Amazon Free Shipping – How to Make Sure You Get It.

If you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership and you order on Amazon, you may have noticed at checkout the notice telling you that if you add $X amount to your order you would qualify for free shipping. Often times it’s only a few dollars you’d need to add but you have no idea what to purchase for that small of a dollar amount.

I ran across this site, where if you enter the amount you need for free shipping, it will return a list of items on Amazon that will qualify you for free shipping. It could be animal products, office supplies or any number of things but all could be useful items and they’d get you free shipping.

Check it out –

How To Stay Safe From Unsafe Websites On The Internet

Have you ever visited a website and moments later a window opens up on your computer telling you that your computer is infected with hundreds of viruses and thousands of other types of malware? Have you been on the internet and all of a sudden your computer slows to a crawl and you have no idea why? Have you ever clicked a link in an email that a friend has sent and have been taken to a website that doesn’t look right, and turns out it’s an infected website? Have your kids been going places on the internet they shouldn’t be? Have you gotten on the internet and noticed that your starting page or your search engine has changed?

There is a way to protect you, your computer and your family members from accessing those websites by changing a setting on your computer.

      How does it work?

Each time your computer visits a Web site, it converts the website address that you entered to a number which represents the IP address of the site (computers only connect to IP addresses, not human-friendly names). Imagine that you want to go to a restaurant so you enter the name of the restaurant into your GPS and what you get back is the street address of the restaurant. That’s what happens when you enter a website name into your browser. Now, your GPS won’t tell you that the address is in a bad part of town, it’ll just give you the address and directions to get there. Imagine now that your GPS can be set so that it no longer just gives you the address, but it also tells you that the restaurant has been restricted because people have gotten sick while eating there or there have been some burglaries there recently or hookers have been known to hang out around there so you have a way of knowing that and can avoid going there. 


By making a simple change to your computer’s network setting, you can have that kind of protection when on the Internet. When entering a website in your browser, your browser performs a quick check on each site to make sure that the requested Web site is safe. If the requested Web site is unsafe, you will see a warning that includes information on why the site is rated as dangerous. There are a couple of different levels of protection, so you can set your computer to block sites hosting malware, phishing sites, or scam sites. You can also set your computer to block not only unsafe sites but those that contain sexually explicit material.


You can make the choice and I’d highly recommend you take the steps to do it. If you’re interested in this, comment on this and I’ll help you make the changes to your computer or if you’d like to make the change yourself, let me know what version of Windows or if you’re using a Mac, let me know that and I’ll send you the instructions. 

Can Your Password Change Your Life?

I’m a stickler for strong passwords. Amazingly, the top 10 passwords used on the internet in 2014 were:

  1. 123456789
  2. 123456
  3. password
  4. Adobe123
  5. 12345678
  6. qwerty
  7. 1234567
  8. 111111
  9. 123123
  10. abc123

Is it any wonder people get their logins hacked? If you’re someone using any of these, please change them immediately.

What to change them to? Well, the recommendation is to make your passwords at least 8 characters, using upper and lower case letters, special characters (those above the numbers) and add a number or two. As you know, if, as also recommended, you use a different password for every site your need to log into, it gets pretty hard to remember what passwords are going where. I’ve recommended password programs in the past, such as LastPass and RoboForm, programs that will generate new passwords and remember what password goes to which login. Programs like this are essential when using multiple passwords at multiple sites that you may not be logging into all of the time.

For those passwords that you use daily, or those that you use that you are forced to change on a regular basis, there is a formula to create passwords that have the capability of changing your life. Are there habits that you’re trying to break, or acquire? Are there things that you need to remember to do regularly, but somehow forget? Are there mantras or affirmations you need to remember to say? Turn them into a password.

I recently read an article from Mauricio Estrella. He was going through some life altering things. Per company policy, he was forced to change his password at work every 30 days.

“I’m gonna use a password to change my life,” he recalls thinking.

He continues:

“My password became the indicator. My password reminded me that I shouldn’t let myself be victim of my recent break up, and that I’m strong enough to do something about it.

