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January 25-26, 2019
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April 26-28 2019
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I'm pretty amazed at the changes in technology in my lifetime.  Okay, so I'm going to date myself a bit but entertainment in our house when I was very, very young was radio.  We listened to radio shows and records and were fascinated by conversations through the short wave radio.  Our first TV was black & white with a screen about half the size of my current computer monitor. 

Our one telephone was a party line and hung on the wall of the kitchen/dinette area with a really, really long cord between the phone and the handset.  I've forgotten a lot of phone numbers but I remember the first one - GLadstone 27884.  I never envisioned that pay phones would essentially disappear in my lifetime.  Mom always made a point of checking to make sure we had the right coins to call home in an emergency whenever we left the house.

Now we have computers, email, tablets, phones with more capacity than my first MacIntosh.  A person can view their xrays and MRIs.

BUT, the most fascinating technology for me is Amazon!

I live out in the country in a farmhouse that is 7 miles from a grocery store in any direction and further from actually shopping places.  That's at least a gallon of gas for a round trip in my dog vehicle.

But.... Amazon (and it's little UPS and FedEx elves) know where I live and is willing to deliver almost anything (except groceries) to my front porch within 2 days.

I've bought puppy weaning formula, dog and human vitamins, PetSafe Salt, books, dog biscuits, computer parts, Christmas presents, Nylabones, pooper scoopers, flashlights, raffle ticket rolls for the fall dog show raffle, replacement rugs (the new puppy had a wonderful time with the old ones), Tylan powder and other doggie meds, etc.. 

And then there is the Kindle & the Kindle tablet apps. . . .  Who would ever have envisioned that a person could read so many books without having to drive to the library, pick out the books, and remember to return them before their expiration date?

What's next?  Well, I just bought a tiny, wireless camera that will keep an eye on my about-to-be-born puppies and stream the goings-on in the whelping box to my iPhone.  Should be here in 2 days....

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In general, hacked email accounts are used to send out spam.  The hackers generally know nothing about you, nor do they care.

What's the most important thing you can do to protect your email?

  1. Change your password
  2. Use a passwod with at least 8 characters that contains small letters, capital letters, numbers AND at least 1 special character
  3. Make sure you save all your passwords in a safe place.  Its easy to put them on  3X5 index cards and store them in a $2 photo album book.

Hacking a password is ridiculously easy for a computer.  They just try all possible combinations.  Finding a password made up of all lower-case letters (26 possibilities for each letter) that is only 4 characters long is ridiculously easy for a computer. 

I won’t bore you with the math but would only take about a HALF MILLION tries to hack a 4-character lower-case-only password.  Finding an 4-character password with lower-case letters, Capital letters, numbers and special characters could take as many as almost 27 MILLION tries.  Adding one more character in your password could take more than 2 BILLION tries to hack your password.

So, do yourself (and all the people in your address book) a favor and change your password to something more secure (8-10 characters with lower-case & capital letters, numbers, and special characters) and change it periodically.

Spam is "the use of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited bulk messages, especially advertising, indiscriminately."  The most widely recognized form of spam is e-mail spam.  Spamming is a low-cost, high profit bulk mailing designed to attract new customers to the products being advertised.  It is annoying and can fill your email inbasket, but by itself it's not harmful to your computer.

Malware (malicious software) is much worse.  It appears in a variety of forms but is hostile and malicious in intent, trying to get personal information from your computer or disrupt your computer's functioning.  These may also cause your computer to spew out spam to the computers of other people. Everyone should be running Malware Bytes (or some equivalent malware software) on their computer in addition to their Internet security software.  It is free and updated frequently, often several times per day.

Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity, usually in an email. I've seen some that are really, really good and look very credible complete with legitimate bank logos that didn't look homemade. 

The best phishing email I've ever seen came this week.  It looked like it was sent by a legitimate company that I already do business with and was asking for me to renew a product.  Only by reading it carefully did the bells go off that it was not a legitimate email and was trying to get my credit card information.

How does a person avoid these?
  • Make sure you have a good anti-virus, security program running on all your computers (Microsoft Security Essentials, Norton Anti-Virus, McAfee Anti-Virus are examples) and keep it up to date.  Run full system scans at least once a month, preferably weekly.
  • Make sure you run Malware Bytes
  • Never click on a link or attachment that you don't know is from a trusted source
  • Beware of unusual emails from companies you do business with
  • Automatically download patches and updates if you use Windows


  • If you don't keep a good backup of your files, you risk losing everything when a virus or spyware hits (or your hard drive fails). Use an external hard drive or a remote backup service.  Newer external hard drives have software that sets up an automatic back up as you work. Another alternative (the one I use), is a remote backup service that backs up and stores your files somewhere else ("in the Cloud").  It's slightly more expensive but they work. I've restored from them.  Many vendors also have apps available to access those files from a smart phone and/or tablet.
  • Scan your computer at least once per month, weekly if you can.
  • Remember: if it seems suspicious, it probably is.
  • Delete your browser's temporary internet files (cache) every day.
  • When you see a fake virus popup occur, don't click the x button. It will infect your computer. Hold down your computer's power button to shut the computer of or use the task manager (hold down the CNTL/ALT/DEL buttons at the same time to bring up the Task Manager) to close it.

Finding the Search Box for a PDF or other Documents

Hiding the search box within a PDF document is a function of the Adobe software and your browser.  If you press the F key while holding down the CTRL key, it will pop up in the upper right hand corner if you’re using Internet Explorer. 

CTRL+F is a universal shortcut on all PCs for ‘find’....  Also, if you click on the very top of your browser, you should be able to bring up a box and click on ‘Menu Bar’ to show the menu.  The ‘find’ is under the 'Edit’ menu.

HINT:  If you have an iPad, you can download PDF documents to your iBooks to reference when you don't have an online connection.

Copy & Paste

After you highlight a bunch of text (or numbers in Excel), you hold down on the CTRL key and press the C key to copy.  After you put your cursor where you want to Paste the information, CTRL+V will paste it in that spot for you.

Other Keyboard Commands

CTRL+B to bold text after you highlight it
CTRL+P to print a document

Note:  These are PC keyboard commands.  The Apple commands use the