Quick Tip: Securing Your Android Phone

If you have ever lost or misplaced your Android phone there are two waves of panic that hit. Wave number one is just the fact of knowing you lost a valuable piece of property. Wave number two hits you when you realize everything you do on that phone (photos, personal data, passwords, social media, text messages, etc…) could be in the hands of someone else. Smartphones are a treasure trove of personal data that ultimately could compromise your life if you do not take the proper measures to secure your phone.

Image result for Securing Your Android Phone

Today’s tip is simply this… Secure your phone and do it now…

To do this (and each phone is slightly different), go into the “Settings” and look for a selection that will fall under the premise of “Security and Privacy”. In those “Security and Privacy” settings (and each phone is different) look for the options to secure your phone (via a lock screen). On today’s phones, depending on the model, you can protect access to the phone through passwords, swipe patterns, pin numbers, fingerprints, and face recognition. What do I use on my phone? I use face recognition, a pin number, and fingerprints in combo. What is the safest? I am going to say fingerprint; however, I am now reading that the crooks have ways to break that (one of the reasons I use a combination of access controls).

Anyhow, please lock down your phone before you experience the two waves of panic…

Quick Tip: How To Enable “Slide To Shutdown”

This is more a trick than a tip; but, once implemented, it is a quick way to shut down your Windows 10 computer.

Here’s how to do this:

Right-click on the desktop, and select  “New”, then select “Shortcut”. In the windows that pops up, paste the following line of code: %windir%\System32\SlideToShutDown.exe

THEN, select “Next”, THEN “Finish”… The shortcut will be created on your desktop. If you click on the shortcut a slide down of the screen will appear from the top. If you grab the slide down with the mouse pointer and pull down, the computer will shut down.

What I did on my PC was “right mouse click” on the shortcut I created, pinned it to the taskbar and then deleted the shortcut from the desktop. This makes it handy to perform the shutdown without having to go directly to the desktop.

 

Quick Tip: How To Delete Your Google Chrome Browsing Data On Your Computer

For you people at home that use Google Chrome as your browser, it is a good idea (from a security and privacy standpoint) to periodically clear your browsing data.

Clearing the browsing data is actually quite simple by following the steps below:

  1. Open “Google Chrome” on your computer
  2. Click on the three-dot icon on the top-right corner of the browser and select “More tools” > “Clear browsing data”. Note: You can also use the keyboard shortcut “Control-Shift-Delete” to proceed directly to the “Clear browsing data” window.
  3. When the “Clear browsing data” window pops up, you have the option of selecting (and deleting) the browsing history, cookies and other site data, and cached images and files. You also have the option of selecting the “Time Range” for the data you wish to remove. Typically, in my case, I check all three boxes and then select “All time” in the “Time Range; then, I click on “Clear data”.
  4. As an added note, when you are working in the “Clear browsing data” window you will also see an “Advanced” tab that provides options for additional items that can be deleted. I typically leave the “Advanced” tab options alone and go with the “Basic” options; however, that is a matter of preference.

The NEW “Schedule” Email Option Now Rolling Out To Gmail

Gmail users, the NEW “schedule” email option is now rolling out. Go into your Gmail, click on compose, enter a recipient’s email address and if you go to the bottom left corner where it displays the send button (see below) you will see a small down arrow. Click on the down arrow and then click on “Schedule Send”.  From that point forward it is self-explanatory. You can then select a date and time that you wish for the email to be sent.

Gmail send later

gmail-schedule-send.png

I am thinking of scheduling and sending an email for far out in the future, beyond my demise, to let everyone know, I am spiritually still with them and that there is Gmail in Heaven.

Quick Tip (Android): Access ALL of YOUR Photos Wherever You Go

On your Android smartphone or tablet, look for “Google Photos”. With “Google Photos” you can back up any photos you take and see them online from any device at the “Google Photos” web site.  To make this an automated process, do the following:

  1. Open the “Google Photos” app on your device and tap on the (menu)…
  2. Tap on “Settings”
  3. Select “Backup & Sync”
  4. Toggle “Backup & Sync” to the “on” position. At this point on the selections under “Backup & Sync” you should see your Google (Gmail) account.
  5. Scroll down to “Upload Size” and select “High Quality” (free unlimited storage).

