Turn Your Tablet into a Child-Friendly Device

Turn Your Tablet into a Child-Friendly Device Tablets are convenient, light, and portable. Maybe you got a new one during the holiday, or your old one needs replacing. You can feel better about moving to the new device if you turn the old tablet into a child-friendly device. Here's how. Before giving your tablet up, clear your browsing history, ema...
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The New PC TuneUp

How exciting! You got a new computer for Christmas. It's sleek, shiny, and so much faster than what you had before. That's great, but it doesn't mean you should leave it untouched. This article shares several steps you might take to secure your data and keep that new device in tip-top shape. First things first. Before even logging into personal ema...
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Avoid Having Your Emails Flagged As Spam

The Monty Python "Spam" sketch makes us laugh, but business emails filtered as spam do not. Your business wants to reach its prospects and customers. This article shares tips to help you ensure customers get your messages. Mail or internet service providers (ISPs) use algorithms, custom configurations, and/or machine learning to filter emails, and ...
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Why You Need to Uninstall Adobe Flash Player


All good things must come to an end – it’s inevitable with computer software. If you’re using Adobe Flash, the day has arrived. It’s time to uninstall Adobe Flash Player.







Adobe stopped supporting Flash Player on December 31, 2020. What does this mean?




Adobe is no longer issuing Flash Player updates or security patches. The company “strongly recommends immediately uninstalling Flash Player.” The company announced the decision to bring Flash Player to end of life (EOL) in 2017.




To help secure user systems, Adobe began blocking Flash content from running in Flash Player on January 12, 2021. Major browser vendors have also disabled Flash Player from running: Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and Microsoft Edge have all stopped supporting the technology.




This renders Flash Player pretty useless. Flash was key to early Web browsing, powering interactive website elements such as animations and forms. Web developers loved it, because it saved them from offering users dull, static pages. However, open standards have matured to provide a viable alternative to Flash content. The HTML 5 standard has replaced Flash in many cases.

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Protect Your Home from Technology Fire Risk


You love your technology and probably have a lot of it at home. You might not think of computers, smartphones, printers, or routers as a fire risk, but they can do real damage.




Desktops, laptops, routers, modems, and printers can all overheat.



Microwaves, laundry machines, and air conditioners are the top sources of residential fires, but computer equipment is also responsible for fires that injure and kill homeowners.




So, what should you do? Keep in mind that your technology generates heat when it’s switched on; that’s why it’s designed with venting. But desktops, laptops, routers, modems, and printers can all overheat.




Desktop computers have fans to push out the air, but they can get clogged with dust or blocked. Often, we’ll see computers pushed up again a wall, covered with papers, or kept in a small alcove that gets no airflow.




Laptops can also overheat. People often sit with their laptops literally on their lap, or on a blanket or pillow. If you’re blocking the device’s exhaust port, the laptop can’t cool down.

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Quick Tip No. 4





Need to repeat lots of command in Excel? Simply press the F4 button.

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Keep in Touch While Social Distancing


Quarantine doesn’t have to mean you’re on your own all the time. Sure, back in the days of the plague or pox, people were stuck. But now, we have technology to let us remain connected even while social distancing. Here’s a roundup of top options for fun with family and friends.




Social distancing does not mean you have to be alone with today's technology.



You can’t have an actual party at your home right now, but a virtual house party could be fun.




The Houseparty app (houseparty.com) allows up to eight people to connect online in a video chat “room.” There’s no need to call people (like on FaceTime) – you get a notification when friends are online. Plus, you can switch between rooms easily. It’s like wandering from the kitchen into the backyard.




Zoom (zoom.us) is another app that lets you have a virtual get-together. Only the host needs to have a Zoom account, and the other participants follow the link to the video conference. Free meetings are capped at 40 minutes, though, for groups of three or more.




If your friends and family are on Google, you can bring up to 150 of them together in a Google Hangout (hangout.google.com). Long a go-to for international calling, Skype is another video chat option.

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What is the Best Way to Backup?


“That will never happen to me.” We get through our lives telling ourselves the worst won’t happen to us. It’s the same with business: “We won’t need this data backup.” Yet, whatever your industry, secure, reliable backup ensures business as usual. So, what’s the best way to backup? Here’s help.




