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Issue #749
Volume 15 Number 18
February 16, 2018
 
Dear Friends,

Thank you very much for subscribing and for being a part of our Cloudeight family. We appreciate your membership and support very much!

We want to thank all you for your response to our new Cloudeight Backup Service and to our updated Cloudeight CleanSweep service. Because of your response and support for these two  new Cloudeight Direct Computer Care services, we have decided to offer both of these services through the month of February - and we've decided to keep the pricing as it is  -very affordable! 

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Cloudie's Birthday Sale

Cloudie's 17th Birthday! Celebrating with a sale - Pay What You Like

We're giving everyone a chance to choose the price you pay for any of the following Cloudeight products & services. Create your own great deal, help celebrate Cloudie's birthday and help us too!
  1. Cloudeight Direct Computer Repair - Single Key
  2. Cloudeight Direct Computer Care Season Ticket - Unlimited Computer Care for one full year ... a great deal!
  3. Thunderbird Email Installation and Setup
  4. Emsisoft Anti-Malware installation, setup and one-year Emsisoft license.
Hurry, Hurry, Hurry! Step right up and help us celebrate Cloudie's 17th Birthday and Pay What You Like!

Get more details and pay what you like ... here!


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REMINDER: Cloudeight Backup and 2018 CleanSweep Special Pricing Available Through February!

Just a reminder! We're offering intro pricing through February for our new Cloudeight Backup Service and our 2018 CleanSweep service.  Both available through February for just $30.

Get more information about our Cloudeight Backup Service here.

Get more information about our 2018 CleanSweep Service here.

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Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter!
 
Get computer tips & tricks every night. Our daily newsletter features a computer tip/trick or two every day. We send it out every night around 9 PM Eastern Time (USA). It's short and sweet, easy-to-read, and FREE.  Just visit this page and sign-up. All you have to enter is your email address. Once you confirm your subscription, you'll receive our daily newsletter every day, six days a week. You can unsubscribe at any time.  

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Print our Cloudeight Direct Computer Care Flyer and spread the word about our Cloudeight Direct Computer Care computer care and repair services. Get our ready-to-print flyer here.
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Here are some important links for you:  
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Cloudeight InfoAve Premium - Reader's Comments 

A comment from Eileen
Love your service. When all else fails turn to TC and Darcy. They always are so helpful. Thank you!

A comment from Irene
I want to thanks Darcy for cleaning my computer, she was right on time and quick, thanks again your are all ways there for me. Irene

A comment from Judy
Thank you again for repairing my PC. Cloudeight (Darcy) to my rescue again. That's twice already this year. I continue to enjoy your newsletters and all the tips, information you put in them. Thank you.

A comment from Leila
This message is for Darcy. You connected with my computer this A.M. and found problems that I was not aware of. For instance a driver program which I never installed knowingly. I have been reading Cloudeight newsletters long enough to know better. It shows you regardless of how careful you think you are being, things seem to be able to sneak on your computer. I thank you very much for your patience. For what ever reason my cable was at a crawl this morning and it made it very difficult for Darcy to do what she had to, but she hung in there and completed what had to be done. Again thank you sincerely. Leila

A comment from Paula
I would love to thank Darcy for Clean Sweeping my computer. I have used my computer keys twice before and each time I have been very satisfied., It is good to know I can always trust them with my computer. Mahalo. Paula

A comment from Debbie
Recently I took advantage of the Ashampoo Back-up service. Darcy set things up, started the recovery disk and everything was done in a very short time period. I'm sure that if I had tried to set it up, it would have taken much longer! Thank you Darcy & thank you Cloudeight for offering these services and keeping us out of trouble!

A comment from Carl
Well Darcy, You did it again. You went Above and Beyond. You caught me at a time when I was very sick and you was so kind and gentle. In no time at all you had my computer up and running and I was back in business. Thanks Darcy for all that you and TC do. You are amazing.

A comment from Brenda
Hats off to Darcy again, for using that magic wand of hers and getting my Ashampoo backup system in tip top shape by having it do what it's suppose to do. And, an extra thank you for the solution to fix my problem of aligning text in Thunderbird. I spent hours reading and trying to solve this aligning issue and all along I just had to ask Darcy and problem solved. Who knew double clicking had so much authority!! Way back, I accidentally came across some of your first free Cloudeight newsletters on the net and what a jack pot that has been for me... in my retirement years just learning how computers can be so fun and not just used for work. Another Thank you... for putting me at ease while solving my computer issues and not making me feel like a dummy. I enjoy your free Booster goodies and love your stationery. You two are the best answer to excellent computer repair. Keep up the good work! Brenda

A big Cloudeight "Thank you!" to Eileen, Irene, Judy, Leila, Paula, Debbie, Carl, Brenda and everyone who wrote to us last week. We appreciate your kind words and your support very much! EB & TC   Get more information about Cloudeight Direct Computer Care here.

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Sally can't delete some of her temporary Internet files (Windows 10)
When I try to clean the temporary Internet files they do not get deleted all and it adds with the time. First as we upgraded to WIN 10 all was fine. But one day I detected that an Icon is on the temporary Internet files. A log. When I click on "Show the files" it leads to i.e. Container but that is empty. When I clean the PC from unnecessary files it cleans basket and temporary files but the log on the temporary Internet files prevents from cleaning those files complete. I deleted already the temporary Internet files in IE and my other browser called Maxthon, but I have still those over 150 MB in the temporary Internet files even the i.e. Container shows empty. I hope you can understand what I am trying to explain because I'm not exactly computer savvy - but no computer dummy either.  Do you have a solution or can you at least explain what is happening? Sally

Our answer
Hi Sally. We know exactly what your talking about and we can tell you what you're experiencing is completely normal and that's how it's suppose to be on Windows 10. All Microsoft browsers ( Internet Explorer, Edge, and browsers like Maxthon which are built using the Internet Explorer code and engine, all keep a record of pages visited etc. in a file called WebCacheV01.dat . It's stored in the following location:

C:\ Users\ <your username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WebCache.