My password became: Forgive@h3r

I had to type this statement several times a day. Each time my computer would lock. Each time my screensaver with her photo would appear. Each time I would come back from eating lunch alone.

In my mind, I went with the mantra that I didn’t type a password. In my mind, I wrote “Forgive her” everyday, for one month.”

Changing that password changed the way he thought of his former spouse. It was a recurring refrain, he says, a reminder to forgive her, accept the uncoupling, and embrace a recovery from depression.

“In the following days, my mood improved drastically,” Estrella continues. “By the end of the 2nd week, I noticed that this password became less powerful, and it started to lose its effect. A quick refresh of this ‘mantra’ helped me. I thought to myself I forgive heras I typed it, every time. The healing effect of it came back almost immediately.” You can read the whole article here.

Sound like something you can do? Of course. Think about things weighing on your mind. Turn them into a daily password and Change Your Life.

Change it to what you ask? Well, generally a password should be at least 8 characters, using upper and lower case,

Don’t Get Scammed While Shopping This Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us. That means Black Friday, Cyber Monday, online shopping, deliveries, special emails, etc.

With all of that going on, the chance of being scammed increases. It was this time last year that Target’s checkout registers were hacked and millions of customers had their credit card information stolen. That was followed by Home Depot and preceded preceded by TJ Max and others. You avoided the stores and decided to shop online? That’s fine until you get the emails from UPS, FedEX, USPS letting you know that the item you’re expecting can’t be delivered, but click this link to find out why….VIRUS. So, what do you do? These tips should help.

Use a Credit Card, Not a Debit Card

Credit cards are much more secure than debit cards. You are protected for fraudulent purchases over $50. Additionally, your debit card is usually connected to your checking account so if someone steals your debit card information, they also have direct access to your checking account. A credit card protects you from that as well.

Another option is to get a prepaid or single use credit card. You can talk to your financial institution to see if they offer single use credit cards. They are great for shopping online. You use them once and no one can use them again.

Watch Out for Emails

This is the time of year where your email is getting bombarded with special offers. Incredible deals abound, just click this link…Don’t do it. Emails have an amazing way of looking like they’re coming from a reputable store but when you click the link, you’re taken to a website that just wants to steal your data.

If you see something you really like in an email, don’t click the link. Open your browser and go to the store’s website to see if they’re really offering that special. If so, use your credit card and order it. If not, delete the email. It was spam.

If you get an email from UPS, FedEX or USPS, be wary. They’ll tell you that your package was returned because it couldn’t be delivered and prompt you to click a link to find out why, or download and open an attachment. Don’t do it as that attachment or link will most likely contain a virus. 

The Top Sites in a Search Engine Are Usually Ad Sites

When you do a search for an item, the top sites that come up are usually ads or links that people pay for so that they come up first. Some of those people who pay for placement will put virus links on their site. Scroll down a little on the page to get  to the real sites that have the products for sale. 

Keep Track of Your Purchases 

Keep accurate records of your transactions. If you order online, print your receipts and keep them in a file. If you’re shopping in stores, keep your receipts and keep them in a file. That way you’ll have everything you need if a dispute arises, and it’s much easier to check your statements against the receipts when the statements come in the next month.


How Can I Check My Email to See if it’s Spam?

Every day it seems there is more and more spam coming to us in our email. Some have links that we’re tricked into clicking on. Some have attachments we’re pushed to download and “view”. Most have a connection to viruses, malware, or worse. But they look like they’re coming from websites or companies we know and use or they look like they’re coming from a family or friend. How would we know they’re bad?

There are a few things to check in the email but you have to learn to question every email, and then check it. Learn to “hover” your mouse over items, meaning move the mouse pointer over the link or other item in the email without clicking. What you’ll see may surprise you.

Watch my video here to see what I mean.

Did You Know You Could Do This With Your Apple iOS 8+ Device?

Now that Apple seems to have gotten the bugs worked out of their 8.+ update, I started to find various changes that are pretty cool. The more I searched, the more I found. I’d like to share them with you here. Some you’ll find to be very useful, others you’ll wonder how you ever got along without them. All are pretty cool.

