Why Use Gmail

With all the different fee email services out there why should you use Gmail?  Gmail isn’t just an email account. There are so many other features that come with a Gmail account that makes life easier.   Below are the top nine reasons why you should use Gmail.


  1. Gmail uses labels and filters to help you organize email easier. An email can have several labels. Filters and labels allows you to forget about putting email in certain folders.  It automatically sends the email to the appropriate assigned folder.
  2. You can use Google SEARCH within Gmail to find the exact message you want – no matter when it was sent or received.
  3. There is a cool chat feature within the Gmail interface you can chat to friends or colleges right on you Gmail account page. You can also do a video chat.
  4. Google Voice is also another cool feature. You can sign up for a free phone number and call people from your computer or cell phone using that number.
  5. Google Docs is also available to you free, which has a word processor, along with Google sheets, which is like Microsoft Excel, and Google slides, which is similar to Microsoft’s PowerPoint.
  6. Google Drive is another feature where you can store documents and share for others to read or edit in real time.
  7. There are many extensions that you can add to your Gmail account to make it more powerful, such as Gmail with Boomerang lets you send emails in the future. You don’t want to forget a birthday or a meeting reminder? Or you want to send an email at a specific time? Boomerang lets you do it!
  8. Fetch your other mail: Gmail feature is Mail Fetcher, which can check up to five other email accounts and download all that mail into your Gmail. To help keep things organized, Mail Fetcher can automatically label and archive all this incoming mail.
  9. Gmail restricts downloads from automatically starting, just in case you open an infected email, and blocks images until you allow them to be seen.


With all these features and much more, why wouldn’t you want to use Gmail?

Karen Beth








Protecting your online accounts using two-factor authentication

Protecting your accounts online is a must in this day and age. Having only a password to login to your accounts isn’t enough anymore with all the hackers trying to steal your identification.  You need to have a two-factor authentication set up on your accounts.  You bank probably already has a two-factor authentication set up.  Upon Logging into your bank, you most likely have to provide a password and then they ask you to provide an email address or phone number so they can send you a code to enter in order to access your account information.  If you want to bypass this step, make sure you check the box asking if this is a personal computer, and the server will remember your device and ip address the next time you login.


Other accounts other than just financial also needs two-factor authentication to protect your information. Some that come to mind are Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Basically, any account that has your personal information you login to, needs a two-factor authentication.


How hard is it to set up a two-factor authentication on accounts?

Well it just depends upon the account. So how does two-factor authentication work? Basically, it requires not one but two pieces of privileged information before granting access to an online account. For Example, if you already have set up two-factor authentication for your Google account, and a hacker is trying to break into your Gmail he would need your email address, password and the code set up for the two-factor authentication.  It makes it much harder for them to figure out all the elements needed to login to your account. In the case of Google accounts, the second element is a unique security code that’s sent directly to your cell phone via text messaging.

Getting started takes a little bit of time on your part. Most major sites and services offer two-factor authentication as an optional security feature, so you need to log into your various accounts and locate the security settings to find it.

Two-factor authentication might seem like a hassle to set up, however, think about how much of a hassle it will be when your accounts does get hacked.

Karen Beth

How To Use Technology To Keep You Organized

home-office-336377__340Technology Is Your Best Friend When It Comes To Getting Organized. I can remember when I had to balance my checkbook using paper and pen. And carried a paper calendar in my purse everywhere I went to make sure I didn’t forget anything. The aggravation alone, of pulling out my calendar, and trying to find a pen, was enough to make me what to pull out my hair when I had to update something or add a new appointment. I would cringe every time I had to scratch something out and change the date. My calendar looked like a two-year-old had colored all over the pages.

I embraced the technology age with open arms. My life has become a lot less stressful and easier to manage since the invention of all the gadgets we have available to us now. I don’t have to worry about checking if I am missing an appointment, my Google Calendar sends an automated reminder of upcoming appointments to jog my memory. Instead of pulling out pen and paper, I just pull out my phone and enter the information I need to remember, and voilà, I can forget about it. My trusty little calendar has all the information stored and won’t let me forget a thing.

