Thanks, again, Kim!

virus[1]

Image from Kim’s website, click for the original article.

Will full attribution to “America’s Digital Goddess”
– I say, “Thank you, so much!” Kim Komando has been at this a lot longer than I have…

After you read the referenced article (on KimKomando.com), you may find a deeper appreciation for the tech guys and gals who can actually work through all of the steps suggested by her advice!

My advice differs, quite a bit, actually. There are several tools we use to restore your computer to working order. If you want to spend a couple of days learning about malware and what it takes to remove it, I suggest: Bleeping Computer or Malwarebytes websites. The punchline is; right there on the home page of Bleeping Computer:

There are 1018 Virus Removal Guides.

But seriously, folks… If you should find yourself at Kim’s last step (of the 3 simple steps…), where the only solution is to wipe your drive clean and re-install your operating system, I really wish you had called me sooner! Also, if you are not backing up your data, we really need to talk.

3. WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS
When a virus won’t go away, or has damaged your computer software past the point of repair, there’s only one solution left. You have to wipe the hard drive and reinstall your operating system.

My next post should be about your second computer. What?
Did you just say you don’t have one? NO-OH-OH! Cringe, heavy sigh.

At Mousehelp, we provide compassionate care for people with computers.
Yes, you can simply search for Palm Desert Computer Repair.
Need help with your online presence? We do SEO, websites and blogs, too!

Your Sig File Says So Much

signature
You’ve read the title to this blog post and now you are thinking:

  • My sig file is perfect – it says just what it should say about me.

  • My sig file is just fine – it says all my company will let me say.

  • My sig file is OK – it has all of the info I think you need.

  • Sig file? We don’t need no stinkin’ sig files!

  • Sig file? What the heck are you smoking?

  • Sig file? I should have a sig file?

OK, let me spell it out for you. “Sig file” is an old, old term, from way back when we used a separate file for this purpose. Today, it’s just called a signature – simple stuff, right? If you want to know how to create a signature for your email, click this link to my YouTube channel, where you’ll find videos demonstrating this feature on a few email platforms.

This article is in response to a message I received from my Jean’s Growth Gems Memo email subscription. In her message, she laments the fact that a colleague she hadn’t spoken to for some time did not include his phone number at the end of his message. Don’t let this happen to your email recipients!

Do you like being contacted by others? Do you make it easy or hard for people to get in touch with you? For example, do you have a signature line on your emails that provides your name, phone number, email, etc., or do you just have your name? It seems obvious, but a lot of people do not have their contact information on their emails. I wanted to connect with a colleague that I haven’t spoken to in over 6 months. I couldn’t find his phone number. I went to his email and you know what there was…his name. No way to reach him by phone. How I wished that he had included his phone number in his email signature line.
– Jean Oursler of http://www.thebusinessgrowthco.com/

Your sig file, or your “Signature,” as it’s called in Gmail and elsewhere these days, is whatever you’ve decided to include at the end of your email messages. This is often a personal choice, or it may be something that is mandated and tightly controlled by your company’s policies. If you do have the luxury of a choice about this valuable bit of information, I have some suggestions for you.

  • First suggestion: Don’t go without one!
  • Second suggestion: Provide, at a minimum, your name and phone number. We already have your email address, although, it would be nice if you put it here for easy copy and paste access.
  • Third: If you have a website and like the idea that someone might land on your site, by all means, include a URL. If you want to get fancy about this and add an image or a hyper-linked image, oh, please, please do! Fancy is better.
  • Fourth: If you choose to provide no information in your signature block, I may still call, but it will be after cursing a bit about having to go look up your contact information (if I have it.)

Here are some signature samples:

One is from my Outlook email client, one from my Google email, and one from one of my business associates:

I’ve left this at full size, so you can really see what it says.
Since I’m the webmaster for ACT I and for DNP, they are prominently featured in my email messages, in the sig file.MySigFile625

Here’s how it looks in Gmail:

MySigFileGoogle

And, here is one from Dominique Fruchtman, of Desert Cow Computers. She uses a cool tool to provide the presentation of the framing and the button links in her signature file. To learn more about this, you can go to myesig.com for more information,
or contact Dom directly, for her help.

