“Yahoo Alert”…true or fake?
Every other one of us were warned of our personal computers possibly being compromised – hacked – during the last week or so by a 300-word missive from Yahoo, our server, which appears itself to have been hacked almost three years ago. A little late in the telling, but better late than never was my first thought. My second thought was, “Is this message itself a fake?”
“No, it was for real,” advised Bob Way of Linden whose expertise in the computer field is close to impeccable. You only have to read his professional resume to prove my words. What to do, I asked?
“First, change your password,” he said.
I don’t believe I’m alone among my generation, and perhaps the generation before me, in admitting my inability to change my email password without help. I’m 83. Bob confirmed I’m not alone. We talked, he advised, we talked some more and he agreed that he’d become “The Computer Guy” for readers of The Royal Examiner, providing an occasional advice column, the first of which follows this introduction.
Bob Way is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and earned a BS in Information Systems. For a quarter century, he worked at Orbcomm, Motorola and Boeing supporting the Ground Network Systems for the large formation satellite constellations launched by Orbcomm and Iridium. (Are you still with me?). Bob retired two years ago and now is helping develop computer classes to teach at Samuels Public Library. More parenthetical stuff here (as a US vet, Bob is invited to assist Robert MacDougall (USMC) and me with next year’s Memorial Day ceremony May 29, 2017, at the Gazebo).
Bob says he needs stuff to do in retirement, hence our invitation for him to write a column or two for the Examiner!
He has lived in Linden for 25 years and, with wife Barbara, raised three sons there. He’s been a soccer coach, a Cub Scouts pack leader, and supported the Front Royal Women’s Resource Center as their IT guy for as long as his wife has been president.
She retires from the position December 31 while Bob dives into a new role as our computer guy.
Back to the Yahoo warning, is it genuine or a fake? “This is genuine,” said Bob.”I’ve seen fakes over the years and they are easy to figure out. A genuine email such as the Yahoo one will usually have the following characteristics:
*They will display a corporate logo.
*They will NOT ask that you click on any links or contain attachments.
*They do NOT request your personal information.
If an email you receive about security issues prompts you to click on any links, download an attachment, or ask you for information, the email was not sent by Yahoo and may be an attempt to steal your personal information. Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from such suspicious emails.
How should you respond to the current situation! First, change your password. To do this, go to the main Yahoo site and click on “sign in” on the upper right of the screen. Enter your Yahoo email and you may be presented with a screen that steps you through changing your password. It’s easy when you know what you’re doing! If you log in but still aren’t sure you actually changed your password, then do the following:
- After logging in, go to the upper right and look for the icon or picture with your user name beside it.
- Move the mouse pointer over it and then, on the pop up menu, click on “Account info.” You will be sent to your account setting page .
- On the left of the page, click on the “Account Security Link.”
- You will be taken to the “Account Security Page.”
- Change your password by clicking on the “Change Password” link.
- You will be stepped through the process.
It is advisable to change your password every once in awhile, Bob said, so copy the above directions!
How to choose living room furniture
Whether you want to spruce up your living room or completely remodel it, choosing new furniture can be a challenge. Here are some tips that can help.
Identify your needs
Consider how your space will be used. If you watch a lot of TV or enjoy frequent movie nights, opt for a comfortable couch with enough space for the whole family. For avid gamers, an entertainment unit with shelves to store consoles and controllers is a practical purchase. A coffee table that can be adjusted to various heights is a great solution if you tend to eat your meals in the living room.
Additionally, a sofa bed is a versatile choice if you need your living room to double as an occasional guest room. You should also determine how much storage you’ll need to ensure the space is functional and free of clutter.
Assess the space
Measure the dimensions of your living room before you go shopping to make sure you choose pieces that fit. If you want to maximize the space’s potential, sketch out a few different floor plans. Keep in mind the location of windows, doorways, baseboard heaters, and floor vents when you design the layout. You should also take note of whether direct sunlight will create glare on the TV screen or potentially fade furniture fabric.
Establish a budget
Evaluate your financial situation and inquire about financing options for big-ticket items. Once you know how much you can afford to spend, decide on a budget, and stick to it. Keep in mind, however, that while quality pieces are more expensive, they’ll also last a lot longer. It may be worth shelling out a bit more for furniture if it’s well-made.
Settle on a style
When buying new furniture for your living room, it’s best to choose pieces with colors and textures that complement one another. Additionally, deciding on a design style will help guide your choices and allow you to successfully pair wood, metal, and glass pieces. From the whimsy of Bohemian chic to the crisp simplicity of Scandinavian, there’s a wide range of styles to select from. Choose the one you love and pick your items accordingly.
Test each piece
Before you purchase a sofa or chair, try out the floor model to make sure it’s comfortable. If you find a few items you like in the same store, ask if they can be placed side by side so you can see how they look together. You should also bring along paint chips, swatches, and photos to help you find furniture that matches what you already have.
To simplify your search for living room furniture and help you create a cohesive space, consider hiring a professional interior designer.
4 tips for a successful Fourth of July barbecue
The Fourth of July is an ideal occasion to host a backyard barbecue. Here are four tips to ensure the day is a success.