There are several apps out there that can do just about anything you can imagine as far as keeping you organized. My favorite online tool for organization and keeping me sane is Google.


With Google’s calendar, you can quickly access it from your computer, phone or tablet; they sync together, so any changes you make, on any one of your devices, automatically updates to your to all of your devices. You can color code any event, so when you quickly glance at it, you can tell if there are any appointments, birthdays, or chores you have to remember. It truly is an amazing tool to keep you organized and all of your appointments in check.
In addition to the features I’ve already mentioned, you can share your calendar(s) with others! This is extremely helpful when you have to keep your family informed of coming up events.


Email isn’t just tied to your computer anymore; you can also sync email to your smartphone. Don’t have time to sit down in front of your computer and go through all your emails? Not a problem! Download an email app that handles all of your email accounts in one location. Then when you’re sitting in the doctor’s office waiting to be called back, you can catch up on all those emails. In today’s world, it’s all about multi-tasking and staying organized. The more tools you use, the less stressed and hectic your life becomes.

Other great tools

In order to stay organized, you must use tools that you like, or you will never use them. So before you start downloading a million apps, ask your friends which ones they use, or read the reviews. A few of my favorite that I can’t live without are:

1. Evernote – Evernote is amazing, it can store photos, spreadsheets, emails, notes, anything you can imagine. It even has notebooks to help keep you organized, along with tags so you can quickly find that note you wrote two years ago. Instead of having everything saved in folders all over your computer, use Evernote to keep you organized. And the best thing about Evernote is it syncs to all of your devices. So if you need to access something while you’re away from your computer, you have it on your smartphone or tablet. Don’t get caught without valuable information again just because it’s only on your computer at the office or at home.

2. To-Do-Lists – To-Do-Lists are a must, there are several out there that help you remember what’s on the agenda that you have to complete. Personally, I use To-Do-List. It is simple, and straight forward. You can add people to the app and share items with them, so everyone is on the same page about what needs to be accomplished. When someone completes a task, they mark it finished, and it updates the list of what needs to be done and notifies everyone the statuses of each task.

3. Full Contact – Full Contact is an awesome tool to keep all of your contacts in one place. It syncs with your email accounts. When you bring up a contact, you can add notes about the person, invite them to a meeting, and it links all of the social media accounts they belong to so you can follow each of their accounts if you choose.

Organizational tools are meant to help you stay focused and informed about daily tasks that need to be completed, along with helping you remember what you forgot. And all information is synced across all of your devices, so you have all the information you need at your fingertips at all times, which can make you look like a rock star.

Karen Beth

Protecting your computer


Keeping up with security for your computer can be a very daunting task. Every time you think your computer is secure, hackers can find another hole, or write new code to get into your system and steal information. Even if you’re diligent in keeping up with the security patches and avoiding certain websites you still are vulnerable to an attack. However, securing your computer is an essential part in protecting your privacy, reducing the risk of identity theft, and preventing hackers from taking over your computer.

Think of it this way. You wouldn’t leave the front door to your house wide open for thief’s to find so they could wipe you clean. So why leave your computer wide open for Hackers?
There are many potential risks to your computer. Some are more serious than others. They include:

• Malware stealing your passwords and login information
• Ransomware that prevents you from using your computer
• A hacker using your computer to attack others
• Someone breaking into your system and altering files
• Someone stealing your computer and accessing your personal information

There's no guarantee that even with the best precautions some of these things won't happen. However, you can take steps to protect the risks to your computer and your sensitive information just like you take steps to protect you home. Ultimately, the security of your computer is dependent upon you.

Which Operating System Is More Secure?

Your computer's operating system is the main program on your computer. It performs a variety of functions, including determining what types of software you can install, coordinating the applications running on the computer at any given time, and allowing your software applications (web browsers, word processors, and email clients) to operate. Depending on what brand of computer you purchase, will determine which operating system is installed on your computer.

