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Welcome to this week's edition of the Computer Kindergarten Newsletter.
Today is Sunday, January 12, 2014

In this Issue:
Special Feature: PSEGLI Warns Customers about Fraudulent Phishing Emails
Tips & Tricks: Top 25 Most Popular Anti-Spam Tips, Tricks and Secrets: How to Report Spam Comfortably with SpamCop
Special Series: Customizing Your Windows 8 Start Screen Apps
This Week's Topic: Windows 7 Taskbar Features
Special Feature: iPad Basics: Buying an iPad
Websites of Interest: 52 Places to Go in 2014; Top 10 Ways to Survive the Cold, Harsh Winter; Science 360; Best LI Restaurants


Special Feature: PSEGLI Warns Customers about Fraudulent Phishing Emails

By Cait Russell of longisland.com

Scammers posing as the utilities company have been sending out emails in order to obtain customers' personal information.

Late Thursday evening, PSEG Long Island issued a press release alerting its customers about an email cyber-scam, and warning them not to fall prey to it. Scammers posing as PSEG LI have been emailing local customers with a fake bill, and a request for personal information that could be used to commit identity theft. They warn customers to avoid opening suspicious looking emails, and to refrain from opening any links or downloading any attachments that may be inside of these emails. Most importantly, do not reply with personal information if you're unsure of the validity of the email you've received. It is also recommended that you immediately delete the email, to lessen the chances of accidentally opening it.

In a statement, Dan Eichhorn, VP of Customer Services for PSEG Long Island had the following to say about this scam – “We take very seriously any attempt to defraud our customers... We ask our customers to be wary of emails that demand immediate payment and threaten service termination. When in doubt, delete the email and call PSEG Long Island."

Customers who may have received a suspicious email can report it to PSEG Long Island by calling 1-800-490-0025, or by visiting one of their numerous local Customer Service Centers, which are located in Bellmore, Brentwood, Bridgehampton, Coram, Hewlett, Hicksville, Melville, Patchogue, Riverhead, and Roslyn Heights.

In late November, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) issued a similar warning for customers after some reported receiving suspicious phone calls from someone claiming to represent LIPA requesting personal information. The best thing that locals can do to protect their identity is continue to be vigilant, and be wary of providing personal information online.


Tips & Tricks: Top 25 Most Popular Anti-Spam Tips, Tricks and Secrets: How to Report Spam Comfortably with SpamCop

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.

If you submit spam to SpamCop via email, you get back an automatic response with a special URL that you can use to finish reporting the spammer. Or you choose to ignore that autoresponse and go for a more comfortable approach.

To report spam comfortably with SpamCop:

* Go to the SpamCop home page. http://www.spamcop.net/
* Follow the Unreported Spam Saved: Report Now. link.
* Finish reporting the first unreported message.

If you have submitted multiple messages and there is more spam in the queue, you'll find another Unsaved Spam - Report Now link.

Using this feature you can report one spam after the other comfortably.

In our next edition: Mail Not Addressed to You is Likely Spam


Special Series: Customizing Your Windows 8 Start Screen Apps

From gcflearnfree.org

Customizing Your Start Screen Apps

If you don't like the way your apps are arranged on the Start screen, you can rearrange them by moving them wherever you want. You may also find that the animated live tiles are too distracting, and you can easily turn them off so that they will display a plain background with no animations.

To Move an App:

1. Click, hold and drag the app to the desired location.
2. Release the mouse. The app will move to the new location.

To Turn a Live Tile Off:

1. Right-click the app you want to change.
2. A toolbar will appear at the bottom of the screen. Click Turn live tile off, and the tile will change to a plain background.

Pinning Apps to the Start Screen

By default, the Start screen doesn't show all of the apps on your computer. However, it's easy to pin your favorite apps to the Start screen so that you can open them quickly.

To Pin an App to the Start Screen:

1. Right-click anywhere on the Start screen background.
2. A menu will appear at the bottom of the screen. Click All apps to view all of the apps installed on your computer.
3. Locate and right-click the desired app.
4. At the bottom of the screen, click Pin to Start.
5. Click the lower-left corner to return to the Start screen. Your app will now appear on the Start screen.

To Unpin an App from the Start Screen:

1. From the Start screen, right-click the desired app.
2. At the bottom of the screen, click Unpin from Start. The app will disappear from the Start screen.

Creating App Groups

To further organize your apps, you can put related apps into groups. You can also name your groups, and each group will display its name at the top.

To Create a New App Group:

1. Click, hold and drag an app to the right, until it is on an empty area of the Start screen.
2. Release the mouse. The app will now be in its own app group, and you should see a space between the new group and the other groups. This space helps to visually separate the different groups.
3. You can now move more apps into the new app group.

To Name an App Group:

1. Click the lower-right corner of the screen to zoom out.
2. All of your Start screen apps will appear as small icons organized into groups. Right-click the desired group.
3. At the bottom of the screen, select Name group.
4. Type the desired name. Shorter names usually work best, so try to use a single word if possible. When you're done, click Name.
5. Click anywhere on the Start screen to return to the normal view. The new name will appear above the app group.


