Archive for the ‘Twitter’ Category
Technical advances give us new ways to connected with loved ones, especially those far away from us. New to social media? Here’s a breakdown of a few social media networks to help you share what’s new with family and friends, get up to date on the latest celebrity news, and connect with others around ideas and current events.
Instagram has become the leading online tool for editing and sharing images. Its interface is easy to use and connections with other social networks make it the best tool to show the grandkids what you are up to these days.
It allows you to easily share photos from your smartphone (or other digital devices) on most of the popular social networks. It allows users to edit, dress-up and improve their pictures. Instagram also maintains its own social network to allow power-users to share their work with other interested photo designers.
Google+ is a social networking site with multiple features, and is ideal for those who want to share content-rich information. It allows you to easily share personal documents, photos and links to other content, and gives live text (and video) chat options for anyone who has a Google account.
Google+ has a wide variety of features, including Google Hangouts (an online group chat tool) and the “+1 button” (which allows users to personally endorse an article or an interesting item from the Web). Google+ also allows you to categorize your contacts into a variety of groups called ‘circles.’ These ‘circles’ give you an additional level of control over who sees what you post on the network.
Google Docs has recently been integrated into Hangouts, the video chat feature of Google+. Users can pull up their documents while using the video chat feature and share their screen to for easy face-to-face tele-conference and presentation capabilities.
Pinterest is a virtual pin board where users can “pin” (collect) and store online images in collections based on their interests. Pinterest collections are great ways to collect and share photos of birthday parties, sunsets, famous quotations and favorite family recipes.
If you’re constantly surfing the web, it can be difficult to remember exactly where you saw that cute kitty picture your daughter/granddaughter/niece will absolutely love. Pinterest is easily added to your internet browser to make it easier to images from the web.
Stumped for gift ideas for the upcoming holiday season? Check out Pinterest’s gift section — it has segmented categories with different price ranges, and clicking on the image will take you to the product information.
Twitter is an online, micro-blogging social network that allows users to share and read posts. Users can follow and get tweets from friends, celebrities, news outlets, companies and other organizations. The challenge and artistry of this platform is this: each post (called a “tweet”) can only be 140 characters or less. (That’s it.)
Twitter is a great way to quickly receive updates and breaking news and updates from your friends, family, favorite sports team or news outlet. You can create different lists to direct your tweets into different collections based on their author.
To help you create lists, Twitter has a “suggestions” feature that suggests ways to categorize your tweets. Note: watch what you tweet. One of your followers can easily share (“re-tweet”) your tweets with others.
Most people are familiar with Facebook, the largest and most widely-used social media network in the world.. You can interact with other Facebook users by “friending” them and “liking” or commenting on their posts, photos, and other content they share on their wall. Companies, sports teams, politicians, celebrities and social movements all use Facebook to spread the word about their activities.
To best use Facebook, remember to keep in mind what you want to share. Check your privacy settings and make sure your public information is the kind of thing you want public. If you need help, Geek Squad Agents are available 24/7 online at geeksquad.com to help you figure out the settings.
Did you know you can now use Facebook to connect you and your friends using text messages? If your Wi-Fi or Internet connectivity is off, you can still contact your friends and family via Facebook. You can turn on text messaging so your contacts can use Facebook Messages to send you texts. Once you have activated text messaging through your Facebook account, you can send a text to 32665 (FBOOK) and send a text to be posted on your friend’s Facebook wall.
LinkedIn is a social networking tool focused on professional networking and building business relationships. It can be used for professional networking needs, and has informational tabs that compile your industry’s top news for the day for quick reference.
LinkedIn can be used to connect professionally and as a supplement to the traditional resume and business card. LinkedIn allows you to expand and personalize your professional experiences, giving you a place to put all those things you leave off the hard copy of your resume. You even have the option of adding a video onto your LinkedIn profile to give you an extra boost in impressions.
Check out LinkedIn fequently to see what your contacts and colleagues are up to. It’s a great way to stay connected professionally, and congratulate themon their career accomplishments while keeping those professional doors open.
On many social media sites, people can request to follow or friend you. If you’re not comfortable with strangers having access to your social media information, be careful who you allow into your social network. In most cases, they will have access to everything you post to the network.
There are a lot of different ways to handle the privacy settings offered by social media sites. On Facebook and many other social media sites, marking your page as private will prevent members of the general public from seeing anything but the most general information about you.
Social media websites generally undergo changes a few times every year, and most of those facelifts affect privacy settings in some way. If you notice changes on social-networking site homepages, it’s a good idea to revisit your privacy settings, and perform a quick internet search to learn more. We keep up on this kind of thing so we will be able to help you with any questions you may have.
Here’s a few general guidelines that everyone should know about social networking websites:
If the social media universe is still too much for you, let Geek Squad help.
Agent Wiebusch carries badge number #3881 and has thwarted rogue technology issues since 2004, helping clients in store, in their home or business, and now online. When away from computers, he enjoys playing sports, playing videogames, and tinkering with motorcycles, classic cars, and anything else fast.
