Monday, August 31, 2009
Today we are going to talk about Ergonmics and computer safety. First a few words about Ergonmics:
This information is brought to us by: http://www.usernomics.com/
Historically, Ergonomics was another name for Human Factors. Today, Ergonomics commonly refers to designing work environments for maximizing safety and efficiency. Biometrics and Anthropometrics play a key role in this use of the word Ergonomics. Engineering Psychology often has a specialty dealing with Workplace or Occupational Ergonomics.
Companies once thought that there was a bottom-line tradeoff between safety and efficiency. Now they embrace ergonomics because they have learned that designing a safe work environment can also result in greater efficiency and productivity. Recently, U.S. laws requiring a safe work environment have stimulated great interest in Ergonomics - from ergonomic furniture to ergonomic training. But it is in the design of the workplace as a whole where the greatest impact can be seen for both safety and efficiency.
The easier it is to do a job, the more likely it is to see gains in productivity due to greater efficiency. Analogously, the safer it is to do a job, the more likely it is to see gains in productivity due to reduced time off for injury. Ergonomics can address both of these issues concurrently by maximizing the workspace and equipment needed to do a job.
OSHA has Computer Ergonmic standards avalible on their web site: (or you can just read the following - but for more information check out:) http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/computerworkstations/index.html
Millions of people work with computers every day. This eTool* illustrates simple, inexpensive principles that will help you create a safe and comfortable computer workstation. There is no single “correct” posture or arrangement of components that will fit everyone. However, there are basic design goals, some of which are shown in the accompanying figure, to consider when setting up a computer workstation or performing computer-related tasks. Consider your workstation as you read through each section and see if you can identify areas for improvement in posture, component placement, or work environment. This eTool provides suggestions to minimize or eliminate identified problems, and allows you to create your own "custom-fit" computer workstation.
This checklist can help you create a safe and comfortable computer workstation. You can also use it in conjunction with the purchasing guide checklist [49 KB, 4 pages]. A "no" response indicates that a problem may exist. Refer to the appropriate section of the eTool for assistance and ideas about how to analyze and control the problem.
WORKING POSTURES–The workstation is designed or arranged for doing computer tasks so it allows your:
1. Head and neck to be upright, or in-line with the torso (not bent down/back). If "no" refer to Monitors, Chairs and Work Surfaces.
2. Head, neck, and trunk to face forward (not twisted). If "no" refer to Monitors or Chairs.
3. Trunk to be perpendicular to floor (may lean back into backrest but not forward). If "no" refer to Chairs or Monitors.
4. Shoulders and upper arms to be in-line with the torso, generally about perpendicular to the floor and relaxed (not elevated or stretched forward). If "no" refer to Chairs.
5. Upper arms and elbows to be close to the body (not extended outward). If "no" refer to Chairs, Work Surfaces, Keyboards, and Pointers.
6. Forearms, wrists, and hands to be straight and in-line (forearm at about 90 degrees to the upper arm). If "no" refer to Chairs, Keyboards, Pointers.
7. Wrists and hands to be straight (not bent up/down or sideways toward the little finger). If "no" refer to Keyboards, or Pointers
8. Thighs to be parallel to the floor and the lower legs to be perpendicular to floor (thighs may be slightly elevated above knees). If "no" refer to Chairs or Work Surfaces.
9. Feet rest flat on the floor or are supported by a stable footrest. If "no" refer to Chairs, Work Surfaces.
SEATING–Consider these points when evaluating the chair:
10. Backrest provides support for your lower back (lumbar area).
11. At width and depth accommodate the specific user (seat pan not too big/small)
12. Seat front does not press against the back of your knees and lower legs (seat pan not too long).
13. Seat has cushioning and is rounded with a "waterfall" front (no sharp edge).
14. Armrests, if used, support both forearms while you perform computer tasks and they do not interfere with movement.
KEYBOARD/INPUT DEVICE–Consider these points when evaluating the keyboard or pointing device. The keyboard/input device is designed or arranged for doing computer tasks so the
15. Keyboard/input device platform(s) is stable and large enough to hold a keyboard and an input device.
16. Input device (mouse or trackball) is located right next to your keyboard so it can be operated without reaching.
17. Input device is easy to activate and the shape/size fits your hand (not too big/small).
18. Wrists and hands do not rest on sharp or hard edges.
MONITOR–Consider these points when evaluating the monitor. The monitor is designed or arranged for computer tasks so the:
19. Top of the screen is at or below eye level so you can read it without bending your head or neck down/back.
20. User with bifocals/trifocals can read the screen without bending the head or neck backward.
21. Monitor distance allows you to read the screen without leaning your head, neck or trunk forward/backward.
22. Monitor position is directly in front of you so you don't have to twist your head or neck.
23. Glare (for example, from windows, lights) is not reflected on your screen which can cause you to assume an awkward posture to clearly see information on your screen.
WORK AREA–Consider these points when evaluating the desk and workstation. The work area is designed or arranged for doing computer tasks so the:
24. Thighs have sufficient clearance space between the top of the thighs and your computer table/keyboard platform (thighs are not trapped).
25. Legs and feet have sufficient clearance space under the work surface so you are able to get close enough to the keyboard/input device.