1. Start planning early
Hosting a barbecue isn’t complicated, but waiting until the last minute to get organized can be stressful. A to-do list will ensure you don’t forget to pick up ice for the drink cooler or top up on fuel for the grill. If guests are bringing side dishes, preemptive planning can help you avoid ending up with four macaroni salads.
2. Get creative with colors
3. Keep the menu simple
Set out chips and dip for guests to snack on before you fire up the barbecue. Complement the traditional meat options with grilled asparagus, corn on the cob, or vegetable skewers. Remember, simple doesn’t have to mean boring. You can make the meal interactive with a build-your-own burger, nacho, or sundae bar.
4. Remember to relax
Independence Day is about spending time with loved ones and creating memories. Don’t hesitate to delegate tasks by assigning someone to the grill or asking guests to contribute a salad or dessert. Once everyone has a plate full of food, be sure to raise a glass to family and country.
Ideally, your barbecue should start in the early afternoon so you and your guests can make the most of a sunny day and still have time to go watch a fireworks display in the evening.
3 considerations when choosing a floating floor
Floating floors have become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to their durability and improved quality. Most of all, people appreciate how easy they are to install. Since the planks attach to each other instead of the subfloor, they’re also easy to replace. Here are three things to consider when choosing a floating floor.
1. The material
The most popular type of floating floor is laminate, which is an affordable option that can withstand a lot of abuse. How¬ever, you can also find planks made of vinyl, engineered wood, and other materials like cork.
The material you choose will depend on your budget, where you’re planning to install it, and the amount of traffic you expect in the area.
2. The quality
Well-made floating floors lock together easily and seamlessly, while some lower-end materials may not connect properly.
If you opt for laminate that mimics the look of wood, make sure there’s enough variety in the pattern for it to appear natural.
3. The thickness
Thicker floating floorboards aren’t necessarily a higher quality product. However, they’re easier to install, more resistant to damage, and the best choice if your subfloor isn’t perfectly flat.
Before you install your floating floor, you’ll need to lay down a sheet of foam underlay. A must for any floating floor, this layer acts as a moisture barrier, helps correct minor imperfections in the subfloor, and adds a bit of cushioning under the planks. Be sure to remove any baseboards or trim from the wall prior to installation, and pull up the old flooring if necessary.
How to maintain an organic lawn
If you want to grow an organic lawn, the first step is to stop treating it with chemicals. Instead, use natural products like chicken manure and corn gluten to nourish your grass and make it more resistant to pests. Furthermore, organic lawns require a bit of upkeep. Here’s what’s involved.
In the spring
If you live in a region that has cold winters, you should prepare your lawn for the growing season as soon as the ground thaws.
Start by removing any dead grass and aerating the lawn with a mechanical aerator. Once this is done, cover the surface with a mixture of black soil and compost.
Additionally, remember to test the soil’s acidity level and add lime or wood ash if necessary.
In the summer
To keep your lawn healthy, maintain a grass height of about three inches. You can leave the clippings on the lawn to act as a natural fertilizer.
You should also periodically check the soil’s acidity and treat any imbalances.
Finally, to make your lawn healthier and more resistant to disease and infestation, be sure to plant several kinds of grass and plants.
How to make your home more energy efficient
The amount of energy your household consumes can have a significant impact on your heating and cooling costs. Here are a few ways you can make your home more energy-efficient.
Replace doors and windows
If they aren’t well insulated, doors and windows can be a significant source of energy loss in your home. To maximize thermal insulation, upgrade to Energy Star certified models. Keep in mind that even the most energy-efficient options must be properly installed to provide optimal results.
Seal air leaks
Reducing the amount of air that leaks in and out of your home will make it more energy-efficient. Use caulk to seal windows, doors, vents, and places where plumbing or wiring comes through a wall. Don’t forget to have the foundation, roof, and exterior corners inspected for cracks and other types of damage.
Keep in mind that some projects are best left to the professionals. This will ensure your updates are done properly and safely. If you want to start with a smaller job, replace your halogen lightbulbs with LED versions, and consider installing a smart thermostat.
Don’t forget to take advantage of government incentive programs, such as tax credits and rebates, to help offset the cost of making energy-efficient improvements and using renewable energy technologies in your home.
How to grow food in a desert climate
Under the right conditions, fruits and vegetables can thrive in the desert. Here are a few things to consider if you want your vegetable garden to flourish in a hot, arid environment.
Test the soil for nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Although it depends on what you’re growing, vegetables generally require a significant amount of each nutrient. You may also need to adjust the pH level since arid soil tends to be very alkaline.
In a desert climate, plants need to be watered at least twice a day to prevent them from drying out. Alternatively, you can set up an inexpensive drip irrigation system.
If you’re interested in cultivating a garden that requires minimal irrigation, you can still grow food. The prickly pear cactus, for example, is entirely edible. Once the spines are removed, you can cut the pads into strips and add them to a salad or cook them with other vegetables. The plant also produces a red-fleshed fruit that’s considered a delicacy.
What to grow
Here are a few food-producing plants that can thrive in the desert:
• String beans
• Hot peppers