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You’ve Got a Text!

I joke with a friend that if I text her and she doesn’t text right back, I should assume something has happened to her and call the First Responders.

Texting has that effect on us: we assume everyone will text back immediately. This is particularly ironic because so many people I know who, once upon a time, said they had no interest in learning how to text, are the ones who have become olympic texters!

Here are a few thoughts on texting:

  • Don’t text while you are driving.
  • Be sure you are texting to a cell phone number, not a home phone (land line) or an email address.
  • Keep texts brief; texting is not the medium for a lengthy explanation or a heated debate.
  • If your name and cell number are in the recipient’s phone, your name will come up as the text sender. If not, your cell number will come up.
  • If you have never texted an individual before, type who you are in case they don’t have your name and number stored. After that, there is no need to sign your texts.
  • If you get a text from a friend and her cell number comes up instead of her name, put her name in your contact list so her name will come up on future texts.
  • Go easy on the emoji: smiley faces, hearts, snowmen, sunbursts, etc. Less is more here.
  • Read your text before you press “send.” Auto-correcting spell checking can completely change your meaning!
  • Only use abbreviations if you are sure the recipient knows what they mean.
  • As with email, texting in all capital letters is considered screaming; only type in all caps if you mean to be screaming.

(got to go)

A Good Hang-Up

Last week I received this email from someone with whom I have worked: telephone

I just got a phone call from a woman saying that she was from an IT company. She asked me to go to my computer because she needed me to perform some trouble shooting on it. I said, “No, my computer is fine.” I asked her what company she was from and how she would know anything about my computer. She proceeded to assure me that she was telling me the truth, my computer was compromised, and I needed to do what she was asking to resolve my IT issues. I said “no” again and hung up the phone. My computer was, and still is, fine. Should I be worried?

I responded that she should not be worried; she should be elated that she was smart enough to hang up!

I have written about this before but it bears repeating: legitimate IT companies are not calling us to fix our computers. Please do not indulge your curiosity and let them into your machines.

It’s a “hang up” you can be proud of.

Don’t Bank On It!

Don’t you wish you could trust the emails from your bank? You probably can, if the emails are actually from your bank.

Banks are a constant target of internet fraud; please be extra careful about communication that comes from your bank — or looks like it comes from your bank.

My suggestion is to never click on a link to your bank’s website from within an email. If you wish to visit your bank’s website, close the email and type the bank’s web address directly into your web browser (or better yet, click the bank’s address from your favorites/bookmarks list where you already have it stored).

By accessing the bank’s official website yourself — and not clicking a link from within the email itself — you avoid signing into a potentially fraudulent site and revealing personal banking information.

If you are unsure about the content of the email — maybe the email asks you to verify some account information — you can also call the bank directly (get the number from the bank’s official website, not from within an email!) to ask if the requested information is legitimate.

As a rule, bank emails don’t ask you to verify account information; if it’s your bank, it has your account information.

Please be extra careful about emails from your bank!

New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year!

Here are my 10 New Year’s Computing Resolutions. Perhaps you will adopt some of them too.

  1. Back up my data — files, folders, pictures — on a regular basis.
  2. Do the Windows and Apple updates when they are released — even the ones that require a restart.
  3. Delete — don’t save — unwanted emails (I’ll temporarily sort by sender and delete all the old mail from certain senders all at once).
  4. Clean up my contact list and keep it updated.
  5. Delete the apps I don’t use (I can’t delete the apps that came with the device, just those I added).
  6. Pare down my favorites/bookmark list –do I really go to all the sites I have saved?
  7. Take stock of my passwords: know the ones I need.
  8. Periodically check my privacy settings in my social media sites to be sure they stay the way I want them.
  9. Shut down and reboot my devices every few weeks (rather than just let them go to sleep).
  10. Learn to use a new fun app or program.

And, of course I will also be improving my diet and getting more exercise …

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