26. Document holder, if provided, is stable and large enough to hold documents.
27. Document holder, if provided, is placed at about the same height and distance as the monitor screen so there is little head movement, or need to re-focus, when you look from the document to the screen.
28. Wrist/palm rest, if provided, is padded and free of sharp or square edges that push on your wrists.
29. Wrist/palm rest, if provided, allows you to keep your forearms, wrists, and hands straight and in-line when using the keyboard/input device.
30. Telephone can be used with your head upright (not bent) and your shoulders relaxed (not elevated) if you do computer tasks at the same time.
31. Workstation and equipment have sufficient adjustability so you are in a safe working posture and can make occasional changes in posture while performing computer tasks.
32. Computer workstation, components and accessories are maintained in serviceable condition and function properly.
33. Computer tasks are organized in a way that allows you to vary tasks with other work activities, or to take micro-breaks or recovery pauses while at the computer workstation.
Now if your answer was NO to any of these question - you should make adjustments accordingly. For more information from OSHA be sure to visit their web site.
This helpful information was brought to you today by www.sscomputertutor.com
Please check out our web site. We specialize in helping senior citizens with their computer needs. My name is Stacey Kile and this has been your blog from Simply Seniors Computer Tutor. 321-431-3866
Wishing you - Happy (and safe) Computing!
Friday, August 28, 2009
A blog (a contraction of the term "weblog") is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (artlog), photographs (photoblog), sketches (sketchblog), videos (vlog), music (MP3 blog), and audio (podcasting). Micro-blogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts.
As of December 2007, blog search engine Technorati was tracking more than 112 million blogs.
Now that you know what a blog is you need to know how to write a good Blog. This information is from http://www.dummies.com/
Writing a Good Blog
Blogs, or Web logs, are online journals that are updated frequently, sometimes even daily. An update, (also called an entry or a post) is usually quite short, perhaps just a few sentences, and readers can often respond to an entry online. People who write blogs are commonly called bloggers. Bloggers, tongue in cheek, call themselves and their blogs the blogosphere.
Blogs are a great way to keep everyone in a family abreast of the latest family news without running up the phone bill — you can simply read back over important updates to find out the latest news. In addition, many blogs are being used to host photographs, and their chronological structure can be a great way to keep track of a baby's growth, a trip, or the process of planning a wedding.
Professional writers often look down on bloggers, because their informal online writing rarely benefits from a good editor. Blogs are known for their casual writing and unpredictable subject material, but the best blogs have proven that — regardless of punctuation and spelling — even "novice" writers can be entertaining enough to attract a broad audience.
Bloggers with an especially engaging subject, such as chronicling a trip around the world, have the advantage of inherently interesting material, but even mundane material can attract an audience if you have an engaging style and voice.
Here are three guiding principles to writing a successful blog:
Develop a writing style and tone appropriate to your subject material.
Post often, even if your posts are short.
Allow your readers to comment on your posts.
Develop a writing style and voice
A great site design and technical gimmicks are no replacement for developing an interesting, readable writing style. Most of us don't do much personal writing in our everyday lives or even keep a diary. Writing about yourself is never easy, and you may find yourself freezing up in front of the computer screen or becoming stilted and unnecessarily verbose.
Here are a few suggestions you can use to develop your own voice and style for your blog. First, remember that a blog is a conversation. Try to write the way you speak. Avoid jargon and clichés and don't overuse the thesaurus. It may be helpful to speak your entry out loud before trying to type it or to read it aloud after you've written it. If you find yourself struggling as you read aloud or speaking unnaturally, think about what you might have said if you were talking to a friend rather than writing.
Second, write your blog with a specific friend or family member in mind. Thinking of someone you know well and who might want to read your blog will help you relax your writing style. That's why it's become popular for many people to start personal journal entries with Dear Diary. The goal is to get your writing to sound more like you and less like a lofty essay.
Always consider your audience. If you're writing for only close friends and family, you don't need to explain that Sarah is your 8-year-old daughter every time you mention her. But if your blog attracts a wider audience, you may want to create references or glossaries to help new readers follow along.
Finally, before you start blogging, spend some time visiting other blogs that are like the one you're thinking of starting. Read one or two for a few weeks and pay attention to things like the length of posts, frequency, writing style, and subject material. You can get some great ideas for your own blog by noting what you find interesting and compelling in other people's blogs.
Update, update, update!
The blogs that attract the most readers are the ones with frequent updates. If you start a blog, be prepared to spend some time working on it every day or two. If you're going to be a blogger, you have to blog! It takes discipline for most of us to write, even conversationally, every day. If you find yourself dreading posting to your blog, maybe a blog isn't for you.
As you go about your day, keep the blog in the back of your mind. You may even want to carry a notebook where you can jot down reminders for topics you want to blog about later. Start paying attention to the parts of your life that are most interesting to you; those will likely be the areas your friends and family are most interested in as well. Don't be afraid to write about everyday activities — parking tickets and car repairs — but don't neglect to talk about what you're thinking and feeling. All these areas will make it possible for you to update frequently.
Having a co-blogger can take some of the pressure off, especially if all authors contribute regularly. If you're going to be working with several people on one blog, talk over how often you expect each other to post so that you can keep some focus and cohesion to your blog.
