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Welcome to this week's edition of the Computer Kindergarten Newsletter.
Today is Sunday, March 16, 2014

In this Issue:
Special Feature: What To Do, If...Emergency Information: What To Do If You Think You Have Been Scammed!
Special Series: How to Customize the Windows 8 Lock Screen
Special Feature: Intro to the Mac - Getting Started with OS X Mavericks
This Week's Topic: Speed Up a Slow Computer – Turn Off Auto Start Programs
Special Feature: iPad Basics – Siri
Websites of Interest: St. Patrick’s Day; Irish Recipes; Vernal Equinox; The National Weather Service; Digital Public Library of America

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Special Feature: What To Do, If...Emergency Information: What To Do If You Think You Have Been Scammed!

From consumerfraudreporting.org

Phishing attacks are becoming more sophisticated every day, so don't blame yourself. It is more important to act quickly to protect your information and identity. If you believe you have been tricked this way, assume that you will become a victim of credit card fraud, bank fraud, or identity theft. Below is some advice on what to do if you are in this situation:

If You Have Given Out Your Credit or Debit or ATM Card Information

If You Have Given Out Your Bank Account Information

If You Have Given Out Your EBay Account

If You Have Downloaded a Virus or Trojan That Has Captured Information From Your Computer

If You Have Given Out Your Personal Identification Information (e.g. SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, ETC.)

If You Have Given Out Your Credit or Debit or ATM Card Information

-Report the theft of this information to the card issuer as quickly as possible. Many companies have toll-free numbers and 24-hour service to deal with such emergencies.
-Cancel your account and open a new one.
-Review your billing statements carefully after the loss. If they show any unauthorized charges, it's best to send a letter to the card issuer describing each questionable charge.
-Credit Card Loss or Fraudulent Charges (FCBA). Your maximum liability under federal law for unauthorized use of your credit card is $50. If the loss involves your credit card number, but not the card itself, you have no liability for unauthorized use.
-ATM or Debit Card Loss or Fraudulent Transfers (EFTA). Your liability under federal law for unauthorized use of your ATM or debit card depends on how quickly you report the loss. You risk unlimited loss if you fail to report an unauthorized transfer within 60 days after your bank statement containing unauthorized use is mailed to you.

If You Have Given Out Your Bank Account Information

-Report the theft of this information to the bank as quickly as possible.
-Cancel your account and open a new one.

If You Have Given Out Your EBay Account

-If someone else is using your account to bid, leave feedback, or list auctions without your permission, contact eBay immediately. eBay has set up a link for HIJACKED ACCOUNTS.
-If someone is currently listing auctions on your account, you may also use the hotline options: Member Problems, Law Enforcement, Please Investigate a Current Listing for Possible Fraudulent Activity. Only use this option if there are current fraudulent auctions.
-Attempt to sign in and change your password. If you are able to sign in, change your password and hint immediately, and begin to undo any damage done by the hackers. Remove any bogus auctions, contact bidders and sellers, etc.
-If you were unable to regain control of your own account, eBay will likely suspend it for a while until they complete their investigation.

If You Have Downloaded a Virus or Trojan

-Some phishing attacks use viruses and/or Trojans to install programs called "key loggers" on your computer. These programs capture and send out any information that you type to the phisher, including credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, Social Security Numbers, etc. In this case, you should:
-Install and/or update anti-virus and personal firewall software. Update all virus definitions and run a full scan. Confirm every connection your firewall allows.
-If your system appears to have been compromised, fix it and then change your password again, since you may well have transmitted the new one to the hacker.
-Check your other accounts! The hackers may have helped themselves to many different accounts. Check your eBay account, PayPal, your email ISP, online bank accounts, online trading accounts, Amazon.com and other e-commerce accounts, and everything else for which you use online password.

If You Have Given Out Your Personal Identification Information

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, credit card number or other identifying information, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. If you have given out this kind of information to a phisher, you should do the following:

-Report the theft to the three major credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion Corporation, and do the following: Request that they place a fraud alert and a victim's statement in your file. Request a FREE copy of your credit report to check whether any accounts were opened without your consent. Request that the agencies remove inquiries and/or fraudulent accounts stemming from the theft.

