Monday, January 16, 2017

Fortifying your Defenses: Computer Maintenance

It's boring. It's repetitive. It saves you time and heartache.

Well, maybe not heartache, but it does save you strife and taking a sledge hammer to your computers.


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Regular monthly updates, scans and maintenance will keep your computers running quickly and efficiently.

Windows updates are important. Windows OS are the most widely used computers so they are most prone to hackers. The updates fix security threats and keep your computer strong. If an update doesn't go through the first time. Don't panic. Try again next time. If no updates go through for month, contact your IT support.

Anti-virus
Please, please, please have an anti-virus. Avast!, Kaspersky, BitDefender are all good ones. Here is PC magazine's pick for top 2017 Anti-Viruses.
Your anti-virus will run scans on a schedule. When running updates its a good idea to update your anti-virus and scan your computer at this time as well.

Malware protections
I use SuperAntiSpyware, Spybot Search & Destroy and Malwarebytes.
Here are some others both free and paid-for versions.

Browsers
Clean up your browsers. Remove the browser history, the saved passwords, the autofill data. I like to use CCleaner. It cleans out temporary folders from downloads, Caches, history and it can clean up my registry files too.


Run updates on Adobe Flashplayer and Java. Your browsers will be happy. They are always prompting for updates. Note: Java is going away. Chrome has already stopped supporting it. But since Chrome is a RAM hog, you may use other browsers. They still want Java. And I don't mean the coffee.

Do these simple tasks once a month and your computer will thank you for it!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Tech Trends for 2017

A new year is here. We may not yet have the technology depicted in Back to the Future, but we do have:

Virtual Reality: Samsung Gear VR


Animal Inspired Robots:

http://futurism.com/images/bio-robots-animal-inspired-machines/

Artificial Intelligence--we are almost there.


But the big tech trend is really scary:
CyberSecurity--hackers are getting better and security programs and companies cannot keep up.
This is a recurring trend. In the beginning of music sharing/downloading in the 90s at the beginning of the Internet in our homes, our laws were behind the technology--Remember Napster? https://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/feb/24/napster-music-free-file-sharing. When society caught up, Napster was shut down. Now it is back and legally sharing music.
Hacks of financial institutions and big companies' consumer personal records has been growing in frequency the last few years. It finally forced the U.S. to move to chips in credit cards instead of the magnetic strip. Europe had made that change long before.
So, while this vulnerability of our files and online finances is scary and a real vulnerability, it will in turn help us develop stronger security and systems. I'm not condoning hacking. It just forces companies, systems and software to improve their product. That is the silver lining in this storm cloud.

For more on Tech Trends: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-38517517         

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Rewarding Teens for the Win!

With the New Year I'm bringing out some new ideas to revitalize my youth programs.

The first one I would like to share is my new Teen Scene Rewards Program.



Friday, December 30, 2016

It's the end of the year...

Time to change your passwords. Not just your banking passwords or your email passwords. It's time to change all your passwords! Follow these rules for strong passwords:
1) Make them at LEAST 8 Characters long
2) Make them Unique
3) Make them have UPPER and lower case letters
4) Make them have at least 1 number
5) Make them have at least 1 special symbol (@,#,%--basically anything on the numbers row while holding down the shift key).
6) Change them at least 1 time a year. For ideas on how to create unique but memorable passwords, refer to my previous password post.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

DIY Stocking Hangers

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house.
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

. . .

Alas, at my house there is no chimney in sight.

So what to do . . .







Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you and yours have a great Thanksgiving.

Even though there are many things developing right now that leave me anxious for the future, I still find I have many things for which to be thankful. (Did you see that! I used my BA in English to NOT end a sentence with a preposition. You're welcome.)

I am thankful that I have a job I love, friends who are just plain awesome, and adventurous husband that is my partner in crime. I am thankful for family still on the planet and the memories I have of grandparents already beyond the rainbow bridge. I am thankful for my health and my optimism. I am thankful there are still people out there who prefer to show their fellow human love and compassion rather than hate, bigotry and ignorance.

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Veteran's Day

Thank you to all the service men and women who have served this country. Your time and sacrifice have provided us all with the luxurious life of freedom, which we enjoy.

Thank you.
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