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Dec. 27, 2008—Vol. 12, No. 52
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CLICK & FIND MY NATIONAL RADIO SHOW IN YOUR HOMETOWN
HERE'S HOW TO CALL ME DURING THE SHOW
NO PREEMPTIONS! DOWNLOAD & LISTEN WHEN YOU WANT!
WHAT ARE YOUR NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS?
No matter your resolutions for 2009, you'll find help online. The government's Web site has plenty of advice and help for fulfilling your resolutions. And don't forget to visit my Money Center. It will help you take control of your finances in 2009.
I have faith in you! There's nothing you can't do!
YOU COULD BE MY GRAND PRIZE WINNER
But first, congratulate the final daily winners!
• Ron Barker in Lincoln, NE, listens to KFAB 1110 AM. He'll be computing in style with a $260 LG 19-inch LCD Monitor.
• Paul Bazzano in Germantown, MD, catches me on WBAL 1090 AM. He won the $200 Omnitech Digital Photo Frame and Staples Gift Card.
• Dennis Cook from Amherst, WI, listens on WSAU 550 AM. He'll be playing top-of-the-line games on the $400 Sony PlayStation 3.
GET A COOL FREEBIE EVERY DAY
No matter what software you need, you'll find it at my Download of the Day site. Every program I feature is free. And you won't find a trace of malware! Here are some of my favorite freebies from the past week. Click on the links below to learn more about the free programs. There's still plenty of ground to cover. Hurry back!
• Custom desktop wallpaper really personalizes a PC. But why just pictures? Spruce up your desktop with video.
• Crossword puzzles are a great workout for your brain. But making one is even more fun.
• Web browsers make surfing the Internet easy. But it could be easier with mouse gestures.
Want a tip? Bookmark my Downloads page. Just go there and press Ctrl+D. That will add my downloads to your browser's favorites!
And remember this: If I say a program is free, it's FREE. There are sites on the Internet that sell free programs. There are also many ads on the Internet for similar programs, which aren't free. If somebody tries to charge you for a free program, back up. You've clicked on the wrong thing.Saturday's download Consider it your year-end bonus! I've gathered up 20 of the hottest downloads from 2008. I've featured hundreds of programs throughout the year. So, choosing the best wasn't easy. But I'm sure you'll agree that these programs are awesome!
DID YOU MISS ANY OF MY VIDEOS THIS WEEK?
Even though you may not have watched, my Video of the Day continued. As usual, I picked one great video each day. Some were funny, some were inspirational and all were worth watching!
• Bobby Darin was a great singer and entertainer. This video features one of his classic songs. Music fans will love this.
Traveling is one of the most exciting things you can do. There is so much to see out there. You'll find some strange and fascinating things. Check out the sights in My Video of the Day archive:
Saturday's video — I know you. You've always wanted to fly like a bird. Well, maybe you can't. But check this out. They don't call it soaring for nothing.Sunday's video — You wouldn't think that a concert and painting go together. So, you probably haven't seen Michael Israel. You won't soon forget this video.
NOTE: Are you having trouble seeing my daily video picks? Do you get a message that the video is not available? Sorry to say, it's probably not the video. It's your computer, my friend. Get help on my troubleshooting page. These problems are pretty easy to fix.
THE EASY WAY TO SAVE MY VIDEOS
Again, to download the video, all you need is the video's Web address. Don't know how to find that? Click here for step-by-step instructions.
And to start saving videos you find online, use the free tool on my Web site. It's located at http://www.komando.com/myvideo/
PRIVACY AND SECURITY TIP: Clean up your computer
STILL TO COME: Useful tips, important news and a few laughs!
• Phishing attacks get personal
• Important security tips; and some awesome freebies!
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BLOGS HELP YOU ADVERTISE YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
I've been getting a lot of messages from readers who want to set up blogs. Most see blogging as a way to earn some cash. Few realize that a blog can help with a job search. A blog is personal space. Use it to display interests and talents. It can show a potential employer dedication and knowledge.
You can set up your blog in minutes. You'll find links to free services Blogger, WordPress and LiveJournal on my site. These services offer free software and hosting. So, you can get going without spending a dime!
