Friday, July 21, 2017

5005 Minnetonka Blvd.
Park in the south parking lot, between City Hall and Police department.
Bus 17 goes by City Hall.

[] [] [] Tuesday, August 1, 2017   
topic: TBA   
LINUX Ubuntu Mate computer set up, available to try out, ~1-3pm Please sign in on the buddy sheet when you arrive.    

[] [] [] Tuesday, August 8, 2017
"Windows XP, windows 7 tips"   
LINUX Ubuntu Mate computer set up, available to try out, ~1-3pm Please sign in on the buddy sheet when you arrive.     

[] [] [] Tuesday, August 15, 2017  
topic: TBA   
LINUX Ubuntu Mate computer set up, available to try out, ~1-3pm Please sign in on the buddy sheet when you arrive.   

[] [] [] Tuesday, August 22, 2017  
"Bring In Your Box Day"
LINUX Ubuntu Mate computer set up, available to try out, ~1-3pm Please sign in on the buddy sheet when you arrive.    

[] [] [] Tuesday, August 29, 2017  

[] [] [] Tuesday, September 5, 2017  
"Windows TEN " & LINUX Ubuntu Mate computers set up, available to try out, ~1-3pm Please sign in on the buddy sheet when you arrive.    

[] [] [] Tuesday, September 12, 2017  
Windows 7 and XP Tips    
"Windows TEN " & LINUX Ubuntu Mate computers set up, available to try out, ~1-3pm Please sign in on the buddy sheet when you arrive.    

[] [] [] Tuesday, September 19, 2017  
"Windows TEN " & LINUX Ubuntu Mate computers set up, available to try out, ~1-3pm Please sign in on the buddy sheet when you arrive.    

[] [] [] Tuesday, September 26, 2017  
"Bring In Your Box Day"    
"Windows TEN " & LINUX Ubuntu Mate computers set up, available to try out, ~1-3pm Please sign in on the buddy sheet when you arrive.    

"Bring In Your Box Day" (every fourth Tuesday!)    The first four Senior Computer Buddies to contact me may bring in their windows computer and get advice about using it. We can supply the ac cord, keyboard, mouse and monitor for your desktop or tower computer. It's helpful to tell me before Tuesday if you are bringing in your unit. Unfortunately, if your question(s) involve connecting to the internet using your dial-up ISP, we cannot help with that problem because we've no analog phone line available.   

Regular Meetings:
1pm Specific Topic or Open topics discussion [except bring in your box days]    
2pm Help session. Some help opportunities may be simultaneous as a buddy installs recommended software while another buddy asks a question.   

All Senior Computer Buddies will benefit from our best-effort attempts in solving unusual or common problems.    
Sometimes just emailing a detailed question about your computer operation problem can result in an answer which precludes the need to drag your box in.

The group is not a class in learning computer operation, but a discussion of topics for computer users.   

Please review your Senior Program Newscaster Newsletter and the ISD 283 Community Education Catalog for Computer Classes.   

The buddies blog is back!
It's not fancy, and you can see it at

John McHugh
SLP City Hall Cable TV Office
Community TV Coordinator, ParkTV15/96
SLP Senior Program Mentor at LCC
5005 Minnetonka Boulevard
Jmchugh [at]
"We Believe Our Public Service Makes A Difference"

City Hall has free wireless internet, provided by City Of SLP. It's a "Park Public Wireless Spot"! It is also available at The Rec Center, Lenox Community Center [west end] and Westwood Nature Center! Bring your laptop and try it: confirm that your computer has detected SL-Public. Connect to it. Then open a browser and navigate to     
A "landing page" will appear where you must click "Accept" to the terms and conditions for free internet access.   
* * *
Did you find something other Senior Computer Buddies should read?   
Send a link to John!   


===Links from 7-21-2017 email===

Supercookies and Evercookies: Resistance is Futile
Q - I just read an article talking about so-called "supercookies" and "evercookies" — cookies which are supposedly impossible to delete, and left without the computer user's permission or even knowledge. What are "supercookies"? What are "evercookies"? And how can I protect my computer from them?
A - I'll start out by saying that options to protect yourself from supercookies and evercookies are relatively limited, if effective at all.
Supercookies and evercookies are the result of a website owner's desire (or more often, the desire of the advertising networks used by websites) to accumulate data about computer users and the sites that they visit, even those users that disable or clear cookies in their browser regularly.
Bottom line: clearing cookies isn't enough — not nearly enough. There may be nothing that is.<snip>

What's a Screen Shot and How Do I Make One?
A screen shot, screenshot, or screen capture is a way to "take a picture" of your computer screen (or a portion thereof).
Why would you want to do that?<snip>

Google Remembers More than You Realize
As we go about our online activities, Google maintains a surprisingly detailed history of our activities. Most people don't realize just how detailed it is, or how long it's kept. More interestingly, Google's one of the good players, as it actually exposes this history to us, and even allows us to clear it if we want.<snip>

