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!
I’m a huge music fan and as such, I’m constantly searching for that next great song, old or new.
I like revisiting older bands by searching for their greatest hits for both discovery and rediscovery.
While searching around last week, I found a website that I had never hear of called TheTopTens.com.
Unlike traditional top ten lists that are put together by a single person, TheTopTens uses the wisdom of the crowds to compile the top ten lists.
Not only will you find music, you’ll find a wide variety of lists like the best nail polish or the best holiday gifts.
And if you want to be part of the crowned and put your two cents in, you can vote on any list and you don’t have to sign up for anything, you just click to vote!
Even better, you can start your own top ten list to see what the crowd thinks about anything you’re passionate about.
So the next time you're looking for a new band, new songs or just doing research for just about anything, http://TheTopTens.com is website worth checking out!
If you’re like me, you're using your smartphone to accomplish more productivity tasks that normally would have required you to wait until you sat down in front of your computer.
Whenever I need to copy several things like a web address, pictures or chunks of text, the constant back and forth is laborious and terribly inefficient.
If you’re an Android user and want a better way to copy things on your phone, checkout an app called Copy Bubble.
Once installed, Copy Bubble allows you to copy just about anything from just about anywhere. When you start to use it, you’ll see an orange bubble with an item count as you go.
Each copied item is compiled in chronological order and is available via your clipboard until you remove it.
The orange bubble floats over any app, allowing you to paste any or all of the information that you’ve copied by tapping the bubble and selecting what you want.
A cool feature when you copy a web address allows you to preview it in app before you paste it.
Copy Bubble for Android devices is available in the Google Play Store and it’s free!
If the stock market and the world of investing tend to be an intimidating and mysterious place, today’s tip is for you!
As with all things in life, knowledge is power but in this case, you don’t need a degree from a prestigious university to understand how the markets work.
A web resource called WallStreetSurvivor.com, which actually started out as a fantasy stock market simulator has became a great tool to demystify Wall Street.
It turns out that gamification is a pretty good way to learn the ins and outs of investing and trading stock.
Rather than just being told how to do things, you get to actually get involved in market trades without the risk of losing your money.
Think of it as a virtual stock exchange combined with lots of tutorials, articles, courses, and videos.
Not only can you learn the basics, you can setup a practice portfolio and engage in a league to compete with other virtual traders.
If you’re still confused about ‘puts’ and ‘calls’ or the value of stocks versus mutual funds, WallStreetSurvivor.com can help you get a solid understanding.
It’s a really great way to get your kids involved and learning about investing early as well.
Ever cut yourself trying to open one the many insanely difficult plastic packages that seem to be used on everything these days?
Initially, it was expensive electronic items that are small that typically used those obnoxious clamshell containers that are nearly impossible to get open, but now just about any household item like light bulbs can be encased in this nightmarish packaging.
Retailers like them because they help fight theft and make it a snap to hang them on display hooks.
It’s become such a plague to consumers that there’s now a Wikipedia page dedicated to "wrap rage”!
If you’re weapon of choice is a knife or scissors to get the darn thing open, you know how dangerous it gets, especially as irritation grows.
Even when you do get it open, it’s rare to escape without getting nicked or scraped from the sharp edges of the packaging.
Until we can get them to ban this type of packaging, there’s a better and safer way to get them open: start using a can opener!
Not only does it take a lot less strength to get through the plastic by running the can opener along the packages edges, it’s also a lot safer.
Has this ever happened to you? You're on the road and get an email message asking you to fill out a form, sign it and return it via email ASAP.
Getting the form printed out is pretty easy no matter where you are, but scanning the signed document and sending it back is a bit more of a challenge.
When this happened to me years ago, I searched for a solution that would allow me to use my smartphone to take a picture of the forms and convert them to a PDF document that I could email.
While many apps are available that offer this type of functionality, I've continue to use the CamScanner app for this need.
CamScanner is free and really simple to use. Just snap a picture of the form, crop it if necessary and save it as a PDF file.
You can also use the 'batch mode' icon if you need to scan a multiple page document.
Once you scan the pages with your smartphone, you can change the order, rotate pages and add watermarks and annotations before emailing them back.
CamScanner is available in the app stores for Android, iPhone, iPad and Windows phone users.
A great byproduct of the Information Superhighway is that it’s become the world’s greatest library of trivial knowledge at our fingertips.