PCs have the Windows operating system. The current Windows operating system is Windows 10. Apple computers use the Mac OS X. Windows operating systems traditionally have been targeted with malware more often than other operating systems. This may be due to the larger base of Windows installations, which makes it a more attractive target. Apple products usually have fewer attacks than Windows computers. However, Apple's Mac OS X is not immune to security flaws. In fact, as more consumers purchase Apple products, malware makers have begun to target Mac OS X.

So the question is, which operating system is more secure?

There's nothing about Apple’s OS X operating system that makes it inherently more secure than Windows. In fact, the only secure operating system is one that isn’t connected to the World Wide Web. However, what’s the purpose of purchasing a computer that won’t be used online? So now the next question comes into play.

Which Internet Browser Is More Secure?

There are many browsers out there that you can choose from. The main three for computers are Internet Explorer, Mozilla Fire Fox, and Chrome. Mozilla tends to patch Firefox security vulnerabilities more quickly than Microsoft patches Explorer. One advantage of Firefox is that it is an “open source” program. This allows security professionals to become involved in fixing bugs and building stronger security features. One of the most innovative features of Google Chrome is the sandboxing functionality. Internet Explorer and Firefox run one instance of the browser engine with multiple associated processes. That means that if one or more browser windows or tabs crash or run into issues, it will most likely crash the web browser engine and take down every other instance with it.

No matter which browser you use, it's important that you update it as newer versions come out which address security vulnerabilities. Firefox automatically deliver updates on a fairly frequent schedule, usually every few weeks. Other browsers may not update as frequently and may not update automatically.

What Are Firewalls, Anti-virus Programs, and Anti-malware Programs?

Every user of a personal computer should be familiar with firewalls, anti-virus programs, and anti-malware programs. These programs complement one another and must be used together to provide the highest level of protection to your computer. They are necessary to protect you from threats designed to damage, disrupt, or inflict illegitimate activity on your computer. Make sure your security software is up to date and runs automatically. A firewall helps to prevent data from entering or leaving your computer without your permission. It helps make you invisible on the Internet and blocks communications from unauthorized sources.

Anti-virus programs protects you from a computer virus. A virus is a computer program that can do anything that any other program you run on your computer can do. A virus spreads by first infecting files or the system areas of a computer and then makes copies of itself. While some viruses are harmless, others may damage data files, some may destroy files, and others may just spread to other computers. Viruses can destroy your data, slow your computer's performance, or cause your computer to crash.

Anti-malware (anti-spyware) programs protect you from threats including spyware, adware, Trojan horses, and other unwanted programs that may be installed without your knowledge. Once spyware is installed, it may deploy numerous files onto your system. Some of these files are so well hidden that they are difficult to find and remove.

When spyware is running on a computer system, there is almost no data outside of its reach. Commonly targeted data includes your Internet activity, email and contact information, and your keystrokes. Spyware can track your online activity, looking for websites visited, and financial data such as credit card numbers or financial account numbers on your screen, browsing and online purchasing habits, and passwords.

How To Use Your Computer Safely

1. Keep your software up-to-date – Turn on Automatic updates.
2. Use strong passwords – Passwords should always contain at least 8 characters including an upper case and lower case letter, one number, and a special symbol (!@#&).
3. Avoid Spam – Never open an attachment in an email unless you know someone, and even then be careful, they could have been hacked and the hackers are sending email to everyone in their address book.
4. Be skeptical - When in doubt don’t click.
5. Back up all your data – Make a backup of your computer frequently.
6. Make sure you are on the correct website. – Scammers create look-a-like sites that have common misspellings of popular URLs, making you think you are giving your information to someone you trust, when in fact they are collecting your data.
7. Protect sensitive information – Never reveal personal or financial information in an email, and especially don’t click on links to a website. Scammers often send emails that look like they are coming from legitimate businesses that includes a link to a website. If you click on the link it will take you to a spoof site.
8. Turn off your computer or disconnect it from the internet - When you’re done for the day and won’t be using your computer for a long period of time, turn off or disconnect from the internet. Hackers search for unattended computers that they can compromise.
In conclusion, in order to stay safe on the net you must take precautions to keep the bad guys out, just like you do to protect your home. Always be safe and happy surfing.

Click on the image to check out AVG

Karen Beth