Note: Google will allow you to upload unlimited images providing you let Google convert the images to the “High Quality” setting. If you select “Original”, you will eat up your online space at Google.

Very easy; and will allow you to see your photos online. You can then, at your convenience, delete the photos on your phone when space becomes an issue.

Note: A Google account is required. Typically, you should already have a Google account when your Android phone was set up for your personal use.

How to boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode | Android Authority

If you’re trying to troubleshoot problems with your Windows 10 PC, one option is to enter Safe Mode. In Windows 10 Safe Mode you can safely uninstall troublesome programs, resolve driver issues, diagnose hardware conflicts, and more. But how to boot in Safe Mode is less obvious in Windows 10 than we’ve seen in older Windows releases. In this guide we’ll show you how to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode using version 1809 (October 2018 Update).

Windows 10 Safe Mode options

Source: How to boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode

Quick Tip: Right Mouse Click On The Windows 10 “Start Menu Button”

This one is for the folks at home and is something that I use all of the time. If you go to the bottom left corner of your screen and “right mouse click” on the Windows 10 Start Menu Button it will cause a menu to appear. This menu is a quick way to get into the various (commonly used) background settings and options in Windows. This also serves as a great way to explore and learn about these settings in a more user-friendly way.

 

Quick Tip: How To Define Words In A Google Search

When using Google to perform a search you can use what is called “qualifiers” (or common search techniques). One such qualifier that I often use is the word “define”. For example, let’s find the definition of the word “cognitive”.

Go to Google Search and type in the box the following:

define:cognitive

Then, hit “Enter” on your keyboard to get the result(s) or definition for “cognitive”.

If you notice there is no space between the qualifier “define” and “cognitive”. They are separated by a colon (:). You can also leave out the colon, but I have gotten into the habit of using the colon due that I use other qualifiers.

Here are examples of other qualifiers or common search techniques – click here.

Quick Tip: How To Force A Computer To Shut Off

Did you ever run into a situation where your computer froze and nothing is working (including CTRL+ALT+DEL)? Typically, this is an indication that an issue is present; especially, if it occurs on a frequent basis. If the computer does freeze or lock up on you, sometimes rebooting may rectify the problem; but,  how do you force the computer to shut off, short of pulling the plug?  On “most” computers, if you hold in on the “power button” on the computer, the computer will shut “off”.  I usually wait about 10 seconds, hit the button again (do not hold in) to reboot (start) the computer.

Quick Tip: Should I Leave My Computer “ON” 24/7?

sleeping computer

Here at “What’s On My PC”, I typically fire up my PC in the morning, leave it “on” all day and then put it to bed (turn it “off”) at night. I like the idea of booting the computer when I get up to refresh it by clearing the memory, let the Window’s updates take, etc… I also don’t like the idea of leaving a computer on 24/7 because you just upped the risk of the computer being compromised by another person (such as a child) and or externally via the internet. I know at some places of employment, PC’s are left “on” 24/7.

Also, as an added note; if I leave my house for an extended period of time, I turn the computer “off”.

In summary, I look at a computer as an appliance that requires some level of supervision…

What is your take on this?

Quick Tip: How To Use The “Show Desktop Button” in Windows 10

Using the “Show Desktop” button to show the Windows desktop is one of those options in Windows, that is right before your eyes, that most people do not know exists.

If you move your mouse pointer to the very bottom right corner of your screen, to the taskbar, next to the time and date you should see a line or a sliver (actually called a button).

If you hold your mouse pointer on that button the desktop will appear. You can actually click on that button to go directly to the desktop. You can also toggle back and forth from the desktop and whatever application you are in by clicking on that button. This is handy when you need to get to the desktop to quickly launch another app, document, etc… I personally have found this to be quite useful.

If this button is not allowing you to peek at the desktop, it may be turned “off”. To turn it “on”, right mouse click on the “Windows Start Button”, click on “Settings”, then click on “Personalization”, then click on “Taskbar”. On the right side of the screen, you will see an option to toggle the desktop peek preview on and off.

