Phishing Expedition’s – Keeping Safe During the Holidays

Several of our customers received a disturbing email over the past few days.  Once customer received one that said her email was being discontinued.  Another received one that said his bank account was being closed.  I even got one that said my SIM card was being deactivated so I would effectively be without cell service!  These are all “phishing expedition’s”.

Luckily I know the signs to look for to determine if an email is a phishing expedition or for real.Phishing Expedition

  1. Make sure the email is really from a trusted source.  If the email is from a friend, read it through before you click on any links.  Does the email sound like it was written by your friend?  Are you expecting an attachment or other link from them?  Always check when you receive an email with a link or other attachment before clicking.  Did your friend really send it?
  2. Before I click on a link in an email, I hover my mouse over the link to see where the click will take me.  When I hovered over the “Know More” link on the email I received, it goes to the website t.goddypuddy.IN/withLotsMoreTextFollowing. The “in” at the end of the website is a country code.  In the US, we are used to seeing .com, .biz, .net, or .gov.  In this case the .IN refers to  India.  So I know that the email originated in India. (Note that you can only do this on your computer, so don’t click on any links from your phone or tablet unless you know they are 100% safe!)
  3.  Does the body of the website match the Subject line?  In this case, the Subject is that my mobile number is being deactivated.  But the body of the email is completely unrelated talking about banks and the Supreme Court.
  4. If your friend or colleague says they didn’t send the message, tell them to change their password and run their virus scanner ASAP!

What else can you do to stay safe?

  • Put a note on your calendar to change your email passwords at least once a month.  Here are some tips to creating a strong password.
  • Be extra careful when surfing the web or viewing posts on Social Media. Malware is increasingly being spread that way.

Looking for more info on phishing expedition’s?  Here are some past blogs:

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fifteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

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Tech Toys for the Holidays – Under $50

It’s that time of year!  Time to look for fun tech toys for kids and adults alike!  We’ve found a few that are inexpensive too!

  • For the Star Wars fans, there’s Uncle Milton Death Star Electronics Lab Kit for just under $30.tech toys - mars rover from wikipedia
  • For preschoolers who are curious about their world, there’s the GeoSafari Jr. Talking Microscope – under $35.
  • Then there’s the Drone Force Vulture Strike Helicopter Toy  which is around $33.
  • There’s always K’nex – one of my favorites!  This building set has 618 pieces and is priced around $40.  Plus there are so many sets that all work together.
  • If your kids want to explore the moon and its craters, you might consider an inexpensive telescope.  If their interest develops, you can get them a better one later on.  This one is about $40.
  • This cool kit lets you build 7 robots which can climb walls and windows!  (This one is also just under $30.)
  • I always thought it would be cool to build a radio.  Here’s an AM/FM radio kit for right around $37.
  • It wouldn’t be a Tech Toys list without the tried and true potato clock for about $13.

Let us know what toys you’re getting for the holidays!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website.  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission if you check it out.)

Weather Websites and Apps for Traveling

The winter holiday’s are coming up and lots of folks will be on the road.  I thought this would be a good time to revisit my list of favorite weather websites and smartphone applications.

NOAA –  When you enter your city and state into the “Local Forecast” box, you can see just what is in store for your area.  In addition, if there is a big storm coming, you’ll see a “Hazardous Weather Conditions” box across the top.  I like the NOAA forecast because it is generally right on target.  NOAA also has radar and satellite maps.  By the way, NOAA stands for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is located right here in Boulder, Colorado!Weather Websites - Spring Snowstorm

Weather Underground  – My favorite of all the weather websites is Weather Underground.  I like it because I have several different weather stations to choose from in my town. In addition to the forecast, WU tells me what’s happening right now.  When you click on the information from a particular station, you can also see if they have a webcam set up.  Then you can see the snow and wind for yourself!  Those webcams are especially helpful if you’d like to see the weather in a place where you are traveling to.  You can also save favorite locations, so it’s easy to see what’s going on at Grandma’s house before you get there!

The Weather Channel – The Weather Channel has all the same information the other websites have.  Because they consider themselves a news site, they’ve also got, what I can only call Weather Entertainment.  Big Floods! Amazing Ancient Ruins!  20 Places Overrun by Animals!  And More!!  My favorite feature on the Weather Channel is their travel map found here.  When you enter your starting place and destination, and the date you will be departing, the map calculates your route AND the expected weather.

NEXRAD – “Nexrad (Next-Generation Radar) is a network of 158 high-resolution Doppler weather radars operated by the National Weather Service” This website shows the radar for the whole US, or just your state.

WeatherTalk –  is a Facebook page.  Colorado Weather Analyst Greg Berman gained recognition when he accurately forecasted the extent of the rains and subsequent Front Range floods in September 2013.  If you’re on Facebook, I’d highly recommend this page to “Like” and bookmark.  His forecasts include most of the Colorado Springs and other Front Range areas.

Aurora Alerts – And if you’re looking to see if there may be an Aurora in your neighborhood, check out the NOAA sun activity page.

What is your favorite of all the Weather Websites? Share in the comments below!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

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4 Top Sports Smartphone App’s

For those of you who know me well, you know that if there is one sport I follow, it’s baseball. I like hockey too, but don’t follow the games and teams as closely as baseball.  I really L O V E baseball!  I love attending the Rockies games at Coors Field, with the smells, sounds, and excitement.  But when it’s time for the World Series, well, I’ll be glued to a TV, or, one of the Sports Smartphone App’s on my iPhone to keep track of the scores!  After baseball season was over this year, I started wondering how people who follow other sports get their info.  As per usual, any question I have involving technology, however peripherally, gets explored here!

There are a bunch of Sports Smartphone app’s recommended by folks in-the-know.  I’ve checked them out and found these four to be easy to use and very easy to customize so that your favorite teams are listed right up front.Sports smartphone app's

  • Bleacher Report for Android or iPhone – iMore really likes the Bleacher Report.  Here’s what they have to say: “If you pefer something with a bit more of a modern interface, then check out the Bleacher Report. Rather than providing its own coverage, the Bleacher Report curates all the best sources on the web so that you get all the news you can about your favorite teams and players.  You can open a stream to get scores, stories, videos, and photos from local and national newspapers, blogs, Twitter, and more.”
  • ESPN for Android or iPhone – Tom’s Guide says: “The ESPN app brings users the latest and greatest sporting news and information worldwide. Whether you’re looking for updated scoring information, breaking news for various teams and leagues, or professional analysis, the ESPN app has got your back.”
  • theScore for iPhone –  iMore rates theScore as their #1 choice.  Here’s what they have to say: “theScore is the sports app. It’s simply the best. You can follow tons of professional leagues (even including NASCAR) and receive updates on scores and news from any and all teams you’d like to follow.  You can even follow individual players, and you can customize alerts so that you only get pinged for what you want to know. theScore has a great-looking interface and setup is simple — just pick your leagues, pick your teams, and away you go.”
  • Yahoo!Sports for Android and iPhone – AppOlicious says: “Plenty of sports apps will give you the latest scores. Only a few will keep you up-to-date on every single play of the game. And even fewer will do all of that plus let you pick games, chat with other sports fans and set alerts for numerous game scenarios. Yahoo Sports continued to operate in a special stratosphere in 2017, making it a continued must-download for the sports fan who wants everything under one app.”

Which is your favorite sports smartphone app to track your favorite teams?  Share in the comments below!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

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