What is the best way to backup?



Why You Need to Backup




  1. Business
    disruptions of any kind can be costly. The disaster might take one of several
    shapes:
  2. Natural (e.g.
    wildfires, floods, earthquakes, or hurricanes)
  3. On-site (e.g.
    hardware/software failure, power outage, inability to access building)
  4. Employee
    driven (e.g. damaging mistakes or intentional sabotage by a disgruntled
    employee)
  5. Cyber-attack
    (e.g. data breach, ransomware, or distributed denial of service attack).  



Regardless,
the best backup solution can help reduce downtime and damage. 




Plan B: Approaches to Backup




There are
several off-the-shelf backup options your business can use. Let’s consider the
pros and cons of the most popular ones.  




USB Thumb Drives — Also known as
“flash drives,” “pen drives,” or “memory sticks,” these thumb-sized devices are
compact and portable. But, they have size limitations compared to hard drives.
Also, the mobility makes them easy to lose (which can actually set the disaster
scenario in motion).  




Additionally,
a USB thumb drive is robust when not plugged in, but more vulnerable when
attached. If someone inadvertently snaps the drive or employs too much force,
they can put the data on that backup at risk.

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“Have you tried turning it off and on?”


There’s one solution to tech problems that everyone knows: turning the device off and then back on again. This go-to move is a bit of a joke in the IT industry. Who needs help-desk support if you can find a power switch? Surprisingly, this approach actually does solve a lot of problems.




Surprisingly, turning off your PC can actually solve a lot of problems.



Take the Microsoft Windows Blue Screen, for instance. If you see this screen, Windows cannot continue working. Restarting the computer may be the only fix you need.




Sometimes systems will lock up, or an application will freeze, and you can’t do anything except stare at that annoying little icon indicating the computer is stuck. If it’s an application, you can try “Force Quit” (CTL + ALT + Delete in Windows, or Option, Command, and Esc on a Mac). But if that doesn’t work, you may have to force a shutdown. On a Mac you can do this by pressing Command + Control + Option + Power button. On a PC you can hold down the power button for as long as needed for the computer to shut off.




Don’t worry, modern computers are designed to endure unexpected shutdowns. However, it’s definitely safer to use the power button than to pull the plug from the electrical outlet.




When you have issues with internet or network connectivity, powering off your computer may again be the solution. By turning the computer off, you reset its connections to the router, server, or even ISP. This ensures the appropriate information to get online is being communicated back and forth. That doesn’t work? Try powering off the router or modem. The same explanation applies, only now you’re resetting the connection from the other side.

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Stop the Inbox Insanity: 5 Tips for Better Email Management


A staggering 269 billion emails are sent every day. Your business is receiving only a small fraction of those emails. Yet your staff likely feel as if at least 269 of those are coming into their mailbox daily. In fact, the typical employee in 2018 received 90 emails, and sent out 40.  Email is a powerful tool. But its help with doing business ever faster creates added business pressure. Consider these five strategies for better email management.




Need help selecting the right email or setting up useful mailbox management tools?



1. Don't start your day with email




Many people do. It’s how they set up for the day. However, beginning the day with a cup of coffee and clicking through your inbox, can backfire. Many of those emails become items on your to-do list. You put off important tasks from your day responding to other people’s requests. Plan your day around your business needs first. Even knock off some of the more important tasks, before diving into that inbox!




2. Think twice about checking email constantly.




It’s tempting to open emails as soon as they arrive. But, you only want to tackle your inbox when you have the time to take action. If you open an email planning to get back to it later, you’ll likely forget. When you have to revisit an email to remind yourself what it’s about, you’re doubling the time you spend on that message. Avoid interrupting your momentum by turning off email alert notifications and phone badges. Instead, set regular times to read and respond to accumulated emails.




3. Write clear, concise emails.




Avoid contributing to a colleague’s inbox chaos. Provide as much relevant information as possible. Now, that doesn’t mean writing a War and Peace-length email. Focus your message for your audience, anticipate questions, and answer in that email.  Starting the message with an informative subject line can make a big difference too.