You won't make money just by starting a blog. You'll need to put advertising on your site. This sounds more daunting than it really is. You can sign up with affiliate programs and services like Google AdWords. My handy column will help you monetize your blog.
Once you have your blog and advertising set up, there's one final hurdle. You need to attract readers to the blog. This will be your biggest challenge; there's a lot of competition online. But I have you covered there, too. I have helpful advice for increasing traffic to your site. Don't miss this tip!
Don't head off to create your blog just yet, Brian. You will want to read last week's column, if you haven't already. It has plenty of practical advice for landing your dream job. It will help you and your family prosper in the coming year!
USE A NETWORK CAMERA TO MONITOR A SICK PET
A Webcam will certainly do the trick, Ellen. But it isn't the best solution.
With a Webcam, you must leave your computer running all the time. That isn't convenient. Also, the Webcam will have a limited range. You won't be able to see your dog if she goes into a different room. So, I'd use network cameras.
Network cameras are designed for monitoring your home or business. They attach directly to your home network. You won't need to leave a computer running. And network cameras are easily set up in different rooms. You can see your dog no matter where she is.
Network cameras are more costly than Webcams. But, their features can't be beat. For example, some e-mail or text you when movement is detected. You can access your cameras from any Web browser. And, some even have intercom features. You can scold your dog when she gets on the couch in your absence!
Buying a network camera can be complicated. Fortunately, I've made the buying process easy. My buying guide will help you find the perfect camera!
You may be interested to know that Webcam robots are hitting the market. These are much like network camerason wheels. You can steer them around your house from afar. They could be ideal for keeping an eye on pets. That is provided your pets don't frighten easily! WowWee makes the Rovio ($200). iRobot is launching the ConnectR; the price is not yet available.
DON'T FORGET TO SHARE YOUR HOLIDAY PHOTOS
I don't blame you for not wanting to make prints, Mark. That could be very, very costly if you've been snapping a lot of photos. You'd be better off sharing the photos themselves. Let the recipients print the photos they like.
Photo-sharing sites are extremely popular and easy to use. You just upload your photos to the site. You can usually mark them private, if you choose. Then, you share a link with your friends and family. They can browse through the photos. They can then download them for printing. Some sites also offer printing services.
There are many photo-sharing sites. But they're not all created equal. Make sure you find a site that best suits your needs. My handy column will help!
You could also create a digital slide show to share. You arrange the photos and then add effects and transitions. It's really a slick way to share photos. And it's much easier to do than one would expect. I've got a great column that will walk you through creating a slide show. Don't miss it!
Now, you may want to do something fancier for that special someone. Or, you may want a nice album of your photos for posterity. In that case, make a photo book. You can do it directly from your home computer. And the results will be phenomenal. My helpful tip covers your options for creating a hardbound photo book.It sounds like your computer will be filled with photos in no time. So, do yourself a favor. Make your photos easy to locate. A good photo-organizing program like Picasa will do the trick. You can download it from my site for free. Get it now!
NEW AND IMPROVED BUYING GUIDE
AMERICAN FORCES RADIO & THANKS
NO PREEMPTIONS! DOWNLOAD & LISTEN WHEN YOU WANT!
DON'T STOP YET – THERE'S MORE YOU NEED TO KNOW:
• Keep reading! I have more money-saving tips!
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Phishing attacks get personal
According to Cisco, almost 200 billion spam messages are sent daily. They have one thing in common. They want your money. Few are legitimate.
Most computer users can spot phishing messages. Unfortunately, cybercriminals have become more sophisticated, too. Targeted phishing attacks account for 0.4 percent of spam messages. That may seem minor. But it's 800 million messages a day.Do yourself a favor. Find out how you can spot targeted phishing messages. I also have some great advice for protecting yourself. It's all in my weekly column. You can read it for free on my site now!
A LITTLE ABOUT ME:
HOW TO CALL ME DURING THE SHOW
STILL TO COME IN THIS ISSUE:
• Resolve to encrypt your data in 2009
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Brent would like to know how often he should update the maps. He wants to make sure he has the latest and greatest information.
