Hearts are everywhere in February, as are messages of affection and appreciation. Since we love our customers and want you to fully enjoy your online experiences, we put our heart and soul into bringing you valuable tips and information each month. This issue includes a warning about tax-related email scams, examples of creative memes online, and instructions on how to set up your new timeline on Facebook . We bet youll also love the fun videos and super-cool websites.
The goal of each of our eNewsletters is to keep our subscribers informed regarding their Internet connection and to improve their Internet experience. We think you'll find this information interesting.
To see what's inside this issue, simply scroll down the eNewsletter or click on the links within the index to the left. Thanks for reading!
- The eCurrents Team
Scam Warning – Beware Of Tax-Related Emails
Tax season can be frustrating enough; don't make it worse by falling victim to a tax-related email scam. Each year cybercriminals use a variety of ploys to try to convince nervous taxpayers to reveal personal information. One currently circulating scam uses the name of a legitimate tax preparation software company—Turbo Tax.
The phony email tells recipients they need to upgrade their software in order to be in compliance with new tax laws. It also provides a link which leads to a fake (but legitimate-looking) website. At this point, recipients may be asked to enter personal information to confirm they're the software holder; the cybercriminals then use this information to file tax returns and have refunds sent to them.
To protect yourself:
Always check on the legitimacy of the tax preparation service you are going to use.
If you receive an email from any tax preparation software company, do not open it or click on any link. If you actually need a software upgrade, go directly to the company's secure site.
On a related note, keep in mind that the IRS does NOT send unsolicited email about tax account matters to taxpayers. If you should receive an email claiming to be from the IRS, DO NOT REPLY, CLICK ON ANY LINKS, OR PROVIDE ANY INFORMATION. Visit the IRS website for more about reporting and identifying IRS email scams.
As regular readers of this newsletter should know, 3 Rivers provides SecureIT Plus Internet security softwareFREE for one computer to all 3 Rivers High Speed Broadband Internet subscribers, with antivirus, patch management, firewall, pop-up blocker, parental controls and spyware detection and removal, plus free 24/7 technical support.
In this day and age, however, security protection software can only go so far.
While social media can build positive connections for young people, it can also provide an outlet for risky and unhealthy behavior like bullying and harassment. These kinds of things cannot be prevented with a software program such as SecureIT Plus. There are plenty of online resources available to give parents guidelines to help their children deal with situations that may arise—our 3 Rivers board president recommends http://www.facebook.com/safety.
Two To View – A Couple Of Amazing Videos You Don't Want To Miss
Baby's First Technology Lesson A baby shows how, for her generation, technology is the rule rather than the exception. After using an iPad, she expects a magazine to work the same way. This "sign of the times" was picked by Mashable, a leading digital news website, as one of the top videos of 2011.
Cobra Weave Stick Bomb Looking for something to do at home on the next snowy day? This fun video shows plain old popsicle sticks transformed into a cool, multicolored, exploding "cobra weave stick bomb." The stick bomb shown uses 1,000 sticks; the world record, as of 2011, is over 5,000!
Question: I've heard the term "meme" used to describe photos and videos but I'm not sure what it means. What is a meme, exactly?
Answer: In general terms, a meme (pronounced meem) is a cultural idea that is passed from person to person. Just about any piece of information that gets passed throughout the population or down through the generations (such as the ability to start a fire, the invention of the phone, a welding process, a fashion trend, a joke, or a catch phrase) is considered a meme. The collection of all memes is the basis of culture.
An Internet meme is a particular kind—a meme that's transmitted online in the form of videos, songs, photos, or Photoshop-enhanced images. Often times, these memes are humorous in tone and created in response to something happening in the news. Examples include the "Pepper Spraying Cop" and "Tebowing."
Sites Of The Month – Great Sites To Check Out In February
Mardi Gras Recipes allrecipes.com – Get ready for Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras by visiting this site. It's loaded with recipes and videos for all your Cajun favorites including gumbo, dirty rice, blackened catfish, and king cake. Many of these recipes are highly rated by readers who have tried them. Check out the reviews, add recipes to your recipe box, or share favorites with friends.
Watch Flights In Progress flightaware.com – Next time youre picking someone up at the airport, visit this sophisticated flight tracking site, which offers detailed information on the status of commercial flights. Just enter the flight specifics and see a map that shows the flight in progress. While youre there, check out the home page for at-a-glance delay news and the photo section for dazzling aircraft shots.
Free Credit Tools quizzle.com – Just like going to the doctor periodically for a checkup, you need to track your credit to understand your financial health. This site, recommended by CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, provides tools and information to help you better understand your credit. Get a free credit report, free credit score, credit improvement suggestions, and more.
Build Your Vocabulary vocabulary.com – Quick, what does adumbrate mean? Not sure? Then youll want to check out this website to learn this word and more like it. The site offers a fun way to improve your vocabulary by answering multiple-choice questions. If you sign up for an account, the site will track your vocabulary and present new words you probably dont already know.
Panoramic Travel Views tourwrist.com – This innovative site lets you take a 360° look at all kinds of travel spots and events worldwide. The 360° experience allows you to see these locations like youve never seen them before. When you find something you like, the site makes it easy to share through social media or email. You can even create an account to shoot and post your own panoramic views.
Short Tutorial – Setting Up Your Facebook Timeline
Timeline is Facebook's new way of presenting you to the world and is the most radical change in the history of the site. Whether you're ready or not, Facebook has begun the mandatory Timeline rollout. Here's what to do to learn more about it and manage the content of your new timeline:
1.Log in to your Facebook account.
2.Go to www.facebook.com/about/timeline. You'll learn the basics of Timeline and see examples of what this feature can look like. At the bottom of this page, there may be a box showing which of your Facebook friends has signed up for Timeline.
3.Click "Get Timeline." You'll have seven days to preview your timeline before other people can see it. You can use this time to add a cover, fill in life events, and star important stories. Until your timeline goes live, people will see your old profile.
4.To add a cover image to your timeline, go to your timeline and click "Add a Cover." Choose whether you want to upload a new photo or pick a photo from one of your existing photo albums. (Note: Your cover image has to be at least 720 pixels wide.) Once you choose a photo, you can reposition it by clicking on the image and dragging it up or down. When you're satisfied with your cover image, click "Save."
5.Scroll down on your timeline and edit or remove any items you don't want shown. Do that by holding your cursor over the upper right of the item you want to edit and then make your choice on the drop-down list.
6.From that list, you can change the date of the item, add a location, hide it from the timeline, delete the post altogether, or report it/mark it as spam.
7.If you'd like to "feature" any of the posts, click on the star icon to the left of the pencil icon and that item will be expanded all the way across the page, made larger for all your friends to see.
8.Once you're satisfied with all the edits you've made, go back to the top of the Timeline and click "Publish Now." After seven days, your timeline will be published automatically.
Be aware that once you start the Timeline process, there's no going back. Since some users don't like the change, scammers are preying on people desperate to get rid of Timeline and revert back to the old Facebook Profile layout. Scammers are creating Facebook Pages filled with deceptive instructions that promise users the ability to go through such a rollback if they complete a series of actions such as inviting friends to "Like" a page or watching YouTube videos. Don't fall for these scams! They will not magically make you more powerful than Facebook.