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Welcome to this week's edition of the Computer Kindergarten Newsletter.
Today is Sunday, November 10, 2013

From all of us at Sharper Training Solutions, thank you to all who have served our country. Happy Veteran’s Day!

In this Issue:
Special Feature: How to Boost Your Phishing Scam Detection Skills
Tips & Tricks: Top 25 Most Popular Anti-Spam Tips, Tricks and Secrets: Don't Use "This is Spam" to Unsubscribe
Special Series: Windows 8 - Coping without the Start Menu
This Week's Topic: Back to Basics: Learn to Use Keyboard Shortcuts
Question: Special Feature: iPad Basics - Apps for Everyday Tasks – Notes
Websites of Interest: Veteran’s Day; Laptops Worth Buying This Holiday Season; The Best Apps to Manage Your Recipe Collection; You Know You Are a Baby Boomer If...; Thanksgiving Decorations


Special Feature: How to Boost Your Phishing Scam Detection Skills

From lifehacker.com

Some spam is obvious ("I lost 30 pounds and made $24356 in five hours by taking this special pill!"), but other messages are more subtle. A lot of spam relies on "phishing," in which a spammer will try to make their email look like it's coming from a legitimate source in order to get your information. They may tell you to click a link that looks like it's going to paypal.com, but really goes to their PayPal-disguised site where you willingly type in your information.

Phishing scams—the ones that try to get you to provide private information by masquerading as a legitimate company—can be easy to uncover with a skeptical eye, but some can easily get you when you let your guard down for just a second. Here's how you can boost your phishing detection skills and protect yourself during those times when you're not at full attention.

What You Can Do

The way most phishing scams find victims is through email, but sometimes you'll come across a phishing site in the wild as well. Either way, here are the basic principles you want to follow to keep a cautious eye out for these malicious traps.

Phishing scams are designed to look like official emails and web sites from actual companies, but they aren't actually those things—they're just imitations. Because the emails and web sites are imitations they'll probably look a little different from what you'd expect in general, but more importantly those sites can't have the same URL as the web site they're pretending to because they are different sites. To check the URL, just hover of the link you're thinking of clicking. At the bottom of your window you should see the URL displayed. Once you do that, you have to figure out if it is a good URL or a bad URL.

Using PayPal as an example, you'll generally see http://www.paypal.com as part of the URL. Sometimes you'll see something like http://subdomain.paypal.com as well. Both of these URLs are okay, because they end in paypal.com. A phishing URL, however, might look something like this: http://paypal.someotherdomain.com. In this case, "paypal" is attached to another domain name (someotherdomain.com). URLs like this are the ones you want to avoid.

Always Go Direct

The best thing you can do to avoid phishing scams is always go directly to the web site you want to visit rather than clicking a link. This way you don't have to figure out if the URL is safe or not because you'll be using a URL in your bookmarks (or your brain) that you already know is safe. Doing this can also help protect you from phishing scams when you let your guard down because you'll be in the habit of visiting sites directly rather than clicking links.

I fell for a phishing scam once when I read the email right after I woke up in the morning. It was from my bank and they'd sent me a lot of verification notices lately since I'd been traveling and using my debit card all over the place. When I got another one, I didn't even think about it because I'd just woken up. I went to the site, filled in my info, and then immediately realized I'd just provided that information to a phishing scam site. I called the bank to let them know right away and got a new card, but had I changed my default behavior to calling the bank or visiting the bank's web site this probably wouldn't have happened. Of course, that's what I do now and it hasn't been a problem since.

What Your Browser Can Do For You

Detecting phishing scams on your own mainly require the mild paranoia and the behavioral adjustment described above, but there are a few other things you can do to make your everyday browsing safer.

One great feature of many web browsers is the autofill feature. It makes it really easy to fill out forms using information already stored in the browser. It also makes it easy for you to ignore the form you're filling out and just submit it, causing you to potentially miss a phishing scam when you're rushing through the process. While this precaution isn't necessary, and you might prefer the convenience of autofill to the safety benefits that deactivating it can provide, turning it off will provide a little added protection.

Utilize Your Browser's Built-In Tools

Most browsers come with some phishing protection built-in to help protect you, but it isn't always enable by default. Google Chrome keeps track of common phishing sites and can alert you when you visit one, but you may need to go through the short setup process to make it work. Firefox also offers phishing and malware protection in a similar way, and you can enable it in the Security section of Firefox's preferences.


Tips & Tricks: Top 25 Most Popular Anti-Spam Tips, Tricks and Secrets: Don't Use "This is Spam" to Unsubscribe

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.

Many email services like AOL, Gmail, MSN Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail let you report spam using an easy to use This is Spam button.

The This is Spam button is not only easy to use, it is also quite effective. The emails you report are used to tweak the spam filters so that they catch the type of email you reported in the future.
Don't Use This is Spam to Unsubscribe

This efficiency is the reason why you should make sure you

* use the This is Spam button only for spam.

In particular, reporting newsletters you have once signed up for but do not want to receive any more can have negative consequences:

* Others who have signed up for the same newsletter (and still want it) may not receive it any more because it's filtered away since you reported it as spam.

* The opposite is also true: others may report your favorite newsletter using the This is Spam button and you may suddenly stop receiving it.

* If the This is Spam button is used for lots of legitimate emails, the email service providers may get more hesitant about implementing any changes based on user submissions.