I'm sure plenty of people are driving around with outdated GPS maps. This can get you into a lot of trouble. That's because roads often change. New roads may be built. Two-way streets may become one-way streets. I wouldn't trust outdated maps!
Unfortunately, no GPS unit will ever be 100 percent accurate. To understand why this is, you need to understand how map updates work.
There are two companies that produce most GPS maps, Tele Atlas and NAVTEQ. These companies send out drivers to map the roads.
The drivers focus on roads that have changed. Or, they map new residential areas. But they may also map areas that are deemed inaccurate.
The mapping companies' databases are updated fairly quickly. But this information has to trickle down to you. It could take years for corrections and new additions to hit your GPS unit.
The GPS manufacturers must convert the maps for their hardware. They must also do the programming for calculating different routes. Eventually, the maps are packaged and sold to you, the end user.
Unfortunately, you're at the mercy of GPS manufacturers. You must wait for them to release new maps for your unit. The good news is, most manufacturers issue yearly updates.
So, how often should you update your GPS' maps? I would do it when new maps become available. That's particularly true if you frequently drive to unfamiliar areas. You should also do this if there is a lot of roadwork and development in your area.
Of course, GPS updates can cost hundreds of dollars. So, you may try to get by with less frequent updates. You may be okay if you stick with relatively familiar areas. But I would definitely update before taking a major road trip.
You can check your manufacturer's site for updated maps. You may also see software updates. These are different than maps. You should install software updates when they become available.
You may not want to visit the manufacturer's site regularly. That's okay. Just register your GPS unit. You should be notified as new maps become available.
Mapping services are some of the hottest sites to hit the Net in years. And maps aren't just for finding directions! You can have a lot of fun with mapping sites. Or, you can use them to help you with a variety of things. Explore the world of online maps in these great tips:
• Sounds make Google Earth come to life
• Mapping crime, gas prices and more
• Say it with satellite images
A MESSAGE FROM THE KOMANDO.COM POSTMASTER
SEE SOMETHING UNDERLINED? CLICK & LEARN
GET MORE FREE TIPS FROM ME TO YOU
As always, I guarantee your privacy. Your e-mail address will not be sold, leased or given to anyone, ever!
STILL TO COME IN THIS WEEKEND'S EDITION:
• Protect your privacy while surfing the Web
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MY RESOLUTION: BRING ALL THINGS DIGITAL TO EVERYONE!
LOVE THEM APPLES
A BIG THANKS
STILL TO COME IN THIS WEEKEND'S EDITION:
• Get up and going with encryption
KIM'S TIPS FOR KOMANDO KIDS: How to handle cyberbullying
CONTEST SITE: Connect, Communicate, Cash in!
FREEBIE OF THE WEEK: Dunkin' at home
FREEBIE FROM KOMANDO.COM: Create HDR photographs
GET A COOL SITE EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK
THIS WEEK'S FOCUS: Top downloads of 2008
Let's keep it going; there's plenty more to cover:
Brought to you by my book, Complete Guide to Computer Security & Privacy. Order your copy today!
MERRY CHRISTMAS! YOUR COMPUTER IS INFECTED!
This is nothing new. Criminals have been using these tactics for years. For example, last year's Storm Worm was spread via similar means. But, these messages are a particular threat this time of year. So, be vigilant about where you click. If you receive an ecard, confirm that it's legit before opening it.
THE END IS IN SIGHT, BUT I WILL BE BACK NEXT WEEK
I'm following your advice on encrypting sensitive data. I downloaded the TrueCrypt program that you recommend. Unfortunately, that's as far as I've gotten. What do I do now? Can you help me get up and going with TrueCrypt?
Using TrueCrypt isn't difficult, Mary. But you want to make sure you know what you're doing. Otherwise, your data may not be properly protected. Or, you could overwrite important data.
If you don't have TrueCrypt, you'll need to download and install it. Where do you get it? Download it free from my site!
Once you install TrueCrypt, open the program. Click Create Volume and select "Create an encrypted file container." Click Next. Select "Standard TrueCrypt volume" and click Next.
Now you're ready to create your TrueCrypt container. To do this, click Select File. Navigate to the location on your hard drive to save the container. Enter a name for the container.
