Data Doctors Tech Tips
Tech Tips for Non-Tech People
We give quick, one minute tech tips each weekday! Join us on a radio station near you as we talk tech. It's Tech Tips for Non-Tech People! You can post questions on Facebook anytime!
Phishing scams that pretend to be from organizations that the hackers know a victim uses is more specific and called spear phishing.
Spear phishing became more common once the bad guys knew that generalized phishing scams were easily sniffed out by victims because they had no relationship with the company used in the fake message.
One of the most effective spear phishing approaches is when the scammers send a message to employees of a company that appears to be from someone important within the company.
It’s been shown that the likelihood of someone opening an attachment or clicking on a link in a message that appears to be from the company they work for goes way up.
Until your company moves interoffice communications to another platform, it’s going to be difficult to absolutely tell the difference between a legit message and a scam, but there are some common red flags.
Contacting the sender via a different channel to confirm the message is a good start, but things like weird grammar and misspelled words are often an indication that it was generated by someone in another country.
For the most part, it’s best to be suspicious of anything from anyone these days, so treat all messages as guilty until proven innocent.
Sending files via email that are large in size has always been a challenge for both the sender and recipient.
If you’re a user of Gmail and Dropbox there’s an excellent option that makes it really simple to share big files.
The Dropbox for Gmail plug-in for the Chrome browser allows you to send large files to others via email even if they don’t have a Dropbox account.
Instead of having to attempt to upload a large file via your email account to see if the person on the other end has the ability to download it, the add-on simply sends a link to the file.
No more sending files in separate email messages or using a compression utility that required decompression on the other end.
It’s also a great utility for sharing an entire folder with others or simply adding files to your Dropbox account via Gmail even if you don’t want to share them.
Download the free add-on at: http://bit.ly/2XiM325
As we age, it’s inevitable that we’ll need reading glasses and that includes being able to read the small print on our smartphones.
Having lots of them laying around the house is one solution that is practiced by many so that they are available when we need them, but today’s tip may be an alternative approach.
Instead of having to locate reading glasses somewhere for your smartphone, why not have them as part of your smartphone’s case?
The products offered by https://www.thinoptics.com/headline Thin Optics provide aging smartphone users a variety of options for conveniently having reading glasses with them at all times.
These thin reading specs don’t include any arms, so they slide right into the time slot on the smartphone case.
If you already have a case you love, there’s an option to add the holder to it for the added convenience.
It’s an interesting and unique gift item for lots of seniors that love using their smartphones throughout the day.
On yesterday’s segment, I featured a special app made for Android users that provides guidance on managing the storage on mobile devices.
Today, we turn our attention to iPhone users that want to do the same thing.
Apple’s device has plenty of tools for managing storage by going to the Settings menu, tapping the General option, then on iPhone Storage.
The occupied storage is represented by a graph that uses various colors for each of the categories of files on your device.
The graph should make it easier to know what is taking up the most space and you can also use some of the other options for automatically deleting older items.
For most of us, apps are one of the biggest reasons we fill up our phones, which you can quickly manage in the tool.
Any app you see in the list can be deleted completely or you can delete the app but keep the data that was created by it.
Keeping your mobile devices from filling up requires a consistent focus on getting rid of the old stuff, so consider making this a monthly task.
Smartphones are a modern marvel that allows us to do so much. They’re so handy that we can easily load them up with apps, music, photos and videos leading to the low storage alert that you may know all too well.
Clearing space is an obvious task we all need to do on a regular basis, but you have to know what is taking the space and what is safe to get rid of.
If you’re an Android smartphone user, Google has an app called Files that can be of assistance.
Once installed, it can scan your device to make you aware of apps you haven’t used for a while, if ever along with duplicates and images that you have stored in the cloud.
The app also does a great job of getting rid of unneeded hidden files that are generated by regular use.
One of the ways you can keep your smartphone working smoothly is to make sure there is always plenty of empty working space, which is why this app is so handy.
