It's not something we like to talk about, let alone think about. However, we must ask the question: What happens to my Facebook page when I'm gone? Sure, many of us have gone through the painful task of drawing up a will. Many of us have arrangements for our bank accounts, homes, businesses, and pets. But what about our social media accounts? No, Facebook doesn't know when you pass away. Neither do Twitter, Instagram, or other such companies.
When our social media pages outlive us, it can create some sticky situations. Many of us have seen a Facebook page belonging to a deceased friend or loved one. If only someone knew Uncle Joe's password so we could get in and post an announcement, give a tribute, or even close it down. Whatever you'd like to see happen with your pages, you'll need to plan for it.
Fortunately, Facebook has a setting that takes care of this very issue. It's called Memorialization Settings. In this setting, you can designate another person to:
Whatever you decide to do with your accounts, just plan ahead. Most other social media companies have forms for a trusted person to fill out in order to take over. Leaving an account unattended opens it up to unscrupulous people who can use it for their own nefarious reasons.
Yes, even in death, you can still be hacked.
If you own an iPhone from Apple, you may have noticed that there is a new operating system available for the phone. (Apple calls this an "iOS," as opposed to just "OS" for their Mac computers.) The latest is iOS 13, and before you upgrade to it, there are a few things to know first.
Apple touts this iOS as their best yet--and it eventually may be. However, since its launch, users are reporting many bugs. One of the worst quirks is dropping calls. I'm of the generation that bought a phone to use as a phone. You know, to talk to people. If I can't call someone, then the device isn't much use to me.
As a result, Apple is releasing a lot of updates to fix them. The most recent is iOS 13.1.2. While I haven't actually experienced these dropped calls with the upgrade, I have noticed, though, that Apple apps, such as Mail and Photos function a little differently. So there's a small learning curve involved. Some of the changes seem like change for change sake, like when you "flag" an email, the little flag is now on the right-hand side of the message instead of the left--where it's always been. Why? (Maybe some programmer in California needed to make his mark. I dunno.)
I will say, however, that I am LOVING a new feature that sends unknown callers straight to voicemail. I get about 5 robocalls per day that tell me the IRS is coming to arrest me, or that there's something wrong with my student loans. (I didn't know I had any!) So this new fix is a godsend to me. No more stopping what I'm doing to check my phone, only to find out it's some scammer trying to trick me into giving them my social security number.
Overall, I do like most of the upgrades that Apple has made to this operating system. It did take me a little time, though, to notice and figure some of them out, including an enhanced Apple CarPlay screen that surprised me when I plugged it in while driving one day. I was so excited, I had to pull over to explore it, just like any tech geek would do--even if it made him late for the dentist.
For a rundown of all of the new features of iOS 13, click here: https://www.apple.com/ios/ios-13/
Let’s face it, technology is a great thing--when you know how to use it. Many of us want to take part in the digital age, but with rapidly changing tech, it’s hard to keep up. In addition, even if we have no interest in the latest and greatest devices, sometimes we are required to learn new technology.
Don’t believe me? Your boss just told you and your co-workers that you’ll have to keep track of your leads using a new app. Your new Ford Escape comes with a beautiful display screen, but you have no idea how to use the navigation. Or you really would like to make calls while driving, but that would require using Bluetooth and pairing your phone to your car to make it work. Your new TV has a sharp High Definition screen, but the remote has way too many buttons. “I just want to turn it on and watch Dancing With the Stars, dammit!”
Yes, like it or not, we are living in a high tech society. One that requires us to know a few tricks to make our devices work. If any of the above instances sound familiar, you are not alone. Most of us--on at least some level--have struggled to get our WiFi working or our printers to print. My dad is the ultimate Luddite. He always says, "No computer; no viruses!" But even he has an iPhone.
This is where Keen Focus Technology Tutoring comes in. We can come to your home to help. We can take the mystery out of the process. We can even help you enjoy your technology again.
