Smooth and Fast Technology Is More Important Today Than Ever.Our First Up Your Media Newsletter since March 3, 2020!
This is our first newsletter since last March 3rd 2020. At the time, I was hyping our upcoming workshop schedule for March, April and May. Little did we know...
It's been a very busy year for me, since computer services were declared essential right away, and all of a sudden everybody needed their technology working in tip-top shape. I've been doing repairs, upgrades, and onsite Apple training and troubleshooting since the beginning of the pandemic, and will continue to do so, using proper mask and sanitizing protocols. I've been diligent in my precautions, since many of my house-call clients are in their 70s, 80s and even 90s. I'm doing everything I can, at work and in my private life, to keep those clients safe.
PQBeat Digital Literacy Podcast
I was proud to appear on a recent edition of the PQBeat Podcast from PQBNews, speaking on digital literacy and internet security. We talked about how to spot online scams, effective password management, and how to protect yourself from Malware and phishing scams. You can visit and listen to the podcast here.
Passwords Passwords Passwords
From what I've observed, passwords continue to be the biggest hurdle for people in their day to day computer lives. I can't stress it enough, and I've literally been saying it for over 10 years now, your best practice is to record your passwords on paper and keep that paper somewhere safe and handy. Paper and pencil are still the easiest, most reliable technologies for reliable password management.
Yes, there are many good password manager applications out there, including Last Pass, 1Password, and iCloud Keychain, but for many of my clients, setting up and maintaining a password manager is as much, or even more trouble, as manually managing their passwords.
Here's the simplest technique I can suggest for creating decent passwords. Remember that the longer a password is, the harder it is to hack. I find most people use one or two base passwords, and then use variations of it on all their services. This is not the worst idea, as we must balance security with usability. But, to be able to follow the security recommendations of having one unique password per account, consider using that base password string, and then adding the name of the service you're signing into.
For instance, let's say Bubbles is your dog's name, and it's what you use for most of your passwords (don't laugh). Using a password strength checker, we find that bubbles or Bubbles1 would be cracked by a robot immediately. Bubblesdog would take 6 months, and Bubblesdog1 would take 200 years. So, using the above solution, you would set Bubblesdog1apple for your Apple ID password, Bubblesdog1gmail for your Gmail password, and Bubblesdog1facebook for your Facebook password. It's just a suggestion, but whatever system you settle on, stick with it, and write those passwords down!
McMillan Arts Centre's New Creative Lab
We've been working with our friends at the McMillan Arts Centre on their new digital workshop studio. Thanks to some new Arts funding, they were able to upgrade their technology to include new computers, cameras and TVs to enable their Arts workshops to continue, by using Zoom. It's a very sweet setup, and we're looking forward to running some of our own technology workshops in a hybrid Zoom and in-person format in the very near future. Keep checking our email newsletters for details.
Take a quick Zoom survey. We're trying to gauge the interest in running Zoom tech workshops, both through the MAC, through the PQMUG, and independently as Up Your Media. The Mac Users Groups hasn't been able to meet since last February, and I know there's been a real lack in technology learning opportunities over the last year. As I said at the top, we're relying on computers and technology even more than ever, for shopping, communication, games, business meetings etc. How have you adjusted to the new landscape?
Shaw Mail Capacity Issues
Anyone who's used Shaw email for any length of time has seen the warning email in their inbox that their email capacity has been reached. For whatever reason, Shaw hasn't upgraded their customer's email capacity since the 1990s. You max out at 1 GB of space, and once you've reached that limit, you will no longer be able to send or receive email. For context, Gmail offers 10 GB and Telus is offering 15 GB.
I find that often it's the Sent mailbox that is storing all your archived emails, since most people regularly monitor and maintain their inbox, but rarely cull their Sent emails. Try that, if you're approaching capacity, and don't forget to delete your email trash.
Donate Your Old Macs
I'm still accepting your older Mac products to use and refurbish for charity. It's evident, now more than ever, that absolutely everyone needs access to computer technology for schooling, working, shopping and staying in contact with friends and family. Since last year, I've been able to donate a number of refurbished computers and iPads to people who had no computers at all, and sell other more modern machines to donate the money to charity. I was able to drop off $720 to the SOS Christmas fund, and some more to local anti-child poverty initiatives. I'm also open to buying your unused machines as well refurbish and redistribute, to keep them out of the landfill and ensure they're being used by someone who needs them.