If you will be updating your blog on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis, try to be consistent about when you add new posts so that your readers know when to catch up. For example, you may choose to update your site every Sunday evening.
:An important aspect of blogs is that they feature the writing of the blogger as well as the comments of readers. When you visit a blog, you often find a comment link under the text of each blog posting. Clicking that link enables you to read comments from other people and submit your own. Usually bloggers make their own comments in the posts on their site, but sometimes a blogger adds a response in the comment section because it's a more direct way to address someone else's comment.
Not all bloggers choose to implement the comment feature, but if you want to develop a dialogue with your audience, comments are the best way to do so. The comment feature is an easy way to involve your audience and get valuable feedback about what you're doing with your blog.
If you do decide to allow comments on your blog, be sure to keep an eye on them. The comment feature makes it possible for anyone to add comments to your blog and you may not always like what they have to say. For example, spammers sometimes take advantage of inattentive bloggers to do some marketing that you may not want on your blog. All good blogging software makes it easy for the author to remove comments.
What are some good web sites with blogs? This web site claims to list the best blog sites:
Where can you make your own blog? - Many different places, I am going to refer you to www.blogger.com
Want to make a blog of your own or be taught how? Contact Simply Seniors Computer Tutor 321-431-3866 or www.sscomputertutor.com
Until next time,
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Long story short the only way to access the internet is through a paid for service provider... then you have to have the hardware for dial up that is a simple phone line and a modem which used to come with all older computers - but is not seen as much today. With cable or dsl broad band internet one must own a box modem which typically comes from the service provider but can be purchased at any big box store.
To resolve this clients issue I am going to purchase a modem and put it into place - since the client insists he doesn't have one and never has.
I thought a little lesson on how the internet works might be called for here...
This information is the same for both cable and DSL modems for the most part. This information is brought to us by http://www.ehow.com/
What Is Broadband DSL?
Broadband DSL (digital subscriber line) allows the user to have access to high-speed Internet. This type of service is becoming very popular because it operates at double the speed of regular dial-up service. Broadband DSL connects through your phone line but does not affect your ability to use your telephone. Most users prefer this type of connection because you always have an Internet connection. This is more convenient and cuts the time that it would take to log onto the Internet.
How Do I Get Broadband DSL?
In order to connect to a broadband DSL connection, you will need a broadband modem. These are available at fairly reasonable rates. Most Internet service providers are offering low rates on DSL service and sometimes will even include the modem at no additional charge. You will also need a network card installed in your PC. This card is attached to your motherboard. The modem will connect to this card using a network cable. You may also purchase a USB modem that uses a USB connection and will not require a network card. The modem would connect to your PC through the USB port. Most users prefer using a network card, as it provides a better connection. A USB connection can become slow if you have other components that use USB connections, such as a printer.
What are types of broadband DSL?
There are different types of broadband DSL, ADSL (asymmetric DSL), SDSL (symmetric DSL) and ISDN DSL. ADSL is a more efficient type of connection. This connection gives that users high download speeds. If you use your computer for continuous downloading, this is type of DSL you should consider. SDSL connections provide an equal and consistent amount of download and upload speed. It can provide up to 15 mbps for downloading and uploading files. Because of its consistency, most businesses prefer this type of connection. ISDN connections are slower connections and provide the user with speeds of 128 kbps. This type of access is normally used by those who do not download or upload a large amount of files but want the benefit of having a high-speed connection versus a dial up.
A digital subscriber line (DSL) is primarily offered by phone companies and uses existing copper phone lines for the Internet service. Phone companies provide customers with a DSL modem that converts the DSL signal from the phone line and uses and Ethernet cable to connect to a customer's computer.
Another from of broadband Internet service is provided by cable companies. A cable company uses its existing cable lines to send an Internet signal. Customers need to use a cable modem that can convert the signal and send it to a customer's computer through an Ethernet cable.
An alternative to cable and DSL broadband Internet service is to use a satellite connection to connect to the Internet. A satellite connection is a good option for people that live in rural areas and cannot get cable or DSL service. A signal from a satellite is either sent to a modem or processed by a receiver and connected to a computer by an Ethernet cable.
The costs for high speed Internet can vary from company to company depending on what type of service is being used. Typically cable and phone companies will bundle Internet service with a particular package of services. Standalone Internet service is also provided by these companies starting at $35.99 depending on what a customer wants to pay.
Telephone and cable companies are using various methods to offer broadband Internet service to its customers. Typically these companies are using fiber optics because more data can be sent at much faster speeds than by satellite, cable or copper phone lines.
Remember no matter the problem Simply Seniors Computer Tutor is here to help with your computer needs. On the web at http://www.sscomputertutor.com/ or you can call 321-431-3866
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The question of the day do I buy a new one or do I buy the refill kit and do it myself or option three do I buy an already refilled cartridge?
Refilled cartridges cause many problems with printers. Most of the issues listed in this post I have seen as well. It isn't nice. Printer manufacturers like HP, Lexmark, Epson and others sell the inkjet printers at or near a loss and make their profit in ink, but it doesn't do YOU any good to try and save money on the ink only to ruin your printer. Also, it should be noted that in most cases using ink cartridges that don't meet the printer manufacturer's specifications will void your warranty.