Quick Tip: Disable/Uninstall Unneeded Android Apps

Typically, with few exceptions, when you purchase an Android smartphone (or tablet), there are apps on the phone that are pre-installed and cannot be uninstalled (or removed) if you do not need them. Since you cannot uninstall (or remove) these apps, I suggest that you disable them to prevent them from running in the background. To do this (each phone is slightly different), go into the main system settings of the phone and look for the app list or menu. In that menu locate the app you want to disable and look for the option to disable it.

For example, below is an image of the where I disabled the “Gallery” app on my phone. This will save me space on the phone and will save on background memory.

 

Quick Tip: Where is the “Caps Lock” key on my Chromebook?

When I first started using my Chromebook (Acer Chromebook 15), coming from using Windows all my life, the first mystery I encountered was; “Where is the Caps Lock Key?“. You know; the key you push down to toggle between lower and uppercase text.

Well, Google had to be different. Where the “Caps Lock” key typically is located (or labeled) on the keyboard (left side above the “Shift Key”),  you will notice there is a magnifying glass icon on the key. That key on the Chromebook is the “Search” key. On the newer Chromebooks this also can serve as the “Google Assistant” key that allows you to use Google Assistant. Typically, If you push the “Search” key on the Chromebook, the search option will pop up where you can search your device, apps and even the web (or Google Assistant will be activated, if you have the newer Chromebook). So, if that key is being used for search purposes, “Where is the Caps Lock Key?

Mystery Solved: In Google’s method to their madness strategy, the “Caps Locks” key is not a readily identifiable key; instead, you must use a keyboard shortcut. If you hold the “ALT” key + “SEARCH” key in combination, this serves the same purpose as the “Caps Lock” key (to change to uppercase text). When you do that you will see in the notification area (bottom right corner) a small notification popup alerting you that the “Caps Lock” is “on”. To toggle it “off” either hit the “ALT” key + “SEARCH” key” again OR simply hit the “SHIFT” key.  Also, as an added note, if you really do not like this at all, you can go into your Chromebook settings, look for “Keyboard” and you will see an option where you can change (or remap) what the “Search” key performs.

If you can overcome some of the keyboard quirks on the Chromebook you will come to find that these Chromebooks are great computers; especially, for folks at home, kids and our elders (which is the category I am now heading into : ) …

Chromebooks are becoming the choice computer in many of the schools due to their ease of maintenance, better security, and low cost — CLICK HERE — to see what is out there.

 

Did you know that “Windows 10 now lets you pull out USB drives without ‘safely removing’ them”? | The Next Web

Been seeing this on numerous sites where you can now safely yank out that USB drive (so long as the drive is not being written to) on Windows 10.  Most people do not know (prior to now) that you should use the “safely remove hardware” option when yanking out that USB drive so as not to risk data loss and corruption of the drive. Heck, I’ve been yanking those drives out for years and don’t remember any issues. Just have to make sure the drive is not being written to.


We all know that one person who annoyingly reminds you to use “Safely Remove Hardware” before pulling the USB drive out of the slot. They shouldn’t bother you anymore. As Betanews first noted, Microsoft has introduced a new policy that allows you to remove the device without using the Safely Remove Hardware process – as long as you’re not writing data to it.

Source: The Next Web – Windows 10 now lets you pull out USB drives without ‘safely removing’ them

Quick Tip: Using The Windows Logo Key

Many folks at home are unaware of keyboard shortcuts. There are many shortcuts for many applications. Today, I want to tell you about the Windows Logo Key (for Windows 10) and provide a list of keyboard shortcuts that you can use in combination with the Windows Logo Key. If you press the Windows Logo Key, which is located on the bottom left side of the keyboard between the “CTRL” key and the “ALT” key, the “Start Menu” will open and close. If you press the “Windows Logo Key” in combination with other keys, as reflected on the list below, you can quickly open (and close) various components of Windows without having to navigate menus.

Continue reading “Quick Tip: Using The Windows Logo Key”

How to use notifications in Windows 10 | Android Authority

Many folks at home see these notifications popping up, often causing confusion… In this article, “Android Authority” will provide insight on how to use notifications.