What's a "Zero-Day" Attack?
<snip> If malware exploiting a specific vulnerability is discovered "in the wild" before a fix for that vulnerability is available, then Microsoft has zero days to fix the problem. Hence, it's called a "zero day" exploit, vulnerability, or attack.<snip>

Can Everything I Do Online Be Monitored at My Router?
<snip> Yes, it's true. But before you focus on that too much, there are two things to keep in mind:
First, it's not really easy for the average consumer.
Second, there are easier alternatives to monitoring your router.<snip>

How Do I Fix "Invalid System Disk" Error?
<snip> when I turn on the laptop the first thing comes on the screen says ‘invalid system disk, replace the disk and press any key.' I don't have a boot disk so I hit enter, then I get ‘no bootable device, insert boot disk and press any key.' I am thinking I need a boot disk.<snip>

===Links from 7-14-2017 email===

===Links from 7-7-2017 email===

What Is DRM?
DRM, or Digital Rights Management, is software that prevents you from copying digital purchases and giving them to others.
Naturally, it's complicated, and can be used for more fine-tuned control, but put another way, at its core it simply prevents theft of copyrighted material.
Unfortunately, it's rarely bullet-proof, and in doing its job, it's the innocent who pay the highest price.<snip> What Is DRM?

What Good is Incognito Mode?
<snip>The bottom line is that Incognito (or Private or InPrivate) mode is great at preventing anyone with access to your computer from easily finding your activities there — but it does nothing to protect your online privacy.
It certainly shouldn't be considered as any kind of absolute privacy or security tool.
What Good is Incognito Mode?

How Should I Store My Backup Laptop?
I recently replaced my laptop with a desktop, moving the laptop to a backup-machine status.
That means I won't use it daily, or evenly weekly.
How should I store the laptop?

Will Microsoft Stop Forcing Windows 10 Updates?

Why SMS Two-Factor Is Better than No Two-Factor at All
<snip>Note that with two-factor authentication, hackers can't access your account even if they know your password.
I strongly recommend using two-factor in one form or another, be it Google Authenticator, Authy, email, SMS, or something else.<snip>

Here's how you can still get a free Windows 10 upgrade By Ed Bott for The Ed Bott Report | May 26, 2017 Everyone knows the free upgrade offer for Windows 10 ended on July 29, 2016, right?
That's when Microsoft officially ended the Get Windows 10 program and, to the relief of many, stopped forcing the GWX tool onto the PCs of unsuspecting users who were perfectly happy with their current version of Windows and had no desire to upgrade.
As of July 30, 2016, the upgrade notifications stopped and the GWX app began disappearing. In theory, that means the only way to get a Windows 10 upgrade is to pay for it. The GWX tool may be gone, but all the other upgrade tools still work, and the end result is an apparently valid digital license.
The funny thing is, no one told the folks who run Microsoft's activation servers. Which means today, nearly a year after the free upgrade offer supposedly ended, you can still upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and claim a free digital entitlement, without being forced to jump through any hoops.<snip>

Google Still Doesn’t Care About Your Privacy By Joseph Turow  Jun 28, 2017 The other morning I looked at the pudgy personal assistant that sits on my kitchen counter and asked, “Hey, Google: Please read me the Google privacy policy.” It responded, “Sorry; I don’t understand.”
It may sound as if the Google gnome made a mistake. But I suspect the truth is that Google doesn’t want us consumers to know how much information it is constantly collecting.
Take the company’s decision this week to stop personalizing Gmail ads based on its scanning of words in email messages. It may sound like substantial change, but it’s really mostly a smokescreen. First, it’s important to note that it came about after businesses voiced concern that Google would sweep up sensitive information from their correspondences—not because of consumer outcry.<snip>

Keeping Your iPhone Out of the Drop Zone
Tech Tip By J. D. BIERSDORFER    JUNE 27, 2017
Q. I was adding a photo to a note on my iPhone while I was on the train and noticed I could see the names of other iPhone users listed on the screen. I assume these were people nearby. So, can they see me and isn’t this a security risk?
A. When you tap the Share icon in the Photos app on your iPhone to attach the picture to a note or message, the iOS software shows you all the other ways and places to share files. One of these options is AirDrop, Apple’s wireless file-beaming technology, which can sense other compatible iOS gadgets in the area and transmit a file directly from device to device if a sharing request is accepted. AirDrop can also swap files with Macs that have the feature enabled.