In our next edition: Spam is Named After Monty Python's Spam Skit


Special Series: Windows 8 - Coping Without the Start Menu

From gcflearnfree.org

One of the biggest complaints about Windows 8 is that it doesn't have a Start menu. The Start menu was a very important feature in previous versions of Windows, as it was used to launch apps, search for files, open the Control Panel, and shut down the computer. You can still do all of these things in Windows 8, but they're now found in different places.

To Launch an App:
There are several ways to open an app in Windows 8:

Click the app icon on the taskbar.
Double-click the app shortcut on the Desktop.
Click the app tile in the Start screen.

To view all of your apps, right-click the Start screen background and select All apps.

To Search for a File or App:
Press the Windows key to switch to the Start screen, and then type what you're looking for. Your search results will instantly appear on the left side of the screen, and search options will appear on the right.

To Open the Control Panel:
1. From the Desktop view, hover the mouse in the lower-right corner to access the Charms bar, then select Settings.
2. Locate and select Control Panel from the Settings Pane.
3. The Control Panel will appear. You can then select the desired setting to change it.

To Shut Down Your Computer:
1. Hover the mouse in the lower-right corner to access the Charms bar, then select Settings.
2. Click Power and select Shut down.


In our next newsletter: Working with Start Screen Apps

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: Back to Basics: Learn to Use Keyboard Shortcuts

From lifehacker.com

Keyboard shortcuts are the easiest way to do things faster, but with the wide variety of software we all use it's hard to remember all the different shortcuts. In turn, even though we all know shortcuts are useful, few of us bother using them. Here's how to learn to make use of shortcuts, ranging from the beginner to expert.

Why Keyboard Shortcuts Make You Faster at Everything

You've probably heard about keyboard shortcuts, and you've heard keyboard nuts talking about how they're so much faster than using a mouse. The truth is, keyboard shortcuts are great and fast. But that's not the whole story. Coding Horror's Jeff Atwood lays out the truth:

I've long been an advocate of two-fisted computing—using both your keyboard and your mouse to the fullest. That's what keyboard shortcuts are to me. I'm not sure why this always has to be spun as a cage match between the keyboard and the mouse. Keyboard shortcuts don't replace my mousing; they complement it.

Keyboard shortcuts get a bad rap because they're hard to remember, and learning one keyboard shortcut doesn't seem like it saves you a lot of time. But once you learn the lot of them, you'll definitely notice a boost to productivity because you're not unnecessarily reaching for a mouse. That is, you'll never reach for that mouse or trackpad unless it actually makes sense to do so. This makes you a lot more efficient particularly on larger displays, and feels a lot better than moving your hands around a trackpad.

Top 20 Keyboard Shortcuts

The following list highlights twenty important keyboard shortcuts that computer users should be familiar with.

Program Shortcuts

Ctrl-a highlights everything in a folder or document.
Ctrl-c copies the selected item or text to the clipboard.
Ctrl-v pastes the contents of the clipboard into the active program.
Ctrl-f opens the search in many programs. All web browsers and the majority of Office applications for instance support this. F3 may work sometimes as well.
Ctlr-s saves a document or web page in many programs, including Office and web browsers.
Ctrl-z undos the last action.
Ctrl-left arrow moves the cursor to the beginning of the previous word, while Ctrl-right arrow to the beginning of the next word.
Ctrl-Shift-left arrow or right arrow highlights the full previous or next word.
Ctrl-Backspace deletes the word on the left of the cursor.
Ctrl-Home moves the cursor to the top of the document, while Ctrl-End to the end of it.
Esc cancels the current task.

Windows Shortcuts

Ctrl-Shift-Esc opens the Windows Task Manager. (Windows 7 and newer)
Ctrl-Shift-click on a taskbar icon to open the program with administrative privileges.(Windows 7 and newer)
Shift-click on a taskbar icon to launch another instance of the program
Alt-Tab lets you switch between open programs and windows, Alt-Shift-Tab walks through the listing backwards.
Alt-F4 closes the active item or exits the active program
Alt-Esc cycles through the list of open programs in the order they have been opened.
Windows-d displays the desktop, while Windows-m minimizes all windows to show the desktop, and Windows-Shift-m restores the windows to their original position.
Windows-e opens My Computer in Windows Explorer
Windows-r opens the run box to start programs from there.


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

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

Notes is a great app for taking quick notes, or jotting down something you want to remember later. All you have to do is open the app, and type whatever you want.

Finding Notes

After you've created notes, you may to want to find one to open again. One way to find notes is to check the Notes List, which isn't available in every orientation. If you're using landscape orientation, a list of notes appears by default on the left side of the screen. If you're using portrait orientation, you can display this list by tapping Notes in the top-left corner of the screen; the Notes List appears. In either view, tap any note on the list to display it.

Creating Notes

Tap the New Note button on the top right (the square with the pen). The on-screen keyboard will appear; begin typing. Your note will be saved as you type.

Deleting Notes

In the Notes List on the left, tap the note you want to delete. Tap the Delete button in the top right (the small garbage can).

Notes can be emailed, sent in a message, copied, or printed (with air print capability). Tap the Send button (top right; up arrow) and select Mail, Message, Copy, or Print.

In our next newsletter: Tips to Keep iOS 7 From Destroying Your Battery Life

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:

Veteran’s Day;
Learn the history of the day and the event at these websites:

Laptops Worth Buying This Holiday Season

The Best Apps to Manage Your Recipe Collection

You Know You Are a Baby Boomer If...
From the toys to the TV shows, your favorite memories of growing up in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s all in one place.

Thanksgiving Decorations

Visit the Better Home and Gardens website for some Thanksgiving decorating ideas:

Here are some craft ideas for decorating your home and table.