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Welcome to this week's edition of the Computer Kindergarten Newsletter.
Today is Sunday, October 27, 2013

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Please have a mammogram or take someone you love to have one.

In this Issue:
Special Feature: What's Wrong with Using Public Wi-Fi?
Tips & Tricks: Top 25 Most Popular Anti-Spam Tips, Tricks and Secrets: Whether or Not to Unsubscribe from Spam
Special Series: Windows 8 - Getting Started with Windows 8
This Week's Topic: Exploring Windows 7
Special Feature: iPad Basics - Apps for Everyday Tasks – Calendar
Websites of Interest: HAPPY HALLOWEEN !!


Special Feature: What's Wrong with Using Public Wi-Fi?

By Whitson Gordon of lifehacker.com

Many of us put a lot of effort into finding free Wi-Fi, but public Wi-Fi networks have their own share of problems—particularly that it's very insecure. Even if a Wi-Fi network has a password, that doesn't keep you safe from other people on the network. It's notoriously easy for any of them to see what you're doing and, in some cases, steal personal information or passwords. Luckily, there's a lot you can do to stay safe: follow this guide whenever you're on a public network, and you should be a-ok.

Starbucks and many other places offer free Wi-Fi to all customers. Whether you're clicking connect on Starbucks' Wi-Fi or some other unsecured, public Wi-Fi network, here's how to stay safe and secure while surfing a public hotspot.

Just because most wireless routers have a firewall to protect you from the internet doesn't mean you're protected from others connected to the same network. Lots of wireless hotspots these days are completely unencrypted, usually so they're easier to connect to (baristas don't need to be giving out the internet password to everyone who walks in). However, this leaves you unprotected against malicious users in the same coffee shop, so there are a few settings you should always make sure to tweak when you're connected to a public network. We're going to show you which settings are the most important ones, as well as how to automatically change your settings to the appropriate level of security every time you connect to a public network.

Turn Off Sharing

When you're at home, you may share files, printers, or even allow remote login from other computers on your network. When you're on a public network, you'll want to turn these things off, as anyone can access them—they don't even need to be a hacker, and depending on your setup, some of that stuff probably isn't even password protected. Here's how to turn off sharing:

In Windows: Open your Control Panel, then browse to Network and Internet -> Network and Sharing Center, then click Choose Homegroup and Sharing Options -> Change Advanced Sharing Settings. Once here, you should definitely turn off file and printer sharing, and you may as well turn off network discovery and Public folder sharing.

In Mac OS X: Go to System Preferences -> Sharing and make sure all the boxes are unchecked.

You'll also want to turn off network discovery, which will be in the same place. This will prevent others from even seeing your machine on the network, meaning you're less likely to be targeted. On Windows (as I mentioned), it's just another check box under advanced sharing settings. On OS X, it will be called "stealth mode" and be under your firewall's advanced settings.

Enable Your Firewall

Most OSes come with at least a basic firewall nowadays, and it's a simple step to keeping unwanted local users from poking at your computer. You may already be using a firewall, but just in case, go into your security settings (in Windows under Control Panel -> System and Security -> Windows Firewall; and on Mac under System Preferences -> Security -> Firewall) and make sure your firewall is turned on. You can also edit which applications are allowed access by clicking on "allow a program or feature" in Windows and "advanced" in OS X. Your firewall is not an end-all, be-all protector, but it's always a good idea to make sure it's turned on.

Use SSL Whenever Possible

Regular web site connections over HTTP exchange lots of plain text over the wireless network you're connected to, and someone with the right skills and bad intent can sniff out that traffic. It's not that big of a deal when the text is some search terms you entered at Lifehacker, but it is a big deal when it's the password to your email account. Using HTTPS (for visiting web sites) or enabling SSL (when using applications that access the internet, such as a mail client) encrypts the data passed back and forth between your computer and that web server and keep it away from prying eyes.

Some sites will do it automatically, but keep an eye on the address bar and make sure the "s" in "https" is always there when you're exchanging sensitive information. If it disappears, you should log out immediately. Note that if the sensitive browsing can wait, you might as well just do it at home—no reason in risking more than you have to. Other sites will default to HTTP connections, but support HTTPS if you manually type it in. Gmail, for example, will allow you to log in using HTTPS, and you can specify in your Gmail Settings whether you want it to use HTTPS automatically in the future. (Go to Settings, find the Browser connection setting, and set to Always use https.)