To see it you have to enable "View Hidden Files and Folders" in File Explorer / View / Options. If you try to right-click and delete this file, you'll get a message that you can't delete it because it's being used by another process (a Windows host process which cannot be terminated).  So, what you're experiencing is not a problem, it just the way Microsoft browsers (and browsers built using them) work.

If you don't want data stored in a file you cannot delete, you have options - plenty of them. You can use Firefox, Chrome, or any of the many browsers which are built upon them, for instance Pale Moon (Firefox) or Vivaldi or Chromium (Chrome). You can also use a fairly popular browser called Opera. However Chrome and Firefox are the more "main stream" options.

So, now you know there's nothing wrong with your computer and nothing unusual going on, We hope that helps you rest easy, Sally.

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Bernie has a question about our article ""How to View Email Properties in Gmail"

I'm referring now to your article "How to View Email Properties in Gmail." As you know, I've been a zealous practitioner of your articles. From time to time, I have a problem that what shows on my screen is not what appears in your article. This is one of those cases. When I look at a Gmail, my date stops with the time. Your example has the time and how long ago in parenthesis and then a return arrow and flock with the down arrow. My question: How do I get all the data you display? Bernie

Our answer
Hi Bernie. Thanks for your kind words! Make sure you're using the regular version of Gmail, not the HTML version for slow connections. Also make sure you're clicking "Show details" and not "Show Original". You need to click "Show Original". The top part you see on the screen will be this.

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Then if you scroll down you'll see this. If you keep scrolling down you'll see more info, including the original message text (in HTML format if that's how it was sent):

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The easiest way on the first screen (fig. 1 above) there is a blue button that says "Copy to clipboard". (See fig 3 below)

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Once you click the blue button, open up Notepad (type Notepad in the taskbar search and press Enter when Notepad appears at the top. When Notepad is open, press CTRL + V to paste the clipboard into Notepad. In Notepad it helps make things easier to read if you turn on Word Wrap - just click on "Format" on the menu bar and tick "Word Wrap".

Make sure your in Gmail's regular mode. Open the message you want see the properties of in Gmail. Then, click the down arrow next to the Reply icon. From the menu that appears when you click the down arrow, choose "Show original" not "Show details". For more screen shots see our tutorial here.

Bernie wrote back: "Good morning TC, This is somewhat embarrassing. It appears I was using the HTML version of Gmail. I selected the new mode (that I do use) and the screen is fine. Thanks, Bernie"

We answered Bernie: Yep that explains it. The HTML version of Gmail is a limited version made basically for slow connections; some features are not accessible from the HTML version. And I never thought of that :). It gives us a great idea for a Gmail tip, if someone writes and says a tip we wrote about Gmail doesn't work, we'll know to make sure they're not in HTML mode :) ... Thanks Bernie.

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Gordon asks about a speedy fix to help update his Windows 10 computer
I keep hoping I missed a fix to help me update to latest W10. You previously indicated that the failure of my computer to update was corrupted files or incompatible hardware, but the quoted lure below talks about fixing a registry problem. I hate to work in the registry because I only know enough to be a clear and present danger to my machine. I am wondering if the ad is possibly correct about the problem, and if you think it is worth investing in REG ORGANIZER to replace the below product to try to resolve the suggested problem(s). (I am not in any way entertaining a download of Speedy Fixer.) Thanks again for looking at this for me.

"Don't Worry - I'm here to help you fix it!

Causes of the error: Windows 10 update issues are caused by misconfigured system files. Windows 10 update usually happen when the computer's registry system overloads with to much data, or when certain system files become missing or broken.

The Windows 10 update issues are easy to repair. By downloading and running the registry repair tool SpeedyFixer, you can quickly and effectively fix this problem and prevent others from occurring. Simply click the links below for your download."

Our answer
Hi Gordon. You are reading an ad for a scam; don't fall for it! You can usually spot them as they use words like "fixit, speedy, etc. See our article about these kinds of scams (FixMeStick et. al.).

If you're computer won't update to Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, it's not a registry problem - that's almost 100% certain. It's much more likely a hardware issue - most often display drivers, particularly NVidia. Our advice - just two months out from the Spring Creators Update (as everyone thinks it will be called), wait until the next update comes, assuming you have been getting them all along, and see if it installs without any problems.

If you're using an older PC that you updated from Windows 7, hardware issues interfering with Windows 10 version updates are becoming more and more common.

So wait and see what happens in April - you may not have any problems updating to Spring Creators Update. If you do then you can figure out the cause and if it is a non-compatible hardware issue, decide if you want to upgrade your hardware or invest in a newer computer. Let it play out, Gordon and see what happens with the next update.

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Jason wants a good YouTube Downloader
I'm looking for a good YouTube video downloader/recorder. Have you run across any that are easy to use and, hopefully, free?