If you are like President Skroob in Mel Brooks' Spaceballs (who had his luggage combination set to 12345), I highly suggest you change it. Fast.
According to Ars Technica, Gizmodo, and even the New York Times, 12345 has been in the top 5 of the most commonly used passwords for years. Do you know what's more common than 12345? 123456. Go figure. Other frequently used passwords that folks like to use are "password," "qwerty," "football," and "baseball." I seriously hope I haven't mentioned yours yet. It wouldn't take much for someone to guess these passwords and steal your information.
Even if you have a less common password, here are a few cyber security tips that I tell my technology tutoring clients:
1. Choose passwords that you can remember, but don't make sense to anyone else. Avoid words that are in the dictionary.
2. Add symbols and numbers to your passwords. A random series of letters, numbers, and symbols is usually best.
3. Change your passwords frequently. The longer a password has been in existence, the likelier it is to be hacked.
4. If you have a ton of passwords and can't remember them all, use one of the many apps that specialize in keeping/generating passwords. These apps only make you remember one password to access all of your other passwords.
5. When at a Starbucks or other places with a public wifi, unscrupulous hackers could capture your information if you offer it up freely. There are many ways to protect yourself while using the public wifi, but that's a conversation for another day. In the meantime, here's a basic precaution to take: don't log in to your bank account or other password protected sites on a public wifi.
I am by no means trying to be an alarmist. I also know that most people will read this and think, "Ugh! Why does it have to be so complicated?" It's the world we live in. We need usernames and passwords for just about everything. However, if you start with these 5 basic online security tips, you will be well on your way to enjoying your devices and keeping your information safe.
A study of what adults fear conducted by researchers at Chapman University found that, out of a list of 88 different things, people fear technology more than anything except man-made disasters. Technology beat out other areas such as crime, public speaking, romantic rejection, government, and clowns! — Possibly even clowns in the government.
Granted, much of the technology focused on things like cyber-terrorism and corporations tracking personal information. However, people tend to be afraid of things that they heavily depend on, but can’t control. This describes technology to a T. It’s embedded in nearly everything we do these days: finding your favorite TV channel, making a phone call, sending an email or text message, taking a picture, operating your car, checking out at the grocery store, checking the weather. The problem is, we don’t have any idea how all of these things work.
It really doesn't have to be this way. All it takes is a little bit of time learning the basics to help remove these fears. All it takes is a little bit of time learning about our technology to start having more fun with it!
Remember that feeling? You know, the one you got when you first powered up your brand new Mac? The windows popped open instantaneously, apps ran smoothly and efficiently, the desktop was free of clutter. Everything was shiny. Heck, it even smelled new and fresh--in a techie sort of way.
What about now? Do windows seem to take forever to open? Do you see spinning beach balls in your nightmares?
It's okay. It happens to all of us, er... to our computers anyway. The good news is that there are quite a few "fixes" you can use to reinvigorate your old Mac. Here is a link to a great article on CNet.com with 10 tips. Of course, if you don't want to do it yourself, that's where I can help!
You'd be surprised by how often simply shutting down your device or machine actually fixes the problem. Network printers frequently get stuck with some job that holds everyone else's job up. You think, "Wow! Barry's sales report must be a billion pages long with huge graphics." Meanwhile, that isn't the case at all. Barry's print job is stuck floating around the ether world, causing the printer's brain to spin and spin and spin and spin. When this happens, turn the dang thing off. Count to 30 (this lets both you and the printer clear your minds before blowing up), then turn the printer back on. You and Barry may have to reprint your jobs, but at least they will probably work this time.
Terri Brodkey of Ann Arbor runs a company that provides a unique service. How many times have we been to a big event where there's a guest book to sign? Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, milestone birthdays, etc. People write great things in them, and then they are stored in a closet somewhere at home after the party fun is over. Leaf Your Love takes this notion and turns it upside down. Intrigued? Check out Brodkey's site (where you'll first see my guest blog):http://leafyourlove.com/thumbprint-tree/keen-focus-technology-tutoring/