===Links from 6-29-2017 email===

101 | HOW-TOS
Something’s phishy: How to detect phishing attempts
Posted: June 26, 2017 by Wendy Zamora
Last updated: June 23, 2017
Dear you,
 It appears you need to update your information. Click here to tell us all your secrets.
 No really, it’s totally safe. We’re not going to steal your identity, we swear.
If only phishing attempts were that obvious.
Instead, these days it’s hard to tell a phish apart from a foul, if you catch my drift. Modern-day phishing campaigns use stealthy techniques to target folks online and trick them into believing their messages are legit. Yet for all its sophistication, phishing relies on one of the basest of human foibles: trust. Detecting a phish, in its various forms, then requires you to hone a healthy level of skepticism when receiving any kind of digital communication, be it email, text, or even social media message. In order to understand how we got here, let’s go back to the first instance of phishing.
The Nigerian prince and early phishing<snip>

How to hang on to Windows 7 for the long run By Woody Leonhard, Columnist, InfoWorld | JAN 2, 2017 Not sold on Windows 10? We have the keys to keeping your Win7 system running the way you like it If Windows 7 represents peak Windows for you, you’re not alone. Twice as many people use Win7 as use Win10, even after 18 months of Microsoft pressure to get you to give up Win7 and jump to the shiny new version as your operating system of choice.
Your reasons for staying with Win7 may range from mere convenience to mental inertia to an abject fear of the Win10 info borg. Whatever your reasons for remaining with Win7, there are steps you can take right now to ensure Win7 keeps working -- at least until Microsoft pulls the plug on security patches, on Jan. 14, 2020. (Yep, that’s a Patch Tuesday.) <snip>

===Links from 6-23-2017 email===

Sometimes the Threat Is in the Hardware
Hackers know we take our hardware for granted, and when it comes to gaining intrusive access to our information, hardware represents a way in.

How Do I Protect Myself from Other Computers on My Local Network?

What VPN Should I Use?
There is one class of VPN that I would avoid completely: free ones.
VPNs are not inexpensive to setup and run. Providers of free VPNs usually make their money in some other way, putting your privacy — the very reason you might be looking to use a VPN — at risk.
[John uses the free vpn in opera browser...sometimes]

Opting In and Opting Out of Email
I started making some different choices to reduce the amount of email I get.
In short, I asked the senders to stop. I now do this periodically.

I'm returning from a five-day business trip during which I decided to see whether I could accomplish everything I need to do using a Chromebook.
Why? Because Chromebooks can be less expensive – and, more importantly, safer – than the traditional Mac or Windows alternatives.
My Chromebook-only Trip'm returning from a five-day business trip during which I decided to see whether I could accomplish everything I need to do using a Chromebook.
Why? Because Chromebooks can be less expensive – and, more importantly, safer – than the traditional Mac or Windows alternatives.

The Internet Is Forever, Except When It's Not
Back up everything you keep online.
Don't put anything online that might "haunt" you, for whatever definition of "haunt" you care to assume.
These are exciting times, to be sure, but they're complex and often frustrating times, as well.

Why Does Email Sometimes Take So Long to Be Delivered?

How Do I Upgrade Windows When I Can't Actually "Upgrade"?
It's called a reformat and reinstall. I'll walk you through it, noting how the new version of Windows might impact the steps along the way.

The Biggest Risk to Your Privacy
What's required is simply awareness – mindfulness, if you will – of exactly what, where, and with whom you share.

How Do I Protect Myself from My ISP?
For at least 99% of internet users: your ISP doesn't care what you do, where you go, or what you use their connection for.
The 1%, however, can be all too real for some people.

Should I Defragment My SSD or USB Flash Drives?
In my opinion, you should never defragment a drive based on solid state memory.

===Links from 6-16-2017 email===

A new apple iOS is coming to your apple device...ios11.

United States Senate Special Committee on Aging Senate Aging Committee Identifies Top 10 Scams Targeting Our Nation’s Seniors Fighting Fraud:
1. IRS Impersonation Scams
2. Sweepstakes Scams
3. Robocalls/Unwanted Phone Calls
4. Computer Scams
5. Elder Financial Abuse
6. Grandparent Scams 23
7. Romance Scams/Confidence Fraud
8. Government Grant Scams
9. Counterfeit Check Scams
10. Identity Theft
Above link is to a 47 page pdf document

Google Drive's New Backup Feature Reminded Me I Have No Backup Plan
Patrick Lucas Austin  6-15-17
Follow the 3-2-1 backup rule
When people ask if they should have some sort of online backup plan for their devices, I respond with an emphatic yes. Not only do backup plans grant you piece of mind, they allow you to find previous versions of files in case you misplace, lose, or unintentionally modify one. But like anyone who gives advice, I seldom follow my own, and have depended on a combination of cheap cloud storage, a network attached storage device under my coffee table, and praying my SSD never dies.
Of course, that’s a horrible way to manage data, and barely counts as a “solution.” If you want to be better than me, follow these best practices for backing up files, often called the “3-2-1" rule:
1. Keep at least three copies of your data Three copies of your data means having the original file along with two copies stored elsewhere.
2. Use two (different) storage types to backup data Keeping all your backup data on the same storage type (like an internal hard drive) could kill both backups in case of disaster. If you’re storing two copies locally, be sure to back them up on different storage media—one internal hard drive, one external drive, for example. At least you can grab one and go in case of emergency.
3. One backup should be offsite
A house fire can wipe out both your internal hard drive as well as anything else you’ve got storing your data in your home. That’s why keeping a backup in a separate location (like in a cloud storage service) is the best method for keeping data safe. <snip>

