Privacy Issues and the Marriott

With the latest breach at Marriott, it’s time to take a look at your personal information.  What are you sharing?  Who are you sharing it with?  When a business asks you for info, do you just hand it over, or do you give a little push-back? What online privacy habits do you follow?

First of all:

If you have stayed at any Marriott Hotel in the past FIVE YEARS, you should immediately ask your bank(s) to cancel and reissue your credit and debit cards.  Marriott has reported that this breach began in 2014 or earlier.  Remember that the Marriott brand includes many different hotel chains like St. Regis, Le Meridien, Sheraton, Westin, and more.  (Click here for all of the Marriott branded hotels.)

Online Privacy Issues & the Marriott Brand

Marriott Brands

Next:

Check the Marriott website to see how they will support you if your information was stolen.

Then:

Change your login information on all Marriott sites where you have an account.  While Marriott has said that only Starwood has been compromised, it might be safe to assume that the breach was broader than they currently are aware of.

What if I haven’t stayed at a Marriot hotel in the past 5 years? Do I still need to worry about protecting my Online Privacy?

These kinds of data breaches will continue to happen as the “bad operators” become more skilled in their craft.  Get into committed habits with your online information right now.  Here are some good steps to take:

  1. Create a new “throwaway” email address using Gmail to use whenever someone asks for your email address but you’re not sure about their levels of security.
  2. Make a list of all of your bank accounts. Are you using a different password for each one?  Today is the best day to change all of those passwords AND to use a different password for each.
  3. Enable Two-Factor Authentication for all of your accounts with sensitive personal information.
  4. Make a list of all of your online billing accounts. Same deal here – change to a unique password for each.  Keep this list current and change your password every month.  Don’t reuse passwords!
  5. Do you have subscriptions where you have created an online account? Things like magazines, wine, prescriptions, clothing, etc.  Review all of them to see if you need to make changes.  If they have credit card info, follow the steps above.
  6. Of course, check all the Travel sites that may have your info, and follow the steps above.

What should I do going forward?

I think we all know that this will not be the last time there will be a major data breach and our online privacy is compromised.  There might even be a time when we say “Remember that time when they only stole data from 500,000 accounts at Marriott?”  Changing your password doesn’t help if the hacker already has your credit card info.  Whenever anyone asks for your email or credit card info or birthday or any other private information, think before you just hand it over.  Here are a few steps to take:

  1. Use your “throwaway” email when signing up for anything on the internet in the future.
  2. Consider getting a separate debit card for all online payments. Fund it every week with just enough cash to cover your weekly expenses.  If that data is compromised, your exposure will be limited.
  3. When you purchase something and they ask if you would like them to save your billing information, think PRIVACY, and then click on the “No Thank You” box.
  4. Keep a complete list of everyone who has your credit card info – this includes your banks. Change your password on those accounts AT LEAST EVERY MONTH!

Please forward this to your colleagues to help keep their online privacy safe too. Did I forget some critical advice, or do you have questions?  Let me know in the comments below.

I’ve created a Free Report to protect you from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs 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 $119/year, but you can try it for 30 days 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.)

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Mesh Router – Getting WiFi Throughout Your Home

I’ve been hearing a lot about mesh routers recently and I wanted to learn more about them. Basically a mesh router will allow you to more ease-fully access the WiFi signal in your home or yard, even in the “dead zones”.  In the next few paragraphs I’ll tell you why you might want a mesh router, when you don’t need one, and other benefits.

What is a Mesh Router?

A mesh router is made up several devices that allow you to place them in strategic areas around your house to improve your WiFi signal.

Why would you want a Mesh Router?

Ubiquiti Amplifi Mesh Router

A mesh router will generally have a primary unit and two or more secondary units that can be placed in strategic areas in your home.

  1. You have radiant heating and it’s hard for the WiFi signal to pass through floors.
  2. Your home is more than 2500 square feet.
  3. You spend a lot of time in your yard and need to access your internet from anywhere.
  4. You have walls made of brick or other material that inhibits the WiFi signal from passing through.

When is a Mesh Router overkill?

Not everyone needs a Mesh Router.  They are a bit on the expensive side, and if you don’t really need one, why do it?