Just realize that inkjet printers (the ones we all have in our homes) are really meant for occasional use. If you print in high volumes, get a laser printer for black and white (you can get them now for less than $100 for low to moderate print volumes) or a color laser printer (which will still set you back at least $350 or so) - but be well worth it in the long run on price per page printing.
Whatever you do, don't skimp on the ink you buy. This is true for inkjet or any kind of printer. It's just not worth the money you save versus the risk you are taking of getting unusable prints or worse, an unusable printer.
Printer cartridges consist the maximum amount of expenses for running a printer. At present there are two ways of replacing your printer cartridges-buy a new cartridge or refill the old one.
New Ink Cartridges. This portion of today's infrmation is brought to us by: http://ezinearticles.com/
There are two ways you can buy new ink cartridges. You can buy from the printer manufacturer or buy a third-party compatible cartridge. Compatible cartridges, majority of which are made in China, cost less than those made by the OEM (original equipment manufacturer). Other than these two there are also remanufactured cartridges available in the market. These are official OEM cartridges that are professionally cleaned and refilled by the OEM and then put for sale. When using compatible or remanufactured cartridges, not much of a difference would be visible in terms of print quality as long as your printing job is restricted to black text. But when it comes to printing graphics or charts, the difference in quality between new cartridges vs compatible or remanufactured cartridges is clearly visible. It is advisable that individuals who deal with printing photographs or graphical presentations should stick to new ink cartridges. When buying a third-party cartridge, make sure that the manufacturer is a renowned one. Faulty or incompatible cartridges can seriously damage printers.
Refill kits are available in the market, which contain ink and needles and the buyer has to refill the cartridges on his own. Remanufactured cartridges are the same but the refilling is done in a professional environment and it is impossible for you to match that professional quality. Ink refill kits are good value for money only when you are printing black text. Ink refill is not possible for any length of time. Printer cartridges come with a printer head that wear out after prolonged use. Once the printer head wears out, the cartridge needs to be changed.
Refilling is a process of filling ink into a empty cartridge processed by Professionals after thoroughly cleaning and then filling the ink under vaccum systems to make sure its perfectly done and this is almost the same way the Cartridge manufacturers would be filling ink. The best part is that most Ink Cartridges can be refilled around 5-20 times based on the model numbers and after which the components would get broken and cannot be used for printing. You can expect the same number of print outs while using a Refilled Cartridges when compared to OEM Cartridges and also it would be giving you the same quality of print outs because these companies would perfectly fill the right ink into your empty cartridges.
When the components like the chips, nozzles would get back the company would recommend you to buy a Remanufactured cartridges which are kind of clones of the OEM versions and would solve the same purpose , come with almost the same quality standards and perform the same job with the only twist that they would be costing you very less which is the most major factor for anyway in these days of recession. You need to consult the right refillers in order to get the job done because if its processed in the wrong way you can expect a broken printer head.
A video on how to do it yourself if you are brave:
Monday, August 24, 2009
So what are the system requirements for Windows 7?
1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
Additional requirements to use certain features - these are the exras which will depend upon your current computer and what exactly you plan on doing with the computer:
Internet access (fees may apply)
Depending on resolution, video playback may require additional memory and advanced graphics hardware.
For some Windows Media Center functionality a TV tuner and additional hardware may be required
Windows Touch and Tablet PCs require specific hardware
HomeGroup requires a network and PCs running Windows 7 DVD/CD authoring requires a compatible optical drive
BitLocker requires Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2
BitLocker To Go requires a USB flash drive
Windows XP Mode requires an additional 1 GB of RAM, an additional 15 GB of available hard disk space, and a processor capable of hardware virtualization with Intel VT or AMD-V turned on Music and sound require audio output Product functionality and graphics may vary based on your system configuration. Some features may require advanced or additional hardware.
What is Windows 7?
Your PC, simplified. Windows 7 is the easiest, fastest, and most engaging version of Windows yet. Better ways to find and manage files, like Jump Lists and improved taskbar previews, help you speed through everyday tasks. Faster and more reliable performance means your PC just works the way you want it to. And great features like HomeGroup and Windows Touch make new things possible. Get to know Windows 7, and see how it can simplify just about everything you do with your PC.
When will Windows 7 be released to the public?
October 22 2009 is the latest release date for the new operating system. What this means for anyone who is currently buying a new computer is that more than likely you will receive an upgrade to windows 7 with your computer purchase. You may have to mail something in, or go through a complected web site in order to make this upgrade.
Should I take the new upgrade if it's being offered to me for free?
My opinion is you should take the upgrades being offered to you by the computer mfgs. After all you did pay for their software and if you have paid for something you deserve to have the latest edition. However, this is not a small little typical update - this is pretty major - so you may want to have this done by a professional just to protect your existing data.
Before attempting to do this on your own make sure you have backed up all of your personal files first to an external drive. Once you know your data is safe (just in case) then you can follow the steps given to you by the software mfg to complete the upgrade.
Remember if you need help you can always call Simply Seniors Computer Tutor. We look forward to helping you with your computer needs.
Looking for videos to see what the new Windows 7 will look like and how it performs? Check out these links:
I hope you found this information helpful!
