Are Your Passwords on this List?

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Every year, Splashdata publishes a list of the “worst passwords,” and this year’s list was announced a few days ago.

The number ONE worst password? “123456”

The word “password” has topped the chart for a while, but was unseated last year by “123456.” The very-bad-choice-of-a-password……. “password” …… remains at number 2 for this list.

I assume no one reading this blog is using either of these two passwords (am I right?)
BUT…..
are you guilty of using any of the others on this list?

Take a look…. and give a thought to your own password safety. A safe password should have a mix of numbers, letters, and symbols. It should not contain personal information. You should have unique passwords for different accounts. And, you should change your password often.

Worst Passwords 2014

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How to Change Your Email Signature on your iPhone and iPad

Over the last several years, “throwback Thursday” has become quite popular. Although it is really supposed to be about nostalgia (like old photos), I thought I’d stretch the point, and occasionally post an old (but updated!) “how to” on Thursdays, for the benefit of the many new-device-users who have joined our blog. (or to refresh the memories for those of us who forget!)

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 8.48.41 PMWhen you send an email from your device, it has a little “stamped” message at the bottom of your text, either “sent from my iPhone” or “sent from my iPad”. If you are a relatively new user, you may have wondered if you can change this message.

The simple answer is…… yes, indeed.

You can customize it however you would like, or you can choose to have no message at all.

You can also select a different signature for each of your email accounts, clearly separating your personal and professional life.

Before you make any changes, give it a little thought. For example, “future rock star” would be a poor choice for a professional signature. :shock: Make absolutely sure that you pay attention as you assign a signature to your email accounts. Determine if messages will be personal or professional, and create accordingly.

Personal signatures vary from the simple “regards” or “cheers” to a comedy choice (“sent from my Atari 2600”) to inspirational quotes or lines from literature.

The directions to make a change are the same for both the iPad and the iPhone.

Here is how to change your email signature:

Go to your settings and select “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”. Then scroll down and tap “Signature”.

You can now make the choice of “All Accounts” or “Per Account.” You can see, here, that on my iPhone, the message “sent from my iPhone” goes out on all my emails, from any account.

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Under the “accounts” choice, you see a text box, with the current message in it.

Replace “sent from my iPhone” with your name, or whatever else you would like to appear at the bottom of every email that you send.

Once you have made your changes (you can just make it blank), you are done. There is no “save” button, it just works.

To go back, touch the “Mail, Contacts..” arrow at the TOP of your screen, and this will take you back to Settings. Give your Home Button a push, and you are back to a screen full of your icons.

All done. The next email you send will contain your new signature (or no signature at all if you made it blank).

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How to Turn Off (the evil) In-App Purchases

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 6.49.05 PMAlmost two years ago, I blogged about turning off in-app purchases, after a child in the UK racked up a whopping bill of $2500.

Since many folks have recently subscribed to this blog after (probably) getting a new device for the holidays, I think it’s time to talk about this again.

First, my rant. Bluntly, I think in-app purchases are (usually) evil. It’s a model designed to get you to pay more and more just to finish whatever it is you are doing. In-app purchases often appear in games, encouraging you to acquire extra powers or lives or turns or whatevers. In the heat of the moment, many normally-sane people find themselves wracking up charges for…… well, lots of nothing.

It just seems to me that the vast majority of in-app purchases are simply designed to, uh, ‘get’ you.

If you have children using your devices, you should absolutely positively turn OFF the ability to buy these extras.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 7.00.17 PMBut I’d like to take this a step further and suggest that all of us boomers do the same. Those in-app purchases are pretty darn sneaky (and getting sneakier all the time). They can pop up and be confusing, and you might find yourself buying something you never intended to buy at all.

I recently downloaded a well-reviewed match 3 game, a Disney product, and was flabbergasted at all the “do you want to buy an extra turn/power/etc” that the game kept throwing at me. I’d MUCH rather pay for a game, and use it cleanly without any hidden costly surprises.

Here is how to turn off your in-app purchases on your iPhone or iPad:

Go to your Settings > General > Restrictions.

To enable restrictions, you’ll have to enter a passcode. Be sure to remember this, because you will need it if you want to change it later.

Once you have enabled restrictions, just slide on down and find “In-app purchases.” Slide the switch to off (not green) and you’ll be all set.

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A Fun New Year’s Resolution for you and your iPhone or iPad: Photo365

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 6.15.40 PMEvery year it rolls around. New Year’s day. And with it comes the promises we make to ourselves … our Resolutions.

Here’s a great one! It’ll cost you ($1.99), but I think you’ll find it’s well worth the price.

It’s simple to use. It weds photos and a calendar. Choose or take a photo each day to represent your day. The photos appear in the calendar on the day you assign it. You have the option to add a note to any picture (or add more than one picture).

Bring up the calendar and you see all of the pictures that you chose to represent each day. Tap on any photo to see a larger version.

