Year in Review from Geek For Hire, Inc.

It’s time for our 2017 Year In Review.  This year has seen some big changes in Technology.  But we focused a lot on keeping safe when you are using your computer and your Smartphone.  It’s primarily about using common sense.  Microsoft or Apple will not call you when you have a virus on your machine.  Trickier, though are the emails which look like they are coming from a company you use and trust.  We spent a good bit of time this year explaining how to protect yourself from scams.

Keeping safe on the internet has been our prime focus throughout the year:

  • We started the year with how to protect yourself from Phishing Attacks. “Phishing” is when someone tries to obtain your personal information to log into your bank accounts, or hack your email to send scam messages.  Protect Yourself from Phishing Attacks
  • A few months later, we focused on phishing again in Phishing Expeditions
  • With the Holidays, everyone is just a little more vulnerable, and some people let their guard down when they are shopping online. Here was my guide to keeping safe online during the holidays: Holiday Phishing
  • Throughout this year, we’ve seen an uptick in the number of scammy phone calls our customers have been receiving. In the spring I wrote about how to tell if the person on the other end of the line is for real or not: 4 Ways To Tell if the Person Calling You is not a Scammer
  • Early this fall, we learned that the US Government has had software made and sold by Kaspersky Labs on their “Do Not Trust / Do Not Use” list for years. Here is my write-up about that issue: Kaspersky Anti-virus

Online Privacy

We wrote several times about online privacy.  Keeping safe on the internet isn’t just about not clicking on those bad links.  You also need to make sure that you are keeping your personal information private.  Here are several articles about Online Privacy and Social Media:Year In Review

We also talked about new technology:

  • With the new iPhone X getting so much attention with their new unlocking technology, we thought it was time to take a look at the history of Facial Recognition
  • And, Virtual Reality has made some strides in the past few years. We took a look at some of the changes: Virtual Reality Update

And the newest hot topic:

 

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 if you sign up.)

Memory Stick aka Thumb Drive aka Flash Drive

Last week a customer asked Chris to transfer a bunch of files from his computer to a memory stick. He handed Chris a brand new flash drive along with his laptop. I happened to be there when Chris was transferring the files. He was very frustrated at the speed at which the files were being transferred. You might say they were being copied at a “turtle’s pace”!

I asked Chris why it was taking so long. I thought that all memory sticks were pretty much the same except for their capacity.  He then told me that memory sticks have different speeds.  The less expensive ones will transfer files very slowly.  The more expensive ones will be quick and snappy.  He explained that USB 3.0 are generally much faster than USB 2.0. He also mentioned that the packaging typically only lists the speed if they are faster than 150mBps.  The cheap memory sticks generally have speeds of 2mBps and don’t broadcast that “turtle’s pace” on the outside.Memory Sticks & Flash Drives

About 45 minutes later, Chris was done transferring all the files.  If you need to copy files to a memory stick and don’t care how long it takes, get the cheapest one.

Expect to pay $15 for a 16gig memory stick that is reasonably fast, and about $20 for 32gig.

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 if you sign up.)

What you need to know about Bitcoins and Blockchain

After a few years of virtually no mainstream news about Bitcoins, all of a sudden Bitcoins (and Blockchain) are back in the news again.  Part of that has to do with Bitcoins recent upward trajectory to cross the $10,000 mark.  (Here’s a great visual of Bitcoin’s growth in 2017.) I first explored the subject earlier this year in my blog entitled Digital Currencies and Bitcoins.

Since then, Bitcoins, Blockchains and other Digital Currencies have filled up my inbox.  What is interesting to me is that, not too long ago Bitcoin, and other crypto-currencies, were not a trusted form of currency.  Today, while it is still not trusted by the average American, they are being used by more and more people throughout the world.  I’ve been learning that, as volatile as it is, Bitcoin is still more stable than several global currencies. Plus, Bitcoins provide privacy and independence that US currency does not.Price of Bitcoins

I’m still learning, so I won’t pretend to know nearly enough about Bitcoins, Blockchain, or other Crypto-currencies.  Here are articles I’ve read and podcasts I’ve listened to.  If you’d like to learn more, explore this list.  And then do more research on your own.  Please let us know of any resources you’ve found that are particularly helpful.

Articles explaining Bitcoins:

Podcasts about Bitcoins:

Here are some books that may be helpful:

Let us know what other resources you’ve found.

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.)

5 Easy Steps To Delete Cookies On Your iPhone

Chris and I had a conversation this morning about the pesky news sites that limit the number of articles you can read each month. There are some newspapers that I won’t even read online because I get that nasty error message that says: “You’ve reached the limit!  Subscribe now!”  He told me that when he runs into that, the solution is to delete cookies on your iPhone.

WHAAAAAT?! I didn’t realize you could do that.

As I started looking into this, I see that there are other benefits as well. Just like with your computer, you do want to delete cookies on your iPhone regularly to keep your private information safe and secure.  And, just like the rest of of the business world, there are companies out there who want to sell you an app to “take care of this for you”.  Don’t fall for that trick!  It’s easy enough to do it yourself.

5 Easy Steps to Delete Cookies on your iPhone

  1. Open up your SettingsHow to Delete Cookies On Your iPhone
  2. Click on “Safari”
  3. Scroll almost all the way to the bottom of the page
  4. Click on “Clear History and Website Data”
  5. Confirm that you truly want to delete all of your history.  This means that every page you’ve opened in your iPhone’s browser will be gone!  This was a surprise to me, because I tend to save my open tabs so I can reference them again.  If there are tabs that you have open on your phone that you would like to keep, it’s best to save them first, then wipe the history!

If you found this helpful, please share with your friends!

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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