If you access your email from a desktop client such as Outlook or Mail.app, You'll want to make sure that your accounts are SSL encrypted in their settings. If not, people could not only theoretically read your emails, but also get your usernames, passwords, or anything else they wanted. You'll need to make sure your domain supports it, and sometimes the setup might require different settings or ports—it's not just a matter of checking the "use SSL" box—so check your email account's help page for more details. If it doesn't support SSL, make sure you quit the application when you're on an insecure public network.

Turn It Off When You're Not Using It

If you want to guarantee your security and you're not actively using the internet, simply turn off your Wi-Fi. This is extremely easy in both Mac and Windows. On a Mac, just click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar and select the turn off AirPort option. On Windows, you can just right-click on the wireless icon in the taskbar to turn it off. Again, this isn't all that useful if you need the internet, but when you're not actively using it, it's not a bad idea to just turn it off for the time being. The longer you stay connected, the longer people have to notice you're there and start snooping around.

These steps should give you a good quick checklist of things you should do every time you connect to a public network.


Tips & Tricks: Top 25 Most Popular Anti-Spam Tips, Tricks and Secrets: Whether or Not to Unsubscribe from 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.

Spam is best filtered away, never to be seen.

Once in a while, junk email may make it to your email inbox, though, and — lo and behold — it contains an "unsubscribe" link. Or is it a purported "unsubscribe" link?
A Wasted Effort?

Generally, the content of spam is not to be believed, and that applies to all promises to take you off the list as well. From that avenue, unsubscribing from spam is wasted effort better to be spared elsewhere.

What Could Happen if You "Unsubscribe"?

Then, of course, you're already getting the spam. If you follow the unsubscription instructions that are easy to follow, you can be taken off one spammer's list — or at least you're not off much worse. (Take care not to be tricked into giving away any data other than your email address.)
Be Nice to Newsletters You Don't Like (Any Longer)

Finally, there's the chance that what you not think is spam looked like a nice newsletter to sign up for seven years ago. If you use the unsubscription method offered instead of reporting the email as junk, you spare the publisher and your email provider a lot of hassle, and you make spam filtering much more effective.


In our next edition: Mail with "ADV" in the Subject is Spam


Special Series: Windows 8 - Getting Started with Windows 8

From gcflearnfree.org

Windows 8 can be confusing at first, since the interface has changed so much. You'll need to know how to navigate the Start screen as well as the Desktop. Although the Desktop looks very similar to previous versions of Windows, it has one major change: The Start menu has been removed.

In this lesson, we'll show you how to navigate Windows 8.

To Sign In to Windows 8:
When you're setting up Windows 8, it will require you to create an account name and password that you will use to sign in. You can also create additional accounts, and you'll have the option of associating each one with a Microsoft account.

Click anywhere on the lock screen to unlock the computer.

Your user account name and picture will appear. Type your password and then press Enter to sign in. Alternatively, you can press the back arrow to select a different user.

The Start screen will appear.

Navigating Windows 8
There are several ways to navigate through Windows 8, including hot corners, keyboard shortcuts, and gestures if you're using a tablet.

Using Hot Corners
Whether you're in the Start screen or the Desktop, you can navigate through Windows 8 by using hot corners. To use a hot corner, just hover the mouse in the corner of the screen, and it will open a toolbar or tile that you can click. Each corner performs a different task:

Lower left: When you're using an app, you can click in the lower-left corner to switch back to the Start screen.

Upper left: If you click in the upper-left corner, it will switch to the previous app that you were using.

Upper right or lower right: You can hover the mouse in the upper-right or lower-right corner to open the Charms bar, which you'll use to adjust your computer's settings, manage printers, and more. We'll talk more about the Charms bar later in this lesson.

If you have several apps open, you can switch between them by hovering the mouse in the upper-left corner and then moving the mouse down. This displays a list of all of your open apps, and you can click the desired app to switch to it.