DomSigFile625

Image Is Everything

imageiseverythingThat line was spoken by Andre Agassi in a Canon camera commercial more than 25 years ago, now! Don’t believe me? Check it.

That was before he faltered, before he married Brooke, and before he developed a beer belly, then got back into shape, then found Steffi Graff, and wow, what a life!

“What’s the point?” you may ask. OK, go ahead, ask.

The point is this. The images you add to your blog posts, newsletters, or to the pages of your website, can make or break your message. Look here, or look away!

The image should illustrate the point made. Click the image in this post and you can watch the commercial from 1990. That’s not my point, but you get the picture. (All puns intended.)

If it gets attention, then my job is done.

Left-Handed Computing

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Image from Left Handers Day – http://www.lefthandersday.com/

There must be at least dozens, and perhaps hundreds of things nobody ever told you about using a computer. The evidence of this can be easily found by watching someone use a computer almost exclusively with a mouse in the right hand. How much more productive could you be if you incorporated all of the power of your left hand into your computer operations repertoire?

The answer might be; “more than twice as productive.” This is one of those situations where it only takes a few examples to show that adding keyboard shortcuts (most of which are in the left hand) to the power of the mouse more than doubles your ability to get results from your computer. If your left hand had been laying there dormant on the keyboard while your right hand was busy “mousing around”, it’s time to get both sides of your brain in action and make your computer more useful!

Consider the mouse to be the ultimate cursor positioning and selection tool. Think of the keyboard as the best source of copy, cut and paste commands. If you’ve ever had to pull text from one document into another, you know where I am going with this example.

Here’s the drill. After positioning your windows in a way that allow you to see both windows, you are ready to begin. Use your mouse to select the text you plan to pull into the other window, then, use your left hand to do the copy command (that’s Ctrl-C in windows, Command-C on a Mac). Now, use your mouse to position the cursor at the insertion point of the other window and use your left hand to execute the paste command (that’s Ctrl -V in windows, Command-V on a Mac). Do this just a few times and pretty soon, you’ll be thinking of many ways you can combine your keyboard and mouse to get things done in the most efficient manner.

Somebody will ask; “Why isn’t it Ctrl-P to paste?” It’s because Ctrl-V is right next to the C and X in the scheme of things, and Ctrl-P is the print command. Also, you may have noticed that you simply substitute Command for Ctrl, if you are using a Mac.

A few more keyboard commands you can use for file management include; ctrl-n for a new document, ctrl-o to open a document, and ctrl-w to close a window (or document). There are dozens of new keyboard shortcuts in Windows 7, if you have the good fortune to be running that OS on a PC. Of the many things nobody ever told you about how to run a computer, the Windows key (since Windows95), holds many of those secrets.

You can search the words “Windows Keyboard Shortcuts” on the internet and you’ll find links to a number of pages that will clearly explain these things. Microsoft’s web page on this subject is very clear, well laid out and easy to follow.

One last secret before we go – you can find all of the keyboard shortcuts you want to learn and use by paying careful attention to the menu selections you routinely click. For many of the commands in those menus, just to the right, you’ll see the keyboard combinations you can use to get the same thing done. That’s one way anyone can add to the skill set necessary to become a more proficient computer user.

Assumptions Made About Computer Skills

babyusingcomputerThe best part of the personal service I provide is learning how to convey the idea of efficiency to a computer user, by demonstrating keyboard shortcuts. Some time ago, I wrote an article about this for a magazine. My blog post (a modified version of that magazine article) is called; “Left Handed Computing.” Well, maybe not….

I just did a search and found this PDF file hanging around out there. But, I’ll have to reproduce that on my blog for reference. There’s also a PDF file I created (long before windows 7) that includes many key-combinations you can use to get things done without mousing all over the place.

Here’s something I found while doing research for this article: 
Don’t make assumptions about your users’ existing skills!
Posted on May 27, 2012 by Kevin Matz

This guy wrote the book (literally) on usability – known as UX – short for user experience; and he knows exactly what I’m talking about here.

