Posted in FYI

No such thing as FREE APPS

Ok Folks, let’s review this again for ourselves:  We all know now that information is always being collected about us when we use apps on computers and phones, as well as, the free online services. For example, tax preparation software. This is not a secret. We are being watched, and information is collected about us if we are using internet connected audio speakers, thermostats etc.

  • The regulation of these services and how these services are using our personal digital information are not regulated as in the food industry.
  • An article I read suggests that we still should take extra steps to be careful with ‘obscure’ tech brands.  Don’t sign up for every app that is available, or take every quiz if you’re a Facebook user.
  • None of these APPs are free, and they often give you the details of what their collecting in their privacy policy.

Continue reading “No such thing as FREE APPS”

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Posted in FYI, technology

Virtual HELP Wanted?

I don’t know about you, but the idea of an assistant to help me keep my projects on track or, moreover, get them done, seems rather attractive these days. Well, it turns out that those virtual assistants are out there, and they are available 24 hours a day!  Yep!

According to a recent article in the New York Times, these services are for people who want help managing their lives, but don’t need a full-time assistant.  Does this sound like you?  Well, read on to find out what’s out there. And whether you can fit this type of help into your budget.  The article suggests a price range of $81 for an app, to as low as  $20 an hour.  So, what do the various services do?

The first website I visited is Fin https://www.fin.com/,
Some of the claims are as follows: email; text; schedule; research.  24 hour service, 7 days a week. They are more flexible, highly educated, and you only pay for what you use.  That’s pretty impressive.  According to the article I read about this service, the experience with the company was a little confusing: the charges they accrued; how those charges were accrued; and the service was not what was expected. Although they eventually worked it all out.  My suggestion is to be perfectly clear what services you are asking for, and make sure to use those services one request at a time, instead of mixing them.  Use this link to review how the pricing works – https://www.fin.com/pricing

Continue reading “Virtual HELP Wanted?”

Posted in FYI, technology

Stolen Laptop Protection & Encryption

In today’s world with mobile devices, PC’s, and laptops,  we are inundated with the concerns of protecting our personal data, which is stored in files on these various pieces of equipment.  According to a recent article in the New York Times, by Whitson Gordon, if your laptop is stolen, your personal information is not protected even if you have a password on the device. The article states the following:

Passwords on the computer only protect access to the device.  There are other techniques to copy files from your devices. For example, if the hard drive is removed, they can put it onto another computer and access the files.  Geez!  I never thought of that!  Hackers/thieves have ways to reset the password on your PC, allowing access to your personal information, emails, passwords etc.

Although this information may be disconcerting, there are steps you can take to protect your data and to protect your devices; some of these options for ‘Encryption” that protect your hard drive are already available on your laptop for free. Windows 10 devices have encryption defaulted.  Check your laptop in Settings/About and look for ‘Device Encryption”.  Use your Microsoft account to activate this free feature. If you do not have this feature available on your laptop, look for the free program VeraCrypt. The NY Times article is quite detailed with information about Mac laptops, iPhones, Android phones, and information on which devices are automatically encrypted.

 There is a caution to be aware of when using encryption. You must NOT forget your password!  Source article: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/13/smarter-living/how-to-encrypt-your-computers-data.html

Other sources for encryption information can be found at the following websites:

https://www.wikihow.com

https://www.lifewire.com

 

 

 

Posted in APPS, FYI, technology

Parking Apps! What a Relief!

How often do you find a parking space quickly?  When you’re not in your home town do you have someone, or “something” that can help you in finding a space reasonably quickly?

Imagine if you did not have to worry about that all alone?  Well, if you did not know, (which I didn’t) there are parking APPS – over two dozen! Yes!  These Apps help you find parking that is inexpensive in various cities, and airports!

Below are some links to some of the best apps available.  You can read the source documents for more selections.

   https://www.bestparking.com/

  https://spothero.com/

Read more here:
https://solutions.softonic.com/what-are-the-best-parking-apps

Parking Woes? There’s an App for that

 

 

Posted in APPS, FYI, technology

Savoring ♥ Technology Time Out

June 29, 2007, is when the first iPhone was released.  Yes!  And, we have not been the same since.  For one thing, so many mobile phones have been created/released. Many of us wonder, what did we do before the mobile device revolution. 24 hours a day we can be connected to an Internet universe, live vicariously via YouTube, and various Apps.  How can we control being ‘wired’ all the time?

When my son was a youngster I occasionally suggested that he take a ‘time out’ to have him calm down, in the event the behavior he was exhibiting was not desirable.  This was not something that was looked on by him as a ‘good’ thing.  Flash forward, and it seems that it was not all that bad an idea.  There’s a conversation going on about appreciating stillness; savoring moments away from the computer, email, and mobile device madness, which can keep many of us “plugged in” 24 hours a day.  Not good! 

I searched around to find some tools that could help us, in the event we just can’t tear ourselves away from those cute little toys :). Here is what I found: Moment, which is an iOS app that keeps track of how much you’re using your phone. There is also Moment Family, that allows you to monitor the entire family from your phone. Samsung user can use ‘Thrive Mode, which gives you the option of creating at VIP list, which disallows being interrupted by calls and texts from those not on the list. Continue reading “Savoring ♥ Technology Time Out”

Posted in FYI, technology

Free !New Year 2018 Antivirus Protection

Happy New Year,  Tech4Boomers followers! And, thank you for choosing to read my blog.  I am hopeful that you will continue to find useful tips that will help your computer/mobile and Internet explorations a safe cyber traveling experience.

With that said, it has become somewhat challenging to have a safer cyber experience.  From the predators like Typo/Cyber Squatters to the onslaught of identity theft, and more over the cyber thief who holds you for ransom until you pay a price to get your computer back! Some of you may recall my post last year when I reported that I had that experience. https://tech4boomers.com/2017/10/24/malware-safety-requirements/

Antivirus software is an absolute must if you are using your computer to surf the Internet. There is NO excuse not to have software that helps you to detect threats and keep you protected!

Often we pay for these antivirus programs – however, there are FREE antivirus programs available.  Yes! Read the information below and get yourself security against those cyber bad guys.  It’s worth your time. Continue reading “Free !New Year 2018 Antivirus Protection”

Posted in FYI, technology

2017 Cyber Holiday Deals

Where are you with your holiday shopping?  Already December is one-third gone, and before you know it, the time will be upon you to give out the wonderful deals you managed to find.  Or, is it the case that you don’t have any idea where to get the Cyber deals?

I searched around, and I think some of the deals I found you will be pleased with. What if I told you, there are deals for as little as $20.00!  Tom’s Guide had a few links I think are worth exploring.  Click the sale pic to find them.

PC Magazine has the best deals for laptops.  You can click the pic below to find the best deal for your holiday dollars.

Happy Holidays!