What if you have an iPhone, you ask? I’ll give iOS users some options tomorrow.
Technology has impacted out lives in so many ways including in the area of privacy.
Just about everything we use online has some option for controlling privacy, the problem is that it just isn’t very clear for the average person to navigate, much less make an informed decision.
An app called Jumbo Privacy is trying to help us all with a central process for managing privacy across so much of what we use every day.
They’ll help you understand and control privacy settings as well as some common security issues right from the app.
By scanning the apps you have loaded on your smartphone along with the websites you frequently use, it can give you recommendations for managing your personal information.
Another cool thing they offer is a review of your social media posts, which is a great idea for anyone applying for a job.
If you’re one of the millions that could use some help with managing your privacy, give the Jumbo Privacy app a try at https://jumboprivacy.com
We’re all sharing more of our personal photos on various social networks these days which also means that those images can be used by others with little or no effort.
If you want a way to get proper credit and clearly display that the image belongs to you, a watermark is good way to do both.
An app called Logolicious on your smartphone can make the process of adding a watermark to your mobile images very easy.
It’s got lots of flexibility in fonts, colors opaque levels or add your official logo as the watermark instead.
Because it’s a mobile app, you can rotate your watermark at will to fit in the proper place for all your images and save anything you want to use to a template for future use.
This simple app provides lots of options and control to create watermarks that are both tasteful and professional looking.
The Logolicious app can be downloaded at https://logolicious.com for Apple and Android smartphones.
Ever notice how many email messages you get that end with a note that it was sent from a specific mobile device?
When you leave your email signature up to device manufacturers, they’ll take full advantage of using your handset to advertise their products.
Since you’re seeing these messages, their ploy to get some free plugs in is working brilliantly.
Unless you want to continue shilling for your device company, we suggest you update the signature on all your services and devices.
This is an especially important suggestion for business users - take a minute to change the default signature to help create awareness of your company’s website, blog or other marketing-related options.
Our assumption as to why so many people still have the default signature in all of their email messages is because they don’t know where to go to change it, so here are the instructions!
Apple & Android users:
Blackberry users: http://helpblog.blackberry.com/2013/07/blackberry-10-how-to-set-up-an-email-signature
Getting into a regular exercise routine is a wonderful way to improve your health and make you feel good while doing it, but today’s tip can take that great feeling to a whole new level.
Why not raise money for your favorite charity while you’re running or biking every day with the Charity Miles app: https://charitymiles.org
There are a variety of activities that you can track via the app that can actually raise money for your charity.
The amount of money you raise per mile depends on the activity that you are tracking.
Lots of you have seen your friends and family making social media posts with a reference to Charity Miles and now you can join them.
You probably already have charities that you prefer to support that the app also supports like Habitat for Humanity, Autism Speaks or the Special Olympics.
Whether you’re an iPhone runner or an Android biker, the app will allow you to step up the value of your daily activities with every mile you accrue.
Social networks aren’t just for wasting time on a personal level as productive business social networks such as LinkedIn are an essential part of doing business these days.
Unlike personal social networks, LinkedIn isn’t as much about the people in your inner circle as it is about business contacts that you don’t really know all that well.
That’s also why the process of approving a connection is quite different from accepting connections on other networks.
It’s really about connecting with potential business contacts that could be beneficial to what you do for a living.
I’m not suggesting that you accept any and all requests to connect, but take a minute to visit the potential contact's profile to see if they already have lots of other connections and posts that show they’ve been on the network for a while.
The profiles that I reject typically don’t have a picture, have a really basic profile or just about anyone in a foreign country.
If someone you accept as a connection immediately goes into a hard sell, it’s just as easy to kick them from your network as it was to accept them.
If you’re new to LinkedIn, here are the steps for removing anyone from your network: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/49
Cyber Security companies are constantly scanning the dark web and hacker websites for compromised passwords so they can alert users.
The bad guys are constantly adding to the list of known passwords as each new data breach occurs because they know that your password is the key to your kingdom.