Our answer
Hi Jason. As most YouTube downloaders are well-known sources of malware & scams we have shied away from recommending them. We tested and recommended a few only to find that weeks/months later, they turned to the dark side and starting bundling badware. And many of the online YouTube downloaders don't install malware directly, but they play whack-a-mole with download buttons and may also put misleading links and on their pages that can and sometimes do lead to malware or scams.

Here is one YouTube downloader that is easy to use and free from trickery and traps at the time of this writing. Just remember, it may not always be free from trickery. Always use caution. The service/site is called VDYoutube (awful name, I know!).

How to use VDYoutube:

You can go directly to the VDYoutube web site at https://www.vdyoutube.com/ and paste in the URL (web address) of the YouTube video you want to download. The page has some good "How to" information - please be sure your read the info so you get the quality and type (audio/video/both) of video you want.

Another way to use VDYouTube is this way:

Go to the YouTube video you want to download. In a web browser, go to https://www.youtube.com/  and locate the YouTube video you want to download.

Look at the address of your video, for example, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw5VC7ZgXcB  (These links a are for example, they may not actually work - we just made them up)

To use VDYouTube change the link by adding the letters vd before the word youtube in the link - for example the You Tube link above would become https://www.vdyoutube.com/watch?v=dQw5VC7ZgXcB

Type vd in the address bar, just before youtube.com. Click the cursor right before the "youtube.com" portion of the video's URL in your browser's address bar and add vd.

For example, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw5VC7ZgXcB would become https://www.vdyoutube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ.

After changing the URL (web address) press Enter.

On the VDYoutube page click Download (be careful to click the right one). This opens a drop-down menu with different quality options. Choose a download quality. Your download will start automatically. If you want both audio and video in your YouTube file, make sure you don't choose of the options that has an "x" next to the speaker icon. But be sure to ready the "How to" on the VDYouTube page.

Here's some info from VDYoutube and a screen shot:

"VDYoutube is a free web service that allows you to download video and audio files (mp3, mp4, flv, webm, etc...) from different websites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, SoundCloud, OK.ru, and many more. No third party program installation is required, no plugin, not even a sign up, you just have to search or directly copy an url of your choice in the above input. In addition, this website is scaling with smartphones, tablets and laptops, this way you can save video and audio files (mp3, mp4, flv, webm, etc...) on any device. Our system is extracting all the possible qualities (low, medium and best) as for mp3 file we provide the best (256kbps)..."

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You can also download videos from Facebook, Twitter, and many other sites using VDYouTube.

Hope this helps you, Jason. Let us know how it works for you.

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Phyllis asks about Ad Remover
I was wondering if you could give me advice on a program called "Ad Remover"? Is it safe to download or is it going to be one of those nasty programs that destroy my computer? I get so sick of the ads that show up when I'm browsing on my computer. If this one isn't good, do you suggest any other program for blocking ads? Thanks, Phyllis

Our answer
Hi Phyllis. We're not big on ad blockers and Ad Remover is not free. It's $9.99 a month or $39.99 a year. The sites that rely on ads most are small mom & pop sites like ours - and we don't allow annoying pop-up ads on our sites. Blocking ads may make for cleaner web browser, but it cuts ad revenue to the sites who need it most. The on-the-page ads that fit into the site's content are one type of ad and they are far less intrusive and annoying than the pop-up ads that some sites use. And remember: Excessive popups may be caused by malware in the browser (PUPs & Malware add-ons).

If you're looking for a privacy ad-on for your browser that blocks some ads, we recommend Privacy Badger. It's free and it works with Firefox, Chrome, and Opera. Privacy Badger does not block all ads, but it blocks the worst ads, it's made and supported by EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) and we have tested it on Chrome and Firefox.

If you use Chrome, Firefox or Opera, take a look at Privacy Badger. It's free, safe and has a lot of nice features - including giving you a choice of whether or not to block ads on certain sites.

Read more about and/or add Privacy Badger to your browser.
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Linda wants to skip the lockscreen and go straight to the desktop on Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

I enjoy your newsletter very much. I wanted to know if there is a way to get rid of the "Welcome Page" that shows up with different pictures when you start your computer. I would like to skip that page and go straight to my desktop page. Thanks for your past assistance through the newsletter. Linda

Our answer
Hi Linda. Thank you! We think you're talking about the lock screen. In Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709) there is no way to disable the lock screen. The registry edits that worked in Windows 10 Creators Update (version 1703) don't work in the current version of Windows. And as of right now, we don't know any way to remove the lock screen. And with a new version of Windows just about 2 months away, even if there were a registry edit to remove the lock screen, when you updated to the next version of Windows, the lock screen would be right back. That's been the history of some of these kinds of tweaks - they work in one version of Windows 10 but not in newer versions.

But you can disable the advertisements on the lock screen and other things that display on the lock screen, however you'll still have a background picture.

To clean up your lock screen, open Settings (Windows key + i or right-click your start button & click "Settings".

In Settings, click on "Personalization" then, form the menu on the left in Personalization click on Lock screen.

In the Lock screen dialog, under "Get fun facts, tips and more from Windows and Cortana on your lock screen" turn the switch to Off.

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After you've turned that off, look beneath the on/off switch under "Choose and app to show detailed status". Make sure you see nothing there but + (plus) signs.

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If you see anything other than plus signs, click on the square(s) and select "None" from the menu that appears.

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While you'll still have the lock screen, it should be a lot less annoying. You should only have your User name and a background picture on the lock screen and some icons for internet etc in the very bottom right corner... and nothing else.

