Social Media: FaceBook, Twitter (Tweet), Instagram: A Good thing or Bad?

Social Media LogosWe live in the age of information and most people have internet today. Understanding  social media is becoming more important as a means to stay in touch.  Using FaceBook, Twitter (Tweet), Instagram and other social media networks can be a good thing or bad.

As we get older we tend to not get out as much.  Many older individuals give up driving all together.  This generally means seeing less of both friends and families. Social media can help people feel connected to the world that has been reduced by the aging process.

Social media can be a true blessing with respect to reaching out to family and friends and seeing your friends and families latest pictures.  It has also become a common way for families to invite family and friends to celebrations or family gatherings. But many fail to realize that it is important to have a younger family member or friend set up your privacy settings.  It is important that when you interact with your friends and family that what you share is not being shared with the world.  In addition you should have only your friends and family and not an acquaintance (someone you know little about) in your circle. 

You should also be careful when you share something to your social media account.  Sometimes it can be embarrassing, because we think we are sharing something harmless and yet, when it is shared and it has links to sites with other websites, images, or political statements in complete opposition to your views on the world.  Sometimes it is better to save an image and then upload it to share it.  This way links to other sites or images are disabled.  These other sites may include pornography.  When you share any image you should identify the author or owner in the description.  This is especially true if you are sharing beautiful pictures that you yourself did not create.  If the photograph was taken by Joe’s Photography then you should give credit to Joe’s Photography.

Any images used in this article with respect to social media companies are the trademarks of their respective owners.  The purpose of using the images is to identify companies which are classified as social media companies which may or may not be all inclusive.

Enjoy social media.  Educate yourself and you should always use the help or support features of these sites so that your experience on them is safe and enjoyable.  If you do not know how a site works look for a “Help Center” or “Support Center”.

 

 

 

BAD Robocall: “Do Not Say Yes” Smart Home: GOOD

RoboCall Virtual AssistantVoice response technology has advanced. Bad is the new robocall that scams people. Good is a smart home device that respond to our verbal requests.

Alert Robocall BAD

If you have picked up the phone you have likely heard a women’s voice exclaim “Oops (giggle and then)  Oh I’m sorry.” She the asks “Can you hear me?”.    

It is important for you to know that you should not respond to this question with a “YES“.    DO NOT SAY “YES” !   

Innocent people across the country are getting calls from a new advanced virtual female robot.  She (the robot) sounds like you are being call by a live person.   Consumers that have replied with a “YES” are now reporting fraud and loss claims.   

It is now believed that these “YES” responses are being recorded and then edited. The “YES” is then used to make it sound like you’ve given permission for a purchase or some other transaction.  Technology and advances in speech recognition and voice responses by machines has reached a level where many people think they are talking to a live or real person.    Unfortunately this technology is now being used by bad guys trying to steal from you.

Smart Home GOOD

A “good” example of this technology are devices like Amazon’s Echo and Dot which use “Alexa” a virtual female voice that responds and interacts with owners.  It is currently estimated that close to 10 million homes have Amazon’s virtual “smart home” assistant.  Google has a  “smart home” virtual assistant called Google Home.  Apple also has a smart home device.

Click on the images below to learn more about these Smart Home Devices that truly are “Good” examples of this amazing technology that improve your life.

     Amazon Echo        Amazon Dot

The above devices can answers questions, reads the news, reports traffic and weather, reads audiobooks from Audible, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and more using the Alexa Voice Service.  They can controls lights, fans, switches, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, locks, and more with compatible connected devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, ecobee, and others.  With the free Alexa App on your smart phone  you can view shopping and to-do lists that you asked the device to add to the lists.

 

 

 

 

 

STOP the Robocalls and scammers on my Phone

phonescams

Everyone of us has been on an important call with a friend or relative and through call waiting our phone tells us we have another call with continuous beeping.  Or we have answered our phone only to be greeted with ” Hello this is Rachael” or “Vote for Bozo – he’s the Best”.  This problem is getting worse across the entire United States.  Before it was limited to landlines but now it has jumped the fence and now cell phones are being invaded.

The Dallas Morning News reported that the residents of Dallas, Texas received 48 million robocalls in December 2015 (Statistics from the YouMail Robocall Index).  Three months later the residents of Dallas received 91 million robocalls for the month of March 2016.  It really doesn’t matter where you live.  If you are reading this then you too have experienced these calls.

What can you do?  Well unfortunately the “Do Not Call Registry” is not working.  The CEO of AT&T reports that you should contact the Public Utilities  Commission if your State has it’s own “Do Not Call Registry”.  Otherwise contact the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission if you are on the Do Not Call Registry.  If you are not registered then do a search on the internet and sign  up. If we build up the number of complaints it will force Congress to act on our behalf.

It is most important that you contact your representative in Congress to support a new bill called   — ROBOCOP —  which stands for “The Repeated Objectionable Bothering of Consumers on Phones act“.  This bill was introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier, D.-Cali.. The bill requires companies like AT&T to offer consumers free optional robocall-blocking technology.

Representative Speier claims that the technology to block robocalls exists. But it is not widely available or easy to use.  This bill would also block politicians’ calls, and require phone companies to stop caller ID spoofing.  Rep. Speier stated that people deserve peace in their own homes. This is made impossible when their phones are ringing all day long.

Tell your U.S. senators and members of Congress that you demand passage of Speier’s ROBOCOP bill.  AT&T’s CEO claimed that the telecommunication companies must get permission from the  Federal Communications Commission. The ROBOCOP bill will accomplish this.

Avoid calls from unknown numbers. If you do pick up, hang up. Don’t talk. Don’t press buttons.  Do not select the option to be removed from being called.

Visit www.NOMOROBO.com and set this free service up if you have certain landline carriers:   Get information here https://www.nomorobo.com/

This QR Code Square Can Help You Get Information FAST

qrcodeThe square outlined in red contains a code recognized by your camera on both a smart phone or a tablet that has a camera and a “QR scanner” application.  The “QR” stands for quick response and was first developed for parts in the automotive industry.  Because the square can store a lot of information it quickly transitioned over to the internet.  By using an app or application you can scan the code now found on many product packages to get more information quickly.   By scanning this image you will be taken to the manufacturer’s web page for the product you are scanning. When you do not have time to search for a product using the internet it is much quicker and faster to use a smart phone or tablet camera with a QR scanner application to get information.  Try it you will likely find that this technology is very helpful.

 

Time for a Smart Phone – Amazon Fire with Mayday

It’s here and consumer’s can order this now at Amazon.  If you click on the video you can learn more.  For many maturing people smart phones are almost as bad as the remote control with 30 to 40 buttons that arrive with a new flat screen TV.  Will you ever in your life know what all those buttons are for?  Of course not.   Well the same is true of most smart phones.  The new Amazon Fire phone is the first phone that will have a “Mayday” button.    Basically Amazon says it best right here:

“Simply hit the Mayday button in quick actions and an Amazon expert will appear to help you via live video. Our tech experts can co-pilot you through any feature by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something yourself, or doing it for you—whatever works best. Throughout the process, you’ll be able to see the Amazon expert live on your screen, but they won’t see you.”

Even more important no driving to the phone store to figure out and ask someone to show you how your phone works or how do you do that. where’s that at?

I may get my mother onto the internet with this “Mayday” feature.  To check out “Mayday” on a tablet click below you do not have to buy but you can learn more about this option.