Social Media, it seems, is the new frontier for keeping in touch with your friends and family. It’s become such a common place in our daily lives that sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are typically the first place web go to share the latest news, upload photos from their mobile devices, and even vent about their day. The problem is that most of us rarely giving any thought to who can read, share and otherwise interact with our posts.
ZoneAlarm, with the help of a study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, has compiled some interesting data around how users manage who is viewing their content. The infographic also contains 5 basic tips for ensuring that you are keeping in control of who can see your posts.
As always, for help ensuring your personal information, your computer, and your mobile devices are secure, Geek Squad Agents are standing by to assist. Find us Online or on the Phone at 1-800-GEEK-SQUAD 24/7/366. Or, find us standing by at a Geek Squad Precinct near you.
-Agent Patrick B.-
Geek Squad HQ
It is a new year with new opportunities. Many of us choose to set new goals. Sometimes we want to get back on track with our existing goals.
Why not take full advantage of your tablet to make planning and meeting those goals easy? Today we’ll take a few common New Year Resolutions that we all share, and look at how your tablet can help with each.
Syncing your tablet with the cloud has never been easier. If you have an Android device you can let your Gmail account keep track of your contacts, calendar, notes, tasks, pictures, music, messages and more, keeping everything lined up, no matter how many devices you have. Whether you are on your tablet or on your computer, everything will stay in sync as long as you’re connected to the Internet. With an iPad, iCloud will do many of the same things for you. On Windows tablets you can use Google or SkyDrive. You can even export from one service and import it into another if migrating everything to one central account makes your digital life easier to manage.
There are apps available to help you with pushups, sit-ups, yoga or walking. Nike, and coming soon from Jawbone, there’s pedometer-like gear that will work with apps to give you more accurate readings of your accomplishments. If making fitness more social and fun helps keep you motivated then you can go to Fitocracy from your tablet web browser to share your experience with others while keeping track of your progress.
Keeping in touch
Keeping in touch with friends and loved ones can be a challenge with our busy schedules. Fortunately, social sites like Facebook, twitter and foursquare make it easier to share in the lives of the people that you care about. If logging in to separate web pages to check in with your social network is a bit overwhelming to you, you may want to consider consolidating them into one app on your tablet. Both Tweetdeck and Hootsuite do a great job of streamlining this experience in a way that may just make you want to use those services even more.
So no matter what you resolve to change in your life this year, remember your tablet can help you out, and help you stick to it! Also, keep in mind that we are always here to help. If it all seems a bit overwhelming, Geek Squad offers a Tablet Setup, as well as a variety of other services to help you skip the “techie” part, and get straight to using your new tech-tools. As always, Geek Squad Agents are standing by 24/7/365 at 1-800-GeekSquad and GeekSquad.com to help keep your unruly tech in order.
Geek Squad Online Support Agent Shane N serves the public by policing technology at Support.GeekSquad.com
He is father to four boys who remind him that no matter how smart he thinks he is, they are smarter. He likes Sci-Fi and skateboarding.
Social networking websites are one of the fastest growing website genres on the internet. Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc. Connect, chat, and let people know what you are doing with just a click of the mouse or punch of the cell phone button. This is “the thing” to do nowadays, the way we keep in touch. With this easy of communication comes the possibility of exploitation. Today we are going to talk about the possible safety hazards of letting your guard down when socially networking via the internet.
There are a couple of set-in-stone ground rules that everyone needs to know about social networking websites. Let me share with you the same information I tell most of my clients:
• Social networking websites themselves are generally safe; The content people put on them, however, may not be. It is the human element you need to worry about.
• Always remember that any content you post on the internet will be there forever, for anyone to read, store, and republish
• Just because the screen says your friend John has sent you information doesn’t mean John is actually the person who did
• If it doesn’t “seem right” it probably is not right
• Things free or too good to be true, are. Just like in the “real world.”
Now that we are armed with those rules, let us run through a few possible scenarios. For instance, you hop onto a popular networking site to update your status and you see you have a message from your friend. We are talking about someone you know but does not frequently message you. You open the message and there is a link to what is described as a ‘cool video’ or some super-duper product that you should “check out.” The link doesn’t work, or for whatever reason it doesn’t seem to work. Or perhaps it is such as stupid thing you are wondering why your friend was even wasting your time. “No biggie” you may think. A week later, however, you find that you are getting popup ads left and right and your computer is slowing down.
What happened? Well your friend probably had a virus or spyware infection that spreads itself via sending messages to everyone who his is ‘friend,’ telling them to click on the link. When the link is clicked the spyware is installed. (Please remember that antivirus and antispyware programs are not always 100% effective) The spyware has been watching what you are typing, trying to steal credit card numbers, or otherwise is up to no good. Bam, you’ve been socially hacked.
Another scenario popping up lately involves micro-blogging websites. One of the most popular is Twitter. (Micro-blogging is posting status updates or information in only one to two sentences). There are several excellent micro-blogger humans out there reporting everything from celebrity updates, news hot off the press, and even your latest television show character developments.