4. Save time with reusable messages.




You often end up answering the same questions over and again. Create templated emails that you can have at the ready to provide relevant details. Depending on your email software, this capability may be built-in or you may need to add a plug-in.

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Do You Copy? What Can Go Wrong with BCC


Try to find
someone who has not “replied all” when meaning to send to only one individual.
It’s embarrassing and can aggravate those people with more emails flooding
their box. Another common email gaffe is misusing the CC and BCC fields in
outgoing messages. This mistake can prove costly for business.




Do you use reply all?



You’ll have
noticed those extra fields below the “To” field in your email client. CC stands
for carbon copy, and BCC for blind carbon copy.




When you use
CC, it’s like you’ve imprinted your message on an old blue sheet of carbon
paper. The email copy sends to your To recipients as well as anyone you have
CC’d. All recipients can see who else you sent your message to. This is a great
way to encourage collaboration and accountability.




When you use
BCC, your To recipient and anyone else you BCC’d gets the email, but you're not
showing where you sent the message. This is for when you’re addressing a large
group of contacts that may not know each other, or when you are sending a group
message but you want to respect the privacy of all your recipients.




The Blind Carbon Copy Nightmare




A big problem
is using To or CC when meaning to use BCC. You inadvertently expose all your
contacts’ email addresses. Personal contact information needs protection, and
people’s privacy demands respect. You don’t want to make this mistake with a
single or a few emails, or worse still hundreds or thousands of emails.

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Loving your External Hard Drive


External hard drives free up storage, offer portability, and provide a lifeline in case of a computer disaster. It pays to take good care of these compact, convenient devices.




Take care of your external hard drive device.



Here are some
helpful strategies.




1. Don’t knock the drive.




Depending on
the type of drive you have, impact could damage it. The hard drive’s mechanical
drives work a little like a record player. Envision a spinning platter and a
needle reading it. Note, you don’t have to worry about this with a Solid State
Drive (SSD) as there are no moving parts.




2. Don’t pull.




You can damage
the drive port with a hard or sideways yank on its USB plug. Remove the device
cable with a gentle pull. It’s best to unplug the drive cable when it’s not in
use. Then, when you are reconnecting the external drive, inspect the connector
before plugging the cable back in. Look for any damage, debris, or corrosion to
help maximize the device’s lifespan. 




3. Don’t skip steps.




You may be in a hurry, but always take the time to remove the hard drive from your desktop before physically unplugging it. On Windows, you’ll usually right-click on the drive and press Eject. For Macs, you can drag the drive icon to the recycle bin (which changes to an eject button).  Never unplug the drive while moving data to or from the hard drive unless you want to risk data corruption.

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Time for What Matters: Essential Windows Shortcuts


The average person spends 90,000 hours at work. These hours can cost us sleep, affect our mood, and cause us to gain weight. Oh, and work can cause stress, too. We can’t give you a “get out of work free” card, but these essential Windows shortcuts will help you save time.




window shortcuts to save time



By gaining efficiency at your computer, you may find you have more time
for what matters. At work, this may be devising new innovations or getting out
in the field. At home, these shortcuts can free up time to play a board game
with the kids or do some gardening with Grandma.




Ctrl + X to Cut




Think about X marking the spot in the text where you want to cut words,
an image, or a URL. Drag your cursor over the selection to highlight the
particular text/table/image/file (or a part of it). If you don’t want it at
all, the cut function is another version of delete. If you want to move the
selection, this is your first step.




Ctrl + V to Paste




With this simple shortcut you can place the information you just cut
(or copied using Ctrl + C) anywhere you want. The important thing to remember
is that the paste function only holds one selection in memory. So, if you cut a
phrase from one place, don’t get distracted by an image you want to copy or
other text to cut. You want to paste what you have first, then go back and copy
or cut the next thing so as not to risk risking losing anything.




Ctrl + Z to Undo




If only this shortcut was available in real life. We could retract that
thing we inadvertently said to Uncle Steve, or take out the salt we put in a
recipe instead of sugar, or avoid leaving the house for the gym without our
running shoes. 

