credit), Google will give you some in exchange for answering a few occasional survey questions.

The Google Opinion Rewards app periodically gives you surveys consisting of a few simple questions. Most are based around your shopping habits and come from market researchers. If you’d like to know how your data will be used, you can read Google’s FAQ on the subject uses.

The rewards you get won’t pay your bills or anything, but each survey rewards anywhere from ten cents to a dollar or so for a few seconds of your time. It seems small, but it can add up fast—and when it does, and you can get free movie rentals or buy a couple games on the Play Store. Google Play credit even works on in-app purchases, so you can buy Pokéballs or comic books. All for passing a few seconds of time when you’re bored waiting in line at the grocery store.

To get started, download the Google Opinion Rewards app. Then go to this How-to-Geek website and read all about it, or read all about it first. http://bit.ly/2n1yuorJTT

IRS WARNS OF LAST-MINUTE TAX SCAMSThe Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released an alert warning of phishing email scams targeting last-minute tax filers. The alert describes common features of these cyber crimes and includes recommendations to protect against them: strengthen passwords, recognize phishing attempts, and forward suspicious emails to phishing@irs.gov
US-CERT – bit.ly/2n2InRe

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OFFICE 365 AND OFFICE 2016?

OFFICE 2016 VS. OFFICE 365 AND FREE APPS – Here’s the main difference: Office 2016 is the traditional Microsoft Office product, sold for a one-time, up-front fee. You pay once to buy a version of Office 2016 you can install on a single PC or Mac and use for as long as you like. There’s no expiration date.

Office 365, on the other hand, is the new way Microsoft wants you to buy Office. Rather than paying a hefty up-front price, you pay a monthly or yearly fee and get access to the latest version of Office for as long as you pay the fee. You also get additional OneDrive cloud storage and access to the Office apps for tablets. You can choose a subscription that allows you to install Office on up to five different computers, sharing it with your family, or just get Office for yourself.

MICROSOFT OFFICE, POWERPOINT, EXCEL AND ONE NOTE ARE FREE WHEN YOU USE THE ONLINE APPSAccess anywhere, Create and collaborate using your favorite desktop browser; Familiar user interface, Enjoy a familiar experience with the Office apps you already know—so there’s nothing new to learn; Easy transition.

Move seamlessly from Office Online to the full-featured desktop apps—without leaving your document.

Go to This Microsoft Website to read all about it and get started with your Free Apps: http://bit.ly/2mK6sf3JTT 

THE EASIEST WAY TO FIX WI-FI ISSUES: MOVE YOUR ROUTER (SERIOUSLY)Your laptop and iPad connect to the Internet using a century old technology: radio waves.

And radio waves have limits. If you drive through a tunnel with the FM radio on, you’ll mostly hear a bunch of static. This is because the signal from the radio tower can’t reach you underground. There are barriers that block the signal.

The same principle applies to your Wi-Fi: barriers between your router and your devices make the signal worse. So, the physical placement of your device makes a startlingly big difference in your signal across the house.

Place Your Router in the Center of Your House

Go to this How-To-Geek Website and read the entire article: http://bit.ly/2mYI90sJTT

HOW TO FIX INACCURATE CHARGE PERCENTAGES BY CALIBRATING YOUR PHONE’S BATTERYIf you’ve ever noticed that your phone’s battery goes from 60% to 50% in a matter of minutes, only to remain on 50% for what seems like ages, it probably means the battery needs to be calibrated.

Why Your Phone’s Battery Percentage Becomes Inaccurate

This is a problem that occurs in most battery-powered electronics these days, so this process should work on iPhone, Android, and even tablets or laptops (almost all of which use lithium ion batteries). While it’s really not that big of a problem, it can be a bit annoying when your phone says you have 25% battery left, only to look again and see that it’s nearly dying.

The reason for this is simple. Batteries naturally degrade over time, and their capacity slowly decreases. But your phone isn’t always great at measuring that—if your battery has degraded to 95% of its original capacity, your phone might still report that as 95% full, instead of 100% full (the “new normal”). Calibrating your battery can fix this.

Go to this How -to- Geek Website and read the article. http://bit.ly/2lYG4wvJTT

HOW TO SEE WHICH SERVICES OFFER A MOVIE OR SHOW FOR STREAMINGBack in ancient days, when you wanted a movie, you got off the couch and went to the video store. Sure, you had to leave your house and talk to a person (things no one has to do against their will in 2017,) but you didn’t need to wonder where to look for what. Every store had basically every movie.

That’s not true today. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon all offer a lot of movies, but figuring out what’s offered where is up to you. That’s where JustWatch comes in. Instead of searching Netflix, then Amazon, then Hulu, JustWatch is a “streaming search engine” that lets you find out who is offering which movies and TV shows. If there are no streaming options for the movie or show you want, you’ll see where you can rent or buy it, and how much it will cost.

This feature is already available on some streaming boxes built-in, like the Roku. If it isn’t on your streaming box, there are several sites that can do the trick, including Cathod.tv and Can I Stream It. After testing quite a few, we settled on JustWatch for its superior results and layout.

Go to this How-to-Geek website and read the article. http://bit.ly/2lE6tEIJTT

APPLE PUSHING TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION FOR iOS 10.3 USERS -Beta users of Apple iOS 10.3 are reporting that they’re receiving push notifications from Apple to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for their Apple IDs, which is used on Apple devices (like iPads, iPhones and Macs) to synchronize and share iCloud user data.