Simply Seniors Computer Tutor
Computer Tutor of Melbourne
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Make it lengthy. Each character that you add to your password increases the protection that it provides many times over. Your passwords should be 8 or more characters in length; 14 characters or longer is ideal.
Many systems also support use of the space bar in passwords, so you can create a phrase made of many words (a "pass phrase"). A pass phrase is often easier to remember than a simple password, as well as longer and harder to guess.
Combine letters, numbers, and symbols. The greater variety of characters that you have in your password, the harder it is to guess. Other important specifics include:
•The fewer types of characters in your password, the longer it must be. A 15-character password composed only of random letters and numbers is about 33,000 times stronger than an 8-character password composed of characters from the entire keyboard. If you cannot create a password that contains symbols, you need to make it considerably longer to get the same degree of protection. An ideal password combines both length and different types of symbols.
•Use the entire keyboard, not just the most common characters. Symbols typed by holding down the "Shift" key and typing a number are very common in passwords. Your password will be much stronger if you choose from all the symbols on the keyboard, including punctuation marks not on the upper row of the keyboard, and any symbols unique to your language.
Use words and phrases that are easy for you to remember, but difficult for others to guess. The easiest way to remember your passwords and pass phrases is to write them down. Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing wrong with writing passwords down, but they need to be adequately protected in order to remain secure and effective.
1.Think of a sentence that you can remember. This will be the basis of your strong password or pass phrase. Use a memorable sentence, such as "My son Aiden is three years old."
2.Check if the computer or online system supports the pass phrase directly. If you can use a pass phrase (with spaces between characters) on your computer or online system, do so.
3.If the computer or online system does not support pass phrases, convert it to a password. Take the first letter of each word of the sentence that you've created to create a new, nonsensical word. Using the example above, you'd get: "msaityo".
4.Add complexity by mixing uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers. It is valuable to use some letter swapping or misspellings as well. For instance, in the pass phrase above, consider misspelling Aiden's name, or substituting the word "three" for the number 3. There are many possible substitutions, and the longer the sentence, the more complex your password can be. Your pass phrase might become "My SoN Ayd3N is 3 yeeRs old." If the computer or online system will not support a pass phrase, use the same technique on the shorter password. This might yield a password like "MsAy3yo".
5.Finally, substitute some special characters. You can use symbols that look like letters, combine words (remove spaces) and other ways to make the password more complex. Using these tricks, we create a pass phrase of "MySoN 8N i$ 3 yeeR$ old" or a password (using the first letter of each word) "M$8ni3y0".
6.Test your new password with Password Checker Password Checker is a non-recording feature on this Web site that helps determine your password's strength as you type.
Password strategies to avoid... Some common methods used to create passwords are easy to guess by criminals. To avoid weak, easy-to-guess passwords:
•Avoid sequences or repeated characters. "12345678," "222222," "abcdefg," or adjacent letters on your keyboard do not help make secure passwords.
•Avoid using only look-alike substitutions of numbers or symbols. Criminals and other malicious users who know enough to try and crack your password will not be fooled by common look-alike replacements, such as to replace an 'i' with a '1' or an 'a' with '@' as in "M1cr0$0ft" or "P@ssw0rd". But these substitutions can be effective when combined with other measures, such as length, misspellings, or variations in case, to improve the strength of your password.
•Avoid your login name. Any part of your name, birthday, social security number, or similar information for your loved ones constitutes a bad password choice. This is one of the first things criminals will try.
•Avoid dictionary words in any language. Criminals use sophisticated tools that can rapidly guess passwords that are based on words in multiple dictionaries, including words spelled backwards, common misspellings, and substitutions. This includes all sorts of profanity and any word you would not say in front of your children.
•Use more than one password everywhere. If any one of the computers or online systems using this password is compromised, all of your other information protected by that password should be considered compromised as well. It is critical to use different passwords for different systems.
•Avoid using online storage. If malicious users find these passwords stored online or on a networked computer, they have access to all your information.
The "blank password" option A blank password (no password at all) on your account is more secure than a weak password such as "1234". Criminals can easily guess a simplistic password, but on computers using Windows XP, an account without a password cannot be accessed remotely by means such as a network or the Internet. (This option is not available for Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows Me, or earlier versions) You can choose to use a blank password on your computer account if these criteria are met:
•You only have one computer or you have several computers but you do not need to access information on one computer from another one
•The computer is physically secure (you trust everyone who has physical access to the computer)
The use of a blank password is not always a good idea. For example, a laptop computer that you take with you is probably not physically secure, so on those you should have a strong password.
How to access and change your passwords
Online accountsWeb sites have a variety of policies that govern how you can access your account and change your password. Look for a link (such as "my account") somewhere on the site's home page that goes to a special area of the site that allows password and account management.
Computer passwordsThe Help files for your computer operating system will usually provide information about how to create, modify, and access password-protected user accounts, as well as how to require password protection upon startup of your computer. You can also try to find this information online at the software manufacturer's Web site. For example, if you use Microsoft Windows XP, online help can show you how to manage passwords, change passwords, and more.
Keep your passwords secret. Treat your passwords and pass phrases with as much care as the information that they protect.
•Don't reveal them to others. Keep your passwords hidden from friends or family members (especially children) who could pass them on to other less trustworthy individuals. Passwords that you need to share with others, such as the password to your online banking account that you might share with your spouse, are the only exceptions.
