Quicken freezes during shutdown

When you try to close Quicken, (in this case v. 2017), the program hangs and does not shut down.  It seems to freeze in place.  Why?

Quicken has an automatic backup feature that can freeze the program when you try to exit.  That feature can be turned off and the issue should be resolved.  However, we suggest you leave the feature to remind you to backup your data on so you can make sure your financial data gets backed up periodically.

To turn off the auto backup feature, open Quicken, click on Edit and then Preferences.  Click the Backup option in the left side column.  Uncheck the Automatic backups feature.  Make sure the Manual Backup reminder is checked and set the times option to what you desire, (we selected 3).  That means every third time Quicken is used, (or closed), it will ask you to backup.  Click OK and you are done.

WordPress: Delete all comments easily

When you open your WordPress file for your web site you find many comments have been added to the Comments section of the Dashboard.  In some cases there could be hundreds if not thousands.  How do we get rid of all at once?

Open your WordPress program.  Click on Plugins, then Add New.  In the Search bar, upper right corner, type in Delete All Comments Easily.  Hit Enter and the plugin will appear.  Click Install and then Activate.  After it is installed, click on Tools and then select the plugin you just installed.  The plugin will show you the number of comments that exist, you can either back out or click to remove them all with a check mark.

Done.

Text does not display well in Chrome

You use Google Chrome as the default browser and the text has been or has become unreadable.  The font is not displaying correctly.  What can be done?

First, close Chrome.  Then open a internet page and type chrome://flags in the address bar.  Un-check the box, or disable, the line that reads LCD text anti-aliasing, (you will need to scroll down the page a bit to find it).  Then click the Relaunch button.

The text should be fine now.

Passwords

It is because of the never ending battle to decipher people’s passwords that we have looked into and appreciate a creative way to further enhance your on-line security.

For years we have been suggesting that everyone rotate their passwords routinely to keep cyber-hackers off balance when trying to figure out your passwords.  Now, that is not enough.  A better way to thwart these attempts is to create passwords that are constructed of four random words that mean something to the end user.

For example, pick four words that relate to your past.  TrojanPantherSachemScouts.  Here you see four random words that have no meaning and do not make any sense to anyone else.  You can make the password even tougher by replacing letters with characters.  For example, Tr0j@nP@nth3rS@c4emScout$.  A list of six variations could be created and used in a rotation of passwords, (do not use one for all sites).

Why do this?  It has been found that hackers can break the “old style” password in less than twenty-four hours, yet it is said to take many years, (decades even!), to crack the new password style.  “For the past 20 years we have been trained to create passwords that are hard for Humans to remember but easy for Computers to guess,”  TED talk article.  This practice is already being used with many new routers wifi connection passwords.  If you look, you will find the new wifi passwords are two random words with random numbers.  Put this effective approach to work for you…  
Should you create the new passwords, it is strongly suggested you write down the four random words and store them in a safe place, (without the term password written on the note), in case you need to be reminded of what they are and in what order you wrote them.

Saved Passwords in Chrome

Not having to enter your password every time you visit a favorite site is really convenient.  However, not entering the passwords tend to let most people forget them.  When their system breaks, or if the saved password list gets hit with malware or a virus rendering the list gone, you are stuck.

To solve this dilemma, we suggest printing out the list of saved passwords periodically and then file it away in a safe place.  Remember to re-print the list if you update of change passwords.

To print the list of saved Chrome passwords:  Click the three dots in the upper right hand corner, then click Settings.  Scroll all the way to the bottom and click Advanced.  Look for and click on Manage passwords.  Once that list is open, click the eye icon to the right of the dots representing your saved password.  The password appears.  Click the eye for every password on the list.  Once complete, scroll to the top of the page.  Right click and Print.  Once printed, look at where the page break is and repeat printing until your entire list is printed for you.  NOTE:  If you change a password, you only need to re-print the page where the changes occurred.

Hidden Mailboxes in Mac Mail

Not finding the mailboxes that you have meticulously organized can be frustrating.  Mac Mail will allow you to Hide the folders the mail is in and if you do not know how to Show the folders they will be “lost” to you.

