Personal Security in the Social Networking Environment

Social Networking has spread like wildfire, and many of these sites are still gathering hordes of new members every day.

Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Tagged, LinkedIn, YouTube and many others are an automatic must view every time many people sign on to the internet. How safe is your personal information on social networking sites?

Many of these 2.0 web destinations have a common theme, they encourage the sharing of information in one form or another with authorized followers. Granted a lot of the information people share is not harmful, though some can turn out to be very harmful, consider the following

  • The Lori Drew case, where Lori established a false online profile with the intent of bullying her daughters online rival. The rival ended up committing suicide. Lori is in prison. How many other cases like this are out there?
  • Some users make the bad guys job just too easy, by posting things like their social security number in their profile, or even when they register, these sites have no need for your social security number.

These examples are similar in that they are common mistakes.

  • Some things that get posted seem to be very innocent and not dangerous. A recent burglary was facilitated by a young woman who posted her plans to go out one evening on her social networking page. While she was gone thieves broke into her apartment and stop more than $ 10,000 worth of electronic and other equipment. Luckily they overlooked the CCTV equipment that recorded their actions, when the police released the video to the news media one of the young woman's followers recognized the thieves as other registered followers who she knew from high school. This particular incident turned out okay, just imagine though what could have happened if the young woman had come back to her apartment while the thieves were still there!

The above incidents point out some of the things you need to be careful about when interacting with social networks. Aside for authorized followers being able to access the info you post. Think about every way you interact, for example;

  • There are reports of hackers getting into social networking member files and finding information that can help the identify users.
  • A newer attack is the posted false false that attract followers, then the persons behind those profiles will solicit information from those followers.

So what are some of the steps you should take to stay safe on social networking sites?

  • Be careful of what information you provide on profile pages as well on your own page. Your age or birth date, your