•Protect any recorded passwords. Be careful where you store the passwords that you record or write down. Do not leave these records of your passwords anywhere that you would not leave the information that they protect.
•Never provide your password over e-mail or based on an e-mail request. Any e-mail that requests your password or requests that you to go to a Web site to verify your password is almost certainly a fraud. This includes requests from a trusted company or individual. E-mail can be intercepted in transit, and e-mail that requests information might not be from the sender it claims. Internet "phishing" scams use fraudulent e-mail messages to entice you into revealing your user names and passwords, steal your identity, and more. Learn more about phishing scams and how to deal with online fraud.
•Change your passwords regularly. This can help keep criminals and other malicious users unaware. The strength of your password will help keep it good for a longer time. A password that is shorter than 8 characters should be considered only good for a week or so, while a password that is 14 characters or longer (and follows the other rules outlined above) can be good for several years.
•Do not type passwords on computers that you do not control. Computers such as those in Internet cafés, computer labs, shared systems, kiosk systems, conferences, and airport lounges should be considered unsafe for any personal use other than anonymous Internet browsing. Do not use these computers to check online e-mail, chat rooms, bank balances, business mail, or any other account that requires a user name and password. Criminals can purchase keystroke logging devices for very little money and they take only a few moments to install. These devices let malicious users harvest all the information typed on a computer from across the Internet—your passwords and pass phrases are worth as much as the information that they protect.
What to do if your password is stolen
Be sure to monitor all the information you protect with your passwords, such as your monthly financial statements, credit reports, online shopping accounts, and so on. Strong, memorable passwords can help protect you against fraud and identity theft, but there are no guarantees. No matter how strong your password is, if someone breaks into the system that stores it, they will have your password. If you notice any suspicious activity that could indicate that someone has accessed your information, notify authorities as quickly as you can. Get more information on what to do if you think your identity has been stolen or you've been similarly defrauded.
Call the Computer Tutor for more assistance on this topic! www.sscomputertutor.com
Friday, August 21, 2009
Today's information is brought to us by:
Identity theft is defined as the process of using someone else’s personal information for your own personal gain. The Javelin Strategy & Research Center has been studying identity theft closely since 2004. Each year, they release their findings. Their 2009 study reveals that:
Identity theft is on the rise, affecting almost 10 million victims in 2008 (a 22% increase from 2007)
Victims are spending less money out of pocket to correct the damage from ID theft. The mean cost per victim is $500, and most victims pay nothing due to zero-liability fraud protection programs offered by their financial institutions.
71% of fraud happens within a week of stealing a victim’s personal data.
Low-tech methods for stealing personal information are still the most popular for identity thieves. Stolen wallets and physical documents accounted for 43% of all identity theft, while online methods accounted for only 11%.
Types of Identity Theft
ID theft can happen to anyone, and it can come in all shapes and sizes. For example, your credit card digits could be stolen and used to make online purchases; a thief could impersonate you to open up a loan in your name; a felon could commit a crime and pretend to be you when caught; or someone could use your personal information to apply for a job.
Credit Card fraud (26%): Credit card fraud can occur when someone acquires your credit card number and uses it to make a purchase.
Utilities fraud (18%): Utilities are opened using the name of a child or someone who does not live at the residence. Parents desperate for water, gas, and electricity will use their child’s clean credit report to be approved for utilities.
Bank fraud (17%): There are many forms of bank fraud, including check theft, changing the amount on a check, and ATM pass code theft.
Simply Seniors Computer Tutor hopes that you find this information helpful. In our upcoming Bloggs we will post information on password protection on your computer and some simple steps you can take to attempt to protect your identity on this world wide web of connected computers.
Employment fraud (12%): Employment fraud occurs when someone without a valid Social Security number borrows someone else’s to obtain a job.
Loan fraud (5%): Loan fraud occurs when someone applies for a loan in your name. This can occur even if the Social Security number does not match the name exactly.
Government fraud (9%): This type of fraud includes tax, Social Security, and driver license fraud.
For more identity theft statistics, visit our Official Identity Theft Statistics page, which we update frequently with the latest facts and figures about this fast-growing crime.
If you know a senior citizen in the Brevard or Indian County FL areas who is looking for one on one computer support please consider Simply Seniors Computer Tutor. We look forward to being of service to you.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Many people believe "If I have security software in place, I shouldn’t get any infections." And the reality of it is that Nothing could be further from reality.
Anti-virus/anti-spyware programs as well as firewalls are of no protection if the user of the computer decides to click on links that generate malicious code or download and run questionable files. In other words - you infected your own computer and YOU allowed this bug to come into the computer! Your interactions can easily override the installed protection and in some cases, actually disable your protection programs, but make it look like they are still running.
The fake antivirus program scams actually started last year as “Antivirus 2008” and it was so successful that it lives on as many variations including “Antivirus 2009”. You may have also heard of such names as XP Anti Virus, or Vista Anti Virus. There are NO legit products on the market with these names. A clever author of malware discovered a sneaky way to fool folks into installing malicious software into their computers, THEN extract money from them by posing as a legitimate program for removing the malicious software. *If you have paid for one of these FAKE software's I suggest you contact your bank or credit card company IMMEDIATELY and have a 'watch' placed on your account and a charge back placed on the payment.