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Nora wants to know if there PhotoShop alternatives are safe
I was just wondering if you would recommend any of these free PhotoShop alternative programs or do they come bundled with crapware?

https://www.lifewire.com/best-free-adobe-photoshop-alternatives-4140697

I always trust what you two have to recommend and have been with you since you began. Thank you so much for any information. Regards. Nora

Our answer
Hi Nora. Thank you. We didn't test the browser-based image editors listed on that page as they don't install, but keep in mind some are supported by advertisements. We installed Gimp and Paint.Net, and we found neither bundled any malware although we not fans of either- but that's a personal preference. Also remember that publishers have been known to play games with installers. So always keep your eyes open when installing software.

Truth be told, we both still love the old PaintShop Pro 7 (from 2000-2001). While we did not work with Gimp or Paint.Net to edit images, we did install and check them both. If you want to download and try Gimp or Paint.Net you shouldn't have problems with bundled malware - at least as of today (15 Feb 2018).

The web-based image editors all use Flash, so keep that in mind. Flash can be pesky in some browsers. Flash will be replaced over time with HTM5, but for now you're going to need a browser that works well with Flash sites. Chrome seems to work best with sites that use Flash.

If you decide to try any of these image editing tools, write us and tell us what you think of them as far are their capabilities.

Hope this helps you, Nora.

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Muriel wants our opinion of an article telling people to stop using their password managers
This article was featured on MakeUseOf on 2/14/2018:

Beware: Stop Using Autofill in Your Password Manager
https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/disable-autofill-password-manager/

This article discusses and warns mostly about autofill in browsers, which I have always disabled, and is "old news" I think. But the article title refers to password managers. Then in the how-to-disable instructions LastPass is the only password manager listed amid several browsers. Lumping browser security and password manager security together is misleading I think. Am I wrong?

Autofill in password managers is one of the most attractive features for me. With new security vulnerabilities and breaches always appearing. Do you know of any reason we should now be concerned about the password manager autofill feature?

Our answer
Hi Muriel. Normally, we find MakeUseOf pretty "useful". But sometimes their guest writers seem to be guilty of click baiting with sensationalistic headlines and using giant leaps of logic and way-beyond-reasonable generalizations.

This whole password manager danger first cropped up about a year ago - so it's certainly not new, but it's always a good way to entice readers to click on the article's link.

I read the article and found it misleading and long on assumptions and short on facts. We'll tell you a much more dangerous thing than using a password manager... not using one. Those who don't use password managers either use simple, easy-to-guess (and easy-to-crack) passwords. And the biggest reason, by far, that user information is compromised is because of using simple, easy to guess passwords. The top three passwords in 2017 were (in order):

123456
Password
12345678

Sadly, these three were the top three passwords in 2015 and 2016 also. Take a look at the top 25 passwords for 2017 and you'll understand why so many people have problems keeping their account safe. http://www.thundercloud.net/infoave/new/2017s-worst-passwords/

LastPass, when used correctly, is an excellent tool. I would never leave my Lastpass open for more than a few hours without it requiring my master password. And I'd never leave it logged in if I were not physically using my computer. Like so many other good things in this world, LastPass can be misused. I have it set to allow me to log into sites when I'm on my computer but never have it set to allow access to my passwords for more than a few hours after that I need to enter my master password to access my passwords And it will not autofill unless it enabled. It's only logged in and enabled when I'm on my computer.

LastPass (and I'm sure most other popular password managers) has security settings that automatically log out of LastPass when the browser is closed - and also you can set it to log out after so many minutes of inactivity. Leaving it logged in and accessible all the time (also a possible setting) just doesn't make much sense. The master password is the key and using LastPass or any password manager correctly is far safer than not using a password manager and resorting to simple, easy-to-guess passwords - or storing them in document on your computer - or printed out and sitting next to your computer.

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Above: LastPass is set to re-prompt me for my master password after 30 minutes. No master password - no access. We recommend you use this feature and make sure LastPass is not set to save your master password. And do make your master password a strong one.

So, while I'm sure there is a danger to almost anything related to browsing the web, we need to be sensible and level-headed and not be misled by "researchers" who discover that something is "possible" and then proceed to make it sound probable - or even likely. We also don't want to pay too much attention to the fear mongers whose motives are almost always questionable.

Keep using your password manager, Muriel. Use strong, uncrackable passwords, and we'll bet that your information will be safe and you'll be just fine.

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Cloudie's Birthday Sale

Cloudie's 17th Birthday! Celebrating with a sale - Pay What You Like

We're giving everyone a chance to choose the price you pay for any of the following Cloudeight products & services. Create your own great deal, help celebrate Cloudie's birthday and help us too!
  1. Cloudeight Direct Computer Repair - Single Key
  2. Cloudeight Direct Computer Care Season Ticket - Unlimited Computer Care for one full year ... a great deal!
  3. Thunderbird Email Installation and Setup
  4. Emsisoft Anti-Malware installation, setup and one-year Emsisoft license.
Hurry, Hurry, Hurry! Step right up and help us celebrate Cloudie's 17th Birthday and Pay What You Like!

Get more details and pay what you like ... here!


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REMINDER: Cloudeight Backup and 2018 CleanSweep Special Pricing Available Through February!

Just a reminder! We're offering intro pricing through February for our new Cloudeight Backup Service and our 2018 CleanSweep service.  Both available through February for just $30.

Get more information about our Cloudeight Backup Service here.

Get more information about our 2018 CleanSweep Service here.


