Fitbit Silent Alarm

The other day I had an appointment with my primary care Doctor 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 things you’d like to learn how to do with your Fitbit?  Ask a question in the comments below!

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Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

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 eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  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 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.)

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 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.)

WiFi Calling

Did you know that you can use WiFi calling to make phone calls with your SmartPhone even when there is no cellular service available?

Like many of us, I have one friend who lives in the mountains where there is really spotty cell coverage, at best. When I arrive, I quickly connect to her WiFi so that I can receive phone calls and text messages from our customers. (Hey, just because I’m having lunch, doesn’t mean your computer will continue to work perfectly.  If you need us, I like to be available!)

Why you should use WiFI Calling:

But even if you don’t have friends with sparse or non-existent cell service, you still want to know about WiFi calling.  We’ve all gone to that coffee shop with lots of brick and metal and maybe one bar of cell service.  Or that place in the shopping center whose entrance faces north, AWAY from all the cell towers. Or, true story, the wind blows down the primary cell tower at your house and it WiFi Calling - setting up on your iphonetakes them three months to put it back up.  Where ever you have WiFi, you can continue to make phone calls.

How do I turn on WiFi Calling?

  • On your iPhone, head over to Settings -> Cellular -> WiFi Calling -> then toggle the button to “on”.
  • On an Android, tap on Settings, then “Networks”, and then “Call”. You can turn on WiFi calling from there.

Anything else I should do?

I wouldn’t recommend updating your Emergency Address unless you ONLY use WiFi at home.

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.)

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NoScript – Another Key to Staying Safe

My NoScript stopped working yesterday so I had the chance to peek over Chris’ shoulder as he was reinstalling it.  I almost felt naked without it.  I know that NoScript protects me and ensures that I’m not sharing private data with entities that shouldn’t have it.

What is NoScript?

NoScript is a free extension that works with Firefox, Chris’ browser of choice. It blocks all web content that requires Javascript, Flash, and Silverlight in order to fully display content.  In order to display that content, you must specifically allow it by adding the website to your “white list.”

Why would I want to block Javascript?

Many of the bad actors out there use Flash and Javascript to install malware onto your machine.  There have been times when I have clicked on a website without realizing what it was.  Once the site opened, I realized I REALLY DID NOT WANT TO BE THERE.  If I did not have NoScript installed, it would have run all of the scripts on that site without asking permission ahead of time.  Once the scripts start running, they can install all sorts of stuff on my machine.

How do I get NoScript?

Start by opening your Firefox browser and then follow these easy steps:

  1. On the top menu bar, click on “Tools”, and then “Add-ons”
  2. A new tab will open. Then click on “Extensions”
  3. In the search box, enter “NoScript”
  4. Click on “NoScript Security Suite”
  5. Then click on “Add to Firefox”

My websites look all weird now!

Once you’ve installed NoScript, you’ll notice right away that pages won’t load as you expect them too.  You’ll need to spend some time training NoScript about which web sites you trust.  Notice that at the top right of your Firefox window, you’ll see a red “S” that looks like this:

NoScript

Now, What Do I Do?

Click on that button and you’ll see a list of websites that NoScript is not allowing to fully load. Then click on “Temp TRUSTED” or “TRUSTED” for each site that you want to load.  You’ll be surprised at the number of scripts that want to load for each web page!  Sometimes, you’ll need to do this another time or two until the page loads to your satisfaction.  Here’s an example for Facebook:

NoScript

Note that if you select “Temp TRUST”, you’ll need to redo this step each time you load that page.  Once you’ve selected which sites you’ll trust, click on the green circle to “reload”.  Once you reload, there may be additional pages that the website wants to load.  I’ve noticed that these are generally for tracking and ads.

I hope this keeps you safer on the Internet!

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

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

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 eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  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 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.)

Secure Texting with the Signal App

I know I’m a little behind the times, but I just found out about Signal, a secure texting app that provides a higher level of data encryption than any of the other texting apps out there.  I’ve been looking for something different ever since I found out that Facebook acquired WhatsApp.  (And, again, a little behind the times since Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014!) But, then again, even the founder of WhatsApp thinks that it is time to dump Facebook as this tweet reflects from earlier in the year.