Apple’s 2FA provides an extra layer of security for iCloud data as well as for devices registered to an Apple ID, and it seems with iOS 10.3 that Apple is taking stronger measures to encourage its users to enable this feature.

Two-factor authentication isn’t new on iDevices, as it has been available for well over a year since iOS9 and OS X El Capitan – notably, the feature became available first for iCloud after a spate of celebrity iCloud hacking incidents, and then more broadly to secure Apple devices soon after. Read more from Naked Security / Sophos at: bit.ly/2mCga6p

STOP CHARGING YOUR PHONE AT PUBLIC CHARGING STATIONS – If you use a public charging station to charge your phone, you are exposing it to being hacked. Once a port is compromised, a hacker can view and steal your emails, text messages, photos, and contacts. This kind of hacking is called juice jacking, by which malware might be installed on to, or data surreptitiously copied from a device using a charging port that doubles as a data connection, typically over a USB connection. Read the rest of the Vipre Security News article at: bit.ly/2neThSY

HOW TO STOP WEBSITES FROM ASKING FOR YOUR LOCATION – Modern web browsers allow websites to ask for your location through a prompt. If you’re tired of seeing these prompts, you can disable them and websites won’t be able to ask for your location anymore. The setting to change is in your Browser.

Websites that ask for your location usually allow you to plug in a zip code or address instead. You don’t need to provide precise access to your location via your web browser’s location services, so you likely won’t lose much functionality by turning this off.

Go to this How-to-Geek website and see the setting changes for all the popular Browsers: http://bit.ly/2lYHfQxJTT

HOW TO QUICKLY ADJUST WHICH FACEBOOK NOTIFICATIONS YOU SEE ON YOUR SMART PHONE OR ON THE WEB – Notifications are one of the worst things about smartphones. It’s one thing to get notifications for things you want, like text messages, but it’s a completely different story if your phone is beeping because someone has invited you to play a game on Facebook.

It’s great then, that on Facebook for iOS and Android, there’s a really quick and handy way to manage notifications you don’t want to see. There’s also a web option, though it isn’t quite as good. Let’s look at both.

Go to this How-to-Geek website for step by step procedures: http://bit.ly/2lJHNY7JTT

SPORA RANSOMWARE SPREADS VIA FAKE ‘CHROME FONT PACK’ – Spora, a powerful new ransomware strain that is able to encrypt files without communicating to a command-and-control server, is using a social engineering attack vector using fake “Chrome Font Pack” pop-ups.

Spora’s evil geniuses have compromised multiple websites, turn the websites’ pages into unreadable text and tell visitors that the “HoeflerText” font is missing and that they can fix this by downloading the “Chrome Font Pack.” People then download and install the malicious code by double-clicking the “update.exe” file.

How do you avoid the Spora malware? If, while browsing a site, you can’t read the type, and if you get a popup which mentions an error with the fonts… Close your browser.  Do not visit that site.

If you happen to know the company or website this has occurred on, send them an email or contact them to inform them that they might have been hacked.

iPHONE ROBBERS TRY TO iPHISH VICTIMS – In another strange tale from the kinetic-attack-meets-cyberattack department, earlier this week I heard from a loyal reader in Brazil whose wife was recently mugged by three robbers who nabbed her iPhone. Not long after the husband texted the stolen phone — offering to buy back the locked device — he soon began receiving text messages stating the phone had been found. All he had to do to begin the process of retrieving the device was click the texted link and log in to the phishing page mimicking Apple’s site. Read the rest of the Krebs on Security article at http://bit.ly/2lEEtNY

WHAT IS JAVASCRIPT, AND WHY IS GMAIL BLOCKING IT?Starting February 13, 2017, Gmail changed its policy regarding JavaScript. Here’s why this is changing, and how you can protect yourself from malicious JavaScript.

What Is JavaScript, Anyway? JavaScript (not to be confused with Java, a separate programming language with a similar name) is not inherently a dangerous or malicious thing. JavaScript is a programming language that is stored in plain text and executed by various programs, including web browsers. Currently, it is likely the most popular language on the web.

Why Is Gmail Blocking It? Security experts have noted a trend of more malware written in JavaScript. These are often sent over email, disguised as a resume, or phishing message targeting businesses, or a claim the attachment will “track a recent order.” This is a “trojan horse” (or simply “trojan”) kind of injection of malicious software, because it needs an unsuspecting user to download, open, run, or install malicious bits of code. One frightening recent trend from the past few years is Ransomware. Given access to your computer, a JavaScript program might install software to turn your important files to unreadable gibberish through a process called Encryption, forcing you to pay someone halfway around the globe to get back the files that used to be yours. Google keeps a list of common filetypes used by malware creators, and Gmail blocks them. Because of the increase of this kind of malware, the JavaScript filetype has been added to that list. It’s unlikely this will cause most users any problems, most users will not likely notice any difference.