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Cloudeight InfoAve Premium -Tips & Tricks

Reminder: You Can Install and Use Multiple Browsers
Windows 7, Windows 8x and Windows 10

We are featuring this "freeware pick" as a tip today to remind you that you're not limited to using one or two browsers. You can have and use as many browsers as you like. It's certainly more convenient -- and highly recommended -- that you have one default browser, but that should not deter you from trying and learning about other browsers.

For instance, I (TC) have Chrome, Internet Explorer, Edge, Firefox, Pale Moon, Vivaldi, Opera, and now Slimjet installed. Chrome is my default, but I frequently use the other browsers to browse the web - and I almost always have Chrome and Firefox open. Darcy has Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Internet Explorer installed - with Chrome as her default.

We want you to broaden your horizons and try new (safe) things. We want know that you're not limited to having and using just one browser. Using more than one or two browsers gives you a chance to explore the differences between browsers - and to learn the similarities.

Today, we're telling you about a new browser called Slimjet. It has many interesting features that we know some of you will love - for instance downloading videos to your hard drive and even extracting the music from videos as MP3s. And many of you will like the Facebook integration, others will love the edit and frame images before you upload them, and some of you will like the weather forecast feature. You can easily switch between Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo (and others) as your default search engine. And one thing we like best of all - you can try Slimjet without installing it. Just download the portable version, extract the zip file and click on the application icon to run the program. If you decide you want to keep SlimJet, just right-click on the application icon and choose from the following (or choose all three):

- Pin to Start
- Pin to taskbar
- Send to - > Desktop (create shortcut)

And if you decide you don't like Slimjet just shut down the program and delete the entire folder. No uninstallation necessary. The portable version makes no changes to your registry. So if you're interested, there's really no reason not to try it.

Major Features of Slimjet

[Note: We borrow liberally from the developer here.]
  • QuickFill form filler - Lets you open the page and sign in in one step.
  • Fully customizable toolbar - Add or remove additional toolbar buttons which give you quick access to various features
  • Flexible, powerful ad blocker - Allows you to block most ads from all sites - or allow ads from some sites while blocking all others. And an ad-blocking override feature that lets you override adbocking if the ad blocker makes a mistake.
  • One-click Facebook integration - Share your online activities on Facebook with a single click
  • Download online streaming videos
  • Easily download online streaming videos to local hard disk with option to extract the mp3 audio file.
  • Frame and enhance photos right before they are uploaded.
  • Flexible web page translation - Translate a full page or selected text between any two specified languages.
  • Weather condition and forecast - Gives current weather condition right on the toolbar. 7-day forecast information is one-click away.
  • Easily share the current page on various web services such as Twitter, Google Plus, Blogger, WordPress, Gmail, Hotmail, StumbleUpon.
  • Upload clipboard image - Easily upload clipboard image with a single click. No need to save it to a file first and then upload the file.
  • Quickly switch search engines: [Bing, Google, DuckDuckGo and others)
  • Quickly switch between different search engines.
  • Save webpage screenshot
  • Save screenshot of the entire page as an image file...
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Above: Slimjet comes with multi-featured ad-blocker.

Cloudeight InfoAve Computer Tips & Ticks
Above: Note that Slimjet is available as a portable version. That means it does not install. Just unzip it and run it.

If you'd like to read more about Slimjet and its features please visit this page:

When you download Slimjet please be sure to use this page, because it has the download link for the portable version of Slimjet. We recommend that you download the portable version.

One more thing. Slimjet is not associated with the scammy "Slimware utilities"
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Cloudeight InfoAveIRS Scams & Tech Support Scams
Tips for everyone

It’s tax season here in the USA and that means not only do you have to be careful about tech-support / your-computer-is-infected telephone scams, this time of year you have to worry about tax scams and folks impersonating IRS officials.

An IRS agent is not going to call you out of the blue and tell you you’re going to jail or face stiff fines if you don’t pay up right way. Believe it or not people were bilked out of tens of millions of dollars last tax season by miscreants posing as IRS employees. No IRS employee is going to call and threaten you. No IRS employee is going to call you and ask for your social security number to “verify” your identity. The IRS already knows your Social Security number, your full name, your address, the number of children you have, and how much you make.

Here’s some information from the REAL IRS:
Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams. Scammers use the regular mail, telephone, or email to set up individuals, businesses, payroll and tax professionals.

The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. Recognize the telltale signs of a scam. See also: How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door

IRS-Impersonation Telephone Scams

A sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be IRS employees, using fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a gift card or wire transfer. Victims may be threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn’t answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request..."
If you live in the USA, we hope you’ll take minute to read the entire IRS article – it will be well worth the few minutes it will take you to read it.

And... as long as we on the subject of telephone scams:

Even after writing about phone scams a half-dozen times, it never fails that we get two or three emails a week from people who were scammed by telephone calls that supposedly came from Microsoft or some other big company telling the target (the victim) that they are:

1. Spreading malware.
2. Infected with malware.
3. Have been hacked.
4. Have been comprised by viruses and/or Trojans.
5. Have been attacked by ransomware
6. Have had their identity stolen.

Folks…friends… people… listen to us. NO ONE and NO legitimate company is going to call you out-of-the-blue to tell you your computer is infected. NEVER. NEVER. NEVER. NEVER. It's a scare tactic specifically designed to make you afraid, panic and open your wallet.

If anyone calls you and tells you that your computer is infected — HANG UP. If you want to go through the hassle of reporting it to the police — that’s up to you. But our job is to protect you. Do not talk to these people. NEVER. Especially do not let them “connect to your computer” to fix your computer or remove the malware they claim you have. They’ll either install a backdoor on your computer or pretend to clean up non-existent malware and try to charge you $129 or more to “repair” the infection you never had to begin with. Plus they’ll ask you to pay by credit card — which opens a whole other set of worries.