Windows 10 new notification icon - How to use notifications in Windows 10

Notifications in Windows 10 can be a great tool, like flashing quick social updates, work-related messages, email alerts, reminders, and more. But they can be a pain as well, popping up during video conferences or heated shootouts in your favorite PC game. In this Windows 10 tips article we’ll show you how to use notifications in Windows 10 to get the best experience out this handy feature.

Source: How to use notifications in Windows 10

How to Avoid Common Identity Theft Scams | Addictive Tips

This is an excellent posting at “Addictive Tips” that looks at the various common identity theft scams. I especially encourage the readers at home to take a moment and take a look at this (see source link below). There is a lot of criminality out there and the more knowledgeable you are, the safer you (and others) will be.

While there are many things that can expose your personal information (like data breaches), there are precautions you can take to prevent others that are more in your control. But how do you avoid the common identity theft scams that are out there? Today, we’ll be showing you what to look out for, and how to protect yourself.

Source: How to Avoid Common Identity Theft Scams

CTRL + SHIFT + ESC Your Way To The Windows Task Manager

Most folks at home are not familiar with the Windows Task Manager and/or don’t want to know because the term “task manager” sounds like something that is above their level of comprehension. I encourage people to “at least” take a look at the task manager and know that it is there. Where it typically has helped me is when I have a program or task that is no longer responding and basically has a program locked up. With the Windows Task Manager, you can often stop or end the process (or program) that may be causing the issue so that your computer can safely recover.

The Windows Task Manager is a great troubleshooting tool… To open the Windows Task Manager there are many ways to get to it, but the most common methods that I use are:

  1. Hit “CTRL + SHIFT + ESC” on your keyboard
    OR
  2. “Right Mouse Click” the Windows Start Button (located at the bottom right corner of your screen) and click on “Task Manager” on the screen. This is the easiest method of the three that I am showing you
    OR
  3. “CTRL + ALT + DEL” on your keyboard. I call this option the nuclear option when my computer has completely locked up. When using this option you will see the “Task Manager” on the list, along with other options (such as shutdown and restart).

Again, be familiar with the “Windows Task Manager”. Use one of the options above to launch the “Task Manager” to at least familiarize yourself with it. Someday you may need it…

How To Use The Electric Lines In Your House To Create A Wired Computer Network

Many folks at home are unaware of the technology where, with inexpensive devices, you can create a wired computer network within the confines of your home by using your existing electrical wiring. Setting this up is actually quite simple (plug and play) and be done by using the devices manufactured by TP-Link. Typically one device is plugged into an electrical outlet at your router then plugged (via ethernet cable) to your router. The other device(s) are then plugged into outlets in your home, paired with the main one at the router, then plugged into the computer or components using an ethernet cable.

Wired networking will give you better security, speed, and performance; which, are the main reasons to give this a try. It is one of those networking options that people do not think about and/or are totally unaware of. This eliminates having to run networking cable all through your house and is a good option if your wireless connectivity is poor in certain areas.

Check out the various TP-Link Powerline Adapters HERE

 

 

 

Fraud, Scams and Alerts – How To Protect Yourself Online and At Home with Knowledge 

The best way to protect yourself online and at home from fraud and scams is through knowledge. Posted below are links to the latest “Fraud, Scams and Alerts” at the Federal Communications Commission. Take a moment to read down this list; even if you do not open any of the links. Being knowledgeable is the best protection that you will ever have when it comes to the evil intent of others.

Fraud, Scams, and Alerts:

Source: Frauds, Scams and Alerts | Federal Communications Commission

How To Scan Documents To PDF Using FastStone Image Viewer

I have written about FastStone Image Viewer here on the blog in the past and can attest that it is probably one of the best, if not the best, image viewer out there. As a matter of fact, it carries a 5 star CNet rating. I think if you use it you will find that it is more than just an image viewer

FastStone Image Viewer is a fast, stable, user-friendly image browser, converter and editor. It has a nice array of features that include image viewing, management, comparison, red-eye removal, emailing, resizing, cropping, retouching and color adjustments. Its innovative but intuitive full-screen mode provides quick access to EXIF information, thumbnail browser and major functionalities via hidden toolbars that pop up when your mouse touches the four edges of the screen. Other features include a high quality magnifier and a musical slideshow with 150+ transitional effects, as well as lossless JPEG transitions, drop shadow effects, image annotation, scanner support, histogram and much more. It supports all major graphic formats (BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, animated GIF, PNG, PCX, PSD, EPS, TIFF, WMF, ICO and TGA) and popular digital camera RAW formats (CRW, CR2, NEF, PEF, RAF, MRW, ORF, SRF, ARW, SR2, RW2 and DNG).

