Trails End Computer Club

Bulletin for the week of MARCH 1, 2015

WEEKLY MEETINGS
EACH Wednesday 

Program or Lesson 9:30 - 10:30 AM
One on One Help 10:30-?
In the Library


SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS:

If you would like to meet in a small group to discuss special computer related subjects or form a Special Interest Group lets discuss it.

Our bulletin is also available on line by visiting tecc.apcug.org and clicking on bulletin.


Our weekly program or lesson is intended
to be of interest to all computer users.
Following the program an allotment of time will
be available for one on one help to those
who want a better understanding of something done
 during the presentation.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday MARCH 4, 2015 Meeting
 9:15 AM Set up your computer
 9:30 AM Lesson
10:30 AM One on One help

Sandy10 Tips for Online Shopping Safety

By Sandy Berger, CompuKISS

www.compukiss.com

sandy (at) compukiss.com


Amazingly, in today's topsy-turvy world, because of vulnerabilities in the processing of credit and debit cards used at retail stores and the hackers who are focusing on those vulnerabilities, right now shopping online can actually be safer than swiping your card at a local store. For safety sake, however, there are a few online shopping rules that you should follow.

1. The first of these is to always have a good antivirus program installed on your computer and to update your antivirus program and other software like the operating system whenever an update is available. When in doubt, don't click on links. This is especially true of email where phishing schemes are prevalent, but you should also be careful when you are surfing the Web or visiting social media websites.

2. Shop at trusted, established websites. Don't use any sites that you've never heard of. If you want to try a new website, check to see if any friends or acquaintances have used it successfully.

3. Pay only through secure sites. Typically the address in your browser will change from "http:" to "https:" during a secure connection.

4. Never email your credit card number, social security number, or personal information to anyone. No reputable seller will request it by email since email is not secure.

5. Do your banking and shopping from home where you are on your own secure network. Wi-Fi hotspots at local coffee shops and other establishments usually do not offer enough protection unless the user takes some added precautions, which can be cumbersome for the average user.

6. Create strong passwords consisting of numbers, letters, and symbols. Do not use words or names. Make the password for each banking and shopping site unique. Keep your passwords private.

7. Credit cards are generally the safest option for shopping online. When using a credit card, you have limited liability and the ability to have the credit card company intervene if something goes awry. Debit cards can also be a good choice as long as you have investigated their liability limits, which may be higher than those of credit cards.

8. Keep a paper trail. Let's face it, none of us have perfect memories. Print and save records of your online transactions, including the name of the seller, product description, price, and date of purchase. Most reputable merchants allow you to print a receipt after the transaction is complete. You can use these printed receipts to compare to your bank and credit card statements.

9. Monitor your bank accounts and credit card purchases regularly. Report any discrepancies or unusual charges to your financial institution immediately.

10. Your social security number is the key to your identity. Be miserly about sharing it with anyone, especially online. No reputable merchant will ever ask for your social security number to make a purchase.

Credit card theft is pretty easy to get through. Usually you notify your financial institution and they issue you a new card. Identity theft is much more difficult to handle because a thief can open lines of credit in your name, buy a car, and obtain new credit cards. In order to steal your identity, the thieve needs personal information like social security number, address, phone number and financial information. So be careful when giving out any such information.

Many financial experts say that having your bills sent to you electronically and paying them electronically is safer than sending and receiving them by mail. They also recommend shredding paper documents with personal information. So whether you use a credit card at a physical store, you shop and pay bills online, or you pay bills by mail, the key word is "caution." Our mothers taught us to watch our wallets and keep the doors closed. Now we have a lot more convenience, and also a lot more to watch out for.






JimBack to Basics

Finding Programs on Your Computer

Jim Cerny, 2nd Vice President, Sarasota PCUG, FL          www.spcug.org           jimcerny123 (at) gmail.com

When you turn your computer on, Windows (the master supervisor program, also called the “operating system”) starts and, after a few moments, displays your start screen called the Desktop. This is where you begin using your computer and decide what you want to DO with your computer – that is, select what program you want to run. On the Desktop are:

ICONS – those little symbols with words underneath them. Most of these icons represent programs and you “double-click” your left mouse button on the icon of the program you want to run and use. Each program runs in a “window” (hence the term

“Windows” for the operating system). The programs you use should have an icon on the desktop. However, most people new to using a Windows computer may not realize that your computer – all computers – come with many programs already installed on the computer. And, over time, you (or someone else using your computer) may have downloaded or installed more programs. Not all these programs have icons on your desktop.

To see ALL the programs on your computer, left click once on the “Start” button (or “Start orb”) which is in the lower left corner of your desktop screen. This will open the start MENU which has all kinds of goodies. On this start menu, very near the bottom, is a rectangular box with the words “All programs” on it. Move your mouse arrow to that box and wait - it will open a list of ALL your programs on your computer. There are two important things about this list that you should know. First it is a long list and you will have to use the scrollbar on the right side to see the whole list. You can “scroll down” by putting your mouse arrow on the scrollbar gray slider, hold down the left mouse button, and then drag the mouse down. This will “drag” the scrollbar and show you the rest of the list. The second thing is that there are so many programs they are organized into FOLDERS. Scroll down this list until you see the list of folders – a “folder” has a small yellow icon that looks like folder to the left of the name.

The first FOLDER in the list should be the “Accessories” folder of programs. It is this particular folder that we will use for the rest of this article because all Windows computers have it (no matter what version of Windows you are running on your computer). Left click once on the Accessories folder to open it. This will give you a list of all the programs in that folder. All these programs come with Windows so they are on ALL Windows computers. To open or run any program from the “All programs” list, you just left-click once on the name of the program you want to start.

We are going to look at three of these programs, so left click on each of these to open them:

  • Click on “Calculator” and a small calculator window will appear on your screen. You can move this window around by dragging the top part of the window with your mouse. It works just like any calculator – just click on the keys with your mouse. Notice that you can click on the “View” menu and change it to a “scientific” calculator and you can click on the “History” option (Windows 7 version or later) to see a list of your calculations. The nice thing about using this calculator is that you can “Copy” and “Paste” any result into your document or email.

  • Click on the “Paint” program and you can draw and have fun creating your own work of art. You can learn how to use this enjoyable program by clicking on the small blue circle with a white “?” in the upper right of the window.

  • Click on “WordPad”. This is a free word-processing program that works just like the Microsoft Word program – except that WordPad has far less features. It works fine for writing letters and creating documents. The beauty of using WordPad is knowing that everyone who has Windows has it, whereas not everyone may have the Word program.

The “All Programs” list contains all the programs on your computer and you can run any program on this list by left-clicking on it once. But to REMOVE a program from your computer you need to use the “Uninstall or change a program” feature which we will not go into here.

If you want to create a shortcut on your desktop to one of these programs, here is one way to do it: Find the program you want on the all programs list. Move your mouse arrow on that program:

  1. Hold down the “Ctrl” key (the Control key) on your keyboard

  2. Hold down the left mouse button and DRAG to your Desktop area

The reason you must hold down the Ctrl key first and hold it down while you drag is so that you will make a COPY (also called a “shortcut”) icon on your desktop and NOT MOVE the program from the all programs list. You should ALWAYS keep ALL programs on your All Programs list. If you DELETE a program icon from your desktop, you will not be deleting the program from your computer, only removing the “shortcut” icon from your desktop.

You can also find any program from the start menu by entering the name of the program you want in the “Search programs and files” box just below “All programs”.

Personally, I find the Calculator, WordPad, and Paint programs fun and helpful, and I am sure you will too. I have made icons (shortcuts) for them on my desktop.


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