The New York Times recently posted an interesting article about a new company that has started called BillFixers, which acts as your agent to cut your cable and phone bills. It gives tips for getting lower bills, and a lot of these things can be easily done yourself:
The Tech Guy Blog
If you plug in a hard drive and can't get it to work, it may be that the drive isn't formatted properly for that operating system. For instance, if you plug in a drive that had been formatted with a Mac into a PC running Windows, it won't be readable. The same thing will happen with a drive that had been formatted using Linux.
With all of the apps available online, it can be difficult to distinguish the trustworthy developers from rogue developers. If you happen to download a malicious app, that is the most dangerous thing you can do because you're giving that rogue developer permission to install software to access your system. There are precautions you can take to make sure you only get trusted apps, however.
If you suspect your Gmail account may have been hacked, there's a quick and easy way to get an activity log. When looking at your inbox, just scroll down to the bottom of the page and look in the lower right side. It will tell you when the last account activity was, and it has a link to "Details." Clicking on that link will show a log of all the recent activity on your account. It will show the IP address of the computer used for each login, as well as the physical location for where that login originated. It also will show you the browser and apps used with the account.
Keeping backups of photos taken with your smartphone is very important, in the event that your phone gets lost, stolen, or broken. It's also a good way to free up space on your device after you've taken a lot of pictures. There are a number of cloud photo backup options, including Apple's iCloud, Flickr, OneDrive, and Google Photos.
Johnny Jet has some quick tips for getting cheaper airfare to go home for the holidays:
1. Be flexible. You're not going to get a deal leaving Friday afternoon and returning Sunday like everyone else wants to do.
2. Stay away from the low fare carriers. Even though it shows a really low price, you're actually going to end up paying more if you're checking or carrying a bag on.
3. Consider the time of day. Leave the time blank when searching for tickets.
Hard-wiring your computer with ethernet is the fastest and most reliable way to connect to the internet. But with Wi-Fi being so prevalent, and included in every modern computer, it can be difficult to get your computer to use that wired connection. Here's how to prioritize the wired connection over wireless in Windows 10:
A custom email address means having your own name or business after the @ sign. For instance, instead of @gmail.com or @yahoo.com, your email address would be @[yournamehere].com. Once you have your own email address independent of a webmail service like Gmail or Yahoo, you have full control of where your email goes. This will basically be a forwarding address, so if you'd like to switch mail providers, you won't have to tell everyone to email you at a new address.
Lightning and power fluctuations can cause a lot of problems with electronics. Many people buy surge protectors to safeguard their computers, but that can only go so far to protect your devices and computers. For instance, if the power suddenly goes out, there's nothing keep your computer from potentially losing critical data and shutting down in an unsafe manner. Also, in the event of a lightning strike, there's so much power surging through that no surge protector will sufficiently save you. A much better solution is to get a UPS, or "Uninterrupted Power Supply."
Chromebooks are a great, inexpensive and simple solution for kids. But you may have discovered that it's not as simple to set up tools that allow you to limit and manage your kid's internet access. Hidden in the Chromebook, however, is a setting to allow creating "Supervised Users" which will give you the ability to keep an eye on your kid's activity.