All opinions from Guru experts are based on available and presented information. The expressed opinions are not a substitute for medical or psychological care and should not be viewed as such.
As soon as you discover that your account has been compromised, report it to Facebook at www.facebook.com/hacked. Enter your password and follow the instructions to reinstate the account in your name. You’ll need to identify yourself, either through your e-mail address, phone number, Facebook user name or your name and the name of one or more of your friends.
Once you’re back in control, reset your Facebook password. Click on the little button at the top right-hand corner that looks like a gear and then choose Account Settings. Facebook recommends that you change your password regularly (aim for every few months) to stay secure.
It seems every shop and gathering place proclaims “Free WiFi,” but is it safe to check your email at the airport, library or McDonalds? There are risks to accessing private data while connected to an unsecured, community network. Here’s how to surf safely when you’re on public WiFi.
When you access the Internet on a public network, your computer or Smartphone is at risk of being accessed by other users on the same network. It’s surprisingly easy for the person sipping the macchiato next to you to run simple programs to collect passwords and information entered by fellow patrons. Most WiFi “hotspots” are unencrypted since it’s a hassle to make every customer find out the day’s WiFi password, meaning even if you’re alone in the store someone sitting in the parking lot could be connected to the network.It may seem unlikely that your data will be hacked, and that’s probably true. But just like you might be able to leave your car unlocked and never suffer a beak-in, is it worth the risk? Anyone who’s had their Facebook account hacked or banking password compromised can attest that it can take months or more to put your online identity back in order.
If the family computer has been getting a lot of miles on it lately – perhaps you have one or more youngster in the house clamoring for screen time – you may be in the market for a second PC to share the load. Some parents may consider a tablet PC because of its cheaper price tag, but handing an un-monitored internet-connected device to your child has risks. Luckily, there are parental controls you can easily activate to protect your child from the wild west of the internet.
Restrict the YouTube App: Even watching their favorite Muppet's song on YouTube can be dangerous. From the “suggestions” of additional content to explore, to the profanity that pops up in user comments, there’s stuff there that you just don’t want young ones to see. Also, you obviously don’t want your kids to simply search YouTube and watch whatever results from their search. That’s where Safety Mode comes in. Activate it by toggling “Safety: On” at the bottom of the YouTube screen – log in to lock it in this mode. Not only is content restricted, but comments under videos are screened and restricted for profanity, allowing for a safer YouTube surfing experience for your kids.
Sparkpeople (http://www.sparkpeople.com/) is a great wellness resource, offering tools and information to help you make healthy lifestyle changes in diet and fitness as well as offering articles on skin care, mental health, and more. Membership is free and allows you to use their online food and fitness trackers, create personalized meal plans, and access expert advice via articles and message boards. Meal programs are customizable, allowing you to tailor suggestions to your health goals, such as “low sodium” or “high protein.”
Whether you’re one of the millions of Americans that already owns a mobile handheld device (like a Smartphone, tablet or iPod Touch), or perhaps Santa slipped one under your tree this year, there’s something you likely haven’t put much thought towards: mobile security.
According to a report released by Forrester Research, it’s estimated that 46% of all bank account holders will utilize mobile banking services by 2017. Even if you aren’t accessing your bank or credit account from your handheld device, you likely have email; social networking and a multitude of apps that give a would-be thief plenty of valuable information should they get a hold of your phone or tablet. Take a few easy steps to protect that information from loss or theft.
Now that almost half of all Americans own a Smartphone and roughly a quarter of all Americans own a tablet computer, it’s apparent that we are growing increasingly dependent on mobile handheld devices. Yet most companies haven’t outfitted their workforce with these gadgets, leading many of us to use personal devices at work. While this may make it easier to get the job done, there are some issues to consider, whether you’re a business owner or employee.
Is there written policy in place?
In an ideal situation, your company should have a written policy in place detailing expectations and procedures for using your personal device at work. These should include data and software control and ownership, as well as detail any liability you are exposing yourself to and what the company expects to happen to data or programs on your device at the end of your employment.
However, due to the rapid rise of popularity of these devices, many company’s human resources haven’t kept pace with technology. If you’re considering using your personal device at work and there isn’t a clear corporate policy in place, here’s what to keep in mind.
If you splurged on that perfect tech gift, you've probably imagined an ecstatic squeal accompanying its discovery. But if you extend that fantasy five minutes, is the scene as jubilant? Gadget givers everywhere forget to make their tech toys usable straight out of the box, leading to frustration before the fun can begin.
#1 Make sure portable electronics are charged. If they require batteries, add them before the gift goes under the tree. If it’s too late for that, make sure you have the appropriate batteries on hand so the gift will be functional in minutes. If the device doesn't require batteries, make sure you have a charging device in case it doesn't come with full battery. The recipient of an iPad surely will want to play immediately.