For example, buried in Fastone Image Viewer is an option where you can scan documents and save them as PDF files. I personally use this all of the time to convert my paper documents to the digital PDF format.

To get to this feature, launch FastStone Image Viewer, click on the File menu, and select Acquire Image From Scanner.

FastStone - Scan to PDF

You will then be taken to the Acquire Image From Scanner workspace where you simply click on the scan button to begin your scans.

Typically, by default, this will launch your scanner software.  You can scan single documents or perform batch scans were you scan one document after another. When done, select save and select the PDF Format option.

FastStone - Scan To PDF

Also, on an added note, you can also save image files in FastStone Image Viewer to the PDF format, as well.  Very powerful image viewer utility that can either be installed or used as a portable app.

Today is “World Backup Day 2019”

There are various ways to back up your data. You can back up your data to an external device (see examples HERE) or you can back up your data to a cloud-based backup service, or back up your data to both an external device and a cloud backup service. You might even make more than one backup to external storage devices and keep the two copies in different places (providing protection and access to your data even if one of the backup devices is destroyed or inaccessible. Preserving your valuable documents and images for future access and use requires planning, as well as the use of automatic backup services.

uncaptioned image

Source: World Backup Day 2019

How to find out if you can upgrade your laptop | Windows Central

Being an IT obsessed geek, I agree with Windows Central on this: Laptops, by design, are limited in upgrade options; however, upgrading the RAM and hard drive (to SSD) will go a long way in boosting the speed and productivity. Done it; Been there…

Dell Inspiron 15 7559

The most common upgrades these days in laptops are RAM and storage drives. The latter is a recommended task on machines that sport a mechanical drive, which can be upgraded to a vastly superior SSD solution. The same goes for RAM when the total amount available to Windows and applications is 4GB. Moving up to 8GB or even 16GB can really boost productivity and multi-tasking.

Source: How to find out if you can upgrade your laptop | Windows Central

How to view installed updates in Windows 10?

An update history is available on your computer so you can see which updates were installed, and when. To see the update history on your Windows 10 computer, do the following:

Right Mouse Click on the Windows 10 Start  button (at the bottom right corner), then select Settings  > Update & Security  > Windows Update  View update history.

Windows 8 icon

When you are at the “View update history” window you will see a listing of the updates installed on your computer. If you click on any of the updates your browser will launch and you will be taken to the Microsoft website where a summary of what the update is about will be presented.

Viewing the update history list is a good troubleshooting tool when an update fails to install and/or you are experiencing a problem with an installed update. Although this is not recommended, you can also use this list to remove (uninstall) specific updates; but, sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

Instructions and Video On How To Create a Bootable USB Flash Drive In Windows 10

Below you will find a source link to Technobezz and a video by Haig Dickson on the steps to take to create a bootable USB flash drive in Windows 10. This is useful when you need to deploy or reinstall Windows 10.

Creating a bootable USB flash drive in Windows 10 is easier than on Windows 7 or 8.1. The fact is that Microsoft has released a useful tool called «MediaCreationTool», which makes downloading of Windows 10 ISO-files much more convenient and easier. This guide (see source link below) will show you how to create a bootable USB Flash Drive in Windows 10.

Source: How To Create a Bootable USB Flash Drive In Windows 10 | Technobezz


How to Create Windows 10 Bootable USB Flash Drive
by Haig Dickson

In this video, learn how to create a Windows 10 bootable drive.  Some things to add to this. Good idea to use a drive that is greater than 8GB’s; format to NTFS and you may need your Windows 10 Activation Key.

Is it possible to use a TV as a computer display and/or as a second display?

Is it possible to use a TV as a computer display and/or as a second display? As I prepare this posting here at What’s On My PC, I am typing this on my computer using a TV (32″) as my primary display and a second TV (26″) set up as the second display. So the answer is YES…; but, what is involved to make this work???