Don’t we all reach for our smartphones during an argument over the most trivial of information these days?
It’s really great when we stumble on to some truly useful bits of information, especially when we weren’t even looking for it, right?
Well, if learning useful things on purpose is something you love, you should visit a website called Useful Science.
It’s an wonderful collection created by a group of Canadian grad students for all that love the useful trivia that exists online.
For instance, did you know that a quick look at the color green before you start a creative task can increase your creativity?
Or, did you know that tunes with heavy bass can make you feel more powerful?
The passages aren’t just random thoughts that someone came up with, they're directly related to research or reports with real context.
If you’re really into this kind of knowledge, you can submit your own articles and get useful science emails right to your Inbox if you subscribe to their newsletter.
Check it out at http://Usefulscience.org
It’s summer time, which means you’ll be dancing in the streets or twisting by the pool with this tech tip.
If you’re like me, having music wherever you go is a must, so finding a Bluetooth speaker that fits my lifestyle is an ongoing pursuit and I’ve found a winner.
The Boom Swimmer waterproof speaker is without question my favorite audio gadget, because it’s extremely flexible in how you use it and it sounds great!
The Swimmer comes with a rubber tail that allows you to wrap it around anything to provide sound just about anywhere.
The possibilities are endless: shower heads,
handlebars, backpacks and the list goes on.
It also comes has an optional suction cup mount, so you can slap it on most flat surfaces which also serves to enhance the bass as well.
This awesome speaker isn’t just water resistant, it’s waterproof, so if it falls into the pool or gets soaked when someone does a gainer, it just keeps on booming.
For around $50, the Boom Swimmer Waterproof Speaker is a summer must have gadget for music lovers.
If you feel like you’re living your life on e-mail these days, you’re not alone.
One of the biggest time wasters for all of us, is replying to multiple messages with the same response, when they are spread throughout the day.
Here’s an awesome tip for Gmail users! There is a free add-on that you can activate called Canned Responses that can save you tons of time.
Just turn it on and you’ll be able to copy any chunk of text and make it a canned response that can then be used in any message with just a few mouse clicks!
It eliminates the need to copy/paste any text, phrases or signatures that you use on a regular basis, when you’re responding to or composing messages.
This tool is part of the experimental ones that Google makes available via the Labs program, which is setup in Gmail’s Settings menu.
The link for step-by-step instructions on turning on this incredibly useful feature is posted at DataDoctors.com/radio.
Phishing scams are behind many of the major breaches you hear about these days because cyber theives need only to compromise one computer on a secured network to execute their malicious activities.
The sophistication of today’s phishing scams can fool even the most tech savvy amongst us, so remembering to use the hover trick can help sniff them out.
Whenever you see a link is included, simply hover the mouse over the link to see where it’s trying to take you.
Sometimes the destination address may not pop up, so make sure to look at the bottom left corner of the program you’re in to see the actual link address appears there.
Any time the displayed link doesn’t match the hover results, you should consider it to be a phishing scam.
If you want to improve your phishing scam detection skills, there’s a phishing quiz site that will determine if you can detect a phishing scam from a legitimate message.
I’ve posted the link at DataDoctors.com/radio
IOT or the Internet of Things was certainly one of the spotlights at this past Consumer Electronics Show as inexpensive connected devices were being shown by many.
Wireless sensor tags in particular are interesting, because they allow for the monitoring of your location through motion, temperature and even humidity, not just video.
Many of these devices are really inexpensive which allows you to monitor everything from a garage door opening and closing to a refrigerator door’s movement so you can be alerted whenever the fridge is being raided.
These small sensors work with apps on your smartphone to alert you to just about anything that you’ll want to monitor in your home.
While motion sensing is helpful, monitoring things like moisture levels can alert you when you have a leak in real time.
The great thing about using sensors that monitor everything you care about, is that they range in price from only 20 to 70 dollars.
Wireless tags can really step up your home security so if you want to learn more, checkout http://wirelesstag.net
Our smartphones are pretty safe from downloading malicious apps as long as we don’t jailbreak our devices and only get apps from the associated app stores, like Google Play and Apple’s App Store.
Jailbreaking an iPhone or rooting an Android phone allows you to remove the controls put in place by the device but should only be by tech savvy users.