There is never a week that goes by that we don’t receive emails from good folks who were bilked by bad people. Some of them fell for the scams and actually allowed someone they didn’t know to access their computers remotely to do Heaven knows what to their computers. We are not making this up. We’ve worked on computers which have been compromised this way. And we have helped dozens of people get their money back too.

Be careful. Remember: NO LEGITIMATE company is going to call out-of-the-blue to warn you that your computer is infected or that you’re spreading malware. No legitimate company is going to call you and tell you that your computer is spreading spam, not even if your computer is infected – not even if it is spreading spam. Not even if it is spreading malware or viruses. No legitimate company or person is going to call you out of the blue and offer to fix your computer.

Please be careful. If anyone calls you to tell you that you have a problem with your PC…Hang up. Do not talk to them, and above all do not allow anyone who calls you unsolicited to connect to your PC remotely. NEVER.

And if you live in the USA and anyone calls you, or emails you, or texts you pretending to be the IRS, and threatening you with jail, fines or heavy penalties, don’t fall for it. Read this to learn how to tell a real IRS contact from a fake one.

Here are some other Web sites that can help you steer clear of scams:

Internet Scams

Phishing (Email) Scams 

Online Security and Safety

And remember, we're here for you. If you think you may be a victim of fraud or a scam, contact us and we'll try to help. We're always fighting for you. 

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A Keyboard Shortcut to All Gmail Shortcuts [and more]
Everyone who uses Gmail

Gmail has a lot of nifty and useful shortcuts that you can use in Gmail. And you don’t need to memorize them because they’re just a shortcut away. You can bring up a list of all Gmail shortcuts instantly by pressing just two keys.

Open your Gmail account in your browser. Now press Shift + ? (Hold down your Shift key and tap the question mark key) and you’ll see this:

Cloudeight Gmail Tips

If you scroll down, you'll find more shortcuts that are not enabled by default - but you can enable them just by clicking a link. See?

Cloudeight Gmail Tips

All those Gmail shortcuts right at your fingertips, and all you have to remember is the keyboard shortcut Shift + ? (Shift key plus the question mark key).

Pretty cool, eh? Now you’re a Gmail power user!

Oh, just one more thing. If you want to see a list of Gmail tips & tricks, just click this link .

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Be Careful What You Search For… and Think Before You Click
Windows 7, Windows 8x and Windows 10

There are enough scams on the web without bringing them to your own PC with a poorly worded search. In this short tip, we’re going to give you a few tips on what you can do to avoid causing yourself big problems by poorly worded searches – and a heads up on how to read a URL.

First let’s dissect a URL – or a Web address. There are a lot of ways scammers can disguise URLs. the oldest and easiest way is just by making the text say one thing, but link to another. Here’s a SAFE example:

https://www.microsoft.com/support/

If you click that, you will not go to Microsoft’s web site, you will go to one of our pages. This is the easiest deception to do and the easiest to detect. In most browsers and email programs, you should be able to hover over that link and tell right away where you’ll end up if you click it. Your can also right-click it and copy the actual URL and paste it into Notepad or an email and see where it leads.

A more devious way, and the method that many scammers use is to simply create sub-domains that have the same name as the site they want you to think you’ll go to if you click the link. Like this:

https://microsoft.support.marvypc.com

If you’re not paying attention, or if you’re tired, or distracted or otherwise not concentrating, you may see the Microsoft support and click a link like that. But it would not take you to Microsoft, it would take you to Marvy PC where you may find yourself in an true tech support scam imbroglio. Luckily we defanged the link for you so, if you're just going to test us and click it, you won't go to some weird scammy site. We're here to keep you safe.

OK. Here's a test. Look at the 3 links below and guess which one will take you to Microsoft and which ones will take you someplace else in the wild blue wander:

https://microsoft.support.fixurpc.com/

https://support.microsoft.com/

https://support.mircosoft.com/

If you clicked them, not so good. But if you did or didn’t #2 is the only correct link to Microsoft’s support site. The other two will lead you into never-never land – but luckily for you, we have your back. We fixed the bad links to they go to a safe page.

When you search you need not only be wary of the links you’ll see, you’ll need to be careful that the search result(s) you’re clicking are not ads or scams or worse. Many people have been taken down he primrose path by the words “Microsoft Certified Partner”. It means nothing. It doesn’t mean what you think it means – it does not mean Microsoft approved a site or service.

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Above we searched for Display Drivers. Bad search! If you’re searching for display drivers visit the web site of your manufacturer of your display drivers (AMD Radeon, Intel, NVidia, etc.)

You can see that the above search result uses a common trick. It uses the brand name Windows in the URL, and in “Windows 10 Ready” thus making it appear that this place has all the right drivers for your Windows 10 computer.

We have 3 things to say about that:

1.  You don’t need drivers for your Windows 10 PC
2.  You don’t need to update your drivers if everything is working right.
3.  If you do need drivers you need them for hardware devices not for Windows 10.

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Above: A truly terrible search  – guaranteed to get you in big trouble. At least all of these search results are labeled “Ad”. In search results like these, think “Ad=Bad”. Note how often the words Microsoft and Windows and Windows versions are used to mislead you. Don’t fall for this kind of trickery. Be smart. Think!

Below: We type in another popular but BAD search term “Windows Help”. Not one of these has anything do with Microsoft support or help from Microsoft.

