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Welcome to this week's edition of the Computer Kindergarten Newsletter.
Today is Sunday, September 21, 2014

In this Issue:
Special Feature: Five Ways to Protect Your Credit Card Information
Special Feature: Customizing the Windows 8.1 Desktop – Using Themes
Special Feature: Intro to the Mac - Mac OS X Mavericks - Working with Finder
Today's Topic: Windows 7 – Open Web Pages Right From the Taskbar
Special Feature: iPad Basics - Apps for Everyday Tasks – Safari
Websites of Interest: Rosh Hashanah; Where to Print Those Vacation Photos; September is World Alzheimer's Month; Long Island Fall Fun Guide

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Special Feature: Five Ways to Protect Your Credit Card Information

From Associated Press

Data breaches at retailers aren't going away but there are ways consumers can protect themselves from future heists of their payment card information.

Home Depot said Thursday that malicious software lurking in its check-out terminals between April and September affected 56 million debit and credit cards that customers swiped at its stores. Target, Michaels and Neiman Marcus have also been attacked by hackers in the past year.

More breaches are likely. The Department of Homeland Security Department warned last month that more than 1,000 retailers could have malware in their cash-register computers.

Here are five ways to protect yourself:

1. Consider another Way to Pay

Try newer ways to pay, such as PayPal or Apple Pay. "Any technology that avoids you having your credit card in your hand in a store is safer," says Craig Young, security researcher for software maker Tripwire. Those services store your credit card information and it's not given to the retailer when you make a payment. Many big retailers, including Home Depot, accept PayPal at their stores, but many others don't. Apple Pay, which was only introduced this month, has even more limitations: It is available in just a small number of stores so far and only people with an iPhone 6 can use it.

Stored-value cards or apps, such as the ones used at coffee chains Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, are also a safer bet, says Gartner security analyst Avivah Litan. That's because they don't expose credit card information at the register.

2. Sign It, Don't Pin It

If you're planning on paying with a debit card, sign for your purchase instead of typing in your personal identification number at the cash register. You can do this by asking the cashier to process the card as a credit card or select credit card on the display. Not entering you PIN into a keypad will help reduce the chances of a hacker stealing that number too, Young says. Crooks can do more damage with your PIN, possibly printing a copy of the card and taking money out of an ATM, he says. During Target's breach last year, the discount retailer said hackers gained access to customers' PINs. Home Depot, however, said there was no indication that PINs were compromised in the breach at its stores.

3. Beware Of Email Scammers

After big data breaches are exposed, and get a lot of media attention, scammers come out of the woodwork looking to steal personal information. Some emails may mention Home Depot or offer free credit monitoring, but you should never click on the links. Many are for fake sites that try to steal bank information or passwords. "Avoid these entirely," Young says. If an email looks credible, go to Home Depot's site directly instead of clicking on links.

4. Keep Up With Statements

Scan credit card statements every month for any unauthorized charges. And keep an eye out for smaller charges. Thieves will charge smaller amounts to test to see if you notice and then charge a larger amount later, Litan says. They may also steal a small amount from millions of accounts, scoring a big payday, she says.

And check your credit report for any accounts that crooks may have opened in your name. Credit reports are available for free, from each of the three national credit reporting agencies -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion -- every 12 months from AnnualCreditReport.com. Home Depot is also offering free credit monitoring and identity protection services to customers. Customers can go to the company's website for more information or call them at 800-466-3337.

5. Go Old School

Use cash. When possible, the safest bet is to not swipe a card at all. Even if security gets stronger at stores, hackers are likely to figure out a way around it. "It's always a cat and mouse game," Young says.

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Special Feature: Customizing the Windows 8.1 Desktop – Using Themes

From microsoft.com

In Windows, you can use themes to help make your desktop feel a little more personal. Themes change the desktop background, window border color, sounds and screen saver on your PC all at once, and you can switch between themes as often as you like. You can also create your own themes and share them with friends and family.

What is a Theme?

A theme is a combination of pictures, colors and sounds. Themes include:

A desktop background. A picture, color or design that acts as a backdrop to the open windows on your desktop. The desktop background can be a single picture or a slide show. You can choose from the desktop background pictures that come with Windows, or you can use your own pictures.

A window border color. The color of your window borders and taskbar. A theme can include one specific window border color, or a color can be chosen automatically based on the colors in the desktop background picture.

Sounds. A collection of related sounds that you hear when events happen on your PC. An event can be an action that you do, like signing in to your PC, or something that your PC does, like letting you know when you get a new email.

A screen saver. A moving picture or pattern that appears on your PC screen when you haven't used the mouse or keyboard for a certain period of time. The screen saver is turned off in the themes that come with Windows, but you can turn it on and add one to a theme.

You can find all of your themes in Personalization in Control Panel. Tap or click any theme to apply it to your desktop.

Open Personalization by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the top-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, then clicking Search), entering Personalization in the search box, tapping or clicking Settings, then tapping or clicking Personalization.

