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Welcome to this week's edition of the Computer Kindergarten Newsletter.
Today is Sunday, February 21, 2016

In this Issue:
Special Feature: Top Scams of 2016 - Vacation Property Rental Scams
Special Feature: Top 25 Most Popular Anti-Spam Tips, Tricks and Secrets: Don't Use Your Primary Email Address to Sign Up for Anything
Special Feature: Apple iPad and iPhone iOS 9 – Changes and Hidden Features: Mail
Today's Topic: Speed Up a Slow Computer – Defrag
Websites of Interest: George Washington; Foods that Regrow from Kitchen Scraps; How to Grow an Indoor Herb Garden; Storage and Organization Ideas

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Special Feature: Top Scams of 2016 - Vacation Property Rental Scams

From scamguard.com

Many consumers have opted to rent vacation properties, and scammers have targeted this trend.

Scammers advertise properties that they don't actually own on classified ads websites, such as Craigslist, with attractive pictures and detailed descriptions. Typically, they associate the ads with desirable, rich or low crime rate neighborhoods and offer prices that fall well below local rental averages. Instead of in-country phone-based contact, scammers use VOIP numbers from foreign countries and text messaging to communicate with buyers and renters. All payments are requested via non-returnable methods like Moneygram, Western Union, and wire transfer.

ScamGuard advice: Always pay rent using a check or a credit card. Checks and credit cards leave paper and electronic trails that law enforcement agencies can track back to criminals. Additionally, if you decide to pay by credit card, the card’s issuing bank can perform a transaction chargeback or reversal for up to usually the first six months after the transaction.

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Special Feature: Top 25 Most Popular Anti-Spam Tips, Tricks and Secrets: Don't Use Your Primary Email Address to Sign Up for Anything

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.

Many web sites require you to sign up to access their services. Often, you need to provide a valid email address (to which your password will be sent, for example) during the sign-up process.

There is nothing wrong with that. But you never know what will happen to the email address you give to the site.

* Hackers may break into the network and steal the email address,
* it may leak to the web due to some mishap, or
* it might even get sold to spammers.

This is why it's a good idea not to use your primary email address when you sign up at a web site.

Use

* a disposable email address instead,
* an account at one of the free web-based email services, or
* another secondary email address that is not critical.

Disposable Email Address Services:

http://www.emailias.com
http://www.spamex.com/
http://spamgourmet.com/
http://www.gishpuppy.com/
http://www.mailinator.com/

In our next edition: How to Determine the Email Address for Spam Complaints

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

iOS 9 for the iPad and iPhone is available for download. You can access the software update via Settings > General> Software Update > Download and Install.

We’ve had some time to play around with iOS 9 for a bit. We’re looking at a more proactive OS and fun upgrades all around. Here are some changes:

Mail

Document attachments, intelligent search, and multitasking features make Mail more useful than ever.

Attachments

The biggest change is the long-awaited support for file attachments. Now you can attach a document with a long press in the body of a message. Before, your only option to add files to emails was to insert videos and photos. You can also save attachments by pressing on the file until the share sheet pops up with a new option, “Save attachment.”

Search

In iOS 9, the search bar now turns up results from Mail, like documents and contacts, when you enter in keywords. The ability for search and Siri to tap into Mail gets even more useful when a strange number calls you—Siri will jump into your email to see if the digits match any in your inbox.

Multitasking

Press on the right side of your iPad and swipe right to bring the app tray into your sidebar. From there, you can select an app to open in the right hand third of your screen. If you’re composing an email and need to look up something in another app, just open that app and search for your information without leaving your email message.

 

In our next edition: Battery Management

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Today's Topic: Speed Up a Slow Computer – Defrag

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.

In our ongoing series, Speed Up a Slow Computer, we will present articles discussing some of the steps you can take to speed up your slow computer.

Important: Before making any changes to your system, always create a Restore Point. If anything goes wrong with the changes you make, this will allow you to revert back to a point when the computer was operating correctly. Please visit our Newsletter Archives to read our article, All About Restore Points:
http://computerkindergarten.com/restorepoints.html

Speed Up a Slow Computer – Defrag

When a file is stored on your hard disk, it's often split into separate fragments. Fragmentation occurs naturally when you use a disk frequently: creating, deleting, and modifying files. At some point, the operating system needs to store parts of a file in noncontiguous places on the disk. You can't see the fragments, and you can't stop this fragmenting from occurring, but it can slow down the speed at which data is accessed because the disk drive must search through different parts of the disk to put together a single file.

However, you can defrag your system. This is the term used for reorganizing the data on your Hard Disk into a more logical sequence, which means taking all those scattered fragments of files and piecing them back together where they belong. This helps free more hard drive space and makes the accessing of files a speedier process; your Hard Disk will work quicker and more efficiently.

To defrag the drive, open My Computer, Computer, or This PC (depending on your version of Windows), right-click the c: drive icon, and choose Properties. Click the Tools tab, and click Defragment Now.

This will probably be a lengthy process, depending on the size of your hard drive and number of files.

Question: Defrag Does Not Work

I am trying to defragment my computer. When I open Disk Defragmenter and do an analysis, it tells me I should defrag but every time I try, it stops on 2%. What am I doing wrong?

Answer:
You are not doing anything wrong. It is possible that some program is running in the background which is causing defrag to terminate. Try this:

Turn your computer off and back on again. Before the computer completely restarts, right after the first beep, press the F8 key (on the top row of the keyboard). You should then see a list of startup options.

If the computer goes to the desktop without showing the startup option, you did not press the F8 key at the right time. This is a tricky process; the key has to be pressed at exactly the right time. Turn the computer off and then restart. As soon as the computer begins to start, keep tapping the f8 key until the Startup Options appear.

Select Safe Mode.

Start Disk Defragmenter again. It should run all the way through this time. After it is complete, shut the computer down and start it again. It will come back in normal mode.

When Windows starts in safe mode, it opens a minimum of auto start programs and drivers. Any programs that are causing your defrag to cease working may not be running in safe mode.

 

In our next edition, Disable Indexing Services.

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Websites of Interest:

George Washington
February 22 is George Washington's 284th birthday. Learn more about the first president and his life at Mount Vernon.
http://www.mountvernon.org

Foods that Regrow from Kitchen Scraps
Here are foods that regrow from their kitchen scraps that you can plant in your garden.
http://tinyurl.com/zwon7wd

How to Grow an Indoor Herb Garden
http://tinyurl.com/hmk76rz

Storage and Organization Ideas
http://tinyurl.com/l9qn3jt