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And notice (below) how far down you have to scroll before you find real the real Microsoft and the real Microsoft support site.

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And worse, if you keep scrolling you’ll see other help/support sites using the word Microsoft and Windows that are not labeled “Ad”.

Of course, this does not just apply to searches for Microsoft support, Windows help, or driver searches, it applies to almost anything where there’s money to be made by tricking you -  either by getting you to call a number, download something or scaring you into buying something or paying for a useless service.

Be careful what you search for, take your time when you weed through the search results, and as we always tell you:

Think before you click! 

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Windows 10 Recycle Bin Options
Windows 10 (all versions)

In Windows 10, by default when you delete a file you don’t get a warning that asks if your sure you want to send the file to the Recycle Bin. You just right-click the file and click Delete and it’s gone. Unless you’ve otherwise configured Recycle Bin the file does go to the Recycle Bin and can be immediately returned to its original location by pressing CTRL + Z immediately after deleting it.

But if you want to be warned before you delete a file, like you use to be warned in Windows 7 and earlier versions of Windows, that can be easily done. And here’s how you do it.

1. Right-click on the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop and click on Properties.

2. Choose your C:\ drive.

3. Tick the box next to “Display delete confirmation dialog”

4. Click Apply/OK.

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Now we don’t recommend this because the Recycle Bin is like a safety net when you delete files. But if you're brave and don’t even want the files to be moved to the Recycle Bin, you can tick the circle next to “Don’t move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted. Keep in mind if you do this there will be no easy way to recover the deleted files.

Oh and Colombo (EB) reminded me to say — “just one more thing”: If you’re going to be using a cleanup utility to clean up your PC, most of them will empty your Recycle Bin automatically, so be sure to check to make sure you don’t have anything you need in the Recycle Bin before doing a system cleanup.

And did you know that the shortcut CTRL+Y in most Windows applications functions as Redo, reversing a previous Undo, Now you do. Right?
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Want more computer tips & tricks?


How to Print Thumbnails of All Pictures in a Folder

Use Active Hours to Prevent Windows From Automatically Restarting Your Computer
 
We have thousands of Windows tips, tricks and more on our InfoAve web site.  Come see for yourself
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2018 Donataion Drive

Make a small donation and help us help you!

We are beginning our annual winter donation drive today. If you don't need any of our products or services right now, please help us with a donation. Even the smallest gift is appreciated. Every donation helps us to provide useful information that helps you with your computer as well as helping to keep you safe on the Internet. We offer free help to thousands of people every year... and we offer an honest and inexpensive computer repair service too. We do everything we can to help you with your computer and keep you safe too.

So if you don't need any our products or services right now, please consider helping us with a small donation. If you're not a Cloudeight Booster already, you'll be invited to join our boosters after you make a donation of any amount. Our boosters get freebies and special booster-only offers

Please help us by making a donation right now.

Interested in making a monthly gift? Visit this page. Help us keep helping you!

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Cloudeight InfoAve Premium -Tips & Tricks

Fakespot

Product Reviews: Fake or Real? Here’s One Way to Tell

If you do much online shopping and if you’re like us, you rely somewhat on customer reviews. Many times we read the reviews and wonder if we can rely on them. Are they actual customer reviews or fakes? There are so many fakes reviews posted by paid trolls and by robots, it’s hard to know sometimes what to believe.

We found a site that may help you tell the real reviews from the fake reviews. Keep in mind that nothing is perfect, but this site does a good job weeding out the fakes.

The site is called Fakespot and here’s what they have to say:

"Fakespot is a data analytics company committed to changing the way people shop online. We believe in the importance of user reviews. With so many online shopping options, a strong or weak product review can have a huge impact on whether or not a purchase is made. The credibility of these reviews is undermined by businesses who leave fake reviews for themselves or for their competitors – or by individuals with an undisclosed bias.

Shoppers in need of a second opinion use Fakespot when considering their next online purchase. Our patented algorithm looks for patterns to filter out reviews we think are unreliable.

But don’t take our word for it – you be the judge… Fakespot can help you with Amazon, Yelp, TripAdvisor and Apple App store reviews..."
Cloudeight Site Pick

The site is called Fakespot. All you have to do to use this site is just paste any Amazon, Yelp, Trip Advisor or Apple App store product in the form on Fakespot and click the Analyze button.

Remember, this site can help you when you’re doing online shopping especially when you are relying on customer reviews to make a choice between products. But use this site only as a guide. Combine this with your own research and common sense – and you may be more easily able to tell the real reviews from the fake ones.

Give Fakespot a try the next time you’re relying on customer reviews to make a choice when purchasing a service or product.

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Reg Organizer: Cloudeight recommended and endorsed.

Now available: Reg Organizer 8.5

If you purchased or renewed Reg Organizer through Cloudeight within the last 12 months, you're entitled to a free version upgrade to Reg Organizer 8.5.

Save $14 on Reg Organizer right now!

Reg Organizer - A Swiss Army Knife of Windows Tools - Works Great on Windows 10!

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Cloudeight InfoAve Premium - Essays , Rants, etc.

Introduction

Many of you have pets, and if you have a pet you know what a stressful time it can be when your pet is sick - especially when the sickness can't be cured. Every day you have to prepare yourself for the worst - and you have to face that you may have to make that really difficult decision to end the pet's suffering. It's a hard time full of difficult days and nights. My pet cat is sick - she has inoperable cancer. But she's my buddy - she still curls up with me and we "watch" TV. She is not in any pain, but you can tell she's not herself. She is hanging on. Now there's a sadness that pervades everything around here as we wait for the inevitable... but hope it doesn't come soon. I'm sure if you ever lost a pet to long and serious illness you know how difficult it can be

Her sickness reminded me of another little friend of mine who died almost twelve years ago, on September 22, 2006. I wrote this essay the day after that - the day after my little friend died.