Navigating on a Tablet
If you have a Windows 8 tablet, you can navigate by using swipe gestures instead of hot corners:

Swipe in from left edge lets you switch to a different open app.
Swipe in from right edge opens the Charms bar.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts to Navigate
Windows 8 has several keyboard shortcuts that you can use to navigate more easily:

Alt+Tab: You can hold down the Alt key and then press Tab one or more times to switch between your open apps. This feature is called Flip, and it works in both Desktop view and the Start screen.

Windows: When you have an app open, you can press the Windows key to switch to the Start screen. This shortcut also lets you switch back to the Start screen when you are in Desktop view.

Windows+D: You can hold down the Windows key and press D to switch to Desktop view.


In our next newsletter: The Charms Bar

You can review all of our previous Windows 8 articles on our website.

Do you have a question about Windows 8 that we haven’t covered yet? Please email your question and we’ll cover it in a future newsletter article.


Today's Topic: Exploring Windows 7

From gcflearnfree.org

Are you trying to learn more about your Windows 7 computer? Or perhaps you want to buy a new computer and are trying to decide if you want to go to Windows 7 or 8. (For more information on Windows 8, please see our article above.) With these questions in mind, we explored Windows 7 and would like to share what we found with you.

In this lesson, we will compare Windows 7 with previous Vista and XP operating systems. In addition, we will discuss performance improvements and review the major features.

What is Windows 7?

Windows 7 is an operating system that Microsoft has produced for use on personal computers. It is the follow-up to the Windows Vista Operating System which was released in 2006. An operating system allows your computer to manage software and perform essential tasks. It is also a Graphical User Interface (GUI) that allows you to visually interact with your computer’s functions in a logical, fun and easy way.

For example, in Windows 7 you can view two windows side by side by using the Aero Snap feature. This feature automatically sizes or snaps two windows to fit together on the screen thus allowing you the convenience of viewing them next to each other.

How is Windows 7 Different from Vista or XP?

Based on their customer feedback, Microsoft is promoting that it has simplified the PC experience by making a lot of functions easier to use, such as better previewing on the Task Bar, instant searching for files or media and easy sharing via HomeGroup networking. They also claim improved performance by supporting 64-bit processing which is increasingly the standard in desktop PCs. In addition, Windows 7 is designed to sleep and resume faster, use up less memory and recognize USB devices faster. There are also new possibilities with media streaming and touchscreen capabilities.

The above are improvements for both the Vista and XP users. If you are already a Vista user then the improvements to Windows 7 are going to be more subtle. Vista users are likely already familiar with features like the Aero visual functions, the Start Menu organization and Search. However, if you are currently using XP, then you may require a bit of an adjustment period.

Improvements for both Vista and XP Users

New Taskbar and System Tray
Quick Desktop View button
Improved Start Up, Sleep and Resume performance
Improved power management saves memory and battery life
Libraries to improve file access and organization
Action Center for system maintenance, back ups, troubleshooting and more
User Account customization of notifications
Improved back up
New wallpapers and themes
Improved gadgets
New premium games include Chess Titans, Mahjong Titans and Inkball
Advanced Calculator functions including saving history
Improved networking via HomeGroups
Passkey protection with networks
Device Stage for recognizing USB devices faster
Windows Mail replaced by Windows Live

Changes and improvements from Windows XP only

New Start Icon
Aero Snap, Shake and Peek
Desktop icons like “Computer” and “My Documents” are removed and accessed through the Start Menu
Larger icons and hidden icons in the Taskbar
Quick Launch toolbar has been replaced by pinning a program to the Taskbar
Jump Lists for easier access
A Search Bar in the Start Up Menu
The "Run" command is accessed through the Start Menu's Search Bar
Faster and smoother gaming components
Parental Controls for monitoring computer use
Update feature that eliminates web surfing for patches

What Can You Do on Windows 7?

Aero is an interface that makes your visual interactions with the desktop fun and easy.

Aero Peek makes your open windows transparent so you may see your desktop. It also allows you to peek at items in your taskbar for a thumbnail preview.
Aero Snap is a quick way to resize your windows to make them easier to read, organize and compare.
Aero Flip allows you to preview all your open windows from a central window or 3D view that you can flip through.
Aero Shake allows you to take your mouse and shake only the open window you want to focus on and the rest will disappear.