Major Credit Bureaus
-Equifax - To order your report, call: 800-685-1111 or write: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241. To report fraud, call: 800-525-6285 and write: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
-Experian - To order your report, call: 888-EXPERIAN (397-3742) or write: P.O. Box 2002, Allen TX 75013. To report fraud, call: 888-EXPERIAN (397-3742) and write: P.O. Box 9530, Allen TX 75013 TDD: 1-800-972-0322
-Trans Union - To order your report, call: 800-888-4213 or write: P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022. To report fraud, call: 800-680-7289 and write: Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634 TDD: 1-877-553-7803.

-Notify your bank(s) and ask them to flag your account and contact you regarding any unusual activity. If bank accounts were set up without your consent, close them. If your ATM card was stolen, get a new card, account number and PIN.
-Contact your local police department to file a criminal report.
-Contact the Social Security Administration's Fraud Hotline to report the unauthorized use of your personal identification information.
-Notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of your identity theft. Check to see whether an unauthorized license number has been issued in your name.
-Notify the passport office to be watch out for anyone ordering a passport in your name.
-File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
-File a complaint with the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC). The Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), with a mission to address fraud committed over the Internet. For victims of Internet fraud, IFCC provides a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of a suspected criminal or civil violation.
-Document the names and phone numbers of everyone you speak to regarding the incident. Follow-up your phone calls with letters. Keep copies of all correspondence.

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Special Series: How to Customize the Windows 8 Lock Screen

From howtogeek.com

Windows 8’s lock screen is very at home on a tablet, but it can also be used on laptops and desktops. The lock screen is not just a background image – it contains widgets that display quick notifications.

These widgets, known as lock screen apps, allow you to view information – such as new emails, weather, calendar appointments, instant messages or social updates – without even unlocking your PC.

Select a Lock Screen Background

Lock screen settings are located in the PC setting application on Windows 8. To access it, open the Settings charm (press Windows Key + I to quickly open the Settings charm from anywhere in Windows) and select Change PC settings.

Select the Personalize category and select Lock screen. Click (or tap) one of the provided background images or use the Browse button and select any image from your computer, Bing, SkyDrive, or even your camera.

Configure Lock Screen Apps

Lock screen widgets – known as “lock screen apps” in Windows 8 – allow you to view information at a glance. Apps added to the lock screen are allowed to run in the background when your PC is locked so they can fetch new, updated information and display it on the lock screen.

You can configure the list of lock screen apps from the Lock screen apps section below the lock screen background chooser. Click (or tap) an icon and select the app you want in that location. You can get more widgets by installing more Windows Store apps – apps can choose to include lock screen integration. If you do not want any lock screen apps – or just want a few – you can select the Don’t show quick status here option.

You can also choose an app to show a more detailed status. For example, when you choose to display a detailed weather status, you will see the weather displayed in text on your lock screen.

 

In our next edition: Basic Navigation

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Special Feature: Intro to the Mac - Getting Started with OS X Mavericks

From gcflearnfree.org

After installing Mavericks, you should spend some time getting comfortable with the interface. If you've never used OS X before, you'll need to learn the basics about getting around the desktop. In this lesson, you'll learn about the Dock, the menu bar, opening files and apps, Launchpad, and multi-touch gestures. If you're familiar with earlier versions of OS X, you'll find that the Mavericks interface will be fairly easy to learn.

The Desktop

The screen that you see when your computer has finished starting up is called the desktop. The desktop includes a desktop background (or wallpaper), the Dock, and the menu bar. You can open files or applications from the Dock or Launchpad. You can also display files, folders, or shortcuts on the desktop background area.

Apple Icon - In the top-left corner of the screen is the Apple icon, which you can click to access your System Preferences, recent documents, and more. You can also use it to shut down your computer.

Menu Bar - Across the top, the menu bar will contain different menu options depending on which program you're using.

Date & Time and Settings - On the right side of the menu bar, you will see the date & time, along with shortcuts that you can click to adjust settings such as sound volume.

Spotlight - When you click the magnifying glass icon on the right side of the menu bar, it will open Spotlight. Spotlight allows you to find a file or application by typing the name (or just part of the name).

Notification Center – On the right side of the menu bar, the Notification Center displays an alert when you've received an update. It can be customized to let you know of upcoming appointments, tweets, news, and other real-time events. It remains hidden until you click its icon in the top-right corner.