Do not select an existing file on your hard drive. Nor should you give your container the same name as another file. Otherwise, the original file will be overwritten with a new encrypted container. Click Save and then click Next.
You can select an encryption algorithm, if you choose. I would stick with AES, which is the default. Click Next.
On the next screen, enter a size for your container. Then select kilobytes, megabytes or gigabytes. The size of the container will depend on your needs. You don't want it to be too big if you'll put it on a thumb drive. But it should be big enough to store all of your documents.
You might want to start at 100MB or so. If you find it isn't big enough, that's OK. You can later create a bigger container. Then, move your documents to the new container. Once you've specified a size, click Next.
You're ready to create the password for the container now. Make sure you choose wisely! You don't want to forget it. But you don't want others to be able to guess it. So, before you proceed, check out my handy tip. It will help you create a strong password that is easy to remember.
After you enter your password, type it again to confirm it. Click Next. In the next window, move your mouse cursor randomly. This will help increase the strength of the encryption key. I recommend moving your mouse for about 30 seconds. Then click Format. Click Exit.
Your TrueCrypt container is now ready to use. You'll need to open TrueCrypt and mount your container to access its contents, though. Start by opening TrueCrypt.
Next, click Select File. Navigate to your container, select it and click Open. Then, select a drive letter to use for your container by clicking on it. It doesn't matter what drive letter you choose. Click Mount.
When prompted, enter your password. Click OK. Your container is now ready for use. It will appear as a drive in Windows Explorer. You can open the container in Windows Explorer and drag files to it. You can still access the container if you close TrueCrypt.
To lock the container, you must dismount it when you're done. Otherwise, others can get to the files inside the container. To dismount the volume, open TrueCrypt. Select your container and click Dismount.
You can move your container to a thumb drive if you choose. Just drag and drop it to the thumb drive. Dismount the container in TrueCrypt first, though.
You can use the container with any computer that has TrueCrypt installed. But you may want to add the program to your thumb drive. That way, you can always open your data. That's true even if a machine doesn't have TrueCrypt installed.
To install TrueCrypt on your thumb drive, open TrueCrypt. Click Tools>>Traveler Disk Setup. Click Browse to find your thumb drive. Select it and click OK. Make sure Include TrueCrypt Volume Creation Wizard is selected. Then, click Create.
A folder is created on your Thumb drive. When you open it, you'll see a few files. Among them is the TrueCrypt program. Just double-click it to run TrueCrypt. You'll be able to access your data and create new containers on the go!
Encrypting sensitive data should be one of your New Year's resolutions. What else do you need to do for a safe 2009? Here's a quick, easy-to-follow list:
• Keep your computer protected
• Lock down your Wi-Fi network
• Use a good spam filter
• Protect your gear from thieves and other threats
IF I HELPED YOU, CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME?
1. Tell your co-workers, employees, team members, fantasy sports buddies, family members and friends to check us out. I have a form that makes it easy.
2. Link your blog, online profile or site to my site. Instructions and cool artwork await you.
Have a great weekend. Thank you for your support of my show and newsletters! I appreciate it!
THIS ONE'S A REAL GROANER!
Have a great day and I'll see you on the radio!Remember to give me a call! I'd love to hear from you. It takes just three easy steps: 1.) Call the LIVE broadcast. That's this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the East Coast, or, if you live on the West Coast, 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. 2.) Know the phone number. It is, of course, toll-free 1-888-825-5254. 3.) Talk to our call screener Andrew and tell him what's on your mind. That's all there is to it!
GET MORE TIPS FROM ME TO YOU
• Free cool site daily
• Free news links Mon-Fri
Copyright © 2009, The Kim Komando Show. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of The Kim Komando Show is prohibited and strictly enforced. Newsletters may contain links to sites on the Internet owned and operated by third parties. The Kim Komando Show is not responsible for the availability of, or the content located on or through, any such third-party site. Information in this document is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and freedom from infringement. The user assumes the entire risk as to the accuracy and the use of this document. We will not be liable for any damages of any kind arising from the use of this information, including, but not limited to direct, indirect, incidental, punitive, and consequential damages.
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