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!
We’ve all got those family members or close friends that are so hard to find unique gifts for because they seem to already have everything.
Another difficult gift scenario is those office parties where everyone is expected to bring a goofy gift.
If either of these scenarios presents itself down the road, check out the off the wall options at Perpetual Kid - https://perpetualkid.com or Vat19 - https://www.vat19.com
It’s wall-to-wall crazy, unusual gift options that are bound to be the hit with just about anyone that loves unusual items.
You can watch videos demonstrating how some of the items work, so you can really get the full understanding before making a buying decision.
For those with an unusual taste in snacks, these sights can be a goldmine.
Bookmark these sites for those situations down the road where finding crazy gift giving ideas is just wha the doctor ordered!
Discovery and understanding of others is one of many great benefits of traveling whether it’s here at home or abroad.
Asking travel junkies for their go-to resources and methods for uncovering wonderful experiences that are less-known is one approach or you can use a website called ‘Culture Trip’ to make it easier.
It’s simple to start learning about options for any location by simply typing the name of the city you plan to visit in the search box.
Their travel guides will provide you with ideas on things to do, food and drink and places to stay.
Experienced-based activities have grown in popularity and they provide some great tools for finding things that you may never have thought of trying too.
The nice thing about the suggestions at https://theculturetrip.com is that they are compiled by travel professionals and local experts instead of from visitor reviews.
You can start by testing out their website or download their app from your smartphone’s app store to begin the search for that next great adventure!
Scammers have continued to modify their scams that try to convince users that their computer has been compromised because it generates money for them.
A common tactic that we have seen more of will use scary-looking warnings that may appear via your browser and in some cases lock it up.
Both Windows and Mac users are potential victims because this isn’t an operating system-specific scam as it’s done via your browser.
You may come into contact with this somewhat convincing scam on various websites, via phishing emails or even as a link posted on a friend's compromised social media page.
They try to make it look like the security software that you have installed and will often show a toll-free number prominently in hopes that you will call for help.
The thing is, none of the security software companies would ever pop up a phone number for you to call because they couldn’t possibly deal with the millions of calls they’d get.
So, from now on, if you see any type of security alert pop up and it includes a phone number to call, you’ll know not to fall for it.
A once-popular Internet event better known as the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ was created to help support people that were diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis better know as ALS.
While that may have been the most visible thing connected with ALS, another amazing resource that was inspired by a family dealing with it is at https://patientslikeme.com
The primary goal of the website was to connect those experiencing the same medical issues since almost every ailment is common to others.
Exchanging ideas and suggestions or your own experiences with others suffering from the same medical condition can be invaluable for both parties.
It doesn’t matter whether you have overcome your situation or not, finding others that could benefit from your treatments or tactics is meaningful.
There’s also a way to contribute to various research initiatives based on what you contracted as well.
No need to suffer in silence when there are so many people available to share information and ideas to help you navigate virtually any serious medical issues at: https://www.patientslikeme.com
If you happen to be near someone that suddenly has a medical emergency, knowing what to do quickly could be the difference between life and death.
We can’t all be medical professionals, but it is helpful for as many of us as possible to know how to administer basic first aid and CPR.
Knowing what to do and when is available via an app from the Red Cross can provide specific guidance for a variety of first aid situations.
One of the great features of the app is that once you’ve installed it on your smartphone, you don’t need any kind of connection to make use of it.
With any luck, this is an app that you can have on your phone that you hope never to have to use, but having it when it’s needed can be key.
Learn all about it and download it to your smartphone at:
Anyone looking to focus on overall fitness knows that paying attention to your caloric intake is an essential part of staying fit.
If you’re a nutritionist, you can probably look at all of the info on the product labels to determine what’s good and what’s counter-productive at the grocery store.
Well, now you can bring the evaluation skills of a nutritionist with you to the grocery store with the Fooducate app.
It uses the camera on your smartphone to scan the barcode on any common packaged product while your shopping to provide caloric and health info.
Eating healthy goes well beyond simply counting calories as things like sugar and sodium also have a big impact.
The app can also provide healthier alternatives as a suggestion when you scan an item that’s just not that good for you to eat.
This type of information is valuable to anyone, regardless of your current workout goals, so learn more at https://www.fooducate.com
One of the ongoing issues when it comes to rental properties is getting the rent paid in an efficient manner, especially if you’re still doing everything manually.
With all the integration of technology in our lives, it’s now easy to move to a digital platform for both the landlord and the renters.
A service called Cozy is one of the more popular options because it’s easy to set up and use and it’s free.
If you’re the landlord, getting the rent check couldn’t be easier as it just notifies you when the tenant has paid.
In situations where there are multiple tenants, Cozy makes it easy for each person to pay their share which eliminates the collecting from each other problem.
Landlords don’t pay a fee, but the funds will take a few days to get into your account - they make some of their money on the ‘float’.