Unfortunately, a new scam is in circulation that can sneak malicious apps into your device, even if you haven’t bypassed the security controls by jailbreaking it.
The scam appears as slickly crafted text message or email with a convincing link to download the app.
If you fall for the scam and click the link, it can lead to having a non-jailbroken iPhones or unrooted Android phone compromised.
With this in mind, we should all adapt the following mantra: If I didn’t go looking for it, I won’t install it.
Cyber-theives have been able to create some pretty convincing messages that often appear to be from a trusted resource via a hacked account, so be on the alert.
For a little extra protection from malicious apps, consider using this free mobile security app from http://lookout.com
The wireless router in your home is the primary line of defense against common threats, because it blocks the outside world from gaining access to your computers.
If you haven’t addressed this major security issue by changing the administrative password that came as the default, you’re at risk.
Now, I'm not referring to the WiFi password that allows you to connect, I’m talking about the administrative username and password which will allows for full control over your router.
Hackers know the default password for every piece of equipment available through resources such as http://RouterPasswords.com with which to attack you.
A group of security researchers have discovered a new type of attack that uses rigged e-mail messages which can allow thieves to sneak into routers if you’re still using the default login credentials.
Once they get in, there’s very little they can’t do because they can change the configuration so that they can monitor all your activity and grab your credentials for any of your online accounts without you knowing it.
This is one of those threats that your security software has now way of protect you if you click on the malicious link.
The best protection against this threat is to change the default password; if you don’t know how to do it, get some help!
Your smartphone has likely become your go-to music and navigation system in your car.
Placing your phone in the proper place is so much safer than fumbling about while you’re car is in motion.
A safer option for properly positioning your phone on your dash can be found at Kenu.com.
The Kenu AirFrame is a lightweight holder that just clips to most air vents in your car’s dash providing a better line of sight for your screen.
You don’t have to use adhesives, suction cups, magnets or special cases with the AirFrame and it can accommodate any size phone even if it’s in a case.
The units range from $25 to $39 depending upon the size of your smartphone. You can check them out at http://Kenu.com; that’s spelled K E N U.com
Just remember, when you’re blowing hot air through the vents in the winter, it could overheat your smartphone, so you should avoid using it those situations.
And most of all, no texting while driving!
If you or someone you know has a rental property or rents a place from a private individual, today’s tech tip is for you.
Whether you’re the renter or the property owner, if you’re still collecting or paying rent by check method, you know how inconvenient it can be for either side.
Well a website called Cozy can make this regular process much easier.
For landlords, it only takes a few minutes to register your rental property and banking info so that your renter can start paying you online.
For tenants with roommates, the pain of splitting the rent payments is a snap, so no one has to play the chase the roommates for the rent game any more.
While all that sounds great, the best part is that there’s no fee to use Cozy because it’s free for both the renter and the property owner.
They even have lots of other features for property owners, like online rental apps, renter screening tools and can list your rental on their online network.
If this sounds like a dream come true, checkout http://Cozy.co to learn more.
We all rely on our smartphones so much every day and if the battery goes dead or we suddenly can’t find our phone, panic mode sets in instantly.
An app called Hotel My Phone from a small startup in Canada is offering a potential solution to this all too common problem.
Think of it as AirBnB for smartphones, because you can grab a friend or spouse's phone and get full access to your contacts as well as make and take calls as if was your phone.
It’s designed to be used with people you know by having trusted people install the app on their phones which creates a 'trusted network’ which allows anyone in the group to borrow anyone else’s phone in an emergency.
If the batter on your phone dies just as you/re expecting a critical call or text, having Hotel My Phone setup on your spouse’s phone could save the day.
There can be charges for communication outside of your trusted network, but in network calls and messages are free.
You can checkout all the details at http://HotelMyPhone.com
Helping out charitable organizations with a donation shouldn’t happen only after we hear about a horrible tragedy somewhere in the world.
That’s the thought process behind an app from Google called One Today.
One Today presents a different non-profit each day by explaining their primary goals and makes it really simple to donate a small amount if you’d like to help them.
In addition, you can setup matched donations to get your friends and family to help generate donations or use the Pay-it-Forward option to increase the donation total from your circle.
When you choose to donate to various causes, you can pay it in a lump sum as it builds and when it reaches $250, you’ll get a tax deduction receipt from Google.