If you’re giving an MP3 player, gaming device or tablet, consider pre-loading some content so your loved one doesn't have to spend the first few hours loading games, apps or music to enjoy the device. Pre-installing Angry Birds will generate immediate smiles before the recipient launches into synching his or her music library.
Certain accessories can improve a gadget gift.
#3 USB Cables: Printers notoriously lack the USB cable necessary to function. You’ll also want to confirm there’s ample ink for printing a few photos. Always check to make sure what’s included in the box, and get the additional part required for it to function.
#4 Screen Protectors: Portable electronics: Screen protectors or cases can ensure that devices survive the first excited tumble or spill. A car charger makes a Smartphone far more functional, and a decent set of earphones will ensure that an MP3 player is immediately awesome.
#5 High-def equipment: If you’re giving an HDTV or a Blu-ray player, remember that the image will appear crystal clear only if the content is high definition. For most cable and satellite subscribers, this will require a package upgrade to HD channels. Consider giving a Blu-ray movie with the player so you won’t suffer the otherwise inevitable complaint, “But it doesn’t look any better than it did before.” And of course, make sure that your gift recipient has a compatible TV with HD capacity if you’re giving them a Blu-Ray player
#6 Get Discounted HDMI Cables: Most devices will require at least one HDMI cable, and it’s unlikely you’ll find it in the product box. Before you buy that cable, charger or case off the rack, know that most retailers drastically mark up accessories to compensate for the loss they take on the TV or camera itself. If you have time, order online. Monoprice.com has a huge selection of low-priced cables, and Amazon.com offers almost any other accessory at a reasonable price. Don’t be fooled by Monster cables or similar overpriced cables at local "big box" stores. Due to the way that HDMI cables work, a cheap cable will provide the same signal as an expensive one.
With the increasing popularity of eReaders, it may seem that giving the gift of a great digital book requires you resort to an Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. Not so! If there’s a specific title you’d like to share, you can gift an eBook to your favorite Kindle or NOOK user. As long as you have the recipient’s email address, neither of you need wait for the title to arrive in the mail.
For Kindle owners, find the title in the Amazon Kindle store and choose the “Give as a Gift” option on the right side of the page, under the “Buy now” button. Share the love with the NOOK users in your life by finding the title you’d like to give at www.barnesandnoble.com, scrolling to the NOOK Book option and choosing “Buy as Gift.”
Nothing says you put time, thought and effort into a gift like personalization. I don’t mean just pasting Uncle Barry’s name on the coffee mug you bought at Target. I mean creating something unique for that special individual. Before you book a week-long craft-a-thon at your neighborhood paint your own pottery shop, check out these great ideas for creating a totally custom gift online.
These days it’s easy to get your photos printed on any number of items, from shirts to mugs to jewelry to canvas. Costco, Snapfish and Shutterfly are just a few of the sites that offer a wide array of photo gift products.
If you’re looking to branch out beyond photos, however, Café Press (www.cafepress.com/make/personalized-gifts) maintains one of the most comprehensive collections of single-run, design-your-own products. Choose from an overwhelming list of clothing, drink ware, kitchen items, home and office décor, and accessories – from stuffed animals, bags and wallets, custom cases for mobile electronics and much more. Add full color graphics; enter your own text in a wide variety of fonts and colors; and adjust layout until you have your masterpiece.
When you first pulled your cell phone out of the box, you probably spent the next few hours making it uniquely yours. From selecting ring tones to choosing a photo or theme wallpaper, or downloading apps to make your Smartphone more productive or fun, the customization transformed it from “a phone” to “your phone.” You can tailor your Web surfing experience in a similar way with browser extensions and add-ons. Most are free and they allow you to personalize the look, functionality and features of Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari or Opera.
As the originator of browser add-ons, Mozilla reports that more than 85% of Firefox users have installed add-ons. Yet if you’ve never explored customizing your browsing, you aren’t alone – I was surprised to see the huge number of add-ons available through Chrome and Firefox. Firefox boasts at least 25,000 developers with add-ons and over 150,000 user-created collections. Chrome is gaining on Firefox’s numbers and while Internet Explorer offers a less extensive collection, it has enough variety to satisfy most users.
Some of the most popular categories of extensions are those that support productivity, security, interface personalization, shopping, games, integration with social media, and streaming of news and videos. Here’s where to find the add-ons supported by the most popular browsers:
November seems to sneak up on me every year. I’m minding my own business, working out costume details and sugar coating trick-or-treaters when, BAM! Out of the blue it’s time to get cracking on holiday shopping. To help myself get in the game and to help you save some money, here are my top five ways you can use your computer savvy to save money on your holiday shopping.
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