In our next newsletter: Getting Started with the Desktop

You can review all of our previous Windows 8 articles on our website.

Do you have a question about Windows 8 that we haven’t covered yet? Please email your question and we’ll cover it in a future newsletter article.


Today's Topic: Windows 7 Taskbar Features

From gcflearnfree.org

In Windows 7, Microsoft has improved the taskbar by making it easier to view and access files and windows. When multiple windows are open in a program, the icon will look "stacked" on the taskbar. Aero Peek will show you a thumbnail of each window when you hover the mouse over the icon on the taskbar.

You can change the order of the icons by clicking and dragging the icon to whatever space you desire on the taskbar.

Pin a program to the taskbar

You can pin frequently used programs to the taskbar and access them with a single click of the mouse.

To pin a program, drag it to the taskbar and release.

To unpin programs, right click on the icon and select Unpin.

Access a Jump List

A Jump List is like a "mini-menu" for a program. It allows quick access to recent files, frequently viewed items, performance tasks and more. For example, you may select frequently used websites with a simple click from the Internet Explorer Jump List.

Right click on the taskbar icon to open the program's Jump List.

The System Tray

The System Tray is located on the far right of the taskbar. It contains the clock and miniature icons for easy access to system functions. Hover the mouse on the icon to see the name. Click, double click or right click on an icon to view and access the details and controls.

Hidden Icons

To the immediate left of the System Tray is a small up arrow. Click to view additional icons and to customize your Taskbar.

Action Center

Older versions of Windows had pesky "pop-up" notifications that appeared whenever there was a security issue or warning regarding an action you were taking. Windows 7 allows you to customize how often you view these notifications through the Action Center. The Action Center icon in the taskbar will allow you to view and take action on any notifications that you have received.

The small flag in the System Tray opens the Action Center. Click to view notifications and access Action Center.

A red X will appear on the icon when you have notifications waiting.

Internet Access

The Internet Access icon is used to access the Network and Sharing Center. Click to connect to the internet.

Show Desktop button

To the right of the System Tray is the Show Desktop button. Hover over the button to peek at your Desktop; the windows will become transparent allowing you to see the desktop.

Click on the Show desktop button to close the windows. Click again and the windows will return.


In our next newsletter: Personalize Your Desktop's Background and Themes


Special Feature: iPad Basics: Buying an iPad

From gcflearnfree.org

Apple's iPad is a touch-screen tablet that's changing the way many of us look at computers and mobile devices. It has a large, high-definition display; access to thousands of apps; and tons of different uses for everyday life—from the fun to the practical. With so many great features, it's no surprise that you might want one of your own.

Before you purchase an iPad, however, you should familiarize yourself with the different options you have to choose from. This includes the affordable Wi-Fi model vs. the more expensive cellular-enabled model. You should also decide where you're going to purchase your iPad—either online, from Apple, or from another retailer.

Understanding Your Options

It's important to understand the different options that are available for the iPad, and why they create a difference in price. There are several different models to choose from, ranging from $329 to $829. Which one you choose will depend on your budget and individual needs.

Which Model is Right for You?

If you're not sure which model you want, take some time to think about the features that are most important to you, and how they fit into your budget. Things to consider before you buy include internet access (do you need to stay connected all the time, perhaps for work?), and data storage (do you need a lot, or just a little?).

Internet Access

Depending on your internet preferences, Apple gives you two different options to choose from: the standard Wi-Fi model, and the more flexible Wi-Fi + Cellular model. Both have their pros and cons.

The Wi-Fi model is cheaper, but you'll only be able to access the internet when you can connect to a wireless network. This model might be right for you if you don't mind relying on nearby Wi-Fi; for example, at home, at work, or the local coffee shop.

The Wi-Fi + Cellular model gives you access almost anywhere, but it may not be worth the extra cost depending on your situation and lifestyle. This model also requires an additional monthly contract (through AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon Wireless) for the cellular signal to work.

Data Storage

There are several different ways to approach storing data on your iPad. Here are some things to think about before you make a decision.

At 16GB (16 gigabytes of memory), the smallest model has enough data storage for most users. However, if you anticipate storing lots of music, movies, or TV shows on your device, you may want to purchase the 32GB or 64GB model instead.

If you truly need lots of storage, look into Apple's iCloud service before you purchase one of the larger, more expensive models. iCloud allows you to store your media "in the cloud" (in other words, online), so you don't have to worry about storing it on your device.

For more help making a decision, you can always ask an associate at your local Apple Store for advice. Alternatively, you can call 1-800-MY-APPLE for more information about the product you're interested in.


In our next edition:
When You're Ready to Buy


Websites of Interest:

52 Places to Go in 2014
From the NY Times Travel section, this site has beautiful photography and some interesting travel suggestions.

Top 10 Ways to Survive the Cold, Harsh Winter

Science 360
Read about the newest discoveries, inventions, theories and so much more.

Best LI Restaurants