The reason that this approach has been so successful is that they very closely mimic Windows warning screens and legitimate antivirus programs. Virtually every legitimate antivirus company has a product called (insert company name here) Antivirus 2009, which further confuses the new user.
The most common ways to come in contact with this infection include maliciously coded websites that popup a warning message that you are infected, e-mail messages that trick folks into clicking on a link, websites that claim you need to download software in order to see a posted video and links or downloads that are spread through social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook as well as all of the Instant Messaging systems.
At this point in time, any form of popup or error message that refers to Antivirus 2008 or 2009 (including System Antivirus, Ultimate Antivirus, Vista Antivirus, Pro Antivirus or XP Antivirus followed by a number) should be considered extremely suspicious.
If you ever see any reference to a virus that is not specifically from the product that you have installed in your computer for protection, you should consider it to be a fake (Windows, itself won’t ever alert you of a virus infection).
In the same token, any website that claims that you need to download a new video program or “codec” in order to view a video should be considered a threat. This is very important.
Users of file sharing networks are at a high risk of contracting malicious software as it’s often hidden within what appears to be a legitimate program (referred to as a Trojan).
The writers of malicious code count on users that are not really paying attention and at this point, they are fooling people by the millions around the Internet. This type of infection is amongst the worst that I have seen in my 20 years of servicing computers.
Getting rid of the code once it has infected your system can be very involved and is different for the various versions of the infections, so don’t attempt this without help if you are a novice.
Start by identifying the exact version of the malware that you have and placing it in quotation marks followed by the words ‘removal instructions’ in Google (Ex: “Antivirus 2009” removal instructions).
WARNING: There are so many people infected with this family of malware that many new scam programs that claim to specifically clean the code have popped up. Some appear to be free programs that will only scan your system for free, but charge you to remove the code and often they don’t even do that properly.
Since there are so many different variations of this infection, the exact steps are going to be based on the exact version of the malware that you have.
Restore points will not fix your computer.
Depending upon how long and which version of the malware you have, you may also need to run a Windows repair after you remove the code as certain Windows files can become corrupted as a side effect.
This is a big ugly BUG - I suggest you use a reputable computer repair service to fix this issue. If you attempt to do this on your own you run the risk of losing all of your valuable data, pictures and music.
If you are local to the Melbourne area I would like to suggest the Computer Care Clinic you can find them at www.computercareclinic.com - here you'll be offered a FREE diagnoses so you will know where you stand before you ever put money into the PC.
Here at Simply Seniors Computer Tutor - (www.sscomputertutor.com) 321-431-3866 we can also help as we offer a pick up and delivery service for your sick PC. No need for you to remember which wires connect to what way down there under your desk, No need for you to lift the heavy computer - as our technicians will handle all of that for you.
I hope this is helpful!
Friday, August 14, 2009
Many of my clients have found that over the years their needs have changed and they too would like to get away from AOL; however, having had an AOL account for a number of years they do not wish to change their email address. Well good news is here or you!
It is not a requirement to keep your AOL software in order to continue to use your AOL email address. As of about 3 years ago AOL noticed that they were losing customers to the other 'high speed' companies. In order kep customers happy AOL decided they would 'let go of' the email addresses. This means that a AOL email address is now just as FREE as a yahoo, hotmail, gmail or live.com email address.
For those of you who are currently paying both your broad band carrier and AOL in order t hold on to that beloved email address - you can start sending the checks to me - because I may save you a lo of money. You can contact AOL an after some time on the phone with one of their third world representatives you can have your AOL account closed. You will however, maintain the ownership of the email address and all of your email attached to that email address.
You no longer have to be forced to use the AOL software, accept the unwanted downloads, use ther unnecessary antspyware or other products that have been 'forced' upon you though AOL software. If you have an existing AOL email address and have taken the first steps of getting rid of theAOL sofwtare by uninstalling it from your programs list then you can stat accessing your email through the web from now no by going to www.aol.com - lok to the rgh hand side of the scren and you will see a login screen where you will use the existing user name and password that you already have - this will then bring you to the next screen that allows you to read and respond to your email an store it - on line a you have been doing all this time while using the AOL software.
Another way to access your email now tat you have stopped using the AOL software is by setting up a POP account in your Windows Mail, Windows Outlook, or Outlook Express program. Now this does take a little bit of know how so please do not hesitate to contact your friends at Simply Seniors Computer Tutor www.sscomputertutor.com for assistance with this set up.
Lastly, if you do not have a free email account and you are looking for one you will have learned that there are many different options open to you. Some I mentioned earlier such as "yahoo, msn, live and google (gmail)".
As with AOL, like any of these FREE web based email accounts you will be required to 'register' usually this is as simple as your first and last name along with some identifying information about yourself that you will know if ever asked (this information is used if you forget your user name or password - the company can then go back into their system and retrieve it for you or reset the information for you).
I prefer google - this is just my preference - I suggest if you are looking for a free web based email account to check out what s out there search 'free web based email'. But be aware that not all FREE email can be viewed through programs like Outlook and Outlook Express and Windows Mail - not all of them support POP ( a type of Internet protocol that allows the email messages to travel back and forth). I know as a fact Yahoo will charge a fee if you want to use it as a pop account; likewise, I know as a fact that AOL, will allow you to set up the email through a pop server.