What you can do to keep yourself safe – Never open email attachments from untrusted or unknown senders, or from known senders if the email looks suspicious or confusing. Doing this will cut your risk to all malicious Trojan code down to almost nothing, since the majority of it comes from spam or hijacked email accounts. And that’s roughly all you need to know about keeping safe from any bad bits of JavaScript. Gmail also blocks password protected files and archives as these, too, can be used to send malicious payloads. How-to-Geek
http://bit.ly/2krrMZg

RSA CYBERSECURITY CONFERENCE  2017. SOPHOSLABS SEES SPIKE IN LINUX-IOT MALWARE – Attackers are increasingly using Linux security holes to target and infect Internet of Things (IoT) devices that include everything from webcams to Internet-connecting household appliances. NakedSecurity by SOPHOS 2/13/17. Read more at: http://bit.ly/2ldnLqt

SOPHOSLABS REPORT EXAMINES TOP 10 ANDROID MALWARE – SophosLabs analysis systems processed more than 8.5m suspicious Android applications in 2016. More than half of them were either malware or potentially unwanted applications (PUA), including poorly behaved adware. NakedSecurity by SOPHOS 2/14/17. Read more at: http://bit.ly/2lQhoY2

DECONSTRUCTING MAC OS RANSOMWARE – Though Mac malware is comparatively rare, Apple computers are not immune, as this year’s SophosLabs malware forecast shows. Mac malware is often technically sneaky and geared towards harvesting data or providing covert remote access to thieves. NakedSecurity by SOPHOS 2/15/17. Read more at: http://bit.ly/2lQzAkg

GOOGLE SET TO PURGE PLAY STORE OF APPS LACKING A PRIVACY POLICY – Google is warning developers that it plans to purge its Play store of apps that don’t have privacy policies. The move could affect millions of apps that don’t spell out what they do with user data. Studies have found that mobile apps in general – both those in Google Play and in Apple’s app store – have been pretty dismal when it comes to privacy. Google Play store app developers have until March 15 to do one of two things: either link to a “valid” privacy policy on their app store listing page and within their app, or stop asking for sensitive user data. That’s the bare minimum requirement, though. Requirements get stiffer still for personal and sensitive information. Read more at: http://bit.ly/2lBZBnD

WHAT IS A “PORTABLE” APP, AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?Portable applications offer some definite advantages over their traditional counterparts. They’re lightweight and they allow you to move between computers while taking your applications and settings with you.

A portable app is simply one that doesn’t use an installer. All the files required to run the app reside in a single folder, which you can put anywhere on the system. If you move the folder, the app will still work the same. Instead of installing a portable app, you typically download it as a ZIP file, extract that ZIP it a folder, and run the executable file for the app. If the app allows you to save settings, those settings are saved in files right inside the same folder.

Stick them on a USB drive and you can carry them around from computer to computer. They won’t leave any footprint on the PCs you run them on. Everything, including any settings you’ve saved, is saved right in the portable app’s folder on the USB drive.

Go to How to Geek Webpage to see the whole article. http://bit.ly/2kdJiguJTT

33% OFF SANDISK IXPAND FLASH DRIVE 32GB FOR iPHONE AND iPAD – DEAL ALERT – The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive lets you quickly free up space on iPhones, iPads, and iPods; automatically back up photos and watch videos straight from the drive. The flexible Lightning connector works with most protective iDevice cases.

The USB 3.0 connector makes it easy to move content between devices. This flash drive also includes encryption software to password protect files, so you can share content while keeping sensitive files secure.

The SanDisk iXpand Drive app provides a fast and simple way to organize content and play music and videos directly from the drive. TheSanDisk iXpand Flash Drive currently averages 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon from over 600 customers and its list price of $59.99 is currently discounted 33% to $39.94.

Go to Amazon.com and get one while they last at this price.

HOW TO SET UP A PICTURE PASSWORD IN WINDOWS 10A picture password is an alternative to typing regular passwords when signing into Windows 10.

Windows 8 and Windows 10 each brought in new ways of signing into your account. You now have options like signing in using a PIN or a picture password built into your basic account options. With the right add-on hardware, you can use Windows Hello to sign on with a fingerprint or even your webcam.

And that’s all in addition to the unified login across devices you get when you use an online Microsoft account rather than a local user account.

Go To this How to Geek Webpage for the complete story.: http://bit.ly/2korp0wJTT

HOW TO ADD ANY SEARCH ENGINE TO YOUR WEB BROWSERThere is a difference between a Browser and a Search Engine.Web browsers include a few search engines for you to choose from, but you can easily add more. Even if a website doesn’t offer an official search plugin, you can add any custom search engine you like with a few tricks.

Go to this How-to-Geek webpage and get the step-by-step plus pictures for your favorite Browser. The major 5 Browsers are covered.   http://bit.ly/2jrY2LDJTT 

HOW TO OPT OUT OF PERSONALIZED ADS FROM GOOGLE – Ads are an unfortunate necessity on the Internet—they’re how sites are able to operate. But if you find personalized ads a little too creepy, you can tell Google (one of the Internet’s biggest ad networks) to stop showing you personalized ads.

That way, instead of getting ads for things that you’ve recently searched for (or similar items), you could see completely unrelated, un-personalized ads that aren’t based on your search and browser history. This way, you can still support the sites you love without feeling like Google’s stalking your every move.

Go to How-to Geek web site for a step by step explanation:  http://bit.ly/2i4yHVzJTT

WINDOWS 10’S PRIVACY SETTINGS WILL BE SIMPLER BUT MORE LIMITED WITH CREATORS’ UPDATEAn announcement Tuesday says that Microsoft would soon reduce the amount of diagnostic data collected from Windows 10 under an optional setting, and immediately launch an online portal where customers can lock in privacy settings.

Microsoft plans to revamp how privacy is managed in the upcoming Creators Update to Windows 10, both as part of the initial setup as well as the amount of data it collects in day-to-day diagnostics. That amount will actually decrease, if a user so chooses. But Microsoft has also eliminated an intermediary option, forcing the user to choose whether to provide Microsoft minimal or “full” access to their PC.Windows 10 users will not see all these changes until around April 2017.