They are hoping that landlords see the value of the rest of their platform for screening tenants and listing properties because of the free service.
Hassle-free digital rent collection is waiting for everyone at https://cozy.co
The ubiquitous PDF file format is the de facto standard for official forms online or when transacting via email.
Often times, you’ll need to fill out and sign those forms and send them back to the source, which means printing, filling out, signing, scanning and sending or worse, licking stamps!
If you interact with PDF forms on a daily basis, it makes sense to consider buying a special and often expensive program to edit forms.
For those that rarely interact with PDF forms that want a more efficient way to sign and send them back, there’s PDF Escape.
Windows users can download their free program, but an easier option is to use their web interface to upload and edit the form.
Their are lots of editing options like the text tool that lets you select an area in the form to start typing in.
You can even create new forms from scratch and all of it can be saved to your computer for easy sending via email.
Check it out at: https://www.pdfescape.com
The only thing separating your personal information and accounts from a hacker is your password, which is why you must use a unique password on every account.
To help you manage all those unique passwords, you can’t rely on your memory - you must use some form of password manager.
There are lots of software options that are low-cost or even free, but some users are just too intimidated to use them.
If that sounds like you, there’s a simple alternative that anyone can manage and that is to simply write them down.
I don’t mean to use sticky notes on your screen, but some form of secure documentation on your laptop or phone.
An additional security tip is to add some form of trickery, such as adding a couple of random characters that don’t mean anything at the beginning or end.
That will help protect them in the event someone discovers the document, which should never include 'password' on the file name when you save it.
If you use the same password everywhere, any compromise of any of those sites exposes all of them, so find a password management system that works for you.
It should be obvious by now that Google can provide the answer to virtually any question anyone has, but that’s just not obvious to everyone.
Invariably, someone in your network ends up being the one that gets asked these questions and if that’s you, have we got a suggestion for you!
The next time you get those obviously Googleable questions, send them to LMGTFY! It stands for Let Me Google That For You: http://lmgtfy.com
Type their question into the search box and click on the Get Link button to get started.
Once you have the link, send it to the person that could use a gentle tutorial on how Google can easily provide the answers to the question that they asked much faster.
The cool thing is that when they click on the link you sent them, the LMGTFY website will literally take them through the steps to ask the question on their own.
This is one of the fun and educational tools that everyone can enjoy!
Knowing what your customers are saying about you online is a critical part of any business in the age of technology.
User reviews are what many potential customers rely on to make a decision about where they spend their money and how your business responds will make a difference.
One of the easiest ways to keep updated on what others are saying about you is to create automatic notifications using Google Alerts.
In a matter of a minute or two by typing your business name into the Alerts form, you can start getting notifications whenever Google sees anything new.
It’s important to remember that negative comments are an excellent opportunity to show potential customers how you handle mistakes.
Everyone knows that people make mistakes, so don’t be afraid to publicly address negative reviews or comments online.
One of the most useful tools in business is something known as OCR or ‘optical character recognition.
It allows you to convert an image that has text into a document that can be edited with a word processor.
Most scanners have this ability as long as you are successful in getting the software set up and understand how to use it.
This also means that you can only perform this task wherever your scanner resides, which could be an issue in some cases.
Once again the Internet has come to the rescue with a free OCR tool at http://OnlineOCR.net so you can get it done anywhere in the world.
It can extract the text from PDF files as well as an assortment of common image files like JPGs and GIFs.
You just upload the file, choose the language it’s in and the output format for the editable file to be created.
Free and easy is a combination that makes the Online OCR /service a winner!
We are all spending a lot more time in front of our computers, which is taking a toll in a very specific area: our posture.
A variety of ailments can impact you when your posture is poor all day long, including the dreaded carpal tunnel syndrome.
The worst-case scenario is having to have surgery to repair a chronic issue brought on by bad posture every day.
Fortunately, we can all do simple things to avoid this pain, starting with how you sit in your chair while working.
The position of your arms, specifically your wrists, plays a big role in good health.
A 90-degree position of your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor is first.
As for your arms, keeping them parallel to the floor provides the proper positioning for less stress on your wrists.
Another option to help keep your wrists in the proper position, look into the physical aids available from IMAK: https://www.imakproducts.com
For a variety of reasons, you may find yourself ordering more of your meals from restaurants, which can be convenient but not necessarily healthy.
If that’s your current status, a web resource called Calorie Cap is something you might want to look into.
Their search tool allows you to define specific dietary goals so you can find satisfying meals that also meet your health goals.
Their filters will also allow you to define the level of salt, fat, carbohydrates, protein and sugar that you’re looking to keep under control
Their tool is also helpful when you know that you’re ordering from a specific restaurant.
You can find your ‘Calorie Cap’ by inputting your age, gender, height, weight, and activity level.
Once you’ve determined your Cap, you can begin to monitor how many calories a day you need to maintain or lose weight.
