Two Step Authentication Password Protection

Google

We all have them and we all use them every day in one way or another. We also trust the companies that we use them to keep our information hidden.  What are we talking about? Well Passwords of course. Let’s talk a minute about trusting the companies that you deal with to keep your information and passwords secure. Remember hearing about the Target Breach? So you say you don’t shop at Target or one of the many other retail chains that have been breached. Well, I know you use a password for your banking or even your email. How many people use the same password on every site they visit? If your user name and password gets picked up and put on a public list then you could stand to be hacked on any number of your accounts. Sound scary? Well, it should and you need to take steps to protect yourself.

Step up to what is known as Two Factor Authentication. You can use the FREE app on your smartphone shown above called Google Authenticator or there is one by Microsoft. The idea with these apps is once you turn on Two-Factor on the sites you visit whenever you log into the site it will show the message above. You then open the app on your phone and it will give you an ever-changing number that you enter to access your site. I have also found that if a site does not support this tool they will have a way that they will text you a number to enter to ensure that it is YOU trying to access your account.

I hear you now. This will take to much time to get into my accounts. Wonder if I don’t have my phone sitting next to me? How can I share my account with others NEVER DO THIS! The simple truth is this. We all take an extra minute to lock our house when we go to work and we all take the extra minute to lock our cars before walking away from them. Why not take an EXTRA SECOND to protect all of your ONLINE accounts?

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Upgrading Your Computer with an SSD Drive

SSD Drive

Upgrading a computer from the old spinning hard drives to a new SSD will make your computer faster. With no spinning disks, the computer will be able to seek your applications and data so much faster. I have also found that this will add new life to your computer and you will get a few more years out of an aging PC.

We have been seeing hard drive failures over the past few months. This makes sense because all of the computers were purchased around the same time. Replacing a drive is a simple process and you should also re-install everything onto the new drive. I never like cloning the drive because you will most likely be pulling over old information that was making your computer run slow in the first place.

One thing to look out for is the connectors for the hard drives. I hope by now that you have SATA cables in your computer. If you have the older cables you can buy adapters to convert the connectors to the new SATA style. Remember to check first before you buy your new SSD drives so you can order connectors if you need them. If you want to upgrade your computer and you are not sure how to do this please reach out to me and I will be able to help.

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Keeping Your Computer Running Fast

MalwareBytes

When we buy a new computer and take it out of the box most peoples first reaction is that this new computer is so fast! But over time as you use the computer from day in and day out you might start to notice that the computer is running slower and slower. After a few months of the computer running slower, many of us would simply toss the computer and buy a new one.

For me, that is like your car running out of gas and you run out and buy a new one with a full tank. Sounds pretty dumb right? Well, there is a better way. We need to clean our computers and have routine maintenance. We all worry about our cars and getting the oil changed but I have found not many people out there give this same care and understanding to their computers.

Computers run slow over time because as we use them on the Internet even if we are very careful Spyware or Adware can begin to clog up our machines. So do we toss it in the scrap pile? NO, We need to clean it and get it running like new again.

One of my favorite tools for this is MalwareBytes. There is a FREE version. Once you download and install this tool you need to then run it on the computer. It will clean all of these bad files from Spyware and Adware. With the FREE version, you have to run it when you want to clean your machine. For continued worry-free cleaning of your system, you will need the paid version. It just happens I am a reseller of this great software and can get it for you at a discount. Contact me if you would like to get the full version of the software. And don’t worry if you are not a computer geek. I can remote to your machine and do the install and cleaning for you. So don’t buy a new computer, clean your TODAY!

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Do You Need A Firewall At Home

Firewall

Let’s face it we all worry about identity theft. So you take the time to watch for little locks in front of a website address before you buy anything online. We feel around the card slot at gas stations before we slide our card into the slot. Maybe you even watch the waiter or waitress as they walk away with your card at a restaurant? But what about when you are at home on your own wireless with your own Internet connection and your trusty tablet sitting on your couch. Are you SAFE?

Really the answer has to be NO! Let’s look at it this way. You walk into your house and before you go to bed you lock the front door and make sure your windows are locked. Even your car sitting outside is locked up tight. But many of us leave another path right into our private lives. Your Internet line coming into your house is always on and ready for your use. But my friends it is also always on and allowing others into your house. So that password list that you keep in that folder called HIDDEN or PRIVATE can be accessed by anyone in the world. How about that baby monitor with that cute camera that you can watch little Jr. sleeping? So can anyone else in the world. I have even heard that people are now listening to your conversions at home using your Amazon or Google devices. So what can you do?

Well, we could pull the plug on the Internet whenever we are not using it? Really not the best idea because our computers and phones get updates when we sleep. No, a better way is to install a Firewall at home. We once thought these were just for business. But in reality, you have more private information then what you have on your work computer right in your own homes. Okay, so you might be saying I don’t know anything about this Firewall stuff? I can help with that. Please contact me and we can find a cost-effective way to secure your home or even small business with a Firewall that will keep you and your family safe and allow you to sleep at night knowing no one is watching or listening to you!