To learn more, I encourage you to read the article, “Can I Use My TV as a Second Display?” at “Ask Leo”… (see source link below) where Leo explains more about using the HDMI connections on your TV and computer and the benefits of using the HDMI connection. It is not as hard as you think.

HDMI port on a laptop

Most modern TVs and computers can be connected easily, but there are a few issues to be aware of.

Source: Can I Use My TV as a Second Display? – Ask Leo!

How To Get A Daily Agenda Email From Your Google Calendar

Go to your Google Calendar to set this up; then, click the gear in the top-right corner and select “Settings”. On the left-hand menu, click the name of the calendar you want emails about. Then click on “General Notifications” and on the right side you will see various options for “General Notifications”. In the drop-down, select “Email” for “New Events”, “Changed Events”, Canceled Events”, “Event Responses” and “Daily Agenda”.  Also, as an added note you can scroll up (or select “Event Notifications” and/or “All Day Notifications”) to determine when these event notifications should be sent to your email.

To learn more about this and 12 Google Calendar Tricks, click on the source link below.

Source: 12 Google Calendar Tricks You’re Probably Not Using | PCMag.com

A Quick Tutorial on “How to download books to your Kindle” | PCWorld

Found this article at PCWorld that may helpful to those folks that just purchased an Amazon Kindle.

img e0992

Downloading books to your Amazon Kindle is easy. This quick tutorial will teach you how to deliver the unparalleled selection of books, magazines, newspapers and comic books that Amazon makes available, along with ebooks and other documents you may have on your computer, to your Kindle where you can read and enjoy them.

Source: How to download books to your Kindle | PCWorld

Make Tech Easier Shows Us “How to Clone Windows 10 to an SSD” Using Popular FREE Software

Cloning an exact copy of your hard disk is a good move and is a good (fast) method in restoring the Windows OS when things get messed up. Keep in mind, when you clone a disk, it is the exact copy of the disk on the date that you made the copy and is a good idea to do this on a regular basis.  I typically update and keep available a cloned copy of my hard disk at least once a year. My routine file backups I do on a more aggressive schedule. Cloning is also an excellent option when you want to move your current Windows 10 OS to a new drive that you have decided to upgrade and install.

Make Tech Easier will walk through the cloning process using the FREE software options of EaseUS or AOMEI Backupper (see source link below). Both of these software options are excellent choices.

So you bought an SSD drive, and you want to move your Windows 10 OS to the new drive. Here are a few ways you can clone and swap the OS install to an SSD.

Source: How to Clone Windows 10 to an SSD – Make Tech Easier

If your computer won’t start, don’t panic (yet)…

What to Do When Your Computer Won’t Start | PCMag.com

What to Do When Your Computer Won't Start

Been there and done it; from both ends of the spectrum.  Have assisted people where panic set in because their computer would not start; and to be honest, I have felt that despair when my own computer did not start.  Sort of does something to you, but always remember, the sun will still come up tomorrow.

Click on the source link below at PCMag to get a good rundown of what to do (try) when your computer fails to start.

Source: What to Do When Your Computer Won’t Start | PCMag.com

How to Create an ISO Image of Your Windows System | MakeUseOf

Learn how to make an ISO image backup of your PC’s hard drive. When disaster strikes you can restore the computer from the image. I encourage you to visit MakeUseOf (see source link below) to learn about the options available on imaging a disk in Windows 7, 8.1 and 10.

windows-iso

Thanks to the ISO image format, it is possible to back up your entire PC. This essentially creates an exact copy of your entire drive or selected directories. You’ll be able to restore the image backup should disaster strike.

Source: How to Create an ISO Image of Your Windows System

Here is “How to add a drop-down list to an Excel cell” 

TechRepublic shows us how (see source link below) to create a drop-down list in Microsoft Excel… Very handy when you have to enter specific information in a cell. When you get to the site, you will find video instruction, as well as, written instruction. If you use Excel, learning drop-down lists is a must.

june200712fig1rx.jpg

Drop-down lists can greatly facilitate data entry. Here’s a look at how to use Excel’s data validation feature to create handy lists within your worksheets.

