Category: Web Browsers

How To Make Your Technology Less Frustrating and More Fun This Year

“It’s that holiday time of year again, and that means it’s over the river and through the woods to…well, fix my family’s Wi-Fi and other tech problems.”  From: The Complete Guide to Giving Better Family Tech Support  by Jason Fitzpatrick
family-dinner-3407701_1280
Do you have someone in your family who takes care of your techie problems for you?

I was that person for my mother. In fact, she was the one who suggested that I start this tutoring business to help other retirement-age adults.

I often laugh and tell people, “I’m your person, when you don’t have access to any techie relatives or you don’t want to impose. ; )

I recently read a fun article by How to Geek. The Complete Guide to Giving Better Family Tech Support  and I realized that it’s time to remind you that, “a few times a year someone needs to make sure computers are up to date,photos are backed up, and the tech is humming along as it should, so you won’t be in a in a position to have people exploit your computers, lose your photos to a hard drive crash, or otherwise be miserable because you just didn’t know any better.  After all, you aren’t out there keeping up on all the tech news and reading how-to guides.”

image of computer with 2019 on the screenAnd, there’s another great article for the New Year… Lock Down Your Tech With These New Year’s Resolutions by Justin Pot.  It urges people to:

  • “Use a freaking password manager
  • Lock Down Important Accounts With Two-Factor Authentication
  • Backup Your Computer (Seriously)
  • Update (or Upgrade) Your Router
  • Clean Out Your Browser Extensions
  • Remove Unused Third-Party App Access From Google, Facebook, and Other Accounts
  • Encrypt Your Computers and Phone”

As I often say, “using technology is like driving cars, they need check ups from time to time, and you have to know the rules of the road for your safety and security.

sparkler-839831_1280No Worries…There Are Easy Ways To Get It All Done:

  • Read the two articles and follow their very clear instructions or
  • Send these tips to your “Family Tech Guru” so he or she can do it or
  • Hire me to teach you how to do it or
  • Hire me do it for you

Whatever you decide is fine, but  please make a decision and “get ‘er done” so you can have less frustration and more fun.

Wishing you a very happy new year and may your techie world be simple, easy and fun this year!

Enjoy!

Mardi

P. S. Please share this with your loved ones so they can get the help they need too.  Thanks!

Passwords Can Be Simple and Safe

Passwords Can Be Simple and Safe

I know you hate having to use so many passwords.  It’s a big pain to keep track of them.  You might even be using the same password for multiple sites and allowing your web browser to save them so you don’t have to login every time.

A recent article by Kim Komando, inspired me to encourage you to take the bull by the horns, do some house cleaning and start using a password manager. This will make your online life so much simpler and safer.
Here are some great tips based on her article, One secret about online accounts every computer user needs to know

You may have created dozens of accounts that have only been used once. Just think of how many times you’ve created a username and password just to read an article, play a game or download something.  This can be dangerous because your information is floating around on dozens or hundreds of websites that may or may not be secure.  Even worse, if you have used the same username and password for every site, every account you have is in danger.  A hacker who gets your account information from one site can use it to get access to your other accounts as well.

The solution is to hunt down and close any accounts you are not using and then change the passwords to your existing accounts so that each one is unique.

A simple browser trick

1) When you create a new online account or log in to an old one, your browser stores the username and password. This makes it easy to log back in later.  It also means you can go now and see what accounts you’ve created.

2) After you locate your accounts, you can close down the accounts you are not using and create unique passwords for the sites you are keeping.

3) Then turn off “password storing” and erase the existing passwords in your browser. The option to erase the passwords is in the same place you view the saved passwords.  (The Instructions are below.)

Use A Password Manager

LastPass, The last password you will ever need

 

 

 

 

 

I know this seems like a lot of work but you only have to do it once.  Then, If you start using a password manager like LastPass all your unique passwords will be stored in a vault and you will only need to remember one master password.  The password manager will even generate secure passwords for you so you don’t have to think them up. You will love it!

If you need help to clean things up or to learn how to use a password manager like LastPass, I’m always here for you. Just call for an appointment.

Invite some friends to a Play Shop in your home, community room or office.  A play shop is a really fun way to learn and only costs $25 hr. per person.

Forward this tip to your friends so they will be safe and happier too.
Thoughts or comments about this topic? Please share in the comment section below.

Instructions for web browser applications:

FIREFOX

To see your login information in Firefox, go to the Firefox menu – it’s the icon on the right with three horizontal lines – and click Options.

Under the Security tab, click the “Saved Passwords” button.

Then click the “Show Passwords” button and click “Yes.”

CHROME

In Chrome, click the icon with three horizontal lines in the upper right and choose “Settings.”

Choose “Settings” on the left, and then click the “Show advanced settings” link at the bottom of the screen.

Scroll down to “Passwords and forms” and click the “Manage saved passwords” link.

If you want to log back into your old account, but don’t remember the password, then you can click on a password and click the Show button next to it.

To see the password, you will have to enter your Windows account password, which does make it harder for casual snoops to get in.