Here’s a quote from that page:

If you work with a computer all day, it’s easy to assume that, since virtually everybody owns a computer and a smartphone nowadays, everybody has a basic level of computer literacy. But this can be dangerous. The rudimentary skills and knowledge that you may hold as self-evident aren’t necessarily widespread in all user communities. Posted on May 27, 2012 by Kevin Matz

From Facebook to Your Website

facebook social pluginsYour challenge of using Social Media to promote business can be solved by a simple process. Here we will show one three-part solution to attracting more visitors to your website. Some assumptions are made about your computer skills and the form and content of your website and blog, and we’ll explain those along the way.

For now, consider these as being the first three requirements:

  • You have a website.
  • You have a blog.
  • You are a Facebook user (perhaps with a business page.)

Your website: Here we assume that when people land on your website, it’s obvious to them what you want them to do there. If the only thing on the homepage is this phrase: “Call now to learn more – (760) 555-5555” – your visitor knows what to do. So, keep it simple. Of course, most people want to know a bit more about you and your services or products, so you’ll want to feature the best of what you have to offer, in a clean and clear format. Groups of three make sense and for many people, it’s a small number of things to consider, and enough to tell most of the story about what you are selling. Give them easy to follow navigation, so they can dig deeper if they need more information, but keep the opportunity to contact you in front of them at all times. Your phone number and links to your email, or a contact page should be right there, so when they are ready to make the purchase, they can easily take that important step of connecting with you; and your website has done its job!

Your blog: This is where you have the opportunity to focus on any number of topics. You can post about any aspect of your business; the value you bring, what makes you or yours the best, the level of dedication or experience you bring, or you can go completely off topic and post about some event or some personal experience you have that allows your readers to know you as more than a salesperson; to know you are a REAL person. It may seem counterintuitive to not be always driving toward closing a sale, but people do business with people. So, if they get to know you, they make like you and trust you, and that may be why they call you in the end.

Your blog may be the best connector between Facebook and your website. It can serve as the intermediate step, by providing the content you will share on Facebook, with links back to specific pages on your website. There are a number of examples of that feature in this post. Every place in the text that contains a keyword or key phrase provides an opportunity for you to create a link to an appropriate page on your website. This is the essence of SEO, where search engines pick up links they provide to people who search. A link back to this article will be posted on Facebook as soon as it is on my blog. Be sure to include an image with your blog posts, so Facebook will have something to show your Fb friends and followers.

Your Facebook (business page): You can use a personal page on Facebook, if that’s where you get more attention from people who do business with you. The difference between a business and personal page on Facebook is outside the scope of this article, but you can click that link for more information. (Just be sure to come back here to finish this exercise!)

Use Facebook as a place to say; “Hey, look at this!” Knowing that Facebook changes all the time, you have the opportunity to post there as often as you like, and you can re-post the same links back to your blog or website as often as makes sense, to keep your blog content and business website in front of people on a regular basis. This is the “good news, bad news” feature of Facebook – the impression you make there is fleeting. That is the very reason you need a blog and a website – you need to provide a stable place where your prospects can go to get the information they need about your business to make buying decisions. Posting links to blog articles (with graphics, don’t forget) is the easy way to feed fresh new material to your friends and followers, so it won’t seem like you are posting the same old thing over and over. I’ll touch on this again in the summary.

Summary:

The three components of this article were provided in that order for a purpose. Your website is the ultimate destination, your blog is the connector, and Facebook is the “in your face” place where you can keep on saying, “look at me!” and people might do just that.

Without a website, you have no place to provide the static information people need when making buying decisions. For about twenty years now, we’ve been saying; “If you don’t have a website, you’re not REALLY in business.” That may sound heavy-handed, but hey, we are website developers and we want you to do business with us.

