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Welcome to this week's edition of the Computer Kindergarten Newsletter.
Today is Sunday, May 22, 2016

To observe the unofficial Beginning of Summer, we will not be publishing this newsletter next week. Have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend!

In this Issue:
Special Feature: Beware of These Smartphone Scams
Special Feature: Top 25 Most Popular Anti-Spam Tips, Tricks and Secrets: Mail Not Addressed to You is Likely Spam
Special Feature: How to Use a USB Drive
Today's Topic: Speed Up a Slow Computer - Configuring Power Management Options for High Performance
Special Feature: iPhone and iPad: How to Turn on Location Services Only While an App Is in Use
Websites of Interest: Memorial Day; Belmont Stakes; Pet Friendly Road Trip Planner


Do you know we've been publishing this newsletter for over 15 years? Over the years, it has been so rewarding for us to read the many emails and letters we have received from readers about how the newsletter and our computer classes have helped them with technology.

Completely staffed by volunteers, when we started this newsletter, we made a commitment that we would never subject our readers to annoying advertising. And we're proud to say we've never gone back on that commitment.

Recognizing that there is no income from advertising, many readers have asked if they could help support the newsletter through a monetary donation in gratitude for the knowledge that they have received. We are so grateful for this kindness; these donations help with web hosting and all other costs that have been skyrocketing, and enable us to continue publishing.

And as we will continue to offer the newsletter free of charge without any commercial advertising, your donations will be a way by which we can continue to provide you with the helpful, reliable information for which it has become well known and regarded. We thank you for any donation, no matter the size. It is greatly appreciated!

If you would like to make a donation, you can send a check to the following address:
Sharper Training
50 Lee Avenue
Babylon NY 11702

Remember, we always welcome suggestions on articles and websites of interest.
You can read every one of our newsletters here:


Special Feature: Beware of These Smartphone Scams

By Sid Kirchheimer of aarp.org

Love your smartphone? So do scammers. With more than 1.5 billion smartphones forecast to be sold worldwide in 2016, you can expect more mobile mayhem this year. The reigning ruses include the following:


Nearly 70 percent of smartphone texters say they receive unwanted spam messages, studies show. And people are three times more likely to respond to spam received by cellphone than when using a desktop or laptop computer. That's particularly dangerous because more than a quarter of text-message spam—such as free gift cards, cheap medications and similar text-message come-ons—is intended to criminally defraud you, compared with only about 10 percent of spam arriving by email. These texts often lead you to shady websites that install malware on your phone or otherwise seek to steal sensitive details for identity theft.

What to know: Don't click on links or follow instructions to text "stop" or "no" to prevent future texts. This only confirms to scammers that yours is a live, active number for future spam. Use and regularly update anti-malware software designed for smartphones; ask your phone's manufacturer or service provider for recommendations. Forward suspicious texts to 7726 ("SPAM" on most keypads) to alert your carrier to those numbers, and then delete them.

The One-Ring Con

In a longtime calling scam, crooks leave voice messages asking you to call back a specific number because you have won a sweepstakes or have an undeliverable package. Now they simply program calls to smartphones to ring only once or disconnect when you answer. Your curiosity over a missed-call alert results in you spending upwards of $30 to call back. The reason: Despite a seemingly American area code, the call is to an international phone number—often in the Caribbean—that charges a premium connection fee and per-minute rate, which is extended through long holds and frequent transfers.

You might also find charges crammed onto your bill with such innocuous language as "special services," "Internet advertising" or "minimum monthly usage fee."

What to know: Beware of any unfamiliar calls—one ring or otherwise—with area codes 268, 284, 473, 649, 664, 767, 809, 829, 849 or 876.

Bank Messages

These text messages claim to be from your bank or credit card company and say there's a problem with your account. You're instructed to click an included link, which leads you to a look-alike, scammer-run website that seeks your name, account number and online log-in credentials.

What to know: If there's really an account problem, you might get an email, but it will include your name and a portion of your account number. Or your bank or credit card company may telephone you with a fraud alert, but it won't ask for any personal data.

Finally, keep in mind that smartphones are prime targets for old-fashioned theft. Don't let yours reveal your secrets if it winds up in the wrong hands. Always protect it with a strong PIN. And don't use it to store credit card and account log-in information—or anything else potentially compromising.


Special Feature: Top 25 Most Popular Anti-Spam Tips, Tricks and Secrets: Mail Not Addressed to You is Likely Spam

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.