MICROSOFT PRIVACY DASHBOARD – This Microsoft website is the place where you can manage your privacy settings for the Microsoft products and services you use, and where you can view and clear the data that Microsoft saves to the cloud.  https://account.microsoft.com/privacy/about

https://privacy.microsoft.com/en-US/

For other data that is saved to your Windows 10 device, you’ll need to go to your device to change those privacy settings and view the data collected. You’ll find detailed instructions for viewing and changing your privacy settings on your device on the individual settings pages listed below.

Browsing history; Search history; Location activity; Cortana’s Notebook; Health activity.

Windows – Change any of your privacy settings on your Windows 10 device by going to Start > Settings > Privacy.

Apps and services – Manage the apps and services that are allowed to access your data.

Xbox – Adjust your Xbox privacy settings either on your console or by signing in to Xbox.com.

Office – View your privacy settings in any Office program by going to File > Options > Trust Center.

In free Office apps, go to Settings > Trust Center.

Skype – Edit who can see your profile in Skype and other privacy settings by signing in to your account at Skype.com.

Advertising preferences – Choose whether you would like to see personalized advertising.

Marketing preferences – Manage promotional communications associated with your Microsoft account by signing into the Promotional Communications Manager.

If you don’t have a Microsoft account, you can manage promotional email communications by using this web form.

https://profile.microsoft.com/ContactPreferences/securepages/eeeselfservice.aspx

FTC SUES D-LINK OVER ROUTER AND CAMERA SECURITY FLAWS – If you’ve got a wireless network, your wireless router connects your computer and other devices to the internet. If it’s reasonably designed and configured, the router also is a gate that should prevent hackers from accessing your devices and data.

January 5 by Ari Lazarus, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC  http://bit.ly/2iLr0UV

POLICE RAIDS IN INDIA CUT DOWN IRS IMPOSTER CALLS (FTC) – Over the last few years, we’ve warned about a lot of imposter scams. In one of the most common types, callers pretending to be from the IRS demand payments and threaten to arrest people.

January 5 by Nat Wood – Associate Director, Consumer & Business Education, FTC  http://bit.ly/2iFBjd4

TECH TIPS: 19 INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL LIFEHACKS TO PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY AND POCKETBOOK – Andre Da Costa, groovyPost – “It’s that time of the year when family and loved one’s schedule travel plans around the world, whether it’s a student going home for the holidays or a warm vacation getaway to the Caribbean. International and domestic travel are not like what it was 15 years ago. In a post 9/11 world, increased security measures have made traveling beyond borders a hassle. The annoyance of going through security checkpoints at your airport of departure and hubs can seriously put a damper on your travel experience. I believe part of overcoming unexpected obstacles is always to prepare.”     http://bit.ly/2hxIl2z

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT (BUT IT MIGHT BE FAKE) FTC 12/22/16 – Fraudulent apps can take your credit card or bank information. Some fake apps may even install malware onto your phone and demand money from you to unlock it. Read more at:  http://bit.ly/2hZ9soq

iOS 10.2 UPDATE: THE 5 BEST FEATURES FOR YOUR iPHONE – Go to this Tech Times web site and read all about it.   http://bit.ly/2hCuLfbJTT

HOW TO DOWNGRADE FROM iOS 10.2 TO 10.1.1 OR 10.1: QUICK TIPS FOR iPHONE AND iPAD OWNERSIf you do not like iOS 10.2, go to this Tech Times website and see how to downgrade. http://bit.ly/2hWBKftJTT

HOW TO REPLACE 5 MAJOR YAHOO SERVICES AND DELETE YOUR YAHOO ACCOUNTThe news is full of Yahoo account problems. There is a way to get out of Yahoo. Go to this CSO Online web site and read all about it.   http://bit.ly/2gJtQ8dJTT 

YAHOO: ONE BILLION MORE ACCOUNTS HACKED – Krebs on Security, 12/14/16. “Just months after disclosing a breach that compromised the passwords for a half billion of its users, Yahoo now says a separate incident has jeopardized data from at least a billion more user accounts. The company also warned attackers have figured out a way to log into targeted Yahoo accounts without even supplying the victim’s password.” Read more from Krebs at: http://bit.ly/2hvuyKT

Toby Scott, Tech Guru at the Channel Islands PCUG in SoCal gave a presentation at their September meeting on the Yahoo hack that was publicized around that time. He’s got some great tips for people who use Yahoo e-mail. Actually, everyone who uses e-mail should read the tips.   AnatomyofanEmailHack

GOOLIGAN MALWARE SPREADING LIKE WILDFIRE – Ask Bob Rankin reports that a new malware known as “Gooligan” is infecting 13,000 Android phones each day, according to CheckPoint, a cybersecurity firm headquartered in San Carlos, CA. Over one million smartphones have already been infected, making Gooligan the biggest security breach that Android has ever experienced. Do you need to worry? December 5, 2016 – Read on…http://bit.ly/2h8pbxn

REPORT: ANDROID 7.1 ROLLOUT TO NEXUS DEVICES WILL BEGIN DECEMBER 6The software will bring the latest features and the December security patch. The update will be called Android 7.1.1 when it’s released as it also incorporates some bug fixes and optimizations since the Pixel launched with 7.1. Google’s Pixel will also get the update to 7.1.1 in December alongside the Nexus updates, to avoid confusion about version numbers.

Such updates usually come in waves that take about two weeks to reach everyone. So if you have a Nexus 6P, 5X, 6, 9, or Pixel C you may need to exhibit patience or flash the software manually when it arrives.

