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!
It’s not hard to understand how younger children are becoming hooked on using an iPad all day long, but it’s not necessarily the best thing for them.
What they’re doing on the iPad all day long is the most important thing to consider and if your kids are in the 5 to 12-year-old range, the folks at Osmo have a platform you might want to check out.
Unlike other iPad apps, Oslo focuses on using the screen to bring the real world into the child’s interactions.
They’ve devised a clever system that incorporates the camera on the iPad along with a tripod and a mirror to allow the app to see what your child is holding.
With so many interactive options to keep your child stimulated and entertained, this iPad app will improve the quality of the time they’re spending on the device.
There’s a wholly interactive and educational world awaiting your child at https://PlayOsmo.com
Life is full of ups and downs even without a pandemic so our true happiness is tied to how we can each deal with those challenges on a daily basis.
Unexpected situations can easily lead to stress and feeling of helplessness or even turn to depression when we aren’t able to manage them.
An app called ‘SuperBetter’ was created as a way to help its users cope with the anxieties of life through a process they call living gamefully.
When we play games, it causes our minds to focus on positive things like creativity, determination and optimism.
This isn’t just a simple game, it's a science-based approach to helping us all become more resilient and have a better outlook on life.
This approach has been used by millions that have read the book by the same name and through the use of their app.
It’s a new year and a time when most of us are thinking about making improvements to our daily routines, so if that includes you, checkout the whole store at https://superbetter.com
It’s not that common anymore, but there are times that you are sent a file that you can’t open on your computer.
The unable to open scenario comes from not having the associated program installed on your computer.
When it happens, requesting the source to resend the file in a completely different format isn’t always efficient and downloading and installing a new program just for that situation doesn’t make much sense either.
That’s where a free web tool at https://zamzar.com can be the perfect solution to this occasional problem.
The tool can convert just about any standard file type into one that your computer can open and view.
You just upload the file that needs to be converted to their web interface and select the format you want it converted to and the site will email you a link when the conversion has been completed.
Electronic devices continue to be amongst the most popular holiday gifts, which in many cases means that an older device is being replaced.
What happens to that old device is very important as they all contain some form of toxic material that will contaminate our landfills if they are simply trashed.
Before looking for an electronic recycling program, check around with charities, schools are even others in your circle to see if the older device can be repurposed.
In the event no one has a use for it, be sure you find a legitimate option for recycling electronics so the toxic waste is handled properly.
It’s mind-numbing how many toxic chemicals are used to manufacture our gadgets; they’re some of the most dangerous.
Most people don’t really think about this problem or worse are completely unaware of how many millions of devices get improperly disposed to pollute our groundwater.
Do your part and never throw old electronics in the trash - take the time to find a responsible way to process it when you no longer need it.
Scams that pretend to be for survey purposes are very common and for the most part, easy to spot.
In general, staying away from these survey scams is a good idea, but there is a legit survey program that you can benefit from as it comes from Google.
Their Opinion Rewards program initially launched as an Android-only app, but they’ve expanded it t iOS users too.
We’re all being tracked by Google anyway, so why not scratch out some value for yourself?
Go to the app store for your device and search for ‘Google Opinion Rewards’ to get started.
After you’ve installed the app, you’ll get optional surveys that will earn you credits from Google.
Anything that Google’s store offers can be redeemed with the credits you earn.
The survey questions aren’t that personal and you can earn valuable credits for things you actually want to download.
Get the info and download the apps at: https://surveys.google.com/google-opinion-rewards
When it comes to understanding how to protect yourself, the approach of thinking like a hacker helps you to plug the holes they’d typically exploit.
Your personal info is valuable on the dark web, so finding ways to sneak into your computer is high on the list for them.
Hackers know that kids are much less concerned about cybersecurity, so they’ve long focused on setting traps that younger users will most likely fall into.
Downloading free stuff from the Internet is almost a game for kids and teenagers and the bad guys know this well.
They also understand how little security has been established on most home computers, which is another reason they target younger users.
It’s not uncommon to have entire families sharing the same user profile on a computer, which they count on.
Separating kids from parents with separate profiles is a key step in protecting your information.
The parent’s profile can have administrative access while the kids should be limited to protect what can happen if they are tricked.
If you’re sharing your full-access profile with younger users, consider this a wake up call!
Smartphones are more smart and less phone these days because of apps.
There are millions of apps to choose from, but most of us look for a free app whenever we do go searching.
To add to the complexity, there are hundreds of apps popping up on a daily basis, so keeping up with it all is difficult.
Would you believe that a free app could be the best way to find other free apps?
An app called ‘Apps Gone Free’ does just that every day so you can find them more efficiently.
Apps benefit from having the download numbers as high as possible, so they’ll often allow free downloads of an app that would normally cost money to pump up their stats.
The Apps Gone Free approach makes it much easier to know when a valuable app becomes available for free.
You’ll get some specific insights into the temporarily free app so you can decide if you want it before it becomes a paid app again.
It’s a one-stop free app shop!
Apps Gone Free (iPhone): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/apps-gone-free-best-daily/id470693788 Similar Android App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.appsfree.android
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