Secure Texting with Signal

What’s wrong with WhatsApp? I thought it had secure texting:

And, while WhatsApp says it provides secure texting, it is still owned by Facebook.  From the WhatsApp website:

“WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption is available when you and the people you message use our app. Many messaging apps only encrypt messages between you and them, but WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person you’re communicating with can read what is sent, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp.”

And, in my view, a for-profit company known to sell private data to the highest bidder is not on my “to be trusted” list.

Why is Signal better:

When I found out about Signal a few weeks ago I downloaded it right away.  I was surprised to see who of my contacts are already using Signal.  Even some of my family are on that list!  Signal is a secure texting messaging app.  It is free for the download from iTunes (you’ll need iOS 9.0 or later), or the Google Play Store (you’ll need Android 4.0 and up). Because it provides end-to-end encryption no one can view the messages you send except you and the recipient.

From the Signal website:

“Signal messages and calls are always end-to-end encrypted and painstakingly engineered to keep your communication safe. We can’t read your messages or see your calls, and no one else can either.”

“Signal has never taken VC funding or sought investment, because we felt that putting profit first would be incompatible with building a sustainable project that put users first.”

In addition to secure texting, you can also use Signal for phone calls and video chat.

Here’s what Mashable has to say:

“By allowing you to have truly private conversations, Signal changes that equation. Why is this so important? This year, perhaps more than ever, we’ve seen just how asleep at the wheel tech giants are when it comes to nefarious actors using their platforms to sow discord and incite violence. Taking your conversations, and, by extension, valuable data about your so-called social graph off those platforms is one way to fight this.”

And more from Wired about secure texting:

“There’s one messaging app we should all be using: Signal. It has strong encryption, it’s free, it works on every mobile platform, and the developers are committed to keeping it simple and fast by not mucking up the experience with ads, web-tracking, stickers, or animated poop emoji.”

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

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

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 eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  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 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.)

Secure WiFi on Vacation

secure wifi on vacationGrowing up with a Dad who was a psychiatrist, August was always the month for vacations.  (As I got older I used to worry about his patients who were left alone for an entire month!)  There are some things you can do to make sure you have secure WiFi wherever you are in the world.  The most important is keeping your WiFi use safe and secure.

Here are some steps to take before and during your vacation:

  • Set up a throwaway email before you leave.  While you are gone, you will be asked numerous times for your email address.  Lots of times, they just won’t take “no” for an answer.  Head over to Google’s Gmail sign up page for a new (free) account. Remember the password, and be sure you set up auto-forwarding to your main email address.  You’ll want your smartphone to be able to receive any access codes that may be sent.
  • When you’re going for free WiFi, try to use well-known companies.  For example, Starbucks or the Hilton are well known for their secure WiFi and aren’t likely to steal your info for nefarious use.
  • Whatever you do, don’t try to connect to WiFi with names like “TellMy WiFi LuvHer”, or “FBI Surveillance Van” or  “Hacker 547”.  (Yes, I’ve seen all of those.)  Remember the old adage – “If it’s free, YOU are the product”.  Think about what they might be getting out of the transaction to provide you with free WiFi.
  • Sometimes the rest stops on the Interstate highways will have free secure WiFi, but only if you provide them with your email address and zip code.  This is where that new throw-away email comes in handy.  If they do ask for your name and zip, remember that you don’t have to give them your real info.

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

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

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 eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  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 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.)

5 Easy Steps To Delete Browsing History On Your iPhone

 

Do you know how we always tell you to delete the history on your web browser on your computer?  Well, you need to delete browsing history on your smartphone too.  It helps speed up your interactions with the servers.  But it also helps keep your data more secure too, since it deletes any installed cookies as well as your entire history.

If anyone is able to hack into your phone they may be able to gain access to your login information for any number of websites.  It may also help to make you look like a new user to websites that track the number of times you’ve visited.  You’ve gotten that message – “You’ve logged on ten times for free.  Subscribe now!”  I don’t know about you, but I would prefer not to provide my email address to another sales organization and an easy way around that error message is to delete browsing history.

It is really very easy to delete your history.  Just follow these 5 steps.

5 Easy Steps to Delete Browsing History on your iPhone

  1. Open up your SettingsHow to Delete Browsing History 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 browsing history.  It really will delete all of the open web pages on your iPhone. 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 forward it to your friends!

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

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 eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  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 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.)