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GitHub Programming Ideas

GitHub

Sometimes coming up with the next big program that everyone wants to use or maybe a new tool that makes something easier to do with your computer is no easy task. Or maybe you just want to learn how to program and one of the best ways is to look at someone else’s code. Maybe you want to be a part of a development team and join in on a project? Then GitHub is the place for you to begin.

You can search thousands of software projects written in just about every programming language. GitHub is a community of developers that come together and share ideas and better yet work on projects together. Even if you are not a programmer you can still get involved with a project. You could work on the GUI or Graphical User Interface. You might be a person who loves to try new software and look for bugs, you could be a bug reporter or a software tester. Maybe you like to write about software, you could be a technical writer on how to use the software.

As you can see there are many ways to get involved with the next big thing of software without having to come up with the base idea. And if you are coming up with the next big thing and need help put your project on GitHub and start to build a community around your project.

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Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Mini Computer

The Raspberry Pi Mini Computer. This is an invention that has been around for awhile. If was created to be used as a device to learn on. But I see it as so much more. I feel that we could use these with the concept of IOT (Internet Of Things). What is IOT it is a way to connect almost everything to the global network the Internet.

But it also is a great little mini computer that can be used for your everyday computing. Match this up with a case and you could attach it to the back of a monitor and have a little workstation for so many of today’s computer uses.

I have a thought to install Chromium which would make it a little Chrome Box. This OS is light weight and runs really fast. You could also install a stripped down version of Windows on this device but your not going to get great performance. You could also install a Linux Distro on the box and use it for so many tasks.

But what about using it to embed it into something else? Maybe your car, boat, washer or dryer? There are endless possibilities. Pick on up today and begin building the next big thing. May we will see you on Shark Tank?

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Listening to Music While Using iPad

I wanted to see if I could listen to music while working on the iPad. I am currently typing this post while listening to Amazon Music. So the answer is yes, the iPad will multi task for this purpose.

I also just discovered another cool trick. I took a screen shot and saved it to my One Drive account. I was than able to add One Drive to my WordPress blogging app. This allowed me to add the screen shot above to this post.

When you begin to force yourself to use a device for a week I feel you will learn more of it’s capabilities. We often buy these devices with some use in mind and they are built for so much more.

Do I feel that it is a computer replacement? That depends on what you do with your laptop? But for now I will keep working to see what the iPad can do for me.

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January 11 2019 Work Day One

This is the first picture of my work desk with the iPad connected to a monitor. I talked about the device I am using to connect to the monitor in a earlier post.

So what was my first impression of connecting to a larger screen? I truly found myself looking at the iPad screen more than the monitor. At times I found that even typing on the external keyboard the iPad was keeping up but the external monitor was not.

For all of the server admins out there reading this post I found an App that is worth checking out. AD Assist. It connects quickly to your Active Directory Server and allows you to create and modify accounts. I use it as I am moving around to reset passwords.

I do still have more testing to do with the iPad and using it as my go to device for one week. But I am posting this using it and so far I find it quick to open Word Press and quick to access my pictures and create a post.

I will be looking for a powered USB hub so I can try to import video from my GoPro and other action cameras. I want a light weight video editor for the road. More on that experiment later.

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A Week With The iPad

I know I have not written for awhile. I have been very busy working for a new school district. We are in the early stages of rebuilding the entire network from the ground up. I am in charge of all the iPads for this new district. I do use what is called a MDM or Mobile Device Manager to manage all of the iPads in the 7 buildings. Of course when you are rebuilding there are draw backs. We set up a new MDM Server and now we have to touch every iPad in the district to connect all of them to the new server.

Since I am also now a Technology Coach I will be working to only use this iPad set up for at least a week. I want this to be my main device for my day to day tasks. This also means I will be looking for apps to help me solve some of my issues that I have to deal with.

It’s time to move on and begin setting this iPad up to be able to handle my daily tasks. I will be posting a list of apps that I will be using. If you work in the tech field you know this might be a challenge! But if I want to help support teachers who are using iPads in the class room then I must be able to use this device for most of my work also.

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Internet Web Browsers

Sea Monkey

Internet Web Browsers are not all created equal. As you can see from this picture I am testing out Sea Monkey. So why in this day and age of Chrome, Firefox and IE would I even want to pull another browser into the my life? Well the truth is I needed a web editor because I was asked to create a web site.

Within a few minutes I was using Sea Monkey to build an index page for the site. I is very easy to use with all of the normal drag and drop features that you would expect it to have.

Now for web browsing. I just looked for extensions and they are limited at best. I feel that this is because the project is still very young. Hey Chrome had to start somewhere. But I didn’t download it for that. I am very happy using Chrome which I have been using for years. But for editing and creating a web site it works very well and best of all it is Open Source so you can use it for FREE.

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