INTERNET EXPLORER

You can’t view saved usernames and passwords directly in IE. You would need a third-party program like IE PassView.  However, I recommend that you don’t use Internet Explorer anyway.  It is easily invaded by spyware. I use Google Chrome but Firefox is good also.

SAFARI

In Safari, go to Safari>>Preferences>>Auto-fill. Click the Edit button to view the saved passwords.

Need Help?

If you need help to clean things up or to learn how to use a password manager like LastPass,  I’m always here for you. Just call for an appointment.

Invite some friends to a Play Shop in your home, community room or office.  A play shop is a really fun way to learn and only costs $25 hr. per person.

Forward this tip to your friends so they will be safe and happier too.

OpenOffice.org

Sometimes I Feel Stupid Too!  Computer User Feeling Stupid

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Great Money Saving Tip

OpenOffice.org

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

 

The Pitfalls

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

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

You should be using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

 

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

Norton Internet Security

 

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

 

 

 

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

The Rules In Review

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Change Your Web Browser

Please Change Your Web Browser ASAP!internet explorer

So many of my appointments involve problems with Microsoft Internet Explorer!  Internet Explorer is frequently hacked and hijacked and it’s very disconcerting to have your home page suddenly switched to something you never authorized and you cant find your familiar Google search box.     firefox-os_logo-wordmark_RGB-vertical-300dpi

Please use the Google Chrome or Firefox internet browser instead. I prefer Google Chrome because I use a myriad of awesome free Google products. Ask me about them next time we get together.

 

 

 

chrome

According to a report by the cybersecurity firm Bromium, the latest version of Internet Explorer is still the number one target for hackers.

For the first half of 2014, the report found that Google Chrome has actually had no publicly known security flaws, making it safe from malware attacks.

Other important facts in the report:

  1. Microsoft Internet Explorer set a record high for reported vulnerabilities in the first half of 2014.
  2. Internet Explorer also leads in publicly reported exploits.
  3. Web browser release cycles are becoming more frequent – as are initial security patches.
  4. Adobe Flash is the primary browser plugin being targeted by attacks this year.

Microsoft quickly schedules updates that Internet Explorer uses to patch its holes but it’s still one of the most commonly-attacked browsers by far, and I know that many of my clients ignore the updates. It’s a huge problem!

 

Keeping your Adobe Flash player up to date is also very important. Always update your Flash player to avoid security flaws like this. Apple won’t even let you play a video if you don’t have the latest version of Flash.

I hope these Techie Tips will ensure that you are protected and enable you to take advantages of all great things technology can do for you.

As always, if you, and your friends and relatives, need help with any of these things, just call me to set up an appointment.

In Joy,

Mardi Boettcher

“Helping you make peace with the ups and downs of technology.”

Last Month for My $40 Summer Special

 

Want your internet faster and safer?

Want to get rid of those annoying ads?

Take advantage of my Summer Special Now!

 

I’ll make some tweaks to your browser and speed up your internet browsing experience without you having to call Time Warner or Verizon and pay more for your Internet. Let me come over and make a few adjustments.
You’ll be amazed at how much faster (and safer) your web pages are loading, all for one $40 appointment.
Call me today to set up a time!

 

Summer Special

Indoors for the SummerSummer’s here and everyone is spending more time indoors and online. Want your internet faster? Want to get rid of those annoying ads? Who doesn’t? I’ve learned some tricks I can pass along to you in my Summer Special (one hour @ $40).  If you aren’t in The Desert, we can do it online.

I’ll get rid of those ads and speed up your internet browsing experience without you having to call Time Warner or Verizon and pay more for your Internet. Let me come over and make a few adjustments and before you know it, you’ll be amazed at how much faster (and safer) your web pages are loading. Call today for an appointment!

Pre-purchase Consultation Questions

One of my services is consulting with people to help them choose the best computer or gadget for their individual needs.  So much frustration can be avoided by buying the right product in the first place, and I have already test-driven quite a few of them in order to pave the way for others to have a more pleasant experience.  See my previous posts for the gruesome details.  LOL

Here are the questions I use for my consultations.  Please forward this to your friends and relatives so they will have it when they are considering a computer or gadget purchase.   They will thank you for it.

1. What is your budget?

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

3. What screen resolution do you want?

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

5. How much battery life do you need?

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low, Medium or High)?

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, etc.)

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer, Blue Ray ROM/Writer, etc ?

12. Please tell me about the brands that you prefer and the brands that you don’t like and explain the reasons.

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell me any additional information if needed.

Additionally… you should consider available support options in your area. If you buy something abroad, will you be able to have it fixed near where you live? Does the warranty apply? How quickly do local accredited technicians fix laptops?

Web Browser Hijacked

This week I’ve worked with two clients who have had their Internet Explorer web browser hijacked.  That means that a web page has been installed as their home page and they couldn’t get rid of it.  It was very confusing and frustrating for them.

The solution is to download and use either Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome instead.  If you are not good at downloading and installing updates, I suggest you use Chrome, because it will install the updates in the background and you won’t have to do anything.  It also gives you convenient access to gmail, contacts, calendar and docs.  (Did you know you can use Google Docs for free and you won’t need Microsoft Office Suite?)

If you have any questions or need help, just let me know.

 

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