I hope that you have found this information helpful today. Please do write in and let us know if you are following our blog and please let us know if you have any topics you would like to see covered here in our Blogg!
Thank you again from your friends at Simply Seniors Computer Tutor - we can be found on the web at www.sscomputetutor.com
Thursday, August 13, 2009
In my opinion it is bringing people closer together. It is rekindling relationships that died many, many years ago - for many people. It's building new friendships between people who never may have imagined themselves friendly with one another. It's making this big ole place "a small world after all".
I am still rather new to the social networking scene including the blogging and sites like Face Book (FB). I, like many of you felt that the web site was for the youth, it was not something someone my age with my life's responsibilities had time to participate in, and it was too childish... I was completely wrong on many different levels. I was asked to give a presentation last Fall to a group of seniors, my task was to explain social networking and demonstrate how these sites work. This was my very first experience with My Space, Face Book, Reunion.com, and a couple others I can no longer remember.
I have concluded that Facebook is the 'more adult' of the web sites listed above. the Myspace seems to be very teen driven and I really didn't like the layout. Face Book lays it all out there for you in a page format where you can instantly see your friends recently uploaded photos and read their comments. I was shocked when I first signed up and was able to located about 20 plus people I went to elementary through high school with. These were people who's names remained locked somewhere in the back of my mind. Who's photos actually take up space in boxes in my attic and who's memories will probably be with me for a life time.
Let me tell you it is a very strange thing finding people who you may have not really been that close to but now your happy to read about their daily to-do's, share in their family pictures and meet their friends.
The first thing i did was to pull out the old year books from the 1980's and scanned them all into my computer then posted them on FB to share. I knew others had probably lost those books over the years and they too would enjoy seeing some of these old pics. This was a great way to have friends of friends find me. Everyone wanted in on tagging (naming) the people in the pics and my network of friends quickly grew. People that I still pictured in my mind as a child in 4th grade were now adults with families of their own. It was an amazing experience finding these people and seeing 'who we turned into'.
Face Book is a very easy to use system. You'll need to register and you can provide as much or as little information about yourself as you would like. You'll start by registering at their web site then you will choose your community. Additionally, FB will go into your address book to find out if anyone you have is currently on FB - then you can start adding friends. I found the uploading of pictures to be very easy as well. You can create various FB albums on different topics and you are not limited on the number of albums you can add (you are limited to 200 photos per album -which until I went on vacation I didn't think I would ever fill an album).
If you are interested in setting up and FB account and need some assistance Simply Seniors Computer Tutor is here to help. www.sscomputertutor.com Feel free to drop us a line and we will look forward to assisting you. If you would like to have an elderly family member learn FB the Computer Tutors can help you.
We are looking forward to seeing you out of FB some time soon and we will continue to add to our Blog about FB.
Computer Tutor - for Simply Seniors Computer Tutor 321-431-3866
Friday, August 7, 2009
Five years ago I started working with a local computer repair shop - again we were charging $149 to clean the 'bugs' off someones computer. I was really surprised to learn that they were cleaning people's computers with the same tools I had been using myself - the real KICKER to this is that most of these - OK, not most ALL of these tools are FREE on the Internet and anyone can download them - you just have to know what you are looking for.
Today I am going to offer you one of the best if not the best FREE anti virus available today. This is AVG anti virus.
AVG Free provides you with basic antivirus and antispyware protection for Windows and is available to download for free.
The most downloaded software on CNET's Download.com
Protection against viruses and spyware (antivirus and antispyware)
Fast, effective security that is kind on resources
Compatible with Windows 7, Windows XP and Windows Vista
This link will take you to the manufactures web site - now this is where you need to be careful - of course they want you to BUY their product so they are going to attempt to direct you to purchase the product - so if you are looking for the FREE version read carefully and DO NOT TAKE THE TRIAL as the trial version is NOT the FREE version - so again my warning to you is to read carefully and make sure you are downloading the FREE copy.
I hope that you find this information helpful! Remember we have a list of the most well known FAKE anti viruses and FAKE anti spywares on the web - check out our site at www.sscomputertutor.com Simply Seniors Computer Tutor of Melbourne FL is always willing to answer your computer related questions.
Thank you again for reading
Stacey Kile - owner of Simply Seniors Computer Tutor
firstname.lastname@example.org - questions?
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Please let us know what you'd like to see from your local Computer Tutor in Melbourne Florida. Remember we service both the Space and Treasure Coasts - BUT that's not all - with our remote services capabilities we are now able to fix your computer problems, teach via the web and so much more!
The Internet is GREAT and Simply Seniors Computer Tutor wants to share the experience with senior citizens all over central Florida. If you are a new computer user or have a senior relative who is looking for assistance please be sure to check out our web site: www.sscomputertutor.com we believe we are an excellent fit for your computer tutoring needs.
Thank you for all of your support over the past 8 years! You have made Simply Seniors Computer Tutor the number 1 computer tutor in all of Brevard county for the past 4 YEARS!
I will be in touch again soon, updating our new BLOG and be sure to check out my personal site on FaceBook - Stacey Kile or Simply Seniors Computer Tutor!