  1. Your home is under 2500 square feet.
  2. You don’t have any problematic architectural features that could block the signal.
  3. You only have a few “dead” spots that can probably be solved by placing your current router in a different spot, or getting a new router with a larger range.

Additional Benefits of a Mesh Router:

  1. You want a higher level of security that you may not be able to get with a traditional router.
  2. You have IoT (Internet of Things) devices that you want to connect to your network. (Refrigerator, Security system, etc.)
  3. You want to create a separate guest network for your house guests.
  4. Mesh routers seem fairly easy to set up, even for a non-technical person.

I hope you learned a little about Mesh Routers, and what the benefits would be for you in your home.  If you have any additional questions, please comment below!

Was this helpful?  Please forward it to your colleagues!

I’ve created a Free Report to protect you from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs 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 $119/year, but you can try it for 30 days 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.)

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Great Tech Recommendations

I once heard that Black Friday was so named by the accountants at retail stores; back when accountants kept paper records and used red ink for losses and black ink for profits.  It was said that the Friday after Thanksgiving was usually the first day all year that retail stores made a profit.  Anyone else have a better theory?!

Regardless of the silly theories, just about every day, Chris makes suggestions to our customers and friends about helpful technology.  I’ve looked through some of his past emails and pulled out a few of the products he has recommended over the past few months.  With Black Friday coming up, you may be able to get some great deals – Take a look! (Note, some of these are affiliate links.)Black friday - bob ross ornament

WiFi Router:

Chris likes the Netgear Nighthawk AC2300 Router.  It has built in protection against malware, it can prioritize your traffic, it’s compatible with the Echo and Alexa, and has built in parental controls.  It generally lists for $200.  Amazon has it for $167.

External Hard Drive:

When you want to make sure all your data is secure, an external hard drive can’t be beat.  Make sure you get one that is big enough to hold all of your data.  Chris likes this one from Western Digital.  One or two terabytes is generally enough space.  If you take a lot of photos and videos, get a bigger one.  The 1 TB generally lists for $80.  Amazon has it for $55.

Blue Tooth Speaker:

We’ve had this JBL speaker for a while now and really like it.  Not a huge discount here.  It lists for $82 and Amazon sells it for $78, but it’s a great speaker.

Battery Pack:Black Friday - External Battery Pack

A portable charger that you can carry around with you can be a lifesaver. The more we use our phones during the day, the more we may have to recharge it mid day.  I got this one a year or so ago and love it.  It will charge my phone several times before running out of juice!  This one is about $25 from Amazon.

Holiday Ornaments:

If you’re looking for something fun, you can’t beat Think Geek.  The best place for all things geeky and fun.  They’ve got Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Star Trek, Star Wars, Rick & Morty, Dr. Who, Marvel, etc. etc.!

Best Black Friday Deals:

Most of the tech stores will have special Black Friday deals all week, so check which outlet has the best deals for you.  Also, you should be able to order online and not have to deal with the craziness in the physical store.  You can try Staples or NewEgg for any of these products as well.

Black Friday Geek For Hire Coupon!

The best deal of all?  Purchase an hour or two with the geek now at a 20% Discount – you can use it later or give it as a gift! (Purchase before “CyberMonday”.  So, November 20-26, 2018).  Fill out our Contact Form with your details, and I’ll mail a coupon to you. Tired of helping your mom/dad/aunt/friend with their computer and network issues?  This is a perfect holiday gift for them!

Was this helpful?  Please forward it to your colleagues!

 

I’ve created a Free Report to protect you from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

 

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs 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 $119/year, but you can try it for 30 days 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.)

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

iPhone Shortcuts and Tips

The other day I was watching a friend use her iPhone and I was surprised that she didn’t know a few iPhone Shortcuts and tips that I take for granted! I showed her some of these tips, and thought, well maybe she’s not the only one who doesn’t know about them.

iPhone Shortcuts Scenario 1:iphone shortcuts

You’re texting with a friend and decide it might be easier to have a verbal conversation.  You might switch from the texting app to the phone app, look up the contact, and then press the call button.