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Online Scheduling Solves Calendar Challenges


Setting up a meeting or training can be such a headache. You send an email or leave a voicemail with some suggested times, and the other participants respond with completely different times, often within the time window you identified as unavailable. Sigh! The possibilities go back and forth until finally at least a few of you agree. This is where online scheduling comes in handy!




The More Attendees the Bigger the Headache




The more
people you want to get to the table (or an online meeting) the more layers of
complexity: “Does this work for you?” “No, how about Tuesday?” “Sorry, Jim
can’t meet then.” “Same time Wednesday?” “Mel and Jo are out then.” “AARGH!”




Well, setting up an agreed-upon calendar appointment doesn’t need to be that difficult any longer. Online scheduling lets people plan around availability easily.




Setting up a meeting or training can be such a headache.



Using Online Scheduling Tools




Online scheduling tools let you send out a link to a calendar showing your availability. You can also allow customers to schedule directly from your website. The recipient has only to click into the calendar (link or online) and choose the time that suits them. You set it up so that all participants receive an email (or text) confirmation and a reminder of the meeting.




Whether it’s a
one-on-one or a group meeting, you have ownership of the scheduling process. Limit
your availability easily. You can set the online scheduler to add extra time
before or after meetings. Spending all your time in meetings? Reduce the number
of meeting slots available on a given day. You can even prevent meetings called
at short notice by setting a minimum preparation time, or set a buffer to avoid
meetings in the first 15 or last 15 minutes of the day.

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6 Target Areas to Reduce IT Costs


Your business is always looking to reduce costs. Looking at the
information technology budget line items is headache inducing. So much money
spent in one area, and there’s so little you can do about it! But is that
really true? IT expenses may not be as fixed as you think. Take a look at these
target areas where you might reduce costs.







#1 Software




Your business likely pays to license software such as Microsoft Office
365 or Adobe Photoshop. Reviewing these software agreements, you can often find
cost savings:




  • You may be able to renegotiate a subscription if the
    provider wants to move you onto to a new offering.
  • You may find that you are paying for software that
    your employees are no longer using much. Maybe you can reduce or remove it.
  • Perhaps the pricing has changed, and there are now
    better plan options available.
  • There may be an open-source software alternative to
    save acquisition and maintenance costs.



#2 Hardware




Your current hardware may be underused, need refreshing, or have lost
productivity. Look for opportunities to run applications on less expensive
devices, or link together several computers to replace expensive server
equipment. Standardizing platforms can also significantly reduce IT costs while
providing consistency.

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How Can I Spot A Fake E mail?

How Can I Spot A Fake E mail?

How Can I Spot A Fake E mail?

Do you know how to spot a phony request in an e mail?

You may  receive an e-mail, for example, from the NY Times to do a survey.  How can you be sure this e mail is coming from the Times and not a phishing expedition.  You may open the e mail, but hesitate to click on a link, unless your sure, but don’t know how.

Truthfully, it’s a tricking business. But you’ve already got the most important thing down, you’re aware to be on the lookout for things that don’t quite look right.

Phishing is when online scammers entice people to give away their personal information with e-mails or sites that mimic communications from sites that you know and trust.

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How To Change Your BT Email Password

How To Change Your BT Email Password
Go to http://bt.yahoo.com. Enter your email address and password and click 'sign in'.


If you are asked to enter a verification code, do so and click to submit.

Once the page has loaded, click on 'My Account' at the top right.


 
When the page loads, in the quick links on the left, click on 'Change My Password'.

 

 
When asked, enter the first part of your email address (the part before @btinternet.com). Then enter your current password and your new password and type it again to confirm it. Then click 'Change Password'.
 




You will now be asked to confirm your personal information.Check the information, make any corrections and click 'Next'.


To finish the process, click 'Finish'.


 
Tips for Picking a Secure Password
Picking a password can be tricky, so here are a few tips:

Don't use the following passwords
  • 123456
  • abc123
  • monkey
  • qwerty
  • password
  • letmein
These are just a few examples of insecure passwords; any word that's listed in a dictionary is not a safe password and could be easily guessed.