There is hardly an unsolicited mass email message that has your email address in the To: or the Cc: field.

This is why you can set up a filter that moves all incoming messages that do not carry any of your email addresses in either the To: or Cc: field to the "Probably Spam" folder.

Of course, you should have filters that catch all mail from mailing lists before the not-addressed-to-me filter triggers.

In our next edition: Do Not Threaten Spammers


Special Feature: How to Use a USB Drive

A USB drive is also known as a flash drive.

What is a Flash Drive?

A flash drive is a small, removable hard drive that plugs into a USB port on your computer. You can purchase a flash drive at just about any retail store with an electronics department, and even at some grocery stores and pharmacies. Flash drives are a convenient way to bring your files with you and open them on a different computer. You could also use a flash drive to back up important documents and other files.

To connect a flash drive:

Insert the flash drive into a USB port on your computer. You should find a USB port on the front, back, or side of your computer (the location may vary depending on whether you have a desktop or a laptop).

Depending on how your computer is set up, a dialog box may appear. If it does, select Open folder to view files.

If a dialog box does not appear, open Windows Explorer and locate and select the flash drive on the left side of the window. Note that the name of the flash drive may vary.

Working with a Flash Drive

Once you've connected a flash drive, you can work with it just like any other folder on your computer, including moving and deleting files.

If you want to copy a file from your computer to the flash drive, click and drag the file from your computer to the flash drive icon. The file will be duplicated, and this new version will be saved to the flash drive. The original version of the file will still be saved to your computer.

If you want to copy a file from your flash drive to your computer, click and drag the file from the flash drive window to your computer.

If you want to remove a file from your flash drive, click and drag the file to the Recycle Bin.

To Safely Remove A Flash Drive

When you're done using a flash drive, don't remove it from the USB port just yet! You'll need to make sure to disconnect it properly to avoid damaging files on the drive.

Right-click the flash drive and select Disconnect (or Eject). You can now safely remove the flash drive from the USB port.


Today's Topic: Speed Up a Slow Computer - Configuring Power Management Options for High Performance

Even a brand new, state-of-the-art computer was built for no one in particular. Windows comes installed on your PC in Balanced power mode. This means your computer arrived trying to perform a balancing act between users who want to save power and those who want raw speed.

How to View and Switch Power Plans

First, let’s take a look at what you have. To see your power plans, right-click the battery icon in your system tray and choose Power Options.

This screen can also be accessed from the Control Panel. Click the Hardware and Sound category and then select Power Options.

From here, you can select your preferred power plan. Balanced and Power Saver are the default ones, while High Performance is hidden under the Show Additional Plans heading at the bottom. Your PC manufacturer may have included their own power plans as well, and you can create your own custom ones if you like.

When you want to squeeze some more battery life out of your laptop, you can change the plan Power Saver. Plugged in, change your plan to High Performance for a boost in speed.


Special Feature: iPhone and iPad: How to Turn on Location Services Only While an App Is in Use

From iphonelife.com

There's no need for most apps to track your location at all times. With older versions of iOS, the only choices you had for location tracking were Always or Never. So if you wanted your photos to be tagged with the location in which they were taken, you had to allow the Camera app to always track your location, which could drain your battery and use your data unnecessarily.

Here’s how to how to enable Location Services to work only while an app is in use.

Open the Settings app.
Select Privacy.
Tap Location Services.
You will see a list of apps and their location-tracking status.
Select an app to change the status.

Most apps offer the following choices: Always, While Using, and Never.*

Scroll through the apps and adjust the location settings as you prefer.

Note that some apps will only give you the options Always and Never. When faced with that decision, decide whether or not Location Services are an important part of the app. If not, choose Never to save on battery and data.


Websites of Interest:

Memorial Day

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. Learn more about the history of the holiday and Americas wars at the History Channel website.

Visit this website to take a look at the history of Memorial Day and the changes over the years.

National World War II Memorial
The World War II Memorial is the first national memorial dedicated to all who served during the Second World War.

A collection of Memorial Day recipes.

Belmont Stakes

The Belmont Stakes is a thoroughbred horse race held every June at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. Learn more about the history here.

The official site of the 148th Belmont Stakes.

Pet Friendly Road Trip Planner
Planning to travel with your beloved pet? This website will help you find pet-friendly accommodations, restaurants, services, and more along your route.