Get started today at https://www.caloriecap.com
Our smartphones have replaced traditional physical maps and guide books with popular alternatives like Google Maps, but the utility becomes non-existent when there’s no cell signal.
If you happen to remember to download a portion of Google Maps that you know you’ll be using, you may be OK, but that’s not generally how life happens.
For anyone that often finds themselves off the grid but still in need of navigation, there’s an app called Maps.Me that you may want to give a try.
It’s similar to a traditional GPS device in that you can download an entire country or region to your device before you head out.
It will function a bit differently so if you’re going to rely on it for critical navigation, it’s best to take it for a test run for a bit beforehand.
Get the lowdown and the apps at: https://maps.me
If you like to save money, you know how valuable coupons can be if you use them regularly.
Did you know your smartphone can make coupon clipping much more efficient with an app called Flipp?
Instead of manually looking for coupons for the items you need, the Flipp app will do the heavy lifting for you for thousands of big-name stores.
It’s not limited to grocery store coupons either as discount retailers and drug store coupons are in the mix as well.
A very helpful option is to generate a list of items you intend to buy so the app can dive into all of the coupons available to match them with our list.
It can do searches based on your location or allow you to specify a retailer that you plan to shop with.
This can all be done over time before you go to that store so the coupons that you save to your list are ready when you get there.
Sound like a great way to save money? Learn more at: https://flipp.com
Most of the valuable items we own, from our cars to our homes require diligence to keep them maintained.
If you haven’t added your computer to this list of maintenance items, we suggest you do.
You wouldn’t operate your car without any maintenance at all and simply wait until something bad happened before taking it to a mechanic, so don’t do it with your computer either.
Being proactive when it comes to your computer can save you both aggravation and money.
Windows users can start a maintenance routine by getting to know the Disk Cleanup tool that’s built-in.
The primary focus of this tool is to rid your hard drive of unneeded files and to keep tabs on the remaining storage available.
If you’ve never used this utility or it’s been a while, expect it to take some time to complete its initial scan.
As with any maintenance task, the more often you do it, the less time it will take, so consider making it a monthly task.
Infiltrating a corporate network is the first step for hackers to wreak havoc and demand money for a fix and phishing employees have always been one of their tools of choice.
Spear phishing by pretending to be someone else in the organization has proven to be very effective for the bad guys.
Any business that wants to dramatically minimize the chances of being held hostage because an employee got phished should think about an alternative to email for company-based communications.
Think about how hard it is for an employee to ignore an email that appears to be from someone from the C-suite that needs immediate action.
Imagine being able to tell all employees that any email message that claims to be from another employee should be considered a fake because all communications are on another platform.
This is one of the many reasons that platforms like Slack https://slack.com have become so popular in corporate America and should be a consideration for all companies.
Smartphone photography has never been better, but even with all of the latest technology, your images can still use a little enhancing.
We’re always looking for the latest tools that can make our photos look better, but one of our go-to tools has always been FOTOR https://www.fotor.com
This awesome set of web-based editing tools can also be used directly on your mobile devices via their apps.
Making up for poor lighting, which can result in muted colors and lower contrast is just the beginning of what this free tool can do.
With dozens of other tools such as background removers, tilt-shift and HDR, you can really make your images come to life.
Retouching tools for facial images are also available to help make anyone look like a world-famous model.
If you like what you see from their web tools, download the app to your device from here: https://www.fotor.com/mobile.html
If you work for a living, you probably have to deal with email on a daily basis, which can lead to a lot of unproductive time managing it all.
One of the worst time wasters are those messaged that pop in throughout the day from a mailing list you somehow got yourself on.
With all the clever tricks to get people on email lists, it’s not hard to have it add up pretty quickly.
Anyone looking for some help reducing the clutter in their Inbox, should check out a free service from https://unroll.me
One of the first things the tool will do once you’ve got it set up is go through all your messages to figure out which lists you are on.
You’ll then get an alphabetical list of the mailing lists you’re ‘subscribed’ to so you can decide if you want to unsubscribe from each one.
For those lists that you want to stay on, instead of getting their messages randomly throughout the day, you can add them to a 'roll up' so everything comes as one message.
If you’ve never tried it out, it’s waiting for you at: https://unroll.me
Just about all of us became fascinated at a young age with the exploration of outer space and to this day, it’s just as interesting to me.
If you or a loved one loves all things space-related, a must-see website has been assembled by the folks at NASA.
You would expect to see lots of amazing pictures and videos but what you may not expect is all of the interactive possibilities from their various apps.
You can access tens of thousands of images, interactive 3D images and endless videos that are awe-inspiring.
There are also options to view live HD video feeds that are being sent from various crafts.
Another great reason to download the app is so you can get notified when space-related events are in the near future.
What a great way to get younger children intrigued with space exploration and maybe inspire them to pursue the idea of becoming an astronaut.
Pop over to https://www.nasa.gov to get started and use the ‘Downloads’ link to get their apps for your mobile devices and major streaming devices.