Go to: PC World Magazine this link and read the entire story.: http://bit.ly/2fFJAZrJTT

HOW TO SECURE YOUR AMAZON ACCOUNTIf you’re like me,  you do a lot of shopping on Amazon. But because it’s so encompassing, it’s also something you’re going to want to take extra care to secure.

Odds are you have at least one credit card, your home address, and phone number stored on your Amazon account, which could be very bad should that account fall into the wrong hands. Fortunately, there are a few things you can—and should!—do in order to make sure your Amazon data is as safe as it can be.

Go To the following ‘How to Geek’ web site and read all about it with step by step pictures and directions.:  http://bit.ly/2gPOzMaJTT

LOCKY HIDDEN IN IMAGE FILE HITTING FACEBOOK, LINKEDIN USERSMalware masquerading as an image file is still spreading on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks.

“The attackers exploit a misconfiguration on the social media infrastructure to deliberately force their victims to download the image file. This results in infection of the users’ device as soon as the end-user clicks on the downloaded file,” they noted.

The good news about this particular attack vector, is that it’s not automatic, i.e. it requires users to actually download and run the malicious files themselves. The bad news is that users like to look at image someone has sent them.

A video demonstration of the attack can be viewed at the following Helpnetsecurity.com website: http://bit.ly/2gPQzEfJTT 

HOW TO CUSTOMIZE THE TASKBAR IN WINDOWS 10Windows 10 offers all kinds of ways to customize the taskbar to your liking. Go to the following “How to Geek” website to learn more step by step.: http://bit.ly/2g8r4uEJTT

WHAT TO DO IF SAFARI, CAMERA, FACETIME, OR THE APP STORE ARE MISSING FROM YOUR HOME SCREEN ON IPAD OR IPHONEIf an app doesn’t show up on your home screen, you may have just uninstalled it. But if a pre-bundled app has gone missing, there could be a few causes.

Go to the following “How to Geek” website to learn more step by step.: http://bit.ly/2fbutqoJTT

HOW TO GET YOUR STREAMING VIDEO TO STOP BUFFERING SO DARN MUCH – If you’re dealing with stuttering, hanging, or just low quality video, there are a few things you can do to improve it.

Go to the following “How to Geek” website to learn more step by step.: http://bit.ly/2gvqU4wJTT

APPLE SAVES IPHONE CALL HISTORY TO iCLOUD, BUT BARELY MENTIONS IT – As a convenience feature, Apple will sync your call history to iCloud, but the company doesn’t make it easy or obvious to shut it off.

Modern smartphones make it easy to back up all your data to the cloud so you can keep it synced across devices, or download it to a new phone. That can have unfortunate consequences, however—especially when phones are syncing sensitive information that users aren’t explicitly aware of, and then a company famous for developing smartphone cracking software finds out.

Go to the following PC World magazine website to read all about it.: http://bit.ly/2fsmg1XJTT

ENTRY-LEVEL US ANDROID PHONES ARE SECRETLY SENDING TEXT MESSAGES AND CALL LOG DATA TO CHINA EVERY 72 HOURS – Security firm Kryptowire published an analysis listing several entry-level smartphones sold in the United States that have been stockpiling sensitive personal data without receiving user consent. One such smartphone was the $50 Blu R1 HD, according to Kryptowire.

Answer: “We confirm that no ZTE devices in the U.S. have ever had the Adups software cited in recent news reports installed on them, and will not. ZTE always makes security and privacy a top priority for our customers. We will continue to ensure customer privacy and information remain protected.”

The full article is in “Tech Times .com web site as follows:  http://bit.ly/2fbCcEPJTT

This ANTI-SNORE WEARABLE HAS TAKEN KICKSTARTER BY STORM: How Does It Work? It’s a wearable known as Anti-Snore, and it’s all the rave on Kickstarter right now. It’s designed to save non-snorers from having to wake up to stop someone else from snoring.

Go to “Tech Times “ article to see the idea.: http://bit.ly/2fsj2f0JTT (Kickstarter is a web site where people can raise funds for a new project. Check it out)

iPHONES VULNERABLE TO YET ANOTHER LOCKSCREEN BYPASS – “iPhone aficionados at iDeviceHelp and EverythingApplePro have discovered yet another way for someone who has physical access to your phone to access your messages, photos, and contacts, even if the phone is locked with both a passcode and properly configured TouchID.” by Maria Varmazis, Naked Security by SOPHOS.
https://goo.gl/KCRdYJ

AMERICA RECYCLES DAY – November 15.  Both Best Buy and Staples have extensive recycling programs that accept most types of electronics independent of where it was purchased. Staples is offering a $10 off coupon for use in December for recycling tech between 11/13/16 and 11/19/16. Best Buy offers 15% off an HP inkjet printer when you recycle any brand of printer. (From the Philadelphia Area Computer Society November meeting announcement.)

https://americarecyclesday.org

Staples – https://goo.gl/JqUZHo

Best Buy – https://goo.gl/52Y3u

HOW TO DEFEND AGAINST RANSOMWAREIn September, the FTC hosted a workshop on ransomware, one of the most serious online threats facing people and businesses today — and the most profitable form of malware criminals use. Check out the videos featuring conversations with security researchers, technologists, law enforcers, and business leaders.
November 10, 2016
Ben Rossen, Attorney, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection
https://goo.gl/X148Zj

ANDROID USERS AT HIGH RISK FROM CHROME FLAW –  LOSING YOUR PASSWORDS ON AN ANDROID DEVICE. November 9, 2016.  If you’re using your Android device for online banking, you should be extremely careful about what apps you download in the next few weeks.