Amazon Drive Gets 1 TB Limit: How Does It Compare With Other Cloud Storage Options Now?
9 June 2017,  By Carl Velasco Tech Times With Amazon officially gutting its unlimited free storage plan on Amazon Drive, it’s possible users are now looking for other alternatives. Here are some of the best cloud storage solutions, including their pricing details.  ( Amazon Drive ) This week, Amazon officially put a 1 TB limit on its cloud storage service. Previously, users who paid $60 a year for an Amazon Drive plan benefited from unlimited storage, making it one of the best cloud storage plans there was.
Amazon launched the plan in 2015 to outpunch Dropbox and Google Drive, its rivals in the cloud storage arena. In hindsight, though, Amazon probably only wanted users to scramble toward its service upon launching, and once it saw that the unlimited schtick became unsustainable, it promptly pulled it. Of course, that's just guesswork, but it's easy to imagine that some users are upset about the news, and it's possible they're now looking for alternatives.
So here's a handy guide comparing Amazon Drive with other cloud storage service plans.
<snip> [John says: some options start at FREE and then increase in cost]

For some reason many people's gut reaction to a malware infestation is to consider a new machine. That's just … wrong.

How can I keep someone from contacting me in email?
A new email address
Automate ignoring them
Treat it like spam

How do I keep a program from loading at startup?
Use startup configuration tools
If you want to keep the program, and you can't change the setting within the application itself, we have to get out some slightly more aggressive tools. Tools like Autoruns from Microsoft, or the great security tool, WinPatrol are both good for managing the things that get automatically started.

Is anything safe? Every Application Adds Risk Basic rules of thumb in mind will generally allow you to be safe.
Only install what you need.
Install only reputable software from well-known sources.
Download only from the vendor's own download site or instructions.

Windows Defender Offline in Windows 10
Occasionally, malware prevents your anti-malware tools from running, or is designed in such a way that anti-malware tools may not be able to actually eradicate the infection while Windows is running.
One of the most common solutions in the past has been to boot your computer from a DVD or USB drive that contains its own operating system, bypassing both Windows and the malware that might be interfering. Once running, this isolated operating system can run anti-malware tools that are much more likely to resolve the issue.
Windows 10 actually built in this capability. Without needing to download anything, you can boot your computer into "Windows Defender Offline" – a copy of Windows 10's built-in anti-malware tool, running in a separate, isolated, dedicated copy of Windows 10.

How Can One Service Take Down So Much?
As I type this, a surprisingly large number of web sites – including some aspects of Ask Leo! – are recovering from a massive outage at one of the internet's major cloud service providers: Amazon.

Email: Save Everything So You Can Delete More

Adjust the Size of What's on Your Screen in Windows 10

What is Cloud Computing?
Examples of cloud services include:
Your email. Web-based is the most obvious "cloud service", but even if you use a desktop email program, your email has been traveling server-to-server in "the cloud" to get to you.
Social media services like Facebook, Twitter, and others.
Photo storage services like Flickr, Photobucket, Google Photos, and many more.
Document storage services like Google Docs.
"Anything" storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and so on.
Financial services like QuickBooks Online, your bank, your investment firm, and others.
Web-based information resources like AskLeo! and Wikipedia.
Backup services.
Just about anything you use online or over the internet is involved in "the cloud" in some way.

My ISP Went Under; How Do I Recover My Email and Email Address?

How Can I Securely Delete Everything Except the Operating System?
The problem with this approach is that you don't know what you might have missed.
There might be system files that contain information about you: registry settings that remain even after all the deletion and cleaning above that contain settings for programs (perhaps even programs no longer installed) that indicate something about who you are or what you used the machine for.
You just don't know.
But erasing the hard disk completely is the only way to be absolutely sure you haven't left personal information on the machine prior to handing it off to someone else.
Well, that or remove the drive and give them the machine without it. But even then, you'll want to erase the drive before disposing of it.

Why Is My Mail to this Person Not Getting Through?
If email sent to one person is not getting through, but email sent to other people is generally working, it could be your email is being blocked by an anti-spam tool.

Change the Search Engine in Microsoft Edge The Edge browser is Microsoft's latest attempt as a faster, safer, alternative browser, it's the default web browser in Windows 10.
Changing the default search engine used by's not really obvious how to do it, but it's actually not that hard.

How Do I Find Good Local Computer Help?
Particularly when it comes to local tech support, I'd start by asking around. Specifically:
Ask your friends with computers who they use and what their experience has been.
Look for local computer help groups – often libraries and senior centers have something. Attend, and ask for recommendations from attendees.
Go to a local computer store – ideally also a local store, not a chain – that does not provide service themselves, and ask to whom they refer people.

After visiting major online computer and electronics retailers' websites, I find that they have tracked items I looked at, combined with my computer's browser settings or web address and then displayed these items as pop-up ads in my other browser pages.
Why Do Ads Follow Me Around the Internet?

How Do I Disable Cortana?
Cortana. Don't use it. Don't want it. How Do I Disable Cortana?