Source: How to add a drop-down list to an Excel cell – TechRepublic

Learn More Here

AskBobRankin.com Explains “The Free Tax Filing Options for 2019”

The tax deadline is approaching; and, if you have procrastinated and have not filed your taxes yet, you may want to take a look at Bob Rankin’s rundown of the options available online to file your taxes, often for free (with such services as Turbotax, TaxAct, H&R Block, and FreeTaxUSA)

Be sure to read more on this at
AskBobRankin.com

Free tax filing software 2019

Free Tax Filing Options for 2019 – It’s tax time, but the good news is: about 70% of U.S. taxpayers can get free tax preparation and e-filing this year. The bad news is: you have to pick your online tax service very carefully. Here’s what you need to know…

Source: Free Tax Filing Options for 2019

Wikiwand – A Cool Way To Read Wikipedia

If you are into Wikipedia, you may want to take a look at Wikiwand. Very nice, interesting and modernized interface that makes reading Wikipedia articles a more pleasant experience to read. Wikiwand is available on many platforms (web and mobile). I currently have bookmarked their Start-News page in my web browser that enables me to jump to their web interface.

Wikiwand is the world’s leading Wikipedia reader for web and mobile.

Source: Wikiwand

Cybersecurity Tips For the Young and Old

It is important we hash out, over and over, the importance of how to stay safe online and what to look for. Jacqui over at “Ask A Tech Teacher” posted an article, “Teaching Basic Cybersecurity Measures To Everyday People (For Parents of Digital Natives)“, that are tips geared toward the strategy of teaching our kids the basics on how to be safe online.

After reading this article, I said, you know what(?); this article, everyone should read. We all have that kid in us and these tips are great tips that all of us big kids need to read and follow (“Harmful Links; Viruses & Malware; Suspicious Downloads; Utilizing a VPN; Best Email Practices, HTTPS > HTTP When Providing Information Online; Using Antivirus Programs; and Update Software”).

One thing I want to point out in addition to these cybersecurity protections is that three-quarters of the battle when using internet-connected devices; such as the computer, tablet or smartphone,  is learning the terminology and definitions. Get the terminology in your head and it will all start making sense and will make using these devices more of a joy, instead of a burden; PLUS, before you know it, you will want to be teaching others.

For many adults and parents, it can be a difficult task to teach the basic of staying safe online to those who are younger. However, the best strategy is starting conversations at an early age. This advice will be timeless as kids are starting to use the internet at younger and younger ages.

Source: Teaching Basic Cybersecurity Measures To Everyday People (For Parents of Digital Natives) | Ask a Tech Teacher

How To Turn “ON” and Use The NEW Windows 10 Clipboard Tracking Utility

Did you know that following the Windows 10 October 2018 update, a new Windows clipboard feature has been added that allows you to track and maintain a history of the items (text and images — up to 4MB) that you copy to the clipboard?  This new feature is not turned on by default; however, I will outline below how to turn it on.

Why would you want to maintain a history of your copy (and paste) operations?

This new feature is a Godsend to me. If you are a blogger, graphic designer, and/or write numerous documents at work, you have most likely learned how to use the “Copy (Ctrl-C)” and “Paste (Ctrl-V”) operation in Windows where you copy a line of text or an image and paste it into another location. The problem with this is once you do this more than one time, it erases any previous items you may have copied.

With the NEW Windows 10 clipboard tracking utility, this problem is resolved where once you copy an item (text or image) to the clipboard it is added to a list of previous items you copied. If you copy/paste the same item on multiple occasions you can pin that item to the list so that it is not removed from the list. Another feature with this clipboard is that you can sync the clipboard timeline so that it is available on other computers you may access. You will need a Microsoft account for this feature to work.

Before I go any further in explaining how to turn on this NEW clipboard utility, I want to sort of back into this by telling you that to invoke or launch the clipboard history, hit the “Windows + V” keys in combination on your clipboard. Once the clipboard appears on the screen you can double mouse click on an entry and it will auto paste in the location you select.

How do I turn on this clipboard utility?

