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.


25 “Worst Passwords” of 2011 Revealed – Yahoo! Finance

25 “Worst Passwords” of 2011 Revealed – Yahoo! Finance.

If you see your password below, STOP!

Do not finish reading this post and immediately go change your password — before you forget. You will probably make changes in several places since passwords tend to be reused for multiple accounts.

1. password

2. 123456


4. qwerty

5. abc123

6. monkey

7. 1234567

8. letmein

9. trustno1

10. dragon

11. baseball

12. 111111

13. iloveyou

14. master

15. sunshine

16. ashley

17. bailey

18. passw0rd

19. shadow

20. 123123

21. 654321

22. superman

23. qazwsx

24. michael

25. football

Users report Microsoft Security Essentials removes Google Chrome

By Ed Bott | September 30, 2011, 9:14am PDT – Full Article from ZDNet

Summary: Hundreds of users on Google Chrome Help forum this morning reported that Microsoft security products were identifying Chrome as a password-stealing Trojan and removing it. Update: Microsoft acknowledged the issue, posted a fix.

UPDATE, 10:00 AM PDT: Microsoft has identified the problem as being caused by a faulty definition file. This text has been added to the relevant page at the company’s Malware Protection Center:

On September 30th, 2011, an incorrect detection for PWS:Win32/Zbot was identified. On September 30th, 2011, Microsoft released an update that addresses the issue. Signature versions 1.113.672.0 and higher include this update.

PWS:Win32/Zbot is a password-stealing trojan that monitors for visits to certain Web sites. It allows limited backdoor access and control and may terminate certain security-related processes.

UPDATE 2, 11:15 AM PDT: A Microsoft spokesperson provides the following response via e-mail:

On September 30th, 2011, an incorrect detection for PWS:Win32/Zbot was identified and as a result, Google Chrome was inadvertently blocked and in some cases removed from customers PCs. We have already fixed the issue – we released an updated signature (1.113.672.0) at 9:57 am PDT – but approximately 3,000 customers were impacted. Affected customers should manually update Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) with the latest signatures. To do this, simply launch MSE, go to the update tab and click the Update button, and then reinstall Google Chrome. We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused our customers.

The response does not provide any guidance for Forefront customers who have been affected by this issue. I’ve also asked for clarification on the “approximately 3,000 customers” figure. If a Forefront installation covering hundreds or thousands of users is counted as a single customer, the actual number of affected PCs could be considerably higher.

Windows AntiVirus 2011 or Fake AntiVirus

There have been a lot of fake antivirus infections lately. I’m getting several calls  a week from people telling me that while they were searching the internet, windows started popping up all over their screen telling them they have viruses, trojans, etc. I used to spend hours cleaning computers with various antivirus programs, but then found that I could do it much quicker by using the following method.

When this problem comes up, I ask what the user has or hasn’t clicked on. What they say next is what determines my next course of action. The way these programs work is that they “offer” to clean up your computer if you buy their software. If you choose not to buy their software, and try to click out of the windows by clicking cancel or the red x to close the window, you’re faced with more windows because these options have been set up to download the fake antivirus program and install it on your computer.

So, what to do when one of these programs shows up on your computer? Don’t panic and start clicking things. Recognize that even though it may look like a legitimate Windows warning, if you have a virus, your own antivirus program will pop up telling you so. What you need to do is to press CTRL-ALT-DEL to bring up the Task Manager and then end the browser process. Once you’ve ended the browser this way, you can safely reopen the browser and continue your surfing.

If, however, you have clicked an option and these windows are just continually taking over your screen, reboot your computer. Just as it starts to come up and you see the opening text on the screen, start pressing the F8 key until you get a menu on the screen. Choose to boot into Safe Mode. The screen will look different from what you’re used to, but that’s okay. Once you are at the desktop, click your start button, bottom left of the screen. Go to Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Restore. When System Restore comes up, choose to restore your computer to a point prior to when you experienced the problem. This could be earlier that day or even a day or two past.

This will not remove any files or data you have worked on or created in that time period, but will restore your Windows system back to a healthy state. Your computer will reboot once and tell you whether it was restored successfully or not. If it was successful, run a virus scan with your antivirus program, but you should be all set at this point.


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