Open Mac Mail and roll your mouse over the name of your mail.  For example, you import Gmail into your Mac Mail account.  Roll the mouse over Google, (or Gmail), and you will see a plus sign (+) or the term Show.  Click the term Show to show all the folders within Google.  Or Hide to re-hide them.  Clicking the plus sign will allow you to create a new folder within that file structure but will NOT allow you to Show or Hide the folders.

Malwarebytes

This is a great piece of software.  It seeks and destroys malicious software on our computers.  The free edition scans, detects and quarantines any threats found when run manually.  The paid version continuously scans your system and does the same when threats are found.  If you are like us, and prefer the no cost version, there is a way to turn off the ads asking you to purchase the product,

To do so, open Malwarebytes, click on Settings, (lower left), and then click on My Account.  At the bottom click to deactivate the trial version.  Another popup will show near the clock and you want to select the second option.

Now your program will run free of ads asking you to buy it.

Disappearing Icons in Windows 7

Every week my desktop icons disappear.  No reason, just gone.  Every week I spend the time putting the shortcuts back.  This has to stop.

The reason this occurs is Win7 has a scheduled task built into the operating system that will clean up the desktop of “broken” icons, or what the system determines is a broken icon.  If, for example, you use a lot of network shortcuts as icons on the desktop, the operating system may think they are broken and delete them.  The same can be said of icons unused for seven days or more.

To turn this task off, you will need to go to the Control Panel, click System, then look for System and Security, Computer Maintenance and turn off the task.  You can also Search for Computer Maintenance if you have a hard time finding it.

As with any adjustment to the operating system, be cautious when making changes.

iPhone battery tips

The iPhone performance is directly tied to battery life.  The more power the battery has the better performance you will get.  Try changing these settings to get more power longer from your battery:

1)  Location Services.  You do not need LS turned on for everything.  Turn off, or set to “manual,” those that are not needed.  To do this, go to Settings, Privacy and Location Services.

2)  Background refresh:  Not everything needs to be constantly refreshed.  Turn off refresh on most apps.  To do this: go to Settings, General and Background App Refresh.

3)  Stop Fetch for your email and other apps ALL the time.  Go to Settings, Accounts and Passwords, Fetch New Data and then toggle to turn off.

4)  Screen Time Out:  Shorten the time it takes to turn off your screen.  I changed the setting from 5 minutes to 3.

5)  Brightness.  Does the screen need to be THAT bright?  Try lowering the brightness to save power.  Go to Settings, Display and Brightness.

6)  Battery charging:  The lithium-ion batteries can not be drained to zero.  Try to always charge when the battery reaches fifty percent.  Avoid extreme temps and if you are storing the iPhone, do so with the battery at fifty percent or greater.  Then turn off.

Basic Computer Maintenance

System running slow?  This time of year is the perfect time to clean up the computer!  Here are some basic things to do in order to do so:

  • Uninstall any unused programs. Think of this in the same light as cleaning out the closet.  If you have not used it in a year, get rid of it!  Look at the software listed on the Programs list within the Control Panel.  If you have not used it in a year, highlight and uninstall it.  Do not use the install date as the last used date…
  • Check the amount of ram your system has installed and consider installing more. Open the control panel and click on System.  There you will see how much ram is installed.  Consider doubling it.  Doing so is easy, (and cheap), IF you purchase the correct ram and remember to unplug the computer, (or remove the battery on a laptop), before you open up the memory panel.  Remove one chip, take a picture of the label describing the necessary data, reinstall.  Now you have the data needed to buy the correct ram for the system.
  • Download a three pack of utilities and run them routinely to keep the system running better. Go to chapinbusiness.com/Protection and Maintenance to download the install files for Ccleaner, Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware.
  • If your computer is running hot, it may be dusty. For a desktop, unplug the power, remove the side panel and blow out the dust with a can of compressed air.  Be sure to blow out the dust stuck between the cpu fan and heat sync.  For a laptop, bring it to a professional for internal cleaning.  You could turn it off, remove the battery and try blowing air through the vent and keyboard.  However, if there is dust on the fan vents, only getting inside the computer will work.  (Do NOT try this if you are inexperienced!)