Exploiting a Chrome browser bug, malicious hackers are installing a Trojan that steals banking credentials. The infection is typically delivered in bogus updates to Instagram, Skype, WhatsApp, and Chrome, as reported in a Help Net Security article.

Users of the mobile version of Google Chrome should be extra careful when faced with unsolicited offers to install a popular app, Kaspersky Lab researchers warn. Cyber crooks pushing the Svpeng Android banking Trojan are taking advantage of a bug that allows them to force the download of the malware on the target’s Android device without any user interaction, and other malware peddlers might soon hop on that particular train.

This Trojan works only on Google Chrome. Other Browsers are not affected.

What to do: This threat might not be resolved for several weeks. Until it is, I suggest using a mobile-device security app such as Lookout Personal to protect your Android system.

REMOTELY RING, LOCK, OR ERASE A LOST ANDROID DEVICE – If you or a friend lose a device that is signed into a Google Account, you can use Android Device Manager to remotely ring, lock, or erase that device. When Android Device Manager interacts with the device, it’ll get a notification. You can also use Android Device Manager to show your device’s location.

Important: Android Device Manager won’t work for devices that are turned off, or that don’t have a Wi-Fi connection or mobile data connection with an active SIM card.

Tip: If you’ve linked your phone to Google, you can locate or ring it by searching for find my phone on google.com

Go to this Google website and read all about it: http://bit.ly/2fF0HgdJTT

MICROSOFT CONFIRMS MASSIVE WINDOWS 10 UPGRADE CHANGES – Speaking on the official Windows blog, Windows program manager Bill Karagounis explained that Windows 10 is going to get much smarter about how it downloads updates. UUP will become the universal system used by all versions of Windows 10 – including on smartphones and tablets – and it should mean users not only save valuable bandwidth but also waste less time as devices focus purely on installing new patches.

Read more at: https://goo.gl/5EXSYX

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO STOP ROBOCALLS RIGHT NOW, by The Watch Dog, Dave Lieber, The Dallas Morning News – Why isn’t the Robocall Strike Force – led by the Federal Communications Commission, AT&T Chairman Randall Stephenson and the nation’s leading tech companies – working to make hideous Caller ID spoofing illegal? Dave shares with you the latest tools to block and filter bad callers. You don’t have to wait the projected 20 more months until the Strike Force completes its work to stop crooked callers from pecking away at your sanity.

https://goo.gl/qlXVwI

HOW TO TROUBLESHOOT BLUETOOTH PROBLEMS ON YOUR IPHONE OR IPAD – Bluetooth can be a little finicky on its best of days. There are several possible points of failure between your iOS device and whatever accessory you’re connecting to. Here’s how to troubleshoot them.

Go to This How to Geek Website and read the step by step article: http://bit.ly/2elJdU4JTT

 

KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE WITH THESE TIPS FROM SOPHOS – “Whether you use Sophos Home or other security software to protect your home computers, that’s only half the battle of keeping your family safe and secure online. What about the other steps you need to take in order to batten down the hatches against those sneaky cybercriminals?”   https://goo.gl/3iTZbm

HP RETHINKS ITS INK POLICY, ALLOWING THIRD-PARTY INK AGAIN – HP said it will provide the firmware update in about two weeks via a dedicated support forum. The affected printers are the small-business OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro, and OfficeJet Pro X. It wasn’t immediately clear whether updated firmware would roll out for all affected models at the same time.

Customers with immediate concerns can email HP at print-hpi@hp.com.

Go to this PC World  Website for the complete story. http://bit.ly/2dhakAkJTT

SIGNS OF A HACKED EMAIL ACCOUNT AND WHAT TO DO. (YAHOO OR ANY OTHER ACCOUNT)

  • Review your Yahoo Mail settings (good advice for any email account.)
  • Delete email contacts that you don’t recognize.
  • Delete linked Mail accounts that you don’t recognize or control.
  • Change your password on any linked accounts that you control.
  • Make sure your vacation response is turned off.
  • See if someone else has been accessing your account.

No matter what, if you think your account has been accessed without your permission, change your password immediately. If you don’t have access to your account, use the Sign-in Helper to get back in.

Signs your account has been hacked

  • Your account information has changed without your knowledge.
  • There are logins from locations you don’t recognize on your recent activity page.
  • You aren’t receiving expected emails.
  • Your Yahoo Mail account is sending spam.
  • Go to this ‘Yahoo Help’ Website and follow the directions to get things right.
    http://bit.ly/2dKMiAoJTT

HOW TO USE SYSTEM RESTORE IN WINDOWS 7, 8, AND 10
System Restore is a Windows feature that can help fix certain types of crashes and other computer problems. Here’s how it works, how to set it up, and how to use it when things go awry.

We’re going to be using Windows 10 in this article, but System Restore has been around a long time–and works pretty much the same way in each version of Windows. The instructions here are good for Windows 7, 8, and 10, and you’ll encounter only minor differences throughout the process.

What is System Restore?
When something goes wrong on your system as a result of a bad piece of software–maybe an app you installed, or a driver that broke something important–it can be hard to fix. System Restore lets you restore your Windows installation back to its last working state.

It does this by creating “restore points” every so often.