Is there a way to get the Wi-Fi password for a network I was connected to at one time, but am not connected to right now?
Actually, yes there is.
Unless you explicitly tell it to forget, Windows will carefully remember all the passwords for all the wireless networks you’ve connected to in the past.1 The only “trick” is that we’ll be using Command Prompt to get Windows to show us that password.<snip>

<snip>“Keeping America safe and enforcing our nation’s laws in an increasingly digital world depends on our ability to lawfully examine all materials entering the U.S.,” says Jennifer Gabris, a CBP spokeswoman.
Her agency, which is responsible for ensuring the safety and admissibility of the goods and people entering the United States, exercises its border-search authority in accordance with its statutory and constitutional authority. And, notes Gabris, no court has ruled that the border search of electronic devices requires a warrant — at least not yet.
In a vast majority of electronics searches, agents are not interested in your Facebook friends, experts say.
“Most customs or border-protection agencies are looking to verify that the device functions normally, and is not being used to transport illicit materials or possibly explosives,” says Nathan Wenzler, chief security strategist at AsTech Consulting. “Customarily, they’ll ask an individual to power it on to demonstrate this.”<snip>


===Links from 6-2-2017 email===
FAQs about using windows ten
May 31 (UPI) -- The Supreme Court ruled that companies give up patent rights after a product is sold in a case involving the refilling and reselling of printer ink cartridges.<snip>

===Links from 5-26-2017 email===

Buddy Fred Lewis sent a list of his favorite downloadable software:
Free Software
1.            Freemake Audio Converter.
2.            Freemake Video Converter and Editor.
3.            Freemake Video Download.
4.            Teamviewer
5.            File Joiner
6.            CCleaner
7.            VLC Media Player
8.            Magix Xtreme Print.
9.            WinX from DVD to MPG
10.          Advanced Renamer
11.          Anyburn
12.          Audacity
13.          GIMP
14.          Harddisk Scrubber
15.          Smart Defrag 4
16.          TEC-IT QR Code Studio

===Links from 5-19-2017 email===
FBI Teaches Lesson In How To Break Into Wi-Fi Networks FBI agents at a recent security conference demonstrated how they could break into a wireless network. They did it to prove how easy it was, and describe measures that users Millions of wireless access points are spread across the US and the world. About 70% percent of these access points are unprotected รข€” wide open to access by anyone who happens to drive by. The other 30% are protected by WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and a small handful are protected by the new WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) standard.
At a recent ISSA (Information Systems Security Association) meeting in Los Angeles, a team of FBI agents demonstrated current WEP-cracking techniques and broke a 128 bit WEP key in about three minutes. Special Agent Geoff Bickers ran the Powerpoint presentation and explained the attack, while the other agents (who did not want to be named or photographed) did the dirty work of sniffing wireless traffic and breaking the WEP keys.
This article will be a general overview of the procedures used by the FBI team. A future article will give step-by-step instructions on how to replicate the attack.<snip>

[the following is an edited version of an email sent to SLP city employees] Many of you have probably already heard about the Ransomware/Worm like threat named WannaCry that has been developing world-wide over the weekend. We now have enough information to provide a meaningful message.

Please note that the most vulnerable computers are those that (1) are running an older unsupported version of Windows (XP or earlier) or (2) newer versions of Windows (7 or later) that have not had standard security patches applied. Computers at home can be vulnerable.

(1)          Update your home computer with all of the latest Windows patches.
(2)          Ensure that your home Adobe (PDF) / Java applications have been patched.
(3)          Ensure your home computers are getting the latest virus / malware definitions.
(4)          Be careful about phishing emails, especially those with any filenames ending in .zip.

For more about Microsoft patches being made available (i.e., MS17-010), even for older Windows systems, and possible workarounds, go to:

This attack has had widespread effects and the threat will continue as long as computers are left unprotected, despite what you may hear about so called “kill switches”. New variations are being released. Be empowered to protect yourselves at home.