As time goes on, you create a visual diary of your life. It’s very VERY easy to use.

It’s kind of nice and reflective to look back through a month or so and recall something special from each day.

Of course you can adapt this in other ways, as well. Instead of a daily photo memory, perhaps you might choose to take a picture a day of yourself or a loved one. Or perhaps make it into a visual gratitude journal.

Pardon my screen shot of their screen shot, but I’m sure you understand the personal nature of a diary. :)

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Just tap on any photo to see a larger version, and with that tap comes the opportunity to add a note, edit, share or delete the photo.

Photo365 is fun, and it’s a New Year’s resolution that I think I can keep. :)

Best wishes to all for a happy and healthy New Year!

Photo365 is $1.99 in the iTunes store.

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Saving some memory in iOS 8

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 7.27.21 AMSaving memory is a big issue for some people, especially if you have a 16GB phone. Memory gets eaten up by all kinds of things.

One of those “things” is the collection of photo-messages, video-messages and voice messages that you acquire over time.

I never realized this until doing the research for this post, but apparently your messages are saved for… well….. forever. :shock: (that’s a long time!)
And if you get a lot of pictures, etc, via the messaging app, your memory could be taking a serious hit.

iOS8 gives us the opportunity to have a little control over that.

Here is how to make your own choice about message-saving:

Go to Settings > Messages

Slide down, and you will see a place for “message history.” The default is to keep messages FOREVER.

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Tap on “forever” and you will be given two additional choices: 30 days or 1 year.

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By nixing the “forever” choice, you’ll be saving memory that would otherwise be lost. Every little bit helps!

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Is Your Blog Snowing?

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 6.47.28 AMIf you have added snow to your Blog here on WordPress anytime in the past, you might have noticed that WordPress remembered this …. and it has recently started snowing on your blog without you doing a thing to get it going.

And if you leave it alone, it will automatically stop on January 4.

If you are new to WordPress and you would like to make it snow on your blog, here is what you do:

Go to Settings > General and scroll ALL the way down to the bottom. There you will find the box that you can check to make it snow on your blog (or UNcheck if you do not want the snow).

This snow is harmless. It won’t accumulate, and you don’t have to shovel it. :)

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Saving Favorites in Safari with iOS 8

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 7.07.56 PM Safari changed a bit in iOS7 and a bit more in iOS8. Not a lot, but enough to mention, here.

When you bring up a web page on Safari, and you would like to save it as a favorite, there is a really easy (visual) way to do this…… but it’s kind of hidden.

So let’s go and find it. :)

Let’s start by using Safari to bring up a website that you would like to save.

Here I have summoned the website for one of my favorite podcasts, A Way with Words.

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To save it as a favorite, just touch the search bar, again. Suddenly, you will see several “squares” representing the websites that your iPhone thought you might like favorited, like Disney and ESPN.

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Now, pull DOWN on the page. Two hidden buttons appear, “Add to Favorites” and “Request Desktop Site.”

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Tap on “Add to Favorites” and your website will be saved with its own little square icon, as you can see, here.

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(The other option allows you to view the regular desktop site instead of the abbreviated mobile one.)

If you need to delete a “Favorite” in the future (or delete the “favorites” that Apple chose for you), just tap and hold a square. “Delete” will appear above the square as an action-option. Now touch “delete” and the square-favorite vanishes. Poof! Gone!

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Weekend Distraction: My New iPhone 6

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Thanks, Linda, for this great cartoon!! :)

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A Quick Post about Quick Reply in iOS8

If a text appears at the top of your device while you are involved with something else, you no longer have to leave whatever-you-are-doing to head over to messages to answer it.

When the text comes in, just pull it down.

You’ll have the opportunity to reply right then and there, and then go back to doing whatever it was that you were doing.

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From Skitch-24

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Real Time Dictation in iOS8

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 7.47.05 AMThis was a pleasant surprise.

Before iOS8, I would dictate notes, emails and text messages, BUT this process often resulted in frustration for me.

I could dictate, but after every few sentences I would have to click on “done” in order for the dictation-gremlins to catch up. And then I would proof-read to fix errors. I used it, but it was buggy.

iOS8 has changed this …. significantly for the better.

Now, when you dictate, you will see your words appear as you speak them. Now you can speak your entire text, and not have to hit ‘done’ until you actually are (done!).

For those who are new to the iPhone/iPad, or for those who have never used dictation before, here is …..

How to dictate text in iOS 8:

Tap the spot where you plan to type (in notes, email, texts, etc) and a keyboard will appear.

Touch the microphone that is next to the space bar.

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Start talking. Speak clearly and watch your words appear as you talk.

When you are done, (REALLY done) hit “done.” :)

REAL TIME!!!

MUCH better. I’ll now be doing a whole lot more talking-to-text rather than finger tapping the keyboard.
(however……. typing on the iPhone 6 Plus is a WHOLE lot easier with the bigger everything keyboard!)

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