Are You Protected?

This is really a leading question as it could pertain to a number of things in our lives, right?  I believe one of the biggest things where protection is needed is your computer and your cell phone. Protection means backing up your files which includes documents, music, photos, and your contacts.

If your cell phone or computer quits and these things are not backed up, they are lost forever!  This may be one of those things you think won’t happen, only to someone else. It’s kind of like never wearing your seat belt because you think you’ll never have an accident.

My PassportSo if you are not doing it, this is my strong advice.  Purchase a portable external hard drive.  My recommendation is the Western Digital “My Passport,” because it has the best auto back-up software. A 1TB drive will be more than enough for most people and will cost about $69.00.  This is a very inexpensive investment for the security of your digital files!

Simply plug it into a USB port, and do a one time software set up.  Now, when it’s plugged in, it will continually monitor anything that you save and instantly copy it to the drive.  Now you have two copies of all your files and when you computer or laptop fails you have your digital life saved!

Your cell phone back-up is different.  If you’re using an Android phone, simply plug it into a USB port on your laptop or desktop.  Now find the files you want to copy and paste them onto your external drive.

If you’re using an iPhone plug it into a USB port on your desktop or laptop and the back-up is accomplished using iTunes.

If you’re unfamiliar with the above procedures ask a friend who has this knowledge to help you.

We are living in a “Lost Generation of Photos” because everyone is taking pictures with their smartphones.  Because they are not backing up those photos, when a failure occurs the photos are lost!

Remember your photos are what you pass along for future generations to enjoy, so take lots and back them up!

A Time of Reflection……..

Picture yourself sitting on a boulder and gazing at this scene.  Perhaps you’ve packed a small picnic lunch, something you love to eat, and your favorite beverage. (Click photo for larger view.)

It’s quiet, except for a bird singing in a distant tree, and your thoughts wonder.  You reminisce about all the experiences you’ve had until this point in your life, and you relive some of those times especially the high points!  After a while you snap back into reality and get totally immersed into the moment.

It’s fall and the leaves are turning beautiful colors. You’re admiring the reflection in the water and your thoughts now turn to the present.

Where am I on the path of life?  Am I really happy, or just biding time?  Do I feel healthy?  What makes me smile?  What is my passion? 

Again, you’re engrossed with the beauty of your surroundings.  You take out your iPhone and take some pictures, then put on your earphones and listen to some soothing music.  Oh….the serenity of my being.

What’s next on the path of life?  What are my goals, challenges, and dreams?  You’re reminded of the lyrics from one of Diana Ross’ songs..
”Do you know where you’re going to..Do you like the things that life is showing you…Where are you going to….Do you know?”

Because of this “Time of Reflection” you feel energized, but you might realize that there’s something missing…sometimes you just don’t feel whole.  What is that feeling all about?

Maybe you don’t have a relationship with God.  Maybe you need to find a church and feel his presence. If you have a church maybe you should go more often.  If you have a church and don’t feel fulfilled maybe it’s time to find another.

If you’re reading this and live in Phoenix, you’re invited to Easter service at the Super Bowl!  It all takes place on Sunday, April 5th at 10:30.  Bring your family and friends and get there early (doors open at 9 am) because we’re expecting 60,000 people.  CCV (Christ’s Church of the Valley) is a non-denominational bible based church with 6 campus locations in the valley.  Step up, take a chance, it just may change your life!

The words of Diana’s song asks you “where are you going,” and God says in the Bible “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”  Mark 11:24

So many people travel from the womb to the tomb where other people push them.  If you place a toy sail boat in the ocean, where will it end up?  It’s no one’s guess. On your ocean of life, be the Captain of your ship and guide it to your destination!

So, we have reflected on the past, present and future.  Imagine the world you want to live in!  Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is everything.  It is the preview of life's coming attractions!”

Walking down the path of life, say hello with a smile to everyone you meet.  Give someone a sincere compliment today and watch them light up.  Buy a stranger lunch the next time you visit a fast food restaurant….watch them light up and watch how it makes you feel!.

Be awesome today!

Please be Warned!

Monitor-ScamBe more aware of your Internet activities.  Remember that everything you post is out there forever!  Your computer has an Internet address and every site you visit has a record of it.  Be extra careful about posting too much personal information, especially on social sites like Facebook.  Never post your phone numbers on the Internet!  Facebook is famous for that.  You’ve probably had the message that says “For extra account security please furnish us with your cell phone number.”  I don’t think so!  You also leave an open invitation to burglars when you post on social sites that you’re out of town or going on a vacation.

Internet scams seem to get worse by the day.  There is an increasing amount of fake sites on the net and sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys!  You may think you are on your banking site, but it’s really one that looks just like it.  Make sure you sign in under secure conditions and sign out when finished with your business.

Most of us have received an email informing that there is a problem with an account, but it can easily be rectified if you click on an enclosed link and furnish your account information.  Click on the link and you now have big problems.  Delete these kinds of emails!

Another big scam is the little window that pops up in the lower right corner of your computer screen informing you that you have problems.  Note the name of the program then remove it from your computer.  Also run Malwarebytes, a free program that will remove malware and spyware from your machine.

Calling from MSHere’s the scam winner!  A guy calls you on the phone identifying himself working for Microsoft or Windows and informs you that your computer has problems.  He asks you to turn on your machine and follow his directions.  (You should hang up right now!)  If you continue you will be informed that he has found very dangerous problems and for a dollar amount will fix them for you.  I have had customers who have given this phony caller credit card numbers, even their bank account number!  DON’T FALL FOR THIS SCAM!  You will never receive a phone call from Microsoft or any other legitimate company informing you of such bunk! 

What really prompted me to write this is that I personally got that call today, only the fraud at the other end was in for a surprise. I played along with him for 5 minutes, then informed him that I was an IT guy and he was a fake and I was going to call the FBI.  He hung up immediately.

Be security conscious at all times, not only on the Internet but anywhere you happen to be!