So for both my little furry friends, and for every one of you who has a pet or pets they love, we are republishing this 2006 essay entitled "Farewell to a Friend".

We hope you enjoy reading it.


Farewell to a Friend

On a gloomy, peaceful, August morning I laid my little friend to rest.

It was raining and that seemed fitting. Like tears from a saddened sky the raindrops fell on me as I carried my little friend to his final resting place. The rain kept falling as I laid him to rest and my thoughts drifted back to happier times.

When my youngest son was nine years old, he was going through a difficult time in his life, as many kids do at that age. He didn't have many friends then, but he was a bright and loving child, who loved people and wanted people to love him. He didn't have a mean bone in his little body.

I thought then, that perhaps a pet would be good for him. Something he could take care of...

Read the rest of this essay here.

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Cloudie's Birthday Sale

Cloudie's 17th Birthday! Celebrating with a sale - Pay What You Like

We're giving everyone a chance to choose the price you pay for any of the following Cloudeight products & services. Create your own great deal, help celebrate Cloudie's birthday and help us too!
  1. Cloudeight Direct Computer Repair - Single Key
  2. Cloudeight Direct Computer Care Season Ticket - Unlimited Computer Care for one full year ... a great deal!
  3. Thunderbird Email Installation and Setup
  4. Emsisoft Anti-Malware installation, setup and one-year Emsisoft license.
Hurry, Hurry, Hurry! Step right up and help us celebrate Cloudie's 17th Birthday and Pay What You Like!

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Cloudeight InfoAve Premium - Essays , Rants, etc.

What are phishing, vishing and smishing?

We're glad you asked! Other than words that make spell checkers insane, these words all define different kinds of maliciousness. And while the government may not be good for many things, it's good for one thing - paying good writers big bucks to write technical stuff that even non-geeks can understand. We write technical stuff that even non-geeks can understand, but we don't make big bucks and many question if we're good writers. Good writers or not, we're going to let these highly-paid U.S. Government (good) writers tell you all about phishing, vishing and smishing. Ready? Set! Go!
Phishing

Phishing is when a scammer uses fake email, text messages, or copycat websites to try to steal your identity or personal information, such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, debit card PINs, and account passwords. The scammer may state that your account has been compromised or that one of your accounts was charged incorrectly.

A scammer will instruct you to click on a link in the email or reply with your bank account number to confirm your identity or verify your account. They will sometimes threaten to disable your account if you don't reply, but don't believe it. Legitimate companies never ask for your password or account number by email.

Vishing and Smishing

Similar to phishing, vishing (voice and phishing) and smishing (SMS texting and phishing) scammers also seek to steal your personal information. However, these scams target your mobile or landline phone instead of your computer. You may be directed to call a phone number to verify an account or to reactivate a debit or credit card.
And now you know what phishing, vishing and smishing are. And if you have an inquiring mind -- even if you don't -- be sure to read all the info on this page.

Gimme a smish, EB!
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Sales of the following products and services help support our newsletters, web sites, and computer help services we provide.

Cloudeight Direct Computer Care: Single Keys or Season Tickets - always a great deal. Cloudeight Direct Computer Care is like having PC insurance. Get more information here.

Emsisoft Anti-Malware:  Emsisoft is the only Cloudeight endorsed and recommend Windows security program. It provides users with a complete antivirus, antimalware, anti-ransomware, anti-PUPs solution. We offer single Emsisoft licenses and multi-computer licenses at discount prices. Also, we offer our exclusive Emsisoft with Cloudeight installation & setup. Get more information here.

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Thunderbird Email Setup: Thunderbird is a great email program that you can use with your Gmail and Outlook.com (Hotmail) web mail accounts as well as with your Internet provider's email. We'll set it up right for you. Our set up includes configuring up to 3 emails accounts, and setting up Thunderbird to use stationery (if desired). Our Thunderbird Email Setup Service is always a great deal. For more information visit this page.

Reg Organizer 8.5: Reg Organizer is the Swiss Army Knife of Windows tools. It's far more than just a registry optimizer and cleaner... it's Windows all-in-one toolkit. Helps you keep your computer in tip-top shape and also helps you solve annoying Windows problems. Reg Organizer works great with Windows 10 too! Get more information about Reg Organizer (and get our special discount prices) here.

Help us help you.

If you don't need any of the above products or services at this time, please consider helping us by making a donation. Everyone who makes a donation is invited to become a Cloudeight Booster and is eligible for special Cloudeight Booster Freebies and special Cloudeight Booster sales. Please consider making a small donation today. Thank you so much! 

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These products and services are recommended and endorsed by Cloudeight:
Also.. don't forget:
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We received hundreds of questions for possible use in IA news. Please keep in mind we cannot answer all general computer questions. We try to personally answer as many as we can. We can only use a few to in each week's newsletter, so keep this in mind. If you have a support question about a service or product we sell, please contact us here
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We hope you have enjoyed this issue of InfoAve Premium. Thanks so much for your support and for being a Premium subscriber.
 
Have a great weekend!
 
Darcy & TC
Cloudeight InfoAve Premium - Issue #749
Volume 15 Number 18
February 16, 2018

 
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