However, there are also those micro-blogging accounts where it seems that some “person” is following the status updates of 5,000 people yet only 10 or 20 people are following them. This seems odd…who has the time to follow 5,000 people yet is not popular enough to warrant anybody ‘following’ what they are doing? Yet this random person just ‘followed’ or ‘added’ you to the list of people they listen in on? Weird! So what in the world is going on?
Well, it is completely feasible that this person is waiting for you, and the 5,000 other people, to post something that could be personally identifying. Maybe you don’t post revealing information all at once. Perhaps without realizing it you do it over the course of months. Like pieces of a puzzle to be assembled into a greater picture at a later time. Maybe you uploaded a photo revealing your address or house number in the background of your family picnic? Did you post something with your name on it, or tied to your name like the picture of the new car you bought? Did you just update your status about the burger joint on the corner of Main St and how you are eating there?
Believe it or not just with that simple information above a person can cause you a big headache. For example: With that house number, nearby the burger joint address, the make/model of your car or license plate number in a picture (and personal information tied to this plate number), or anything else you posted, someone could do something as simple as fill out a credit card application in your name. With the free credit card application they stole out of your mailbox. Or perhaps they could use this information to impersonate you in other ways. Ick, who the heck needs that sort of trouble!
That whole scenario seems like a lot of trouble for someone to go through, but it really is not that hard. There are freely available programs on the internet that can scour social networking websites for certain keywords multiple times per hour. When they hit upon this keyword, the program marks that post for future review by human eyes. That person who was following you now has all the information they need from your three months of blogging posts to paint an excellent picture of you. They could possibly step into your shoes if they wanted to.
So what can you do to protect yourself? Remember the set-in-stone rules I mentioned above. What appears to be, may not be true. Ask your friend you do not speak to often if they really sent you a funny video about a cat climbing the Christmas Tree before you open the message and follow the link.
Do not post anything on the internet you wouldn’t want someone to see no matter how innocuous it seems to be. Personally identifying information such as license plate numbers, house numbers or other addresses, specific names, how you went to Johnny’s High school and still live in the same town…things like that. Remember that this information is stored somewhere, likely in multiple places, for almost all eternity. Information can be used like pieces in a puzzle to paint a bigger picture of you.
Do not accept “friend requests” from people you do not know. Do not allow people to “follow” you if you do not know who they are. If you are unsure as to the authenticity of the person on the other end, ask them a piece or two of personal information that only the true person would know. Watch your children and make sure when they are on these social sites that they adhere to your rules and guidelines.
Trust your gut feeling. When a scenario seems odd it could mean someone is up to no good. In addition, remember when you cannot see the person on the other end of the internet connection you have no proof they are who they say they are.
I truly hope this information helps steer you towards trouble-free social waters. The internet is certainly an awesome way to connect and stay in touch at the speed of light. We need not be afraid of the web, but we do need to respect the power it can have over us if used incorrectly.
Now I think I will go post on Twitter that I have finished writing this blog…
Language was shortened long ago for ease of Instant Messaging. So when text messaging became popular, people were already armed with ‘c u l8r’, ‘IDK’, and ‘BRT’ (or “see you later”, “I don’t know”, and “be right there” for proponents of the Queen’s English). This computer lingo comes in handy now that social networking sites, like Twitter, are designed for short and succinct updates.
But what if you wanted to Twitter a link to my epic blog about using secure passwords? As you may know, Twitter updates are capped at 140 characters. The full address of my post is:
Not only is that hard to type, but it weighs in at 89 characters. This only leaves you 51 characters for the remainder of your tweet. When it comes to Twitter updates, space is at a premium.
Enter the URL shortening services. After TinyURL.com was launched in 2002, there have been numerous other sites with a similar spin, such as snipurl.com, is.gd, and bit.ly. By using their services, the large unwieldy URL above is rendered as http://tinyurl.com/yjclqts . Much easier on the thumbs, and it gives you more space to write glowing praise about the link in question.
The problem is, as with anything on the Internet, you find people with malicious intent looking to use URL shorteners to their advantage. Firewalls, anti-virus software, anti-spyware software, and phishing scanners are great, but if you click a link that goes directly to a malicious site, often there isn’t anything security software can do about it. You may think you’re following a friend’s link to a story about the release of Windows 7, and end up at a site with adult content or a site with the intent to infect your computer with a virus.
Some of the shortening services have instituted a preview system; for example, if you were to enter http://preview.tinyurl.com/yjclqts, the tinyurl site will tell you what the link points to. But for those sites that don’t have a preview system, or if you don’t want to retype all of them, there are a few ways to make sure you don’t end up someplace you’d rather not be.
There are add-ons, which are programs you can download for Firefox and Internet Explorer, which check the shortening site and report back to you the expanded URL, and then giving you the option of clicking on it or not. Longurl.org is a website that you can go to where you can copy and paste the shortened URL, and it will report back the full link.
So while sometimes your friends may just be trying to hit you with the most viral Internet prank of all time, other times you may find something far worse than Rick Astley on the other end of that link.
I’d like to start this post by making the record clear: We are proud to have reached out to Ivy Bean and get her set up on Twitter. With her permission, we also publicized her accomplishment to encourage other older people to get online.
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