So to create a secure password, it's a good idea to use a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols, and make sure all passwords are at least eight characters long (the longer the better).

As an example, if we take the word 'Cumbria' we can make it a bit more secure by mixing the letters up, and swapping numbers for letters. Often 3 is swapped for m, 1 is swapped for i, 7 for r, and A can be replaced by giving you a secure password: C3RAR1B*64781U, which is Cumbria, with a symbol and some numbers also added.
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Disabling in App Purchase

Disabling in App Purchase

With the rise of news story's about how children have managed to spend larges amounts of money via in app purchases while playing games. To help avoid it's possible to turn off in-app purchases

With many apps for your tablet or smartphone, replying on the in app purchases to make their money.

Whether it's in-game currency to help you buy upgrades, unlockable videos or magazine back issues, in-app purchases can be great: until your child gets hold of your smartphone. Then the bills can mount up.

 
Android
To disable in app purchases on an Android devices.

Open the Google Play Store App,Tap on Menu, then Settings, under the heading called User Controls you will see an option called 'Set or change PIN tap this, you will then be asked to enter a PIN code and then confirm the pin code.

You should then be taken back to the main menu screen, under the heading 'User Controls' you will need to tap o the check box called 'Use PIN for purchases; This should now protect your tablet, unless the person using it knows the PIN code.

 
Apple iOS
To disable in app pruchaes on Apple iOS.

Click on the Settings Icon.


Once in settings if you tap on 'General' from the left hand side and thentap on 'Restrictions' opn the right hand side on the screen.


If you might have ''Enable Restrictions'' If so tap on ''Enable Restrictions''





You will then need to enter a 4 digit pin code to protect your account.





You will then need to confirm the pin code


You now need to go down to ''Allowed Content' menu, slide 'In app purchases' to 'Off'. This will stop any in app purchases.

 
This should now protect your tablet, unless the person using it knows the PIN code.


 
 
 
 
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Dealing with Direct Message Spam on Twitter

Dealing with Direct Message Spam on Twitter
If you're a Twitter user it's likely you will have received a 'Spam' Direct Message or DM, either about weight loss or a large range of other subjects. If you've seen tweets from your account that you didn't send, it's likely your Twitter account has being compromised.

 
These are two examples of spam messages:



To resolve the issue it's a fairly simple process. First we need to go to http://www.twitter.com, enter your username and password and click Sign In.

 

 
 
Once you've signed into your Twitter account you need to click on the cog at the top right of the page.

 

 
 

Once you've clicked on the cog you'll see a dropdown menu simular to the one above. Left-click on Settings.

From the menu on the left-hand side, you first need to click on Apps.

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In App Purchases on Andorid and iOS

In App Purchases on Andorid and iOS

With the rise of news story's about how children have managed to spend larges amounts of money via in app purchases while playing games. To help avoid it's possible to turn off in-app purchases

With many apps for your tablet or smartphone, replying on the in app purchases to make their money.

Whether it's in-game currency to help you buy upgrades, unlockable videos or magazine back issues, in-app purchases can be great: until your child gets hold of your smartphone. Then the bills can mount up.

 
Android
To disable in app purchases on an Android devices.

Open the Google Play Store App,Tap on Menu, then Settings, under the heading called User Controls you will see an option called 'Set or change PIN tap this, you will then be asked to enter a PIN code and then confirm the pin code.

You should then be taken back to the main menu screen, under the heading 'User Controls' you will need to tap o the check box called 'Use PIN for purchases; This should now protect your tablet, unless the person using it knows the PIN code.

 
Apple iOS
To disable in app pruchaes on Apple iOS.

Click on the Settings Icon.


Once in settings if you tap on 'General' from the left hand side and thentap on 'Restrictions' opn the right hand side on the screen.


If you might have ''Enable Restrictions'' If so tap on ''Enable Restrictions''





You will then need to enter a 4 digit pin code to protect your account.





You will then need to confirm the pin code


You now need to go down to ''Allowed Content' menu, slide 'In app purchases' to 'Off'. This will stop any in app purchases.

 
This should now protect your tablet, unless the person using it knows the PIN code.


 
 
 
 
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