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Welcome to this week's edition of the Computer Kindergarten Newsletter.
Today is Sunday, January 11, 2015

In this Issue:
Special Feature: Special Feature: Latest and Greatest Facebook Scams
Tips & Tricks: How to Bypass the Windows 8 Password Screen
Special Feature: The 25 Best Free iPad Apps
Today's Topic: Speed Up a Slow Computer - Clean the Desktop
Special Feature: Intro to the Mac - How to Decide If It's Time to Upgrade to OS X Yosemite
Websites of Interest: 101 Cookbooks; Online Conversion; kids.gov; Rock Music Timeline

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Special Feature: Latest and Greatest Facebook Scams

By Sid Kirchheimer of aarp.org

Facebook scams continue to proliferate, and the latest promises a free iPhone 6. Beware, as clicking on links of these fraudulent offers can unleash malware onto your computer. What’s more, the bogus offers don’t even add up – literally.

As Naked Security notes, one current (and typical) scam campaign claims that Facebook users have a “99.9% chance to win” a freebie iPhone by entering before the end of this month. As of Sunday, nearly 29,000 people entered to win, but only 500 iPhones are up for grabs. Do the math.

Your desire for a deal isn’t the only hot-button bait for scams on the popular social network. Would-be snoops may be tempted by another current scam, which promises Facebook users that they can hack into other accounts in “three easy steps.”

But the only hacked account is their own. In following the instructions, the would-be snoopers enter a provided code that gives remote hackers access to their accounts for fraudulent posts to “give ‘likes’ to pages in order to inflate the follower and like counts defined by the scammers,” reports online security firm Symantec. Meanwhile, the conning code also exposes everyone on their friends list and, possibly, accesses emails and passwords.

Security firm BitDefender compiled a list of the 10 most common Facebook scams of 2014 thus far – most of which are still going strong and all of which are used to spread information-stealing malware with the click of a tricky link.

1. “See your total profile views/visitors”: This promises you can see how many views your Facebook profile has received or who has been visiting your profile. This capability doesn’t exist.

2. “Change your Facebook color”: Facebook is true to blue, so don’t fall for this scam that may appear on your news feed.

3. Rihanna tape(s): All the claims that you can watch the singer “in action” are as fake as last year’s popular scam involving a malware-laced link promising an alleged tape involving Taylor Swift.

4. “Check your status update and get a free Facebook T-shirt”: Nope, but you might metaphorically lose your shirt by giving scammers access to your online files and financial accounts.

5. “Say goodbye to Blue Facebook”: a rewritten version of No. 2.

6. Free stuff: In addition to the iPhone 6 scam, iPads, Beats headphones and other popular merchandise are promised in other popular schemes.

7. “Check if a friend has deleted you”: Don’t let curiosity get the best of you - or at least the best information stored on your computer.

8. “See your top 10 profile peekers here!”: You can’t, so don’t fall for this longtime ruse.

9. “Find out how to see who viewed your profile”: Ditto.

10. “Just changed my Facebook theme. It’s amazing!”: What’s amazing is how many people fall for this not-offered Facebook service.

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Tips & Tricks: How to Bypass the Windows 8 Password Screen

Question: No one uses my computer but me. Is there a way to get around not having to type in the password every time I use the computer? I have Windows 8.

Answer:

By Jim Tanous of tekrevue.com

All Windows users should have a strong account password, but not everyone necessarily needs to require a password in order to log-in to their PC. In Windows 8, you can avoid the password login screen by simply removing your user account password, but doing so would leave you vulnerable to things like remote access attempts. Here’s how you can bypass the Windows 8 password screen while still maintaining your account password:

http://www.tekrevue.com/tip/bypass-windows-8-password-screen/

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Special Feature: The 25 Best Free iPad Apps

By Andrew Hayward of maclife.com

It's strange to think back to that not-too-long-ago time when the iPad didn't exist, seeing how well we've managed to integrate it into our lives. Whether it's browsing the web on the couch, typing up documents in a cafe, or amusing ourselves with apps while traveling, Apple's sleek tablet can serve a lot of different purposes. It all depends on what you put on the iPad, and thankfully, there's no shortage of worthwhile apps that don't require a penny to start poking around in.

Here are our picks for the 25 best free iPad apps, which span a variety of genres and needs, and include everything from content creation to social media and pure entertainment:

http://www.maclife.com/article/gallery/25_best_free_ipad_apps

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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, learn how to speed up your computer by uninstalling unused programs.

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Special Feature: All About Restore Points

Before making any changes to your computer’s system, always create a Restore Point.

The System Restore feature is used to return your computer to an earlier state if you have a system failure or other major problem with your computer. The point of System Restore is to restore your system to a workable state without you having to reinstall the operating system and lose your files in the process.

If you create a restore point before making your changes, and something goes wrong with those changes, you can easily return to the point when the computer was working.

Learn how to create and use restore points in your version of Windows:
http://computerkindergarten.com/restorepoints.html

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Special Feature: Intro to the Mac - How to Decide If It's Time to Upgrade to OS X Yosemite

By David Gewirtz of zdnet.com

Apple has just rolled out its latest major OS X release, 10.10, otherwise named Yosemite. For some, upgrading is a knee-jerk reaction: as soon as Apple says "go", they upgrade. Others take a much longer time, considering the implications of upgrading.

Since Mavericks, Apple has removed one element of upgrade friction, the price. Upgrades are now free. This helps Apple move its user base along much more quickly (and, simultaneously puts a stake in Microsoft's comparable pricing heart).

In addition, the free OS upgrade also helps encourage software developers to update their programs, because they can count on a large installed base for the new update (and possibly some upgrade revenue as icing on the cake).

But just because the upgrade is free and easy, that doesn't mean you should just go ahead and pull the trigger. The decision to upgrade should be considered carefully, based on your own specific usage needs.

By the way, I'm not saying you should avoid upgrading. I'm just telling you to think it through. The rest of this article will help you do just that.

http://tinyurl.com/k2kpb7h

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Websites of Interest:

101 Cookbooks
Healthy recipes, cookbooks, and culinary adventures.
http://www.101cookbooks.com

Online Conversion
If you need to convert something, you will most likely find it here, from Length, Temperature, Weight, Cooking, Fuel, Acceleration, Clothing Sizes, Date & Time, Energy, Light, Numbers, Power and a whole lot more.
http://www.onlineconversion.com

kids.gov
A perfect safe resource for all those school projects your kids will have to do this year.
http://kids.usa.gov

Rock Music Timeline
An online chronology of rock and roll history.
http://www.rockmusictimeline.com