OR…

You can tap the little round button with their photo or initials, and then tap “Audio” or “Facetime”.iphone shortcuts - email

iPhone Shortcuts Scenario #2

You’re reviewing your email, and you’ve received an email with a link.  You tap the link and it opens up in Safari.  When you’re done reviewing the page, you close Safari, and reopen your Mail app to continue reviewing emails.

OR…

You look at the top left corner where it says Mail, and you tap that to quickly return.

iPhone Shortcuts Scenario #3

You want to take a photo so you turn on your phone, find the Camera App, and open it up.

OR…

From the lock screen, you quickly swipe from right to left which automatically opens the camera app

iPhone Shortcuts Scenario #4

Your coffee is brewing and you want to quickly set a timer. You open the Clock App, select Timer, and then set the timer for your perfect brew.

OR…iphone shortcuts notifications

You swipe up from the bottom and select the little timer icon and very quickly set the proper amount of time.

iPhone Shortcuts Scenario #5

You’ve been in a meeting and want to see what notifications you’ve missed while you were out of touch.  You open each app separately to see what emails, phone calls, texts, and other messages you’ve received.

OR….

You swipe down from the top of your screen to see all of your notifications at once.

iPhone Shortcuts from the Swipe Up (Control Center) screen

You have a slew of options for quick access from the Swipe Up screen.iphone shortcuts swipe up

  1. Turn Bluetooth, WiFi, Airplane mode, and Cellular Data on and off
  2. Restart or pause your music
  3. Adjust the volume
  4. Adjust screen brightness
  5. Lock the screen so that it won’t turn sideways unexpectedly
  6. Turn on your flashlight
  7. Open your calculator
  8. Take a photo
  9. Click the little moon so that your phone is in “Do Not Disturb” mode

(By the way, you can customize what appears here from Settings.  Click on “settings”, then “Control Center”, then “Customize Controls”.

Was this helpful?  Please forward it to your colleagues!

 

I’ve created a Free Report to protect you from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

 

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs 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 $119/year, but you can try it for 30 days 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.)

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Electronic Recycling and Buy Back Programs

I received an interesting email the other day from Staples telling me about their recycling program.  I always assumed I could walk into any big box store with my old electronics and pay a fee to recycle it.  This email told me that I could bring it there for free.  That made me start to wonder what other options are out there for our customers, not only to recycle, but also, to possibly get a discount on on their next purchase.  We frequently get calls from folks wondering about electronic recycling.  Here’s some helpful info:

What to do first:

Once you’ve decided to get rid of your older devices, you must remove all of your sensitive data.  Deleteelectronic recyclinge all of your apps, all of your contacts, your emails, your texts, photos, etc.  Many of the Electronic Recycling Programs say that they will do this for you before they sell it to someone else, but why take the chance?  (Yes, we can help you with this if you’d like.)

Why do you want to Recycle your Electronic Devices:

Many of the components in our electronic devices are toxic, so it’s really important to make sure they get recycled properly. If you just toss your laptop battery in the trash, many of those toxins will leach right into our water supply!

Electronic Recycling Options:

You have a  whole bunch of options for getting rid of your old stuff

Sell It

Rather than electronic recycling, you can try to sell your old phone, tablet, or computer.  You could start with eBay or Craig’s List.  You can also try buy-back programs at places like Best Buy, Amazon, AT&T, Sprint, Staples, and Apple.  You’ll get a little less money for your device, but it’s really easy to do, with much less hassle than finding a buyer, shipping it, etc.

Donate It:

Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc

Give It Away:

Put the item on your local Facebook page, or post it in your local Freecycle group.  But, please make sure that you have removed all of your personal data first!

 

I’ve created a Free Report to protect you from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

 

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs 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 $119/year, but you can try it for 30 days 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.)

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Screen Time – How much time do I spend playing games on my phone?!

Several months ago I checked out the beta version of the newest Operating System for my iPhone. (Check out my blog on the subject.)  I did this primarily because I had heard about Screen Time, a new app that helps you track the amount of time you are spending on your Apple devices.  I only signed up for the trial on my iPad, because, if they were to release a beta OS that crashed the system, I didn’t want to be without my phone.

Although Screen Time says "Gail's iPhone", it's really data from both my phone and tablet.