The taskbar is now more convenient to use with larger views and easier access.

Jump Lists allow you to right click on an icon in the taskbar and immediately access items like music, videos or web pages that you use on a regular basis.
Pin allows you to place programs on the taskbar and rearrange the order of the icons as you wish.
Action Center allows you to control the alerts and pop-ups you receive regarding maintenance and security.


Search Results

As soon as you start typing in the Search bar of the Start Menu you will instantly see a list of relevant options grouped by categories with highlighted keywords and text. This allows you to easily scan for the documents, music, pictures and email you are looking for.


Libraries allow you to organize your files in one place so they are easy to search and access.

Windows 7 has four default Libraries for documents, music, pictures and videos, however you can customize and create your own Libraries based on your needs.


You can select or download gadgets such as a slide show, calendar or weather update to add to your desktop. The live updates of some gadgets like weather, stocks and feed headlines are quite convenient.


By now, you should have a better idea of what Windows 7 and 8 are about. Now you can start considering which operating system will be a good choice for you. It is important to note this: even with all the listed differences between Windows 7, XP and Vista, Windows 7 is still similar to XP and Vista; Windows 8 is drastically different.


Special Feature: iPad Basics - Apps for Everyday Tasks – Calendar

From gcflearnfree.org and macworld.com

Note: please visit our newsletter’s website
For instructions on how to upgrade to iOS 7:


You can use the Calendar app to manage your schedule by adding meetings, appointments, and other events—all in an environment that's flexible and easy-to-use. The app comes with several useful features, including alerts for important events.

You can even sync the app with other calendars; for example, your calendar in Google, Yahoo!, Outlook, and more. That way, you can add, edit, and delete events all in one place, without having to keep track of more than one calendar.

Getting to Know Calendar

Like most of iOS 7, Calendar gets a minimalist makeover in the latest update. That means emphasis on lighter interface elements, thinner text, and a general lack of adornments.

Even the icon gets a rework, losing the old desk calendar look in favor of a simple day-of-the-week and date display. But the app also gets some other functional and aesthetic changes that users might welcome.

The interface is similar to the iOS 6 iteration, with a toolbar of view modes that include Day, Week, Month, and Year. The day view presents a side-by-side look at the day’s events, plus a detailed view of the currently selected event.

Along the bottom of Calendar’s main interface are three buttons that let you quickly jump to the current day in whatever view you’re in, see a list of all your available calendars, and summon an inbox of any newly received event invitations—and in a first for iOS, you can see previous invitations to which you’ve already replied. That screen also lets you view an event or change your current response quickly and easily.

To Create a New Calendar Event

Tap the plus (+) button, or press and hold a time slot on your calendar.

The event details will appear. Add as much or as little information as you want. Remember to tap Done when you're finished.

Calendar Alerts

If you've set up an alert for one of your calendar events, your device can notify you several different ways depending on your settings. By default, you should receive at least a pop-up alert. Visit the app's settings to customize your notifications, or set up even more alerts.

Adding New Calendars

If you're an especially busy person, you may want to create separate calendars for the different things that occupy your time. For example, you could create a calendar for work, or a calendar for keeping track of your personal schedule. Each calendar will be color-coded in the app, so you can easily tell them apart.

To create a new calendar, tap Edit under Calendars. Then choose Add Calendar, and follow the app's instructions.


If you have Siri on your device, it works well with the Calendar app. Try asking it to create events for you, instead of performing the task yourself. For example, you could say, "Add book club meeting next Saturday on the 24th at 2:00." Siri will transcribe the event (including the date and time), and also add it to the app.


In our next newsletter: iPad Basics - Apps for Everyday Tasks - Reminders

You can review all of our previous iPad articles on our website.

Do you have a question about your iPad that we haven’t covered yet? Please email your question and we’ll cover it in a future newsletter article.


Websites of Interest:


Visit Everything Halloween for costume ideas, decorations, games, stories and more.

Keep your dog out of harm's way this Halloween with these important safety tips:

Dress up your decorations and invitations with fun Halloween fonts

Find recipes for pumpkins, cookies, cakes and treats.


History of the Jack O'Lantern

Extreme Pumpkin Carving

Halloween History and Customs