===Links from 5-12-2017 email===
Robocalls Flooding Your Cellphone? Here’s How to Stop Them    By CHRISTOPHER MELE  MAY 11, 2017
An unfamiliar number appears on your cellphone. It’s from your area code, so you answer it, thinking it might be important.
There is an unnatural pause after you say hello, and what follows is a recording telling you how you can reduce your credit card interest rates or electric bill or prescription drug costs or any of a number of other sales pitches.
Another day, another irritating robocall. If it feels as if your cellphone has increasingly been flooded with them, you’re right.
Ryan Kalember, senior vice president of cybersecurity strategy at Proofpoint, a cybersecurity company in Sunnyvale, Calif., said the volume of robocalls has seen a “particularly big uptick” since the fall.
In a Robocall Strike Force Report in October, the Federal Communications Commission said telemarketing calls were the No. 1 consumer complaint.
Citing statistics from YouMail, a developer of robocall-blocking software, the commission said consumers received an estimated 2.4 billion robocalls per month last year, driven in part by internet-powered phone systems that have made it cheap and easy to make them from anywhere in the world.
Alex Quilici, chief executive of YouMail, said his company estimated that 2.3 billion calls were made in December 2016, up from 1.5 billion in December 2015. The company said it extrapolates data from the calls made each month to its users.
More than annoying, the calls can cross over into the outright fraudulent. In one scheme, callers pretending to represent the Internal Revenue Service claim the person answering the phone owes back taxes and threatens them with legal action. The scheme has reaped more than $54 million, the F.C.C. said.
“If the robocalls were not valuable to the scammers, they wouldn’t be doing them,” Mr. Kalember said.
Here’s how you can fight them:<snip>
How to Figure Out What's Slowing Your Computer Down
By David Nield    2/16/17
Inevitably your computer slows down. You try to open a website and it grinds to a halt, or read an email and it churns along sluggishly. A slow computer, in many ways, is worse than a broken one—or at least infinitely more frustrating.
If you’re going to have any chance of reversing the serious slowdown that’s affected your computer, you’re going to have to work out what’s at the root cause of the sluggishness. Don your detective’s hat and identify the source of the problem with the help of these tools and tricks.<snip>
What All of Your Computer's Specs Really Mean
By David Nield   Sunday 5-7-2017
Computer specs can be a baffling mix of acronyms and numbers at the best of times, but it’s worth learning something about them: It’ll help you choose a new computer, troubleshoot your old computer, and generally understand more about the relationship between the specs on the page and the experience you’re getting.
Such is the complexity of the modern-day computer, we could’ve written an article twice this size on any one of the categories listed below (look at any graphics card forum for proof)—but the main aim here is to help you understand the specs you see listed with desktops and laptops, and give you an idea of the difference they make to performance.<snip>

Stop.Think.Connect. Toolkit provides resources for all segments of the community.
How Do I Recover a Wi-Fi Password When I’m Not Connected?
Even if you're nowhere near a network you've connected to in the past, you can still recover the Wi-Fi password from Windows.
In a previous article you showed how to get the Wi-Fi password being used to connect to a wireless network. The only catch is that you had to be connected to the network to get the password.
It’s a long story, but … is there a way to get the Wi-Fi password for a network I was connected to at one time, but am not connected to right now?
Actually, yes there is.
Unless you explicitly tell it to forget, Windows will carefully remember all the passwords for all the wireless networks you’ve connected to in the past.1 The only “trick” is that we’ll be using Command Prompt to get Windows to show us that password.<snip>
Recover a Remembered Wi-Fi Password
If you forget your network's Wi-Fi password, but you're still connected, Windows can remind you what it is.
I connected to my WPA-protected Wi-Fi network ages ago, and now I can’t remember the password. How do I figure out what it is?
It’s not at all uncommon to set up a wireless network securely, and then get on with your life, neglecting to write down the encryption password you created. Later, when it comes time to add another device, you’re unable to remember that all-important password.
It’s so secure, even you can’t get in!
There are two approaches you can take.<snip>
What Windows Startup Programs Do I Need?
Windows startup is a complex process further complicated by the number of programs that add themselves to the list. Paring it down takes work.
How do I determine what Windows startup programs I absolutely need to load? Do I really need all of my protection programs like virus and spyware to load at start-up?
Ultimately, in practical terms, this is an unanswerable question. For many Windows startup programs the answer will be "I don't know".
But there are definitely steps you can take to at least understand much of what is happening at startup, and perhaps even make a few decisions based on that.
First, realize that there simply is no single answer. There is no "minimum set" of Windows startup programs that I could list here that would work for everyone. Everyone's machine is different, everyone has different software installed, and everyone has different ideas of what is and is not important.
So I'll give you an overview of the steps I take when managing my startup.
The first tool I run when diagnosing or tuning startup is autoruns. That's a free utility from the SysInternals folks out at Microsoft.<snip>
Phishing: How to Know it When You See It Phishing is a way that internet scammers trick you into providing your personal and financial details. Phishing opens the door to identity theft, and more.
I’ve received an email from “” asking for billing details and threatening the end of my MSN service. Contacting MSN resulted in referral to a support alias, but no answer. Is this a problem, or a forgery?
Phishing is a word you hear a lot in the news these days, and this question brought it to mind.
You’re right to be suspicious: this definitely sounds like a phishing expedition.
Phishing: what it is
Phishing is very much like fishing, except that you’re the fish, and that threatening email is the bait. If you bite, you run the very real risk of account or identity theft and all the hassle that entails.
Phishing is, essentially, an email message that tries to trick you into taking some action by fooling you into thinking that the message comes from someone official when it does not.<snip>

