Have you been experiencing sudden changes to your computer, or seeing new applications and services showing up out of nowhere? If you have, know that I feel your pain and I’m here to help.
Even I get frustrated and disappointed when companies add features and applications without asking permission first. It used to be that they offered new services and endeavored to pitch them in a way that would be appealing. Now, they just foist them on us with instructions on how to undo it. Not only are the sudden changes very confusing, but many people don’t have the vocabulary to understand the instructions on how to undo the changes!
Here are some solutions for you:
1. When you authorize updates or download applications, read each screen before you hit “next.” There may be other apps being offered and they may have boxes checked that mean they will be included and installed. You need to uncheck the boxes!
Here are just a few examples of what I’m encountering:
- Current anti-virus program uninstalled and replaced by MacAfee
- The Ask Tool Bar installed on web browser
- Default search engine changed from Google to Conduit or Bing
2. Did you notice that Google added tabs to the inbox so mail is sorted into categories? The “Social” Tab is for social networking, “Promotions,” for business offers and promotions, “Updates,” for confirmations, receipts and bills, “Forums,” for online groups, and mailing lists. (I had many calls from clients who thought some of their emails were missing and I walked them through the process to undo the tabs.) Google did include instructions for undoing the changes but again…we have to take the time to read the screens and the instructions.
3. Google will soon allow people to send an email, even if they do not have the person’s email address, as long as both people have a Gmail and a Google Plus account.
This change was announced Thursday and will be introduced over the next few days. Some people are concerned that this will open the door to spam and unwanted solicitations. Google says that the new capability will be useful for people who know one another but have not yet exchanged email addresses.
Senders can email anyone as long as they follow them on Google Plus, which they are able to do without permission. Recipients can receive email from anyone on Google Plus but the recipient’s email address only shows up if the recipient replies to the email.
The ability for anyone on Google Plus to email a Gmail user will be automatically turned on, requiring people to opt out if they do not want to be reachable.
If this affects you, you can turn it off by visiting the General tab on the Gmail Settings page, where you can choose to receive email from “anyone on Google Plus”, “people in my circles” or “extended circles” or “no one”.
Google plans to send emails to Gmail users explaining the change before turning it on. Emails received from people outside Google Plus users circles will be filtered into the social tab in Gmail. So be aware that you may be getting these requests. Try to follow the instructions from Google and let me know if you get stuck.
This change, is directed at more tightly integrating Gmail with Google Plus, and is the latest move by Google to weave its social network into all of its products.
Technology is all about change and expansion. It can be a challenge to keep up and takes a certain sense of adventure and passion for the gadgets and apps. That’s why I do what I do. I enjoy the game and can bring you the play-by-plays that you need. My goal is to enhance people’s experience and help to maintain peace and joy in the world.
So, no worries…I’m here to give you a heads up when I can. Just read the instructions and let me know if you need help.
You can do your friends a favor and help me with my mission, by sharing these tips with your friends. Thanks!
“Restoring peace and joy to the world through computer education.”