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Archive for the Technology Category

What is a thumb drive?

There are many names for thumb drive, including usb key, pocket drive, memory stick, data stick, pen drive, jump drive, and maybe some others. This device can be thought of just like a file cabinet. It’s a place to store digital files of any kind. It can be accessed by any device that has a usb port. These are both usb ports on a computer. The blue one is a ‘super speed’.

 

A thumb drive is like having a file cabinet in your pocket. You can put any type of file that you want to save and/or transport on it. As you can see, there are many different thumb drives. They either have a cover over the usb end, or they swing out from inside. In the first picture they are ‘closed, in the second picture they are opened, ready to insert into your computer, or any other device with a usb port.Here’s how you use it.

  1. First, on your computer, click on a file icon on the bottom strip of your computer.
  2. Find ‘This PC’. There should be a left-hand column with a long list, that’s the most common place you will see that. Under, or to the right, of ‘Local Disk C:’ you should see other named drives like, ‘DVD Drive D:’ etc. Anything with a letter followed by a colon, means some type of device lives there.
  3. Plug your thumb drive into one of the usb slots, hopefully on the front of your desktop computer. If you don’t have any on the front … you may want to get a newer computer, you have a dinosaur. If you have a laptop the ports could be anywhere.
  4. Depending on the speed of your computer, you should see a new drive name, usually the brand of your thumb drive, followed by a letter and a colon. (eg. Lexar E:). Note this name.
  5. On your computer go to your Pictures and find one that you want on your thumb drive, right-click on it
  6. Left-click on ‘Send To’ >
  7. Find the name and letter of your thumb drive and left-click.

That’s it, you have saved your file to the thumb drive!

Is my password ‘out-there’??

Don’t be alarmed if you get an email with the subject “your-email: password” (insert YOUR email and YOUR password). It may be your email and you may recognize the password. “Don’t be alarmed??” you exclaim! In all likelihood, it’s a VERY old password. It may still linger on some websites that you don’t use any longer. THESE ARE WELL KNOWN ’email scare tactics’. But even if you haven’t changed passwords in years, this is not real. Well … let me explain.

At times there have been huge security leaks. Think “Adobe’, ‘PayPal’, ‘Ebay‘, ‘Yahoo’, ‘Linked In’, ‘MySpace’. There are actual databases (files of information) with email addresses, passwords and other personal information that was gleaned from the leaks mentioned above. Spammers access these ‘publicly available’ files to spam and scare the heck out of us.

If you read the actual email, it will make you think …. hopefully for just a second (wink, wink). This particular email says they got your email and password from all of the pornographic websites you have visited! It goes on to threaten to send emails to all of your contacts showing all the websites you have visited. Some even claim to have webcam video of you. The purpose (?), money of course. If you pay them upwards of $1,200, usually in bitcoin, they will not tell all of your friends what you’ve been up to.

Please understand THIS IS NOT PERSONAL! They are spamming millions of people hoping to scare a small fraction of them into paying their ransom. Now hopefully your spam-filter keeps these from your inbox, but if you see this make sure you mark it ‘SPAM’. You really don’t even have to read it.

It is not real …

BUT, if you ARE still using some version of that password, this would be a REALLY good time to change it.

Where did my files go??

Pulling hair out

 

Have you ever had one of these moments? “Where did that document/picture/download go?”

Finding documents, pictures and downloads on your computer has become easier over the years. You can find all of this by clicking on the ‘File folder’ icon on the ‘Taskbar’, at the bottom of your computer screen.

Taskbar with notesThe taskbar is a long strip that goes along your whole screen and has several icons.  Click on the file folder icon, labeled ‘Computer files’ above (On your computer this is referred to as ‘File Explorer’). That will take you to the ‘insides’ of your computer.   Continue reading Where did my files go??

Email Hacking

Have you had your email hacked recently? You are in good company! President G.H. Bush had his hacked while in the hospital; Sara Palin was a victim of email hacking (good company??). Many of us still don’t use the best passwords, nor do we change them very often. I have seen recently many sites requiring 10 character passwords, with at least one lower case, one uppercase, one number and one character! But just changing your password may not be enough! A little bit of searching can give a hacker enough information to also guess your answers to your security questions! Then, they can change your password, the security questions, alternate email account, and guess what (?), it is now their email account, lost to you forever!! I couldn’t believe it either, but think about it … Continue reading Email Hacking