===Links from 5-9-2017 email===
7 reasons why HTML e-mail is EVIL!!!
This page summarizes a longer article, now called HTML email is STILL evil!!!
I originally wrote this article in 2000 for friends, the tongue-in-cheek title inspired by objections to HTML mail expressed in the web designer's list. By 2002 some big sites had linked to it, traffic (and abusive responses) to the page had increased and the internet had changed significantly, so I decided to update it.
The internet is now cheaper, faster and bigger than ever - and it's also more hazardous than ever. While HTML mail is being employed more and more, particularly for mass-marketing, it is and always will be true that: HTML email can be dangerous, is not always readable, wastes bandwidth and is simply not necessary.
This article does not aim to present a balanced argument about the merits or otherwise of HTML mail. Nor am I suggesting that sending HTML mail will hurt you - it may even boost your company sales. However receiving HTML email can cause problems, so if you care at all about the people you send mail to, read on...<snip>
This is not a guide to ALL freeware - it's just my way of saying "thank you" to the authors of the free programs which I have found useful and a single handy online link for me to give to my friends. Obvious omissions probably mean that I myself use a commercial app for the relevant task, although with the last overhaul of this page I have included a couple of apps which I don't actually use but have often recommended (Open Office for example). All of these programs are good at what they do - my star-system is not meant to be an objective rating of intrinsic program quality but a much more subjective measure of how useful the app is based on how much I use it. FINALLY - if you've read this far - please don't contact me for support or any other reason with regards these freeware recommendations - take them in the spirit they are offered, which is free. :-)
Get a weird invitation to edit a Google Doc? Best not to click Science NPR Staff · May 3, 2017 There's a decent chance you — or someone you know — just got an odd email inviting you to edit a document on Google Docs. The email could be from a stranger, a colleague or a friend, but it's addressed to a contact that boasts a whole string of H's in its name.<snip> Here's a handy tip: Don't open the link.
Trouble is, those invitations aren't what they seem. They are in fact malicious files intended to hijack recipients' accounts —and Google advises its users not to open them.<snip>
How to Clean Up and Optimize Your Sluggish Mac  by Thorin Klosowski Your Mac is running a little slow these days. It takes forever to boot up. You have to delete something just to download that file attachment from Carla in accounting. Any time you stream a video it seems to lock up for a few seconds. Let’s fix all that.
Update Your System Software
Before we do anything, let’s make sure your Mac is up to date. Click the Apple icon > App Store, then click the Updates tab. Install any software updates you see here, including macOS updates. This might include security updates or small performance improvements for whatever version of macOS you’re running.
Of course, Apple’s operating systems have been free for the last several iterations, so if you want to also update to Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan, or Sierra, you can usually do so without any knock on your Mac’s performance. This is completely optional and up to you, but make sure you are at least running the most recent version of whichever operating system you’ve landed on.<snip>