Go to this ‘How to Geek’ Website for a complete explanation and step by step for System Restore. http://bit.ly/2dBvFb7JTT

HOW TO BOOST PERFORMANCE ON YOUR OLDER iPHONE OR iPADIf your iPhone or iPad is showing its age, try these tricks to squeeze out a bit more performance. Even though Apple strives to keep iOS running well on older iPhones and iPads, the sad truth is, eventually they won’t be able to keep up. Plus, as apps become more advanced, they too won’t run as quickly. So, aside from falling into an endless upgrade cycle, what can you do?

Turns out, there are quite a few things. See this article for a complete list of things you can do: http://bit.ly/2cBYDaWJTT

WHY MOBILE PRIVACY IS NOW MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER – HACKING YOUR PHONESharyn Alfonsi reports on how cellphones and mobile phone networks are vulnerable to hacking. This was broadcast on 60 Minutes TV show in April and September 2016. Take a look and be safe.

  • A lot of modern life is interconnected through the Internet of Things — a global empire of billions of devices and machines.
  • Automobile navigation systems.
  • Smart TVs
  • Thermostats
  • Telephone networks
  • Home security systems
  • Online banking
  • Almost everything you can imagine is linked to the World Wide Web. And the emperor of it all is the smartphone.

You’ve probably been warned to be careful about what you say and do on your phone, but after you see what we found, you won’t need to be warned again. Go to the following link to read all about it: http://bit.ly/2c0wpkxJTT

PASSWORD vs PASSPHRASE: 5 Reasons to Use a Passphrase – 
The debate between passwords versus passphrases is currently the trending buzz online. After all the password hacking and identity theft incidents have caught media attention, a lot of online users have now become aware of the ominous danger that is lurking in the world of the Internet.

Hence, the recommendation to use passphrases instead of passwords by “Information Technology,” experts just came at the right time.

However, some people are still confused as to the difference between a password and a passphrase, and why the latter is more reliable.

The difference between passwords and passphrases

  • A password,  as you know, is typically composed of letters or symbols, or a combination of both. It could be a string of random symbols such as “B@3!&O$$” or a combination of both such as “sh@tup!”.
  • A passphrase is longer than a password and contains spaces in between words such as this: “The road to success is always under construction!”
  • A passphrase can also contain symbols, and does not have to be a proper sentence or grammatically correct. The main difference of the two is that passwords do not have spaces while passphrases have spaces and are longer than any random string of letters/ numbers/ symbols.

So why is a passphrase better than passwords?

  1. Passphrases are easier to remember than a random password of symbols and letters combined together. It would be easier to remember a phrase from your favorite song, favorite quotation, than to remember a short but complicated password.
  2. Passwords are relatively easy to guess or crack by both human and robots. The online criminals have developed state-of-the-art hacking tools that are designed to crack even the most complicated password.
  3. Passphrases Satisfy complex rules easily. The use of punctuation, upper and lower cases in Passphrases also meets the complexity requirements for passwords.
  4. Major OS and applications supports passphrases. All major OS’ including Windows, Linux and Mac allow passphrases of up to 127 characters long. Hence, you can opt for longer passphrases for maximum security.
  5. Passphrases are next to impossible to crack because most of the highly-efficient password cracking tools break down at around 10 characters. Hence, even the most advanced cracking tool won’t be able to guess, brute-force or pre-compute passphrases.

I recommend you change your MO and use passphrases.
If the Password block requires 8 to 16 characters, use all 16 in a passphrase.
3 Examples: my Mother tells, everyone I am 63, allthegoodisIt88

SOME FREEWARE DOWNLOAD WEBSITES HAVE FINALLY STOPPED BUNDLING CRAPWARECrapware is regularly foisted upon unsuspecting users by pretty much every big freeware site. A few sites have started cleaning up their act.

Most freeware download sites still use shady tactics, cramming their own installers full of unwanted software and misleading advertisements down your throat in order to make a buck.

But now that a few are getting better, let’s give credit where credit is due–so consider this an ongoing list of sites that have made things right.

My favorite Freeware Download is: https://ninite.com/ It is not only crapware free, but a secure site. (https:) ☺Go to this website for complete information: http://bit.ly/2azXr6JJTT

3 ALTERNATIVES IF YOU DON’T WANT TO ENTER A PASSWORD ON YOUR WINDOWS MACHINE – A reader who wants to remain anonymous doesn’t want to type in his Windows password more than once or twice a day. By default, Windows requires you to prove that you’re you every time you boot or just wake the computer out of sleep mode. There are good reasons for that. You don’t want someone else reading your email or shopping with your Amazon account. But all that typing can get annoying, and if you only use your PC in a secure place, it may not be necessary. Here are three ways to avoid this repetitive typing.
Go to this website for the complete article.  http://bit.ly/29jnrzoJT

HOW TO SET DEFAULT APPS ON ANDROIDWhen you have multiple applications that do the same thing—like browsers, for example—Android will ask you which one you want to use every time, at least until you set one as the default with the “always” action. In the earlier days of the app picker, you’d have to clear defaults for each one before applying another, but things have changed.

Now, there’s a simple way to manage default applications for the most-used apps all in one place. The only problem is that it’s in a different place for every major manufacturer. Just Android things, right?

Go to this website for step by step instructions. http://bit.ly/29I25esJTT

DO YOU MAKE ONLINE PAYMENTS? “Dorkbot is a botnet used to steal online payment, participate in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and deliver other types of malware to victims’ computers. According to Microsoft, the family of malware used in this botnet “has infected more than one million personal computers in over 190 countries over the course of the past year.” The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Microsoft, is releasing this Technical Alert to provide further information about Dorkbot. A system infected with Dorkbot may be used to send spam, participate in DDoS attacks, or harvest users’ credentials for online services, including banking services.”