Tip - On the desktop, you can press and hold or right-click the desktop, then tap or click Personalize to open Personalization.

In Personalization in Control Panel, there are four types of themes.

My Themes. Themes that you've created, made changes to, saved or downloaded. Any time you change a theme, the new settings appear here as an unsaved theme.

Windows Default Themes. Windows themes that you can use to personalize your PC. Most of them include a desktop background slide show.

Installed Themes. Themes that were created by your PC manufacturer or other non-Microsoft providers.

High Contrast Themes. Themes that make items on your screen easier to see. The High Contrast themes don't include automatic window border colors or desktop background slideshows.

 

In our next newsletter: Windows 8.1 – More Options from the Start Button

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Special Feature: Intro to the Mac - Mac OS X Mavericks - Working with Finder

From gcflearnfree.org

Working with Finder

If you use a Mac, you'll use Finder any time you want to navigate to a file. You'll also be able to control how your files are displayed, making it easier to find what you need.

The Finder Window

To start navigating, you'll first need to open a Finder window. There are two main ways to do this:

Double-click any folder on the desktop.
or
Click the Finder icon on the Dock.

The Finder window is divided into three main parts: The contents of the current folder; the Sidebar, which you can use to choose a location; and the Toolbar, where you can customize the way the contents are displayed.

Your Home Folder

In the Finder sidebar, you will see shortcuts to folders that have names like Documents, Downloads, Music, and Pictures. These folders are part of your account's home folder. To keep your files organized, you may want to use these folders instead of putting everything on the desktop. If you don't see all of these folders in the sidebar, you can open your home folder to view them.

To Open Your Home Folder:

Make sure that you are in Finder (the left side of the menu bar should say "Finder").
In the menu bar, click Go and select Home.

Your home folder will open in a Finder window.

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Today's Topic: Windows 7 – Open Web Pages Right From the Taskbar

If you use the Internet a lot, you probably have to search for the Internet Explorer (or Firefox or Chrome) shortcut buried under some other window or in the Start menu, open it and then and enter your destination address in the address bar.

Windows 7 can save you some steps by letting you install a miniature address bar right in the taskbar. When you type an address into it, it launches a browser window and goes directly to that site. So, for example, if you want to visit www.computerkindergarten.com, you can type just computerkindergarten in this mini-address bar, then press Ctrl + Enter. The browser will autofill the “www.” and the “.com,” just like it would in your main browser window.

This isn’t active by default, though. To set it up, right-click on the taskbar, and choose Properties to open the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog. Click the Toolbars tab on the top and then check Address. Click the OK button.

You’ll now see the miniature address bar in the taskbar.

Enter a Web address, and Windows 7 will launch a browser window, already headed to your Web destination. Of course, this is Microsoft here, so this works by default with Internet Explorer, assuming that IE is set as your default browser. If you want to use the taskbar address window with another browser, you’ll have to set that one as your default.

In our next newsletter: How to Change Your Default Browser

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Read Past Issues of this Newsletter Online

You can now read past issues of this newsletter at our website:
http://www.computerkindergarten.com/

Click on the This Week's Edition link on the left.

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Special Feature: iPad Basics - Apps for Everyday Tasks - Safari

From gcflearnfree.org and Jeff Benjamin of idownloadblog.com

Apps for Everyday Tasks

The iPad comes with several different apps that can help you with the things you do every day. Depending on your lifestyle and personality, this could include almost anything. Maybe you like to spend a lot of time online... maybe you need an app that'll help you keep track of to-dos. No matter what, Apple has you covered with the apps below.

Safari for browsing the web
Calendar for managing your schedule
Reminders for staying on top of important tasks
And other tools like Notes, Maps, and Passbook

Best of all, these apps are available for other Apple devices too—including the iPhone, iPod Touch, and Mac.

Have More Than One Apple Device?

There are many benefits to using these apps if you have more than one Apple device. They're designed specifically so you can open the same app anywhere (on your iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, or Mac), and still experience the same look, feel, and functionality. All of your information will be there too, including your bookmarks, browser history, meetings, to-dos, and more.

Safari

Safari is a web browser that comes built into the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Mac. It's what you'll use to access the internet on your device, using familiar features like the address bar, search bar, and navigation buttons.

Safari lets you do all the things you're used to doing with your web browser, but when you sync with iCloud, you can do even more. For example, you can access your bookmarks on any device. You can even sync your open tabs, so you can seamlessly switch back and forth between all the devices you own.

Have More Than One Apple Device?

Use iCloud to sync the Safari app. To find out if you already have it enabled, visit your device's iCloud settings. Remember, you have to configure each device separately.

The Safari browser has undergone a complete overhaul, and as a result, it’s significantly more usable. As third party browsers continue to gain in popularity on the platform, Apple has responded with a renovated Safari that is leaps and bounds better than its predecessor in many ways.

In this in-depth walkthrough, we guide you through every facet of Safari. We show you how to get more out of Apple’s browser.