===Links from 4-21-2017 email===
Google's Plan to Build Ad-Blocking Into Chrome Could Be a Very Good Thing
By Rhett Jones   4-20-2017
It’s not just you, online ads are getting worse. Auto-play video has become a standard, pop-ups are back in a big way and those inline ads seem accidentally clickier all the time. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is well aware of this and it’s planning to add a built-in ad blocker to the Chrome browser. If the plan is handled correctly, it could force sites to give everyone a better experience. But that’s a big “if.”
<snip> But why would a company that makes billions on advertising add a feature to its own free product that would block advertising? Simply put, Google doesn’t want more people downloading ad-blockers that it has no control over. Google has seen the reports that as many as 26% of desktop users have some sort of software to hide advertisements and it doesn’t want that number getting any larger.<snip>
Ignoring a WhatsApp Scam
Tech Tip By J. D. BIERSDORFER   APRIL 20, 2017
Q. I signed up for WhatsApp out of curiosity last year but never used it. Today I got an email message about someone sending me a WhatsApp voice mail. Is this for real?
A. The random note about WhatsApp voice mail is most likely malware hiding behind a spoofed email message that has been dressed up with copies of the company’s logo and typography. Versions of the voice-mail scam have been floating around the internet since at least 2013 in an attempt to get unsuspecting recipients to download malicious code to their computers and devices.
The WhatsApp site has a guide to dealing with “strange messages” and suspected hacking attempts on its site; one way to tell is to open the message header and look at the sender’s real address. Panda Security is among the anti-malware sites with articles that describe various WhatsApp scams to avoid.<snip>
Tech Support Scams
In a recent twist, scam artists are using the phone to try to break into your computer. They call, claiming to be computer techs associated with well-known companies like Microsoft. They say that they’ve detected viruses or other malware on your computer to trick you into giving them remote access or paying for software you don’t need.
These scammers take advantage of your reasonable concerns about viruses and other threats. They know that computer users have heard time and again that it’s important to install security software. But the purpose behind their elaborate scheme isn’t to protect your computer; it’s to make money.<snip>
The Windows 3.x Showcase
This is a collection of curated Windows 3.x software, meant to show the range of software products available for the 3.x Operating System in the early 1990s.
Top Programs to Transfer iPod to Computer
19 Programs To Help You Transfer iTunes Libraries   by Sam Costello   November 01, 2016
Deciding between the dozens of programs that transfer iPods to computers can be maddening. After all, they all appear to do similar things and make similar claims. How do you decide which one offers the best combination of features, speed, and price?
We've taken one step to helping you do that by creating an at-a-glance chart comparing the features of over a dozen of these programs.
But to get the full details, read on to learn which iPod-to-computer transfer programs get top marks and which you should avoid.<snip>
The Top 10 Ubuntu Alternatives   by Gary Newell   April 04, 2017
Even if you are a Linux neophyte, there's little doubt you've not heard of Ubuntu. Ubuntu started a revolution in 2004 to make an easy to use Linux based operating system that was both hardware compliant, easy to use and a real alternative to Windows.
Time does not stand still however and there are hundreds of other Linux distributions available and in this list I am going to let you know about 10 of the very best Ubuntu alternatives.
Why would you want to use any other Linux distribution? Ubuntu is the best isn't it?
The truth is that what one person sees as great another person just doesn't work the way they want it to. Maybe the Ubuntu user interface is confusing for you or maybe you want to be able to customize the desktop more than Unity allows you to.
Sometimes you are left in a position whereby something like Ubuntu is just too slow on the hardware that you have available to you. Maybe you want a Linux distribution where you can get really hands on and get to the nuts and bolts of what is going on Whatever your reason for not using Ubuntu this list will help you find the right alternative.<snip>
How to Safely Download & Install Software Avoid Malware & Other Problems When Downloading Software
by Tim Fisher   March 20, 2017
We recommend a lot of software here on Lifewire, software that does everything from undeleting files to automatically hack into your computer when you've forgotten a password.
All of these programs that we recommend are hosted on other sites, which is very typical and is no reason for concern.
However, it means we have to hand you off to another website that we have no control over and hope everything works out there as you download and install the software.
Unfortunately, sometimes even a really, really good piece software is hosted at a site that... well, we wouldn't otherwise want to send someone to.
Add to that the fact that some software programs, while otherwise fantastic, include little bits of "extras" that no one really wants on their computer.
Since this is the nature of downloadable software these days, especially free software, we thought it worthwhile to put together this collection of tips on how to stay safe when you download and install software.
Note: While some of what we talk about here are specific to downloading programs we recommend here on the site, the advice is all very general and applies to any software you might download and install, from any website.
Keep reading for some solid ideas on where to get software recommendations, how to avoid problems even from legitimate downloads, and lots more.<snip>
The Best Ways to Speed Up Your Computer
What You Can Do to Make a Windows PC Faster
by Mark Baggesen   March 21, 2017
You might know what it feels like to have a brand new computer. One that's in tip-top shape and seems to blaze through even the toughest of challenges. However, that fresh computer feeling fades, and sometimes quickly.
Files and folders take longer to open, programs don't shut down as quickly as you'd hope, delayed logins and startups seem to be a daily occurrence, and you just can't whip around like you used to.
What's more, is that sometimes specific programs are to blame, making it difficult to know where to begin to clean things up.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to speed up your computer to make it seem new again. Before we take a look at how to make a speedy computer again, let's first examine why the computer is slow in the first place.<snip>
How To Fix a Computer That Won't Turn On What To Do When Your Desktop, Laptop, or Tablet Won't Start by Tim Fisher  April 03, 2017 It's a really awful way to start a day: you press the power button on your computer and nothing happens. Few computer problems are more frustrating than when your computer won't boot.
There are many reasons why a computer won't turn on and often very few clues about what might be the problem. The only symptom is usually the simple fact that "nothing works" which isn't much to go on.
Add to this the fact that whatever is causing your computer not to start could be an expensive part of your desktop or laptop to replace - like the motherboard or CPU.
Do not fear because all may not be lost! Here's what you need to do:
Read the first section below (it'll make you feel better).
Pick the best troubleshooting guide from below based on how your computer is acting or choose the last one if your PC stops at any point because of an error message.
Note: The "computer won't start" troubleshooting guides below apply to all PC devices. In other words, they'll help if your desktop or laptop won't turn on, or even if your tablet won't turn on. I'll call out any important differences along the way.
Also, all are applicable no matter what Windows operating system you have installed on your hard drive, including Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. The first five steps even apply to other PC operating systems like Linux.<snip>
About (former is a project that contains free stock photos for private and commercial use. All photos and the whole website are made by me – Martin Vorel.
You can use my photos without attribution. But if you will add a link to libreshot, I will be very glad.<snip>
About OpenShot
OpenShot Video Editor is a free, open-source video editor for Linux. OpenShot can take your videos, photos, and music files and help you create the film you have always dreamed of. Easily add sub-titles, transitions, and effects, and then export your film to DVD, YouTube, Vimeo, Xbox 360, and many other common formats. Check out the full feature list, view screenshots, or watch videos of OpenShot in action!<snip> Operating Systems OpenShot is available for Linux, OS X, and Windows. Check out the download page for more details.<snip>
Snapping a Shot of the Android Screen
Tech Tip By J. D. BIERSDORFER   APRIL 18, 2017
Q. How do you take a screen grab on Android?
A. How you take a picture of the current screen displayed on your Android device depends on your hardware and the version of the operating system you are using. A screen grab is also known as a screen shot or a screen cap. You can find screen shot apps in the Google Play store and some phone makers may include their own screen-capture utility, but many models just require the push of a few buttons.<snip>