Click on the link to read more about Dorkbot plus suggested steps to help keep your computer free from malware. http://bit.ly/24Ht4jCJeretips

HOW TO DELETE YOUR “OK GOOGLE” VOICE ACTIVITY HISTORY – If you’re an owner of an Android device, you’re certainly familiar with the “OK Google” feature for searches and other voice commands. What you may not know is that every time you use it Google records and keeps a record of what you’re saying.

If that sounds unsettling and you are concerned about your privacy, the good news is you can delete it. In fact, you can listen to all of your voice activity and get a text transcript as well.

Google (and virtual assistant technology on other platforms) does this presumably to help improve language recognition and search results.

Go to this Web site for the complete article and step by step with pictures. http://bit.ly/1UjY0ykJTT
The JTT on the end is for Jere’s Tech Tips.

COMPLETE GUIDE TO TAKING SCREENSHOTS ON PC, MAC AND MOBILE DEVICES – Ever wanted to know how to capture screenshots on your mobile device or computer? This complete guide will provide the answers.

Screenshots are images of on-screen items, such as the interface or a portion of it.

With all the different devices and form factors, capturing a screenshot varies.

Go to this Web site to see the complete article and procedures (with pictures).
http://bit.ly/1Q5noZXJTT

RUNNING OUT OF SPACE ON YOUR IPHONE? – EIGHT TIPS TO HELP YOU QUICKLY AND EASILY FREE UP SPACE – By Adrian Kingsley-Hughes for Hardware 2.0, April 23, 2016 – Are you running out of space on your iPhone (or iPad)? Are you starting to feel like you’re going to have to delete your existing data to make space for new apps? Feel like just deleting a bunch of stuff randomly to make more room? Stop!

Before you go deleting potentially precious data like photos or notes, here are some tips to help you make the most from the storage space you have on your device. Find the tips at: http://goo.gl/2AAhrl

DO YOU HAVE AN ANDROID PHONE? – It’s unfortunate, but there are a lot scammers out there looking to steal personal and financial information from Android devices. Read about the Android scams you should know about and how you can avoid getting caught in them. Cory Schmidt, Contributor, AndroidPIT
https://goo.gl/Vhj358

SCAMMERS TARGET SMARTPHONES THROUGH SOFTWARE UPDATES –  The next time you need a software update on your cell phone, make sure it’s legitimate.

In the tech support scam, crooks call or email smart phones at random and claim an attempted software update has failed because of a virus. They say the purported problem can be remedied via a $10 credit card payment.

The scammer not only collects the money but also has the credit card number that can be used later for fraudulent charges.

TIPS:

  • Get any software updates directly from your phone
  • Never provide information to an unsolicited caller
  • If you paid, report the crime online to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

Learn more about how to avoid this type of fraud in this video: https://vimeo.com/166415514

See more Fraud Friday Alerts at: http://da.lacounty.gov/community/fraud-alerts

PICTURE THIS: YOU START YOUR COMPUTER AND WAIT. And wait. And wait some more. Your Internet is sluggish, your programs are taking forever to load. You might be infected.

Sometimes a malware infection is plain as day. Other times it’s a silent killer. If you want to know whether or not your machine is sick, you first need to understand the symptoms. So let’s take a look at the telltale signs.

See the full article at: http://bit.ly/1UU44j6JereTips

DO YOU MAKE ONLINE PAYMENTS?… According to the US-CERT – “Dorkbot is a botnet used to steal online payment, participate in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and deliver other types of malware to victims’ computers. According to Microsoft, the family of malware used in this botnet “has infected more than one million personal computers in over 190 countries over the course of the past year.” The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Microsoft, is releasing this Technical Alert to provide further information about Dorkbot. A system infected with Dorkbot may be used to send spam, participate in DDoS attacks, or harvest users’ credentials for online services, including banking services.”

Click on the link to read more about Dorkbot plus suggested steps to help keep your computer free from malware.
http://bit.ly/24Ht4jCJeretips

DON’T FALL FOR TECH SUPPORT SCAMS – MALWAREBYTES LAB SECURITY BLOG
http://bit.ly/23OXKPv

  • Tech support scammers now want you to call.
  • Don’t call the toll-free tech support number – you don’t want online crooks taking remote control of your PC.
  • Don’t buy the tech support plan; if you fell for this in the past, make sure that automatic renewal isn’t going to happen.

MALWAREBYTES ASKS — SHOULD YOU STORE YOUR DATA IN THE CLOUD?
http://bit.ly/1ruRZFI

  • Why are people concerned with cloud security?
  • Risks of Cloud Storage
  • Benefits of Cloud Storage

….All of this and more is covered in their official Security Blog.40 POPULAR TOURIST SCAMS EVERY TRAVELER SHOULD KNOW ABOUT – These are some of the scams that are covered in this Senior Safety Online article:
On the Street – The dropped wallet, the Photographer, the Music Artist; Travelling – Drop and Swap, Overnight Bus, Train pickpockets; Shops and Services – Slow counting, Fake Policeman, Fake Ticket; Locals and Children – Overly Helpful Local, Map Seller, Broken Camera; At the Hotel – Fake Front Desk Call, Fake Takeaway Menu. All of these scams and more can be found at: http://bit.ly/2tAB4mM

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