Although Screen Time says “Gail’s iPhone”, it’s really data from both my phone and tablet.

Well, now that they’ve fully tested the software and released it to the public, I’ve installed it on my phone, and updated my tablet. (By the way, I’m using iOS 12.0.1 on my iPhone and 12.1 on the iPad.) So, now there’s no getting around it.  I spend a LOT of time on my devices playing games and checking social media.  But, I’m also happy to see that I do actually spend more time reading, researching, and other productive activities.  (Check out the grey bars!)

How often do I…

The App also tells me how many times a day I pick up my phone (54 times a day), and how my notifications I get (71 per day).

How to install Screen Time:

Screen Time is easy to activate and use once you’ve upgraded to the newest iOS.  Simply go to Settings, and scroll down about one screen until you see Screen Time.  Click on Screen Time, then “Turn on Screen Time”.  Read the introduction, then click on “Continue”.  Next it will ask if this phone is yours or for a child.  It will allow you to set up a downtime for the phone, and other parental permissions. (You may also notice that I have VPN activated on my phone.  Here’s my blog about that subject.)

If you found this helpful, please forward it to your friends!

 

I’ve created a Free Report to protect you from “phishing” scams. Click here for access!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs 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 $119/year, but you can try it for 30 days 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.)

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Pwned? How Do I Find Out If This Impacts Me?

Although this website has been around for a few years, I’ve only just found out about it.  It’s called Have I Been Pwned and it lets you know if your email address has been compromised in any way.

A little history about the word Pwned:

The Urban Dictionary postulates that Pwned came into use after one of the designers for the game Warcraft typo’d “has been pwned” instead of “has been owned”. Another Urban Dictionary contributor says it is actually a commonly used chess term, where you use your pawn to check your opponent. Regardless of the various definitions, the word essentially means that you have been owned or dominated.

Have I Been Pwned?pwned?

Head over to Have I Been Pwned to find out if your email and other personal information has been hacked by bad operators.  They will also tell you on which websites or apps the data breach has occurred.  For example, I found out that my both my personal and business emails have been pwned.  I immediately changed the password for both accounts.  It also told me that the breach came from my Dropbox account.  I then changed my login information on Dropbox as well. Another breach occurred on my LinkedIn account so I changed my info there too.

What can you do to keep your information safe?

  1. Change your password frequently. I change my passwords every 3-6 weeks.
  2. Never use the same password again!
  3. MOST IMPORTANT: Use a password that is hard to guess.  Make sure you use at least 10 characters.  You should use at least one of each of the following: an uppercase letter, a lowercase letter, a number, and a special character.  I always end with punctuation too. Lately I’ve been using book titles to craft secure passwords.  So “The New Relationship Marketing” would become “th3NewRel@t1onshipMarket1ng;”  (Check it out.  It’s a great book by Mari Smith.)
  4. Next, always keep track of your passwords using a secure system.  I use a password protected spreadsheet. (I’ve recently heard of two people who lost access to their online password tracking system. They had to go to each of their apps and change their passwords!)

Let me know if you have a great tip for setting up great, secure passwords.

Here’s some more reading on the whole pwned subject:

If you found this helpful, please forward it to your friends!

I’ve created a Free Report to protect you from “phishing” scams. Click here for access!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs 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 days 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.)

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Flash Drive – They’re All The Same, Right?

“If you need to copy files to a flash drive or memory stick, and don’t care how long it takes, get the cheapest one.”  ~Chris Eddy

Every once in a while, Chris is asked to copy data to a flash drive. The person has one that they purchased from above the candy rack at Target, or has a huge logo that the person received as a freebie from a trade show.  He does a silent groan, and prepares to make casual conversation.

Flash Drive – They’re all the same, right?

That’s what I once thought.  The only variable I thought, was  how much storage it had.  Do I have just a few pictures of the kids to give to my Dad?  Then I’ll get an 8g flash drive.  A handful of videos of the grand-kids? Well then I’ll get a 128 gig flash drive or even a 2Terabyte external hard drive!