These known password databases make their way around the Internet and are bought and sold as a regular course of business for hackers.
So how do you know if your passwords have been compromised because of a data breach?
Fortunately, there are simple free services such as https://breachalarm.com that will check for you.
When you type in any of the email addresses that you've used to set up accounts around the web, the site will scan the databases to see if your account has been compromised.
Knowing a password has been acquired, especially one that you use on multiple sites is a critical step in protecting yourself.
If you use the site and don't find any known breaches, don't get a false sense of security.
I'd suggest that you assume that any password that is more than a couple of years old has probably been compromised, so you should take a preemptive step and change them out.
It’s hard to remember a time when we didn’t turn to the Internet to go shopping for just about anything.
Today we’re going down online shopping’s memory lane to revisit one of the most popular early shopping tools called Woot.
In its early days, it provided a simple offer: a single item with limited quantities that would be gone by the end of the day.
While that approach was very popular for a long time, it just doesn’t cut it today, so they’ve evolved to offer a lot more than they used to.
It’s still focused on offering deals in lots of popular categories including electronics, home goods and even wine, but everything is available all the time until it’s gone.
It’s a lot more efficient than watching a cable shopping television show and can be a great way to get gift ideas during the holiday season: https://www.woot.com
Today’s online and digital world makes it easy to interact with anyone at any time, but it gets a little more difficult when you are trying to connect a group of people.
We’ve all either have been the one sending out an endless number of emails or been on the receiving end of the futile attempt to find a time that works for everyone in a group.
Anyone that seeks a solution, especially if this is a recurring issue, should check out an online tool called Schedule Once.
Instead of being the manual referee in a group scheduling situation, why not let technology and automation do the grunt work?
An additional benefit of their system is that it can manage the time differences no matter where in the world someone is connecting from.
This is a pay service for those that want to minimize the hassle of this challenge on a regular basis, but you can use it for 14 days to make sure it fits the bill before committing: https://www.oncehub.com/scheduleonce
Tech-related gifts are usually at the top of the list for most people, but just too expensive for those buying the gifts.
One item that we’ve spotlighted before is one of the best values in all of the tech gifting world.
Google Cardboard is a platform that allows anyone to experience virtual reality apps using their smartphone and a special viewer.
Coupled with good headphones, this cardboard-based viewing device will transport anyone into another world via the specially developed apps.
My first experience with Cardboard was through a special concert video with Paul McCartney that places you on stage with him during the show.
It’s also a great way to experience the 360 videos that are uploaded to YouTube that will completely change the experience.
It’s a truly inexpensive gift that’s one of the best bangs for the buck or you can create one yourself with their DIY instructions at https://google.com/cardboard
The lighting options for decorating your home and tree during the holiday season continue to get more sophisticated and many of them have wireless remote controls.
This has caused concerns by some about interference with Wi-Fi signals, which might technically be a possibility, but not very likely.
There’s a small chance of some interaction if they're being powered off of the same outlet as your router, so keep them separated to avoid it.
You can also test your network speeds with and without the lights being plugged in to see if there is any impact.
It’s more likely that your Wi-Fi signal will be impacted by other wireless devices like an infant monitor or a cordless landline phone than your holiday lights.
If you’re using an older wifi router, it won’t have the sophistication of automatically avoiding congested channels, so in those cases, setting your router to use channel 1, 6 or 11 will have the least overlap.
If you have an Android smartphone, there’s a great free Wi-Fi tool called WiFi Analyzer https://bit.ly/2JWC812 for checking every detail of your wireless network.
It wasn’t long ago that we were seeing stories from around the globe of fires that were caused by the hoverboard craze.
Trying to make popular items as cheaply as possible leads to lower quality products that can go from faulty to downright dangerous.
One of the prime suspects in these device fires has been tracked to mismatched chargers and lithium-ion batteries.
This potential danger isn’t exclusive to hoverboards as today’s battery technology is being used in virtually everything we own.
