Category: techie tip

The Magic of the Right Click

Some of my most helpful tips are so simple that I don’t think to mention them in my Techie Tips newsletter.  But when a client gets so excited about one, like happened recently, it reminds me to let you know too.  I hope you will enjoy this and be inspired to share it with others.

Do you use the right click button on your mouse or trackpad?  If not, you must try it.  It reveals a short menu of choices that may be exactly what you need.  You don’t have to waste time searching through all the options on the toolbars at the top of the screen or trying to remember where you found it last time.

Also, if you use a very large monitor, you won’t waste time running your mouse pointer back and forth between your work area and the toolbars way up at the top of the screen.

The Apple “magic mouse” and trackpad do the same thing if you double tap them.  My Chromebook trackpad shows the menus with just a single tap on the right side.  Each gadget is a little different and occasionally the feature needs to be set up in the Settings.  Let me know if you need help.

The menus change, depending on where your pointer is when you click or tap.  For example, if your pointer is on a toolbar, it will have commands related to that toolbar, like Manage Bookmarks or Add Toolbar, or Change Position.  If you right click in the middle of a document, it will offer commands like Copy, and Print.  If you right click on a webpage it will have choices like Back or Print.  If you click on a tab in your web browser you will see Close Tab, New Tab and even Reopen Tab.

It’s “the best thing since sliced bread”!  When clients get really excited about a tip, it makes my day! I hope you find this helpful and that you will spread the word.

Enjoy!
Mardi

Crapware

Crapware:

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

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

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

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

 

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

desert cow computers

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

nexus

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

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

No More Password Hassles with LastPass

No More Password Hassles!

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

Clifford Stoll                                      Read more at brainyquote.com

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

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

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

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

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

Please post your thoughts or comments below….

Thanks!

Looking for Work On Craigslist – Safety Tips

CRAIGSLIST-large570

Hi Mardi,

I am still in Brazil.

I am trying to put an add for a new job on craigslist and I can’t do it.

I open the craigslist page but I can’t find the right place.

Could you help me doing that?

I will try to call you.

I recently received this message from a client and it reminded me to let you know about a couple of hazards to avoid when you, or someone you know, is looking for work online.

When I first moved to the Desert, I was looking for work on Craigslist and encountered two potentially dangerous scams.

The first and most obvious scam, was an email from a company offering me an interview and requiring that I get a credit report to bring to the interview.  They said I needed to get it from the company they recommended and the link to the website was included in the email.

I couldn’t imagine why someone would need a credit report before an interview or expect me to divulge financial information to a company I didn’t know, so I knew it was a scam.

facebook login

The second scam almost got me!  A company said they were interested in me and I could learn more about them at their Facebook page.  At first, I thought it was strange that they didn’t send me to their company website, but then I thought they might be trying to be hip and leading-edge by having a company Facebook page.

I clicked on the link and it took me to a page that looked exactly like the Facebook sign-in page.  I signed in, but had a weird feeling that something was off.  I looked up at the address bar to see exactly where I was and it said “fakebook.com/….”  I thought oh my gosh, they just captured my Facebook login and password!

I immediately opened a new window and went to my Facebook page and changed my password.  Luckily I got there, before they were able to changed my password and lock me out.  Whew!

craigslist banner

There are good jobs available on Craigslist and I actually found one at that time.

You just need to be careful and let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Please forward this to everyone you know who is looking for work so they can be safe and feel relaxed, happy and confident while using Craigslist.

Thoughts or comments about this topic?  Please share in comments below.

Would You Believe This?

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

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

Hello PayPal customer,

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

Why my account PayPal™ is limited?

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

What can I do to resolve the problem?

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

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

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

Screenshot 2015-01-30 at 8.09.29 AM

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

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

Screenshot 2015-01-30 at 7.56.16 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

To protect yourself against phishing, follow these basic guidelines:

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

Senior_Year_by_ScarecrowArtist

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

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

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