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Welcome to this week's edition of the Computer Kindergarten Newsletter.
Today is Sunday, July 27, 2014

In this Issue:
Special Feature: The Effects of Spyware
Question: How Do I Make Windows 8.1 Boot Directly To My Desktop View?
Special Feature: Intro to the Mac - Mac OS X Mavericks - Stacks
Today's Topic: Show the Windows 7 Desktop with a Shortcut
Special Feature: iPad Basics - Getting to Know Mail
Websites of Interest: Complete Guide to Gmail; Fast Recipes; Egg Timer; PC Webopedia

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Special Feature: The Effects of Spyware

By Peter May of How Stuff Works
http://www.howstuffworks.com

In its most benign form, spyware can gather data on your Web surfing habits and serve up ads for specific products or services. It can also turn your computer into a zombie system, sending spam e-mail messages to your contacts and far beyond. Your system can also be used to store data, such as e-mail lists, personal information or illegal images. Some spyware programs are designed to capture every keystroke and mouse click, allowing hackers to follow you around the Web in real time, as you log in to your bank account or other important sites.

PandaLabs recently conducted a research study on identity theft spyware. The report contained some startling statistics:

* Of the 67 million devices PandaLabs scanned in 2008, more than 10 million had some form of spyware designed to steal personal data. Only 35 percent of all devices had updated antivirus tools installed.
* In the United States, personal data retrieval spyware affected more than three million people in 2008.
* Infections grew by an incredible 800 percent in the second half of 2008, compared to the first half.
* Based on trends over a period of 14 months, PandaLabs estimates the infection rate of ID theft spyware will increase 339 percent per month in 2009.

Spyware is against the law -- sort of. The federal government and many states have passed laws against installing software on a computer without the user's consent and using spyware to gather personal information, such as passwords. The problem is that many users actually consent to spyware being included when they download and install free utilities or games. As mentioned earlier, when you click on the Next button to install software, stating you have read and understand the end user license agreement, you are allowing spyware to go to work on your computer.

 

In our next newsletter:
Avoiding Spyware

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Question: How do I make Windows 8.1 boot directly to my Desktop view?

Answer:
To set the Desktop as your default view in Windows 8.1, follow these steps:

Right-click on any unused portion of your Taskbar
In the resulting menu, left click on Properties.
The Taskbar and Navigation Properties window will open. Click the Navigation tab
In the Start screen section, check the boxes labeled When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start and Show my desktop background on Start.

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Special Feature: Intro to the Mac - Mac OS X Mavericks - Stacks

From gcflearnfree.org

When you view a folder on the Dock, you may notice that it looks a little bit different from a "normal" folder. That's because the Dock uses a feature called Stacks, which displays the folder contents as a Fan, Grid, or List. Since Stacks are accessible directly from the Dock, they make it easier to open your important files.

To change how Stacks are displayed:

Right-click the icon for the Stack you want to change, then select the desired view.

 

In our next newsletter: Launchpad

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Today's Topic: Show the Windows 7 Desktop with a Shortcut

From computershopper.com

If you’re anything like us, once you’ve installed a new operating system or bought a new PC, you start out organizing files and documents with the best of intentions. But before long your Windows Desktop becomes your de facto filing cabinet, peppered with shortcuts, frequently used spreadsheets, random photos, and abandoned detritus. The easy way to access that debris field to find something—the Windows key + D combination, which minimizes all Windows for a clear view of the desktop—is a helper that most of us know.

Windows 7, though, lets you bring up the desktop without taking your hand off your mouse or pointing device—but it’s not obvious how until you stumble upon it. In the extreme lower right portion of the screen, at the far-right edge of the taskbar, you’ll see a little vertical rectangle with a “glossy” finish. Hover the mouse pointer over it, and the Windows Desktop appears, letting you inspect it. (You’ll still see ghostly outlines of the windows you have open.) Move the mouse off the rectangle, and your windows reappear. You can also activate this via a keyboard shortcut: Windows key + spacebar.

Click on the rectangle, though (as opposed to hovering), and you’ll minimize all windows, allowing you to interact with the desktop, open folders, and the like. If you don’t open or maximize any new windows manually, clicking the rectangle a second time restores the view to the state it was in before you clicked.

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Special Feature: iPad Basics - Getting to Know Mail

From gcflearnfree.org

As you already know, the Mail app is different on each device—but there are many similarities when it comes to basic tools and features.

Mailboxes

Use the Mailboxes button (top left) to access different parts of your email account. For example, you can navigate to Drafts, Trash, and other folders that you've created.

This is also where you can navigate between different accounts (for instance, work and home), if you have more than one email address set up in the app.

Search

Use the Search feature (right below the Mailboxes button) to search the entire contents of your email. This is useful if you're looking for a specific message, and you can't find it. Just enter your search terms in the box, and the app will list the results below.

You can confine your search to a specific area (From, To, or Subject), or search through everything (All).

Edit

Tap Edit (to the immediate right of the Mailbox button) to quickly manage all of your messages at once. From here, you canArchive, Delete, or Move multiple messages, so you don't have to manage them one at a time.

Reading Messages

To read one of your messages, tap it in the left pane. It will open on the right, where you can access several other options (including delete, reply, and more).

If your inbox is particularly full, you may need to scroll up and down in the left pane to view all of your messages.

Icons on the top, right, working left to right:

Flag or Mark as Unread
Use this icon to flag the current message as spam, or mark it as unread.

Move to Folder
Here, you can move the current message to another folder.

Delete or Archive
To delete the current message, use this icon. If your email service supports archiving, the Mail app will default to archiving instead.

Reply, Forward, or Print
Use the arrow icon to reply or forward the current message. You can even print the message if your device is connected to a printer.

Compose New Message
Tap this icon to compose a new message. The new message screen and the keyboard will open automatically.

Insider Tips

Once you know your way around the app, consider these tips for getting the most out of Mail.

Receiving Messages

If you receive a new message, and you don't currently have the app open, your device can notify you several different ways depending on your settings. By default, you should see at least the badge app icon whenever you have a new message waiting. That’s the small, red circle with a number in it.

Visit the app's settings to customize your notifications, or set up even more alerts.

Adding Another Email Account

If you have more than one email account—for example, one for personal use, and one for work—you can add them both to the Mail app. This will make it possible for you to access all of your email in one convenient place, even if they're from completely different services.

To get started, navigate to Mail, Contacts, and Calendars in your device's settings, then choose Add Account. Follow the instructions to enter your information, and your second email account will be synced. You can add as many additional accounts as you want.

In our next edition: Siri and Voice Dictation

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Websites of Interest:

Complete Guide to Gmail
Master the important and useful features of Google’s Gmail
http://www.howtogeek.com/school/gmail-guide/lesson1/

Fast Recipes
Quick and easy home cooking guides and thousands of recipes from countries around the world.
http://www.fastrecipes.com

Egg Timer
Use it like an egg timer or a count down timer
http://e.ggtimer.com

PC Webopedia
Dedicated to explaining the computer world, PC Webopedia is a fantastic glossary of terms and a quick reference for learning hardware and software terminology.
http://www.webopedia.com/