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Welcome to this week's edition of the Computer Kindergarten Newsletter.
Today is Sunday, April 19, 2015

In this Issue:
Special Feature: How Do Spammers Get My Email Address?
Special Feature: Your Mac Computer - Getting Started with OS X - Common Computer Tasks - Menus
Special Feature: iPad Tips and Tricks
Today's Topic: Speed Up a Slow Computer – Windows Prefetch
Websites of Interest: Wednesday, April 22, is Earth Day; TIME 100 for 2015; Vox; Know More; Instructables

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Special Feature: How Do Spammers Get My Email Address?

The following is from Paul Gil of about.com

There are four ways that spam senders get people's email addresses:

1. Spammers will illegally buy lists of real people's email addresses.
2. Spammers will use "harvesting" programs that scour the Internet like Google, and copy any text that contains the "@" character.
3. Spammers will use "dictionary" (brute force) programs like hackers.
4. You will unwittingly volunteer your email address to dishonest subscribe/unsubscribe online services.

Buying illegal lists of real people's email is surprisingly commonplace. Dishonest employees of ISPs will sometimes sell information that they take from their work servers. This can happen on eBay or on the black market. From outside the ISP, hackers can also break in and steal ISP customer lists and then sell those addresses to spammers.

Harvesting programs, aka "crawl and scrape" programs, are also commonplace. Any text on a web page that contains "@" character is fair game for these programs, and lists of thousands of addresses can be harvested within an hour via these robotic harvesting tools.

Dictionary programs (brute force programs) are the third means to get spam target addresses. Just like hacker programs, these products will generate alphabetic/numeric combinations of addresses in sequence. While many of the results are incorrect, these dictionary programs can create hundreds of thousands of addresses per hour, guaranteeing that at least some will work as targets for spam.

Lastly, dishonest subscribe/unsubscribe services will also sell your email address for a commission. A very common unsubscribe tactic is to blast millions of people with a false "reply to remove your address from our mailing list" email. When users click on the "unsubscribe" link, they are actually confirming that a real person exists at their email address.

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Special Feature: Your Mac Computer - Getting Started with OS X - Common Computer Tasks - Menus

From gcflearnfree.org

Whether you're new to computers or just new to OS X, it's important to learn the basics of using your computer. If it all seems a little overwhelming right now, don't worry! We'll take you through it step by step and show you some of the most fundamental things you'll need to know.

Common Computer Tasks – Menus

Learning how to use a computer can feel overwhelming at times. Fortunately, there are some common computer skills that will work the same way in almost any situation. Once you learn how to use these skills, you'll be able to use them to perform a variety of tasks on your computer.

Use this link to learn to learn more:
http://www.gcflearnfree.org/osxbasics/5

In our next newsletter: Right-Clicking the Mouse

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Special Feature: iPad Tips and Tricks
A collection of tips showing some useful features of iPad with iOS 8.

From apple.com

Adjust Camera’s Exposure
Tap where you want to set automatic exposure and focus. Then slide your finger up or down to manually adjust the exposure.

Didn’t Mean To Delete That Photo?
Don’t panic. Tap Albums and open the Recently Deleted album. Tap the photo, then tap Recover.

Speed It Up With Time-Lapse
Switch Camera to Time-Lapse mode, then tap the shutter button to start recording your video.

Teach Siri Who’s Who
Add relationships — spouse, brother, mom — to your Contacts card. Tell Siri, “My sister is Alexis.”

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Today's Topic: Speed Up a Slow Computer – Windows Prefetch

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

 

Windows Prefetch

Windows has a feature that loads commonly used programs when you start the computer.

Here’s what happens: Yesterday you used Microsoft Word, went into your online banking and played a couple of computer games. Today you want to check your email. Parts of the programs you used yesterday will be in prefetch and the computer will open them when you start it up. The benefit is faster application launch times; if you wanted to use Word, it would open quickly. The downside is all the prefetch files that you do not really need are open and using up part of memory.

The prefetch folder can be cleared out. The files in there can be deleted. To do so, open Windows Explorer, click on the Windows folder and then click on prefetch. Very Important: make sure the path on top shows c: Windows Prefetch. (In Windows Vista and 7, you may be asked to give permission; click to do so)

Click on one file on the right, hold down the CTRL key on the keyboard and then press the a key. All the files will be selected.

Press the delete key on the keyboard. You will be asked if you want to move all the items to the Recycle Bin. Click to do so.

You should see a good increase in your computer’s speed. The next reboot will be slow but once it is started, response time will be better. However, prefetch will fill up again, so this is one of the tasks that should be added to your regular maintenance schedule along with virus and spyware scans.

In our next edition, Speed Up a Slow Computer – Turn Off Remote Assistance

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Websites of Interest:

Wednesday, April 22, is Earth Day
Earth Day aims to inspire awareness of and appreciation for earth's environment.
http://www.earthday.org

TIME 100 for 2015
Time Magazine has released its 100 Most Influential People list for 2015.
http://tinyurl.com/k6rh5q9

Vox
The latest news from a different perspective.
http://www.vox.com

Know More
From the Washington post, A site for people who like learning stuff.
http://knowmore.washingtonpost.com

Instructables
Do It Yourself! How to make all kinds of things.
http://www.instructables.com