Blogging may be new to many people, as a way to drive business, but there are many businesses now whose entire business is based on their blog. For you, a blog is a place where you can continue to provide fresh new content (what Google loves…), so you can drive traffic to your website and give your Facebook fans something to consider on a daily (or more often than that, if you are so inclined) basis. With a few lines on Facebook and a link back to your blog, along with an eye-catching image, your blog give prospects a place to learn more about you and your business, before they click into your website for the full story.

Looking back at the title of this post, you might think it odd that Facebook came last in the order of things. However, your website and your blog have to be there, for this whole thing to make sense! Look again through this article, click some of the links, and if you follow me on Facebook, you’ll see the image and the link to this article there.

For more information on Mousehelp and Rouzell, click either of those links to land on my pages. Now, go write your next blog post, with links to your website, and post up on Facebook.  I’ll be looking for you there.

Problem Solved

http://photopin.com/ - Creative Commons via Flickr

Image found on http://photopin.com/ – Thank you!

Seems I’m not posting as consistently as I think I should be. Some of my business is “busy ness” brought on by self-inflicted…. Oh, never mind!

To resolve this issue, I’m going to start documenting problems I solve.

Like recently, a client came to me and said his Outlook had stopped working. So, I did the PST repair thing (twice, actually) and got things back to working order. This took a few hours, but that’s not the point.

The point is, there are some things about using Outlook that many people may not know. Like, the size of the database file REALLY DOES matter! In the case above, it was larger than 5 GB and Outlook (depending on version) sometimes starts to choke at around 2 GB.

All of this deserves an explanation. So, there is a reason to post.

Following that thought, I should post more often, every time an opportunity like this presents itself. You’ll have to come back for updates…. Including the one mentioned here.

Thanks for your patience and for following me.

Brian Rouley

PetsNTheirPeople and SaveAPet

Professional Pet Photography Palm Desert

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From in-home pet photography, to a romp in the park with your favorite furry companions, Pets n Their People Photography is your best choice for Professional Pet Photography in Palm Desert and beyond!

14K+ Unread Emails

inboxoverloadThis is what happens when you use an email address as your “sacrificial lamb” for subscriptions and any other, “sign up to get this” call to action. You end up with a bunch of stuff you’ll never read. Google gives you a ton of storage space for your email inbox, so you don’t have to worry too much about cleaning it up, unless you let it go on for years, as I have. Going through this history does provide some perspective on where you’ve been, how far you’ve come, and the many paths you’ve explored to get where you are today!

One thing I did glean from a recent review is that Google is pretty good at identifying spam and scam emails. I found a couple of great examples of well crafted scam messages that might trick an average computer user into taking action. My original intention in this post was to share some details about that with you. Instead, I’m going to farm this out to Kim Komando and her post about scams that come around again….  http://www.komando.com/blog/250091/copycats-bring-back-the-netflix-tech-support-scam

 

Hacked Facebook Message Exchange

facebook hacked message exchange

Scammer: I was just wondering if you have heard about the empowerment program in conjunction with Facebook Active user Compensation bonus ,the program is to help people and maintain good standard of living of all the entire community,have you gotten any bonus money from David Mott.

Me: I had not heard of this. Tell me more.

Scammer: The promotion was made to some facebook user in other to benefit from them its a randomly picked of profile on facebook and get $150,000.00 did you get yours from them ???

Me: Can we talk on the phone? I’d like details, but this is the first I’ve heard.

Scammer: i thought you have receive your Money,because i saw your name on the winners list when the ups came to my door step to deliver my $150,000,00 cash to me in person
my phone fell into water last night and i have already order a new phone but they haven;t came to deliver it to me yet

At this point, I’ve decided to call the Facebook user/owner of this account and let her know that somebody is using her account to exchange messages with me. Seems this was already known and I was simply the next person to find out about it.

So, what do you do when your Fb account gets hacked? Obviously, you would instantly change your password, but I think a logged in account will be useful until the user logs out. My recommendation, download your data from Fb, establish a new account under a different email address and delete the hacked account. This is an arduous process (I’ve done it for one of my clients), but worth the effort.

I’m not really sure why I wanted to share this with you, but if it helps anyone to be more careful with passwords, then some good comes of it.