Program or Lesson 9:00 - 10:00 AM
One on One Help 10:00-?
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 EventsWednesday MARCH 2, 2016 Meeting in the Library
8:45 AM Set up your computer
9:00 AM Lesson
10:00 AM One on One help
What are Websites Doing With Your Personal Information?
by Ira Wilsker
Some of the more common methods of compiling and distributing this personal information and shopping preferences are the placement of "tracking cookies" on the user's device; web bugs or web beacons (small graphic files which transmit information when opened, often 1 pixel in size); and the dissemination (sale) of personal information entered on a website. Cookies are small, alpha-numeric and text based pieces of data which are by default, placed on the hard drive or other storage of the device being used to view a website; while some types of cookies are benign and necessary to compile shopping carts, store passwords and other login information, and save other information that can speed the web process, some other types of cookies may not be so desirable. The most common type of unwanted cookies is often known as "tracking cookies", which are typically placed on the hard drive or other storage medium, just as other cookies, but these cookies can also be read by other third parties as a method of gathering information about the user, mostly for targeted marketing purposes. There are many companies that have a lucrative and highly profitable business selling access to the tracking cookies which they have previously been placed in storage, most often by simply visiting a web page. Almost all browsers give the users the option to control which cookies can be saved and accessed, but the default is to accept all cookies. Tracking cookies that are currently saved in the device storage can often be easily and quickly removed by most of the reputable (and often free) security scanners, such as Malwarebytes (malwarebytes.org) and SuperAntiSpyware (superantispyware.com).
What many users might find shocking is that they unknowingly and explicitly allowed many of the websites that they visit to place tracking cookies and other marketing information on their computers and smart devices. When I mention this to users at some of my security and privacy presentations, some of those present get very agitated, and vehemently deny that they ever gave permission for websites to place such information on their computers and other devices. My typical response is something to the effect of "Did you ever read the privacy statement on those websites when displayed, or simply click on the "I Agree" box when first visiting them?" Most of the honest, but still aggrieved users, acknowledge that they never fully read the privacy statements on the websites visited, with the typical response being that the privacy statement is too long to read, or it is written in "legalese" which they cannot readily understand, so they simply "agree" in order to get access to that particular website.
PrivacyCheck is an excellent method to determine what commercial websites are really doing with your personally identifiable information (PII), but its major weakness is that it (currently) only works with the Chrome web browser. Users of other browsers may find some privacy utilities that provide significant privacy protection while online.
On all of my PCs, as a browser add-on, I have been using a free, popular browser extension called "Ghostery" (www.ghostery.com), which will seamlessly run on computers using any of the major and popular browsers including Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, and Internet Explorer, as well as on mobile devices running the Android and iOS operating systems. According to its website, Ghostery claims to have, "The largest tracker database on the internet, constantly growing; Ghostery has the largest tracker database available on the web. We meticulously select, profile and cull over 2,000 trackers and 2,300 tracking patterns." Ghostery displays the tracking information on almost every web page opened, and gives the user the ability to allow or block trackers as desired.
Our personal privacy should be taken very seriously. Once third parties have access to our personal information, it is virtually impossible to get it back. Most of the browsers offer an option or setting to control privacy, which may be called "Do Not Track", "Reject Third Party Cookies", or some similar name. By using PrivacyTracker, Ghostery, browser privacy settings, and other utilities, our individual privacy may be better protected.
Choosing the Right Computer
By Melanie Birnbom, Webmaster, Century Village Computer Club, FL
Choosing a computer can be a daunting task, especially with the large range available in the modern market. In this article I will try to narrow down your choices, making it easier to find a product that will best suit your needs.
The computer’s specifications are key when buying a computer, particularly when you want to get the best performance for your money.
One of the main parts of a computer is RAM, it helps with multitasking and ease of use. If you’re looking for a computer that you will only use for the most basic purposes-such as browsing the internet or typing documents-then you could probably make do with only 4gbs or RAM, two if you’re lucky. However if you want to use your computer for anything more than that,-Image editing, gaming or video development- you’ll probably need at least 8gbs, if not more.
If performance is what you’re looking for, costs are going to increase dramatically, to the point where you may start paying $1500+ for a computer. There are also many more things you must look for when trying to buy, lest your precious money be spent on what is effectively an overpriced brick. Firstly, a graphics card is integral to high performance computers, they allow you to edit high quality images or render demanding games, as well as being a huge help when using two monitors; go for something with 2gbs+ memory.
A processor is the brain of the computer, and is the most important (and thus complicated) part. Explaining how to choose one based on your inspection alone would take hours, so I recommend simply searching the processor you are looking at on Google and see what other people think of it.
These are particularly handy if you don’t want to spend much time obsessing over the technical side of your computer. Simply type the computer’s name followed by the word “review” into Google and dozens of in-depth reviews of the computer will be right at your fingertips.
I cannot overstate the importance of reading reviews of a computer before you buy it, something can look great on paper, but break easily in use.
Research is the key to finding the best computer for your needs.
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