Basics

Navigation

When Google released its Chrome browser, it did away with the concept of having multiple input boxes, instead deciding to merge them into one “omnibox.” After using Chrome, it feels very antiquated when you use a browser that still designates separate duties to the boxes, and Apple realizes this. For that reason, Apple has gone on to merge both boxes into one Safari.

After you type in a normal address and tap go, the desired web page should load as normal. When you start to scroll down the page the address bar will zoom out and reduce in size, and the buttons at the bottom of the page will disappear. This allows for more visible page content.

Fortunately, Apple’s engineers were wise enough to allow users to quickly input content into the search bar without scrolling back to the top of the page. A simple tap of the status bar/address bar area yields its full sized version.

Safari will also display the full address bar and buttons when you perform a hard scroll back towards the top of the page, or when you reach the bottom of the page and the rubber banding animation begins. If you scroll up a page slowly — as when carefully reading — Safari will keep its interface hidden to encourage reading. It’s pretty slick how the whole thing works.

 

The only real potential downside I can see to this new methodology is for users who use the “scroll to top” gesture often. When you tap the status bar in iOS 6, the page automatically scrolls to the top as a means to quickly get back to the top of the page. When the address bar is reduced in iOS 7, a tap of the status bar will enable the full status bar instead of scrolling to the top. You’ll then have to tap the status bar again in order to engage the “scroll to top” gesture.

Ultimately, this is a much better use of screen real estate when comparing iOS 6 to iOS 7. Although some may reason that iOS 6 is superior in the way it handles page scrolling, because it completely hides the address bar, iOS 7 has two clear advantages:

First, iOS 7 keeps a minimized status bar, so that you always know what page you’re on when browsing content in Safari. Second, because the buttons are now hidden in the iOS 7 version, you actually gain more real estate in Safari on iOS 7, despite the presence of the reduced address bar!
Keyboard shortcuts

Some users might panic when they see that iOS 7 lacks the handy .COM button present in iOS 6. This button allowed users to quickly input popular top level domains. Taping it once inserted the ubiquitous .COM, while tapping and holding the button presented options for other TLDs like .net, .edu, .org, etc.

In iOS 7, there is no dedicated .COM button, but the functionality is still there in some sorts. While it’s true that there is no dedicated .COM button, the period button now acts as its replacement. Tapping and holding the period button will present a list of all of the popular TLDs.

Since .com is by far the most popular TLD, a tap-hold-quick release gesture will quickly allow you to insert .TLD with little delay. True, it’s not as fast as having a dedicated .COM button as in iOS 6, but the need for that probably isn’t as large as you think it is, especially with Safari’s revamped combined search/address box.
Tabs

If you’ve used Safari on iOS prior to iOS 7, then you’ll know exactly what to do. In fact, if you’ve ever used a modern web browser on a mobile device or on a desktop, then it should still feel second nature.

Upon launching Safari, you’ll see the address bar at the top of the page, and a set of buttons at the bottom of the page. In the mobile versions of Safari, there’s no concept of a “Home page” like there is on desktop browsers. In other words, it’s just a blank page when you open a new tab.

What is new in iOS 7, however, is the ability to view your bookmarks when opening new tabs. If you have Safari synced to your iCloud account, then the bookmarks found in the bookmarks bar on the desktop version of Safari, will be found on each new tab opened.

What’s even better is the fact that the bookmarks are updated on the fly when you change them on the desktop version of Safari and vice versa. For instance, if I delete a bookmark from the bookmarks bar on the OS X version of Safari, the bookmark will disappear from the new tabs page on the iOS version a few seconds later. If I rearrange the order of the folders on the mobile version of Safari, the order of the folders will shortly thereafter reflect the new positioning on the desktop version’s bookmarks bar.

While on the bookmarks page, you can easily rearrange the order of the bookmarks by performing a tap and hold gesture.

Whereas the incumbent iOS 6 could only display 2-3 tabs at the same time (and even that’s a stretch), iOS 7 can display 5-6 tabs at the same time due to its new rolodex inspired interface.

Gestures also play a role in tab management. While in tab view, there are two gestures are available. The first gesture is a tap and hold gesture that allows you to rearrange the tab order.

The second gesture is a left-flick gesture that allows you to remove a tab. You can, of course, also tap the ‘x’ button in the upper left-hand corner of a tab to remove it as well.

In our next newsletter: Bookmarks

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Websites of Interest:

Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset on Wednesday, September 24. Learn all about the holiday at this website.
http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday2.htm

Where to Print Those Vacation Photos
From the New York Times, this writer compares some of the popular photo printing services.
http://tinyurl.com/ldnwy4s

September is World Alzheimer's Month
From the Alzheimer's Association, learn more about this terrible disease and what you can do to help.
http://tinyurl.com/m7jfztc

Long Island Fall Fun Guide
From longisland.com, get into the fall spirit with festivals, fairs, and live music.
http://www.longisland.com/fall.html