Hide photos

When you tap and hold a photo within the Photos app you’ll see a “Hide Photos” option. If you tap it, the photo will be visible in the Hidden Album but not in your Moments, Collections and Years. This is nice if you have people who want to see your pictures or videos and there are some you’d not like to see.

More text control

There’s a lot more you can do with the texts you send and receive with iOS 8, including deleting them one by one. By holding your finger on a text message, an option for More will pop up — from there, you’ll be able to forward it along to someone else or tap to erase individual messages.

The new “details” section of Messages is pretty great for one key reason: you can now review all of the attachments that have been exchanged in each of your conversations on a single screen. You’ll see both images and videos you’ve sent as well as those received. And the archive goes back a long way — assuming you haven’t previously deleted your message history. But if you do need to free up space, the details view makes it even easier because you can just tap and hold on any attachment to erase it from your device

Timed selfies

When you’re taking a selfie and you need to set your device down so that you can get in the shot, your camera will now allow you a few seconds, up to 10, to get ready for that next photo. Just tap the clock icon at the top of the screen within the camera, choose how many seconds you need, and start snapping.

Bring Back Deleted Photos

If you’ve accidentally deleted a photo, it’s possible to bring it back: there’s a new Recently Deleted album in the Photo app that stores deleted pictures for up to 30 days before they disappear for good.

Battery Usage

Wondering why your battery is draining so fast? There is a new option that gives a percentage breakdown of what apps are killing your battery life most. To see which apps you should close when not in use, visit General > Usage > Battery Usage. You can then turn off some of those apps. This small step could add a few hours of extra battery life to your day.

Email Drafts

If you’re in the middle of an email, but want to go back to reading your inbox, you can hold the top of the message and drag down (but don’t put your finger too high on the screen or the notifications tab will appear). You can do this with multiple drafts, too. Double tap the minimized draft at the bottom to see all of them at once — this makes them appear in a carousel view, similar to how it looks with Safari tabs in iOS 8 — and proceed to open or delete them with taps and swipes.

Swipe to Delete in Email

Instead of hitting the small trash can icon for each email, you can now save time by swiping quickly to the left to get rid of individual emails. Just be careful when testing this feature; it’s so easy to remove emails that sometimes it happens when want to do other tasks. Meanwhile, dragging your finger slowly to the left on an email will let you flag or archive it. Swiping to the right will reveal the feature to mark a message as unread.

Interactive Notifications

Interactive notifications is one of the best parts about iOS 8. You can respond to texts, email, calendar invitations, reminders and messages within apps such as Facebook from the notification banners that pops up at the top of the screen. It’s a good way to reply to incoming messages without leaving the app you’re in or stopping what you’re doing all together. You have to have “notifications” activated on your device in order for this to work.


Finally, you’re no longer restricted to the keyboard Apple gives you and can pick better options from third-party developers, like Swype. Available for $0.99 in the Apple App Store, there’s a reason why Swype is the number one paid app right now: instead of tapping letters, you can swipe your fingers across the keys, which I’ve been wanting on my iPhone and iPad for years.

The built-in keyboard now offers predictive text, giving you word suggestions before you even type anything, right above the keypad. It “reads” what you’re keying in and anticipates what the next word will be. You can select it from the options and continue typing.

You turn other keyboards on after downloading by going to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard; you access them by clicking the globe key on the on-screen keyboard. 

Key People Shortcut

If you press the Home button twice, you’ll not only see the webpages you have open but the faces or initials of people you’ve recently talked to. This makes it easy to call or text your favorite contacts right away. The down side, however, is that it highlights contacts you might not want others to know about too. For example, if you’ve deleted a conversation you recently had with an ex (and you don’t want to broadcast this to anyone looking over your shoulder), their name will still display on the top. To remove this feature, visit Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Show in App Switcher and switch it of Off.

What’s that song?

Siri is now integrated with Shazam, an app that recognizes music and other media playing around it. You are now able to simply ask Siri “what song is playing?” and the title and artist will show up on your screen.

Hey Siri

So long as your iOS device is plugged in, you can now launch Siri just by calling out “Hey, Siri.” Just visit Siri’s settings to switch this feature on. You then tell Siri what you need.