Open Folders - When you double-click a folder, it will open in a specialized program called Finder. This lets you navigate to the specific file or folder you want.

Desktop Background - The desktop background (or wallpaper) allows you to personalize your computer. You can either choose a built-in background, or use one of your own images.

Folders on the Desktop - You can keep folders, files, and shortcuts on the desktop so that they'll be easily accessible.

Launchpad – Launchpad allows you to see a list of all of your applications. It is designed to make it easier to find and organize your applications.

Dock - The Dock can contain shortcuts to applications, files, or folders. If you have multiple programs open, you can use the Dock to quickly switch between them.
In our next newsletter:

Trash- When you delete a file, it is moved to the Trash. This allows you to recover the file if you change your mind. To permanently delete a file, you'll need to empty the Trash.

 

In our next newsletter: Opening Files, Folders, and Apps

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Today's Topic: Speed Up a Slow Computer – Turn Off Auto Start Programs

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.

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/021311.html

Turn Off Auto Start Programs

Windows will automatically open programs that are in your Startup folder. You will find the startup folder in the Start button menus. Click the Start button or orb, point to Programs, and then point to Startup.

Everything you see in there automatically opens when you turn your computer on. (If you do not recognize everything in there, note that some programs run behind the scenes and you will never see them on your desktop).

While it may be convenient for programs to be open when you are ready to use them, this process usually significantly increases the time it takes to start the computer.

Some programs, in the installation process, are designed to put a shortcut in the Startup folder; you may not necessarily want that program to open every time you use your computer. These programs can be removed from Auto Startup.

To do so, click the Start button, point to Programs, point to Startup. Right click the Program that you want to remove. Left click Delete from the resulting menu.

You will be asked to confirm the deletion; click Yes, OK or Delete Shortcut (depending on your version of Windows).

Note: When you delete a program from the Start menu, you are not uninstalling the program from the computer. You are deleting the Shortcut, which is the command that tells Windows to open the program. The program will still exist on the computer, and, more than likely, another shortcut to the program will be elsewhere in the Start menu.

In our next edition, learn more about turning off programs that start up automatically.

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Special Feature: iPad Basics – Siri

From gcflearnfree.org

Siri is an extremely useful feature that comes with the most recent version of the iPad (but not the iPad 2 or earlier). Sometimes referred to as a virtual assistant, it can help you with all kinds of things. For example, you can use Siri to send messages, schedule meetings, and search for nearby restaurants—all without having to perform the task yourself.

Powered by the sound of your voice rather than gestures or your keyboard, Siri can understand and respond to complex questions like, "Remind me that I have a doctor's appointment on the 18th." Or, "What's the weather going to be like today?"

To use Siri, just press and hold the Home button on your device. Then tell Siri what you need. The more you use Siri, the better it will understand you (as it grows accustomed to your voice).

Voice Dictation

Another useful feature of Siri is voice dictation, which allows you to enter text without having to use the keyboard. This can help you with all kinds of tasks; for example, searching the web, taking notes, posting an update to Facebook, and more.

To use voice dictation, tap the microphone icon on your keyboard. Then start talking. The same technology that powers Siri will listen to what you say, and try to transcribe it. You can even add punctuation by saying words like "period" or "question mark" when you reach the end of a sentence.

When you're done, tap the microphone icon again—and your words will be converted to text. If Siri thinks it made a mistake, certain words may be underlined in blue. You can tap those words to view suggestions, and then correct the dictation before you finalize it.

In our next edition:
Syncing

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Websites of Interest:

St. Patrick’s Day
Although not much of it is actually substantiated, much Irish folklore surrounds St. Patrick’s Day. Learn about traditions, customs and history at this website:
http://wilstar.com/holidays/patrick.htm

Irish Recipes
Want to learn how to make a great Irish stew or potato soup or, better yet, Irish coffee? Visit this website:
http://www.christmascarnivals.com/stpatrick/recipes/

Vernal Equinox
March 20 is the first day of Spring. From the Farmer’s Almanac, learn all about the vernal equinox at this site.
http://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-spring-vernal-equinox

The National Weather Service
No-nonsense weather forecasts.
http://www.weather.gov/

Digital Public Library of America
Fascinating virtual exhibits documents, photos and other items from the country’s libraries, museums and archives.
http://dp.la/