  • Go to the “Windows Start Button” at the bottom left corner and “right mouse click”
  • Open Settings.
  • Click on System.
  • Click on Clipboard.
  • Turn on the “Clipboard history” toggle switch.
  • Turn on the “Snyc across devices” toggle (optional)

That is all there is to it…  Remember to launch this utility you must hit the “Windows + V” keys…

Source: How to use the new clipboard on Windows 10 October 2018 Update | Windows Central

Windows 10: How to Create A Shortcut For The Onscreen Keyboard

Windows 10 has two variations of onscreen keyboards available. There is one of the two that I especially like (which WAS sort of difficult to get to). Once I discovered this keyboard (the one that I like) I decided there had to be a better way to launch it; and, as a result I came up with the following solution.

You are probably wondering; Why would I want an onscreen keyboard?  I have a TV set up connected to a Windows 10 computer where the onscreen keyboard is a great addition when I am too lazy to go to the real keyboard. You would be surprised how fast you can point, click and type using an onscreen keyboard. I could also see me using an onscreen keyboard in a training scenario or if I had a disability.

To create a shortcut to the keyboard that I use, right mouse click on the  “Windows Start button (bottom right corner)”, then click on “run” and in the “run dialog box” type “osk”; then click on “OK”. At this point, the onscreen keyboard (the one I like) launches. If the keyboard is too big you can resize it by dragging the sides or corners. If you notice on the top right side of the keyboard there is a “Windows minimize button”.  Click on the “minimize button” and the keyboard will minimize to the Windows Taskbar (at the bottom of the screen).  At this point, right mouse click on the keyboard icon that is now on the taskbar and select “pin to taskbar”.  There you have it…

Now when you want to quickly launch the onscreen keyboard, just go to the taskbar and click on the onscreen keyboard icon and the keyboard will quickly launch. There are other ways to get to this keyboard, but this is the method I prefer and found to be the most user-friendly.


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A Really Great Bookmarks Manager For Google Chrome

If you use Google Chrome you probably know that to get to your bookmarks you have to jump through a few hoops to get there, which is not user-friendly in my opinion. I have been exploring many bookmark managers and I am currently working with one that is a Google Chrome browser extension called “Popup my Bookmarks”. What I like about this bookmarks manager is that you continue to save your bookmarks in Google Chrome, as you always have by clicking on the “star” to the right of the web address; but, instead of going the traditional route of getting to your bookmarks you simply mouse click on the “Popup my Bookmarks” icon on the toolbar. At this point, your bookmarks list and folders are readily available with built-in options to perform bookmark management tasks (such as deleting bookmarks, moving bookmarks and creating folders). “Popup my Bookmarks” is also customizable. “Popup my Bookmarks” is available at the Google Chrome Store (see source link below).

Source: Google Chrome Store – Popup my Bookmarks

Don’t Overlook Google’s FREE Drawing and Graphic Editor

Anyone that uses any of the online web-based Google Products, such as Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides most likely have overlooked Google’s version of their drawing and graphics editor (called Google Drawings). I currently use Google Drawings to typically make graphic postings on my blog and other social media sites such as Facebook. To give you some good insight into Google Drawings I came across the tutorial below to help you get started. Some points I do want to make is that Google Drawings is very easy to learn and use; that you can do some pretty neat graphics related tasks such as creating logos, signs, backgrounds, etc.; and, it integrates well with Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.

Source: Google Drawings

How to install and uninstall extensions in Chrome | Addictive Tips

If you are a Google Chrome browser user, you need to read this article at Addictive Tips (see source link below) on how to install and uninstall extensions. Many folks I know and have helped at home have no idea what a browser extension is. Browser extensions are, in my words, add-ons that you can install that will enhance your computing experience when using your web browser. Most extensions (or add-ons) will show up on the toolbar at the top of your browser. For example, I have an extension installed where I click on an icon on the toolbar and can easily read my incoming email. There are many, many extensions to choose… Right now I have approximately 30 different extensions installed. These extensions, for Google Chrome, can be acquired (for FREE) at the Google Chrome Store.

add to chrome

 

If you’ve never tried an extension out, or you don’t know where to get started, you’ll be surprised to know how easy it is to install and uninstall extensions in Chrome.

Source: How to install and uninstall extensions in Chrome

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