Search Websites Instantly

Now here’s a super useful thing that most people will probably never even know about. If you go into Safari’s settings, there’s a new “Quick Website Search” feature. Whenever you search a website (Amazon, IMDB, etc.), Safari remembers that. So from then on, you can just launch a Safari search, type out “amazon” ahead of your search term, and Safari will offer to (instantly) search the website itself.

Control Center

You can access Control Center from anywhere in iOS—including the Lock screen. To access Control Center, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. To close Control Center, swipe down, tap the top of the screen, or press the Home button.

In Control Center, you can adjust these settings:

  • Turn on or off Airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, and screen-orientation lock
  • Adjust screen brightness
  • Play, pause, or skip a song, and adjust playback volume
  • Connect to an AirPlay device or toggle between audio output
  • Adjust whether your device is discoverable for AirDrop

Control Center also includes quick access to these apps:

  • Camera
  • Timer
  • Calculator (iPhone and iPod touch only)
  • Flashlight (iPhone and iPod touch only)

If your device is not locked, you can also access the currently playing audio app by tapping the song title. 

Spotlight Search

Previously designed to search for items just on your iPhone or iPad, Spotlight has been a handy tool for finding emails, appointments, contacts, music and other locally stored items. But in iOS 8, the search universe has expanded way beyond just your local device.

Here’s how the new Spotlight works:

Trigger Spotlight by swiping your finger down from just below the top of your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The search field now says: “Spotlight Search” instead of just “Search iPhone” or “Search iPad.”

The screen also explains the types of items you can now find. Beyond searching your local device, Spotlight will offer suggestions from the Internet, iTunes and the App Store. It can also locate nearby locations, showtimes for movies, the latest news and even items from Wikipedia.

For example, I opened Spotlight and typed “Dracula,” the new movie that’s just opened. In response, Spotlight pointed me to a local theater where I could see the film, as well as to a Wikipedia entry on the movie. It also served up links to various Web sites about the film.

Asking Spotlight to track down “Mexican restaurants” showed me a couple such restaurants in my neighborhood, along with a few related websites. And searching for “Robin Williams” conjured up a Wikipedia entry on the late actor and comedian, an album that I could purchase on iTunes, and other items.

The new Spotlight is a handy way to delve beyond content that’s stored on your local device. But you can limit its capabilities through the Settings page should you wish.

Open the Settings app on your iOS device. Tap the General tab and then tap Spotlight Search. The results show you check marks in front of all the different types of items Spotlight will find in a search. To filter out a certain item from the search, simply tap it to remove the check mark. For example, tapping off Bing Web Results will prevent Spotlight from scouring the Web for information.

By default, your Spotlight searches and related information are sent to Apple. On its privacy screen for Spotlight, the company says it doesn’t store your searches and instead uses the data to try to make its search suggestions more relevant. However, those of you concerned about privacy may still wish to turn off the entry for Spotlight Suggestions to prevent your search queries from being shared in this way.

Internet Explorer Malware Hole

Microsoft announced this weekend that ALL versions of Internet Explorer were at risk for “drive-by” attacks from malicious websites. These attacks are currently happening around the world so this isn’t a “could happen” attack, it’s real.


A possible “drive-by” attack is one where you visit a website and you start getting pop-ups stating you have hundreds of viruses, trojans, bugs, etc. and offering to fix your computer problems, for a price. Another type is the kind where you don’t know that it’s happening but the malicious site is installing damaging software onto your computer.


The risk of the Internet Explorer issue is that is has the potential of allowing the hackers the same user access as you have on your computer. That means that they’d have the ability to install software, create new user accounts, change or delete your files, hold your computer hostage, and many more things.


Microsoft is working on closing these holes but it could be sometime for it happen. Microsoft has said that they will not fix the holes for Windows XP.


What are your options until then?

  • Stop using Internet Explorer. Download Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox and set them up to be your default browser, especially if you’re still running Windows XP
  • Do not click on links that you get in emails, unless you’re absolutely certain they’re legitimate.  

Of course, if you’re already using a different browser, you don’t have to do anything further.


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