Facebook Followers Hoax

In the past few weeks, I have seen numerous friends posting about all of the “weird” Facebook followers they have.  They’ve been a little freaked out about the strange people who see all of their posts.  I keep getting asked questions like:

  • “Why are these people interested in me?”
  • “Are they trying to steal my identity?”
  • “How do I stop this?”

First things first:

Change how you are sharing. If you make all of your posts for “Friends Only”, and not “Public”, no one else can see what you’re posting.  Even people who are following you can not see your posts if you don’t set your posts to “public”.

Secondly:

It’s a hoax.  The instructions tell you to type “Following Me” into the search box.  What comes up is a whole list of names of people you’ve never heard of.  Facebook presents you with this list because they have names similar to “Following me”.  Just like if you were to search for “John Smith”, you’d get people with names similar to “John Smith”.

How to Find Your Facebook Followers:

If you really want to see who is following you without being friends with you, follow these steps on the Facebook app:

  1. Click on your name/ go to your own page.
  2. Just below your photo and name is a little line that says “Followed by xxx people”. Facebook Followers
  3. Click on that link and scroll through the list.  Most of these will probably be people who have sent you a friend request, but you’ve never responded.  Are there people you don’t know with no friends in common with you?  Feel free to block any of them that you don’t want seeing your public posts.

From the Facebook webpage, follow these steps:

  1. Click on your name.
  2. CLick on “Friends”.
  3. When the list of your friends pops up, click on the down arrow next to “Other” at the top of the list.  Then click on “Followers” to see the whole list.  Facebook Followers
  4. Scroll through the list.  Most of these will probably be people who have sent you a friend request, but you’ve never responded.  Are there people you don’t know with no friends in common with you?  Feel free to block any of them that you don’t want seeing your public posts.

Were you able to find your Facebook Followers?  Let us know if you still need  help!

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 check it out.)

Spam Calls on Your Smartphone? How Can You Minimize?

Over the past few days I have been absolutely inundated with fraudulent callers, telemarketers, and just plan old spam calls.  But the good thing is that I know what they are and can choose not to answer!

I’ve been using a new app on my iPhone called Call Protect.  It works with my AT&T service and it seems to work very well.  Here is a list of the spam calls I’ve received today:

Spam Calls on your smartphone

It’s pretty annoying to receive all of those Telemarketer and Spam calls while I’m trying to work!  If you have AT&T service, you can head over to the app store on your Smartphone to download and install this app for yourself.

I’ve been looking to see if Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile have a similar app and haven’t had any luck.  If you know, please provide a link to the app 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 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.)

Nature Apps to Help You Explore the Great Outdoors!

When you’re wandering around on a hike, you’ll sometimes come across a tree, or a plant, or a bird that you can’t identify.  There are nature apps for that!

Nature Apps for Trees:

Leafsnap is one of the nature apps for your mobile device – Smartphone or Tablet – that lets you identify trees from their leaves.  Take a photo of a leaf, upload it to the app, and voila!, they’ll tell you what kind of tree it is! For now, it only identifies trees in the north eastern part of the US, but they are working on adding the rest of the country soon.  Info is on their website: http://leafsnap.com/ (FREE)

Birds:Nature Apps

Sometimes identifying birds at the feeder or while on a hike can be challenging. This app lets you compare the bird in front of you to its photo on the app.  There is a good written description of each bird and a sound file too.  More info here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bird-guide-offline-bird-identification-app/id1122226312?mt=8 (FREE)

Mushrooms:

If you’re looking at mushrooms, want to identify them, and want to keep track of where you saw a particular species before, then Roger’s Mushrooms is the app for you.  The app includes tutorials so that you can learn about particular species.  More info here: http://rogersmushroomsapp.com/ ($4.99)

Noxious Weeds:

In Colorado, we have a lot of invasive species.  This app helps you identify a particular plant with photos of the plant itself, leaves, and flowers.  There is also a written description of each, including its height, habitat, and max elevation.  More info here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/colorado-noxious-weeds/id833042035?mt=8 (FREE)

Clouds:

Did you ever wonder what kind of cloud you’re looking at?  Is it likely to bring rain or are clear skies on the way.  Coton is the app for you.  It helps you identify the clouds you’re seeing, ventures a guess at your forecast, and gives you a little science lesson too!  More info on their website: http://cotonapp.com/ ($1.99)

What are your favorite Nature apps for exploring?  Let us know!

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.)