Speed Matters:

Flash Drive insides from Wikipedia

Flash Drive insides from Wikipedia

It turns out it’s not just the size that matters with Flash Drives, speed matters too. Most of the readily available flash drives at the checkout counter will transfer around 5-8 MBps (MBps = Million Bytes per second).  Head into the back aisles of your favorite electronics store though, and you’ll see Flash Drives that are speed rated at 50 to 200 MBps.  So, if you have a lot of data to copy, you won’t be sitting around twiddling your thumbs for an hour or more while it does it’s thing.  (I’ve written about this before.  Check out this blog from last year.)

Flash Drives that Chris likes:

  • This Samsung transfers at 150 MPps and holds 128g.
  • This Flash Drive from Kingston transfers at 100 MBps and holds 64g.
  • Chris especially likes the price of this Samsung which transfers at 200 MBps and holds 64g.

If you found this helpful, please forward it to your friends!

 

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs 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 days 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.)

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Fitbit Silent Alarm

The other day I had an appointment with my primary care Doc, and showed him my resting heart rate from the Fitbit app on my phone. He knows I’ve been working on getting more healthy and provided the appropriate “oohs” and “ahhs” for the markedly downward trend of my resting heart rate.  He politely showed me his Fitbit. It was a Charge 2 and has way more bells and whistles than my Charge HR. He then said he wished the Fitbit was able to set alarms.Fitbit Silent Alarm  “But you can!”, I exclaimed and proceeded to show him how to set a Fitbit Silent Alarm.

How to Set your Fitbit Silent Alarm:

  1. Open the Fitbit app on your Smartphone.
  2. Click on the icon in the top right corner
  3. Select your device
  4. Scroll down to “Silent Alarms” and select
  5. Then click on “Set a New Alarm”
  6. Set the alarm to the correct time, and then decide if you want to repeat the alarm or not.  If you don’t want it to repeat, it will only set the alarm for that day, not for a future day.
  7. FYI – the time of your next Fitbit Silent Alarm will also appear on your wrist display

I have found that the Fitbit Silent Alarm is not always successful in waking me up in the morning.  It provides a quiet vibration on my wrist.  That works well when I’m already awake and aware.  If I’m really sound asleep, it sometimes takes me a while to be aware of the vibration.

By the way, I’ve been wearing my Fitbit Charge HR for the past 3 1/2 years.  (That’s a lot of health-related data!)  I was just starting to think about an upgrade when I heard that Fitbit was coming out with a new  Charge 3 in mid-October.  I’ve pre-ordered it and can’t wait until it arrives!

Are there other other things you’d like to learn how to do with your Fitbit?  Ask a question in the comments below!

If you found this helpful, please forward it to your friends!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs 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 days 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.)

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Leaf Peeping in Colorado

It’s that time of year again folks.  In Colorado we call it Leaf Peeping Season.  The aspen are really popping with their autumn colors! We took a drive through Rocky Mountain National Park last weekend and OH! the colors! Pick a scenic drive anywhere in the mountains of Colorado and you’ll be amazed as well!

I don’t know about you, but I like to do a little bit of research before I go.  Here are some of the things I think about before heading out:

Where to find the best leaf peeping?Leaf Peeping in Colorado

I like driving along some of Colorado’s Scenic Byways.  These roads offer some of the best views during leaf peeping season, and really, all year long!  Here’s a link to the Colorado DOT official map.  And if you want to print their colorful guide before you head out, here is a link to that.

There are a couple of articles with lists of some of the best places and times.  Here’s one by the Coloradan.  Here’s another with an Aspen Report at Rocky Mountain National Park.  And, finally, the Denver Post published this article in early September with the wheres and whens.

What will the weather be like on your Leaf Peeping Day?

My favorite weather site is Weather Underground.  I like that I can use them to check the weather on my computer before I leave home.  They also have a great app that allows me to check the weather for where ever I am.

Can I post on Social Media?

Sometimes it is frustrating to drive along the mountain roads and not have a cell signal.  You want to share those wonderful photos on Instagram or another Social Media site, but can’t.  I haven’t been on all of Colorado’s Scenic Byways, but here is a guide I wrote to cell service along the Peak to Peak Highway.

Also, here’s a link to my post last year about leaf peeping websites.

If you found this helpful, please forward it to your friends!

 

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs 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 days 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.)

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save