Another common issue we’ve seen on laptop computers is the damage done by a mismatched charger that’s either too much or underpowered.
Mismatching a charger with LiON batteries can shorten the life of the battery or cause excessive heat leading to a fire.
All batteries will heat up while being charged, but when the temperature gets uncomfortable for you to use, it’s a good idea to have the batteries examined or changed out for safety purposes.
We all love apps on our smartphones and often times photography-related apps can accumulate very quickly.
Most of them offer similar features that focus on the usual suspects such as brightness, contrast and color balancing.
But today’s tip will introduce you to a photo app that you probably don’t have because it focuses on correcting distortion.
Distortion can result in your images based on the type of lens that you’re using or if you’re at a bad angle taking the shot.
This singular focus is in an app called SKRWT which has been recognized at one of the best at what it does.
Unlike other apps, it doesn’t reduce the resolution of your image when you adjust either the distortion that can be side to side or up and down.
Learn more and download it at http://skrwt.com
Without question, one of the more common complaints that I field on a regular basis concerns the limited storage space that fills up so easily on smartphones.
More and more devices don’t offer the memory expansion option, which makes it important to stay on top of the space you’re using.
If you have a lot of apps that you no longer use, uninstalling them is a good start, but won’t generally free up as much space as content like long videos and high-resolution images.
Dumping old video files will clear the most space the quickest, so take the time to weed through them all.
Another less known place that you can free up a lot of space is by getting rid of old text messages that included photos or videos.
I’ve had great success with my wife’s iPhone storage issues by spending time deleting old text messages.
Here’s more of our advice on this problem http://bit.ly/2N8hwDt
Using Google to search for info has become so common that it’s now actually a verb.
Anytime you’re in the market for a new item or device, finding helpful reviews or comparison sites can dramatically increase your confidence to make a purchase.
Looking up reviews on products you know about is pretty easy, but how can you learn about products you don’t even know exist?
This is our shopping tip that’s helpful year-round; use Google with the versus parameter.
Let’s say you’re looking at new smartphones that are comparable to an iPhone 11 - you would simply type ‘iPhone 11 vs’ and leave the rest blank.
Google will provide links to lots of sites that will fill in the rest or in some cases multiple items that compare whenever you use this trick.
It’s so much more informative than simply looking at the first site that might come up in a standard search.
It’s made researching new products so much more efficient and it helps you feel like you’ve really done your homework before you make a purchase!
As great as our smartphones are at taking pictures and entertaining us, there’s an accessory that you can add that will make it even more useful.
No matter what you’re using your smartphone for, it’s very likely that it can be improved by using a tripod.
Having a small, but very useful tripod will increase the chances that it’ll get used, which is why we like the Stance line of tripods from Kenu.
Because it folds up to be very small, it easily fits into your pocket, purse or laptop bag so it’s with you when you need it most.
While a tripod is traditionally thought of for photography, the Kenu tripods make viewing videos or long-form movies better because you won’t have to hold your phone the whole time.
This is one of those items that you didn’t realize you needed until you start using it, so check out all that it can do at: https://www.kenu.com/products/stance-compact-tripod-bottle-opener-for-smartphones
Despite what most avid users of smartphones may think, the iPhone is not the most popular device in the world…it’s actually the combination of Android-based smartphones that are the most popular.
Google does its best to review and block malicious apps from its Play Store, but no matter what they do, there’s still a chance that something nefarious can get past them.
That’s where having an additional layer of security can come in handy in the form of an app called Malwarebytes.
After it’s been installed, it will automatically scan every app you decide to install on your smartphone to check for signs of anything sketchy.
In addition to scanning new apps, it can check other areas of your smartphone that can be compromised from a number of other threat vectors.
This company has been providing tools to sniff out malware for years for Windows-based computers and now it can be used by Mac computers as well as iPhone users for the same protection.
Here’s the link for Android users http://bit.ly/2L7Cvm6
Here’s the link for iPhone users https://apple.co/2Mzw7HK