You know how helping others makes you feel and the One Today app can provide that feeling on a daily basis.
Think about the real impact that a couple million people can make by donating one dollar a day!
Get started today at: https://onetoday.google.com
When a tough situation rears it’s ugly head on your computer and you want to find a toll-free tech support number, Google’s a great place to find it, right?
So many people are being victimized because of this thought because they call what they believe to be an official phone number for tech support that they got from searching Google.
Searching for ‘Norton Antivirus Tech Support’ for instance, will display many companies posing as official tech support but they have absolutely nothing to do with Norton.
Many of them prominently post toll free numbers, knowing that lots of people will just call the first number that appears in the search results.
We know of one elderly victim that was scammed out of over $7,000 because she thought she was working directly with Norton.
If you want to avoid this con game for any company that you want help from, the best way to get the real number is to manually type the company web address and add the word support to the end.
Like norton.com/support for instance.
I’ve posted more tips for avoiding this clever scam at DataDoctors.com/radio
Popular startups like Uber and AirBnB have led to what is being called the sharing economy that leverage the power of the smartphone in your pocket or purse.
Well, now a startup called Roadie is attempting to compete with UPS and Fedex with a concept they call a neighbor-to-neighbor shipping network.
The service is designed to match people that have something they want delivered with people that are already going between those same two points.
These ‘Gigs’s as they’re called are insured up to $500 for your protection, so you can think of it as carpooling for packages.
You can post a Gig on the app simply by describing what you want delivered and the route which allows potential ‘roadies’ which are the drivers to complete the task.
The app allows you to track the progress of your delivery or even connect with your driver along the way.
Waffle House locations were one of the first official Roadie Roadhouses where you can meet to exchange packages with special treats for the drivers.
If you love the sharing economy and have something unusual to get sent somewhere, checkout http:\\Roadie.com as an option.
Hey honey, I need help printing something from my iPhone!
My wife’s recent request reminded me of a tip I gave a while ago that’s become even more useful today.
We all seem to use one of Google's services every day anyway, so why not start using their free remote printing service called Google Cloud Print from just about anywhere as well!
You simply need any type of Google account to get started with an easy setup of the printer on your computer to make it available via the Internet.
You can then print from any mobile device like your smartphone or tablet or you can send important print jobs from your office PC or Mac to your home printer and vice versa.
You can even invite your friends, family and colleagues to print to your printer; especially helpful when someone is having a printing emergency!
Cloud Print works with any cloud-ready or standard printer from a larger number of apps or programs.
Sound like something you’d like to have in your back pocket? Just visit http://Google.com/cloudprint to get started.
Bluetooth enabled speakers are a wonderful way to improve the quality of sound coming from smartphones, tablets or laptops, but that also means you have to carry them around with you.
If you'd prefer a Bluetooth speaker that can be synchronized to play music throughout the house, Pure’s Jongo wireless speaker system may fit the bill.
There super flexible system can make use of both fixed and portable wireless speakers that can play the same music stream coming from your smartphone or tablet.
Their unique 'CaskeID' technology that's built into the Jongo system allows for exceptionally accurate synchronization across all your speakers.
That means if you're in range of any Jongo speaker with any of your Bluetooth enabled devices, you can control all the other speakers throughout your house as long as they are within range of your wifi network.
This specialized approach leverages the convenience of Bluetooth with the bandwidth and long range of wifi to provide a flexible whole house sound system.
You can even turn any traditional stereo and speakers into an extension of the entire system with one of their extender devices.
Learn all about it at http://Pure.com
Have you ever seen a high-resolution image printed directly to glass at an art gallery and viewed it with awe.
Well, now you can have those same incredible glass photos hanging in your house with a few clicks of the mouse.
A web service known as Fracture and they allow you to upload any image and then choose from one of 5 frame sizes that go from 5x7 up to 22x30 in landscape, portrait or even square images.
The process of getting it setup takes a few minutes and you can choose from options that cost $18 to $125.
The selected image gets printed directly on the back side of a piece of glass, then completed with a black backing and sent to your house in a couple of days.
This way of displaying your favorite pictures makes for amazing wall art or an awesome gift for special moments in your life.
If you don’t have anything you shot yourself, you can select from the photos and art from their Art Store to create famous Fractures of your own.
Check it all out for yourself at https://www.fractureme.com