<?xml:namespace prefix = v /><?xml:namespace prefix = w />Halloween brings all kinds of costumed characters to our front doors. And while guessing which child is behind each mask is fun, trying to identify scammers dressed up as credible organizations can be challenging. To help you, this October issue begins with a warning about gift card scams masquerading as free offers from major retailers.
Speaking of costumes, the Great Sites list includes one with lots of easy-to-make costume ideas for Halloween. You'll also want to check out the sites for resources on road trip planning, fall recipes, credit management, and more. Take a minute to learn about firewalls and make sure yours is turned on, and review the tips we've shared about uploading videos to YouTube. Don't miss this month's videos featuring a joyful flash mob and a wheelchair-bound ocean explorer.
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- The eCurrents Team
Scam Alert – Don't Fall For Free Gift Card Scams
The Better Business Bureau is the latest established brand to be used by scammers to promote fake gift cards online. (Others have included Wal-Mart, Target, Starbucks, and Best Buy.) As tempting as these offers appear, especially with the holiday shopping season approaching, don't bother trying to redeem them. They're just tricks to collect consumer data; you won't receive the free gift card promised.
It works like this: The recipient receives an email, claiming to be from the established brand, stating that he/she has been issued a gift card worth a certain dollar amount. To receive this gift card free of charge, the recipient is told to immediately go to a website and provide information such as age, street address, email address, and phone number. Don't fall for it. You would be giving out personal information and receiving nothing but more spam in return.
In addition, experts warn that used, counterfeit, and fraudulent gift cards are frequently being sold on auction websites. For this reason, don't buy gift cards from auction websites; it's not worth the risk of ending up with a worthless piece of plastic. Only buy gift card directly from the store or from a secure retailer's website.
Include your name, recipe name, ingredients and instructions. Recipes must be received by October 31. All contributors will be entered into a drawing for a Rachel Ray 10-Piece Cookware Set, a $260 value! Winner will be announced at 3 Rivers' Annual Meeting in March
This Month's FAQ – How Do I Make Sure My Firewall Is On?
Question: When reading about computer security, I often see the advice to "make sure your firewall is on." What exactly is a firewall and how do I make sure mine is on?
Answer: A firewall is the primary method for keeping a computer secure from intruders. It allows or blocks traffic into and out of a private network or the user's computer. A personal firewall typically comes with, or is installed in, computers.
To check the status of your firewall and turn it on if needed, follow these steps:
1.Open Windows Firewall by clicking the "Start" button, clicking "Control Panel," clicking "Security," and then clicking "Windows Firewall."
2.Click "Turn Windows Firewall on or off." If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
3.Click "On," and then click "OK."
If you want the firewall to block everything, including the programs selected on the Exceptions tab, select the "Block all incoming connections" check box.
For Mac OS X 10.6 and later
1.From the Apple menu, select "System Preferences..." When the System Preferences window appears, from the View menu, select "Security & Privacy" (10.7 and later) or "Security" (10.6).
2.Click the "Firewall" tab.
3.If the orange padlock icon in the lower-left side of the window is closed, click it, and then authenticate with your Mac's administrator username and password. This will allow you to make changes.
4.Click "Turn On Firewall" (10.7 and later) or "Start" (10.6) to enable the firewall.
5.To configure the firewall, click "Firewall Options..."(10.7 and later) or "Advanced..." (10.6). In the sheet that appears, choose from the following options:
oFor the strictest setting, check "Block all incoming connections."
oCheck "Automatically allow signed software to receive incoming connections" to allow digitally signed applications access to your network without prompting.
oClick "Enable stealth mode" to have your computer ignore pings and similar software that attempts to discover your computer.
oUse the plus and minus buttons to add and remove applications from the firewall. When added, you can either allow or block traffic to them.
Sites Of The Month – Great Sites To Check Out In October
What's On The Way? onthewayapp.com – Visit this site for help planning the stops on your next roadtrip. Simply enter the city you're starting from and your final destination, and you'll see a choice of routes. Pick one and up pops a map along with a list of stores, restaurants, and tourist attractions for each leg along the way.
Boo-tiful Halloween Costumes spoonful.com – If you need some "scary good" ideas for Halloween costumes, check out this resource. From Rapunzel to a Washing Machine, you're sure to find a costume that fits your child's personality (and your crafting abilities). There are even last-minute outfits that can be thrown together fast.
Fall Recipes You'll Fall For simplyrecipes.com – The leaves are changing and so should your recipes in order to take advantage of foods that celebrate the fall season. Browse through this recipe collection for dishes including Apple Cranberry Pie, Butternut Squash Risotto, and Spicy Pumpkin Soup.
Free Credit Score And More www.creditkarma.com – Credit Karma provides truly free credit scores to consumers, along with related tools. Learn how you measure up to national averages and get advice on how to raise your credit score. You can also access offers that could save you money on your credit cards, auto loan, and more.
Yesterday's Technology retronaut.co – This site's slogan is, "The past is a foreign country. This is your passport." Take a trip back in time to see technological tidbits such as a 1949 radio hat, a 1984 Macintosh computer ad, and a 1969 film predicting what telecommunications would be like in the 1990s.
Short Tutorial – Tips For Successfully Uploading A Video On YouTube
Perhaps you're now a pro at uploading photos on Facebook but haven't yet ventured into the realm of posting videos on YouTube. It's pretty easy to do and well worth the effort. After all, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a moving video must be worth at least a million. So capture those precious moments at the next family gathering and then review the basic tips below. You can get more detailed instructions on uploading by clicking here:
Use a modern browser. Users with the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer with Silverlight have the most success.
Use a supported file format. Only video files are accepted, while audio and image files must be converted to video. Do not upload files types such as .WOB, .IFO and .BUP, which are not actual video files.
Do not use HTML tags, special characters, or excessive text in the video title or any of the other fields.
Upload videos in their original resolution. Videos should be uploaded at the highest resolution available. Videos uploaded with a 16:9 aspect ratio will fit the player perfectly. Most 4:3 resolutions are supported, but the video will be pillarboxed in order to fit the player.
Upload videos in original quality whenever possible. If you do not need to edit your video, simply upload the unaltered original recording for optimal quality.
Upload videos with identical Audio/Video durations. Audio and Video tracks should begin and end at exactly the same time.
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