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Welcome to this week's edition of the Computer Kindergarten Newsletter.
Today is Sunday, January 10, 2016

In this Issue:
Special Feature: Identity Theft Protection
Special Feature: Top 25 Most Popular Anti-Spam Tips, Tricks and Secrets: How to Stop Spam with Disposable Email Addresses
Special Feature: Apple iPad and iPhone iOS 9 – Changes and Hidden Features
Today's Topic: Speed Up a Slow Computer - Clean the Desktop
Websites of Interest: New Year's Resolutions; January is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month; Free iPad Apps; Top 10 Ways to Survive the Cold, Harsh Winter


Special Feature: Identity Theft Protection

From scamguard.com

The Internet has provided identity thieves with a myriad of methods to steal your personal data - and they're thinking up new techniques all the time! Therefore you need to be extraordinarily vigilant whenever you surf in unknown territory and each time you are asked for personal information or other data (such as your zip code) online.

Here are seven recommendations to protect yourself from identity theft online.

1. Choose strong passwords, and don't use the same one on each website you visit. Yes, it is much easier to use the same (or a similar) password - but it also makes things easier for the identity thief!

2. Never download a file from a website or other source with which you are unfamiliar. Also, never open an e-mail attachment from a person or organization with which you are not familiar.

3. Since no reputable bank or financial institution asks for personal information or your password in an e-mail, you can safely ignore any message that purports to come from your financial institution requesting such data. If you receive any other e-mail communication that appears to be from your financial institution, avoid replying directly or clicking on any link in the message. Instead, go to the institution's website and respond using an e-mail address or phone number listed there.

4. Anyone who is in the military and has been deployed overseas can ask that an "active duty alert" be posted on their credit report. This prevents credit from being granted without the individual's explicit approval for a period of up to one year.

5. Install effective security software - protecting your computer from viruses and malware - and ensure that it is updated automatically. If your computer is for personal use only and you don't do anything risky online, one of the free security programs may be sufficient. If the computer is for business use or if your online behavior is risky, you will need to pay for software in order to obtain adequate protection.

6. Never use a browser to store or "remember" your passwords. Enter each password every time you log on to a site.

7. Think twice before clicking on an unfamiliar link. If you click on a link that brings you to a site with an unusual amount of activity - moving graphics, video or audio that starts spontaneously, or multiple pop-ups - it's advisable to click the back button as quickly as possible. If you do happen to visit a website that you suspect may be unsafe, restart your computer as soon as you leave the site and then run a manual security scan.

Identity theft is one of the worst problems that can arise through Internet use. It can result in financial losses, damage to your reputation, and significant inconvenience. It is prudent to use every possible precaution to prevent this problem from occurring.

In our next newsletter: Signs Your Identity Has Been Stolen


Special Feature: Top 25 Most Popular Anti-Spam Tips, Tricks and Secrets: How to Stop Spam with Disposable Email Addresses

Spam, spam and spam. How to avoid spam, how to filter spam, and how to complain about spam are the items on this menu of junk mail fighting tips. With the help of Heinz Tschabitscher of about.com, we are presenting an ongoing series of tips and tricks that you can use to minimize the amount of junk mail that you will receive in your email inbox.

How to Stop Spam with Disposable Email Addresses

Using your real, primary email address anywhere on the web puts it at risk of being picked up by spammers. And once an email address is in the hands of one spammer, your Inbox is sure to be filled with lots of not-so-delicious spam every day.

Stop Spam with Disposable Email Addresses

But what should you use instead of a real email address?

* Use disposable email addresses!

A disposable email address will forward all mail to your real address. So where exactly is the benefit? Won't it forward all the spam, too? Not if you dispose of it.

What to Do When You Get Spam

As soon as you get spam through a disposable address, you disable it, and all messages (and all spam) sent to the disposable address bounce back to the sender instead of your Inbox.

Since (and this is a crucial point) you give every disposable email address to precisely one web site or contact, you know exactly who spammed you or leaked the address to spammers.

For the same reason turning off a disposable address has no impact on all the other mail you receive through your real address and (preferably) other disposable email addresses. You merely stop the spam.

Disposable Email Address Services:



In our next edition: Ignore Delivery Failures of Messages You Did Not Send


Special Feature: Apple iPad and iPhone iOS 9 – Changes and Hidden Features

From hongkiat.com

If you haven’t noticed, iOS 9 is now available for download. You can access the software update via Settings > General> Software Update > Download and Install. The update is 1.3 GB, a lightweight compared to its predecessor iOS 8 (weighing in at 4.58GB) and while there are some reported hiccups in the installation process, so far iOS 9 is shaping up fine.

If you’re unsure of whether or not you would like to make the jump, fret not, we played around with iOS 9 for a bit and these are some of the more noticeable upgrades and changes that might convince you to put more faith in this than you did in iOS 8.

Overall, we’re looking at a more proactive OS, a smarter Siri, a more powerful Spotlight, some upgrades to the keyboard that are a long time coming, an improved Maps, a stab at Note-taking, minor upgrades to Mail, better support for Apple Pay, longer-lasting battery life, some facelifts, welcomed UI changes and fun upgrades all around.

Proactive Intelligence

Knows Your Caller – If you get an incoming call from an unknown number but which is associated with an email you already have, iOS 9 connects the dots and lets you know who the caller is. Contact info found in emails will also be automatically added to Contacts.

Plays the Music You Want – Proactive assistance learns what you listen to at a specific location or time then automatically displays playback controls for your favorite music and/or audio apps.

Suggests Your Favorite People – When adding names to an email message, calendar invite or event, iOS 9 will suggest the names of recipients you would most likely add based on your previous interactions.

Adds Events into Calendar for you – When you receive an email with a flight or restaurant reservation, an event addition will be suggested automatically for you.

Tracks Flights and Packages – iOS 9 also helps you track flight statuses and package deliveries. Any text referencing relevant info automatically prompts an interactive interface which allows you track the latest status.

Reminds You When To Make A Move – Calendar will tell you when to leave based on traffic conditions and what time your event is. It even prepares the directions to your destination.

In our next edition: Siri and Spotlight


Today's Topic: Speed Up a Slow Computer - Clean the Desktop

As your Windows computer ages, its speed can decrease. You will notice an increase in response time when you give commands to open programs, files or folders, use the Internet and other tasks. There are several things you can do to speed up your computer.

Over the next several editions of this newsletter, we will present articles discussing some of the steps you can take to speed up your slow computer.
Speed up a Slow Computer: Clean the Desktop

Important: before making any changes to your system, always create a Restore Point. Read our article, All About Restore Points, in the Special Feature section, below, in this newsletter.
Every time you start your computer, memory is used by all the files on the Desktop. If these files are shortcuts (they have a little curving up and to the left), they do not take a lot of memory. If the files are not shortcuts, or there are dozens of shortcuts on your desktop, they will be using quite a bit of operating memory.

If the memory is being used by these files, the computer will have to swap memory from the hard drive to carry out commands that you are giving. This is called memory paging, and what you will see is a slowdown in the computer’s operation.

Put the files in the My Documents, or Documents folder. If you have many files that you would prefer to keep better organized, create separate folders for them.

A clean Desktop will improve the response time for the computer to carry out your commands.

In our next edition: Uninstall Unused Programs


Websites of Interest:

New Year's Resolutions
From the Huffington Post, this site may help you keep your resolutions

January is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month
As the threat of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning increases during the winter months when the heat is on, it is crucial that awareness increases as well.

Free iPad Apps
This site posts a daily list of iPad apps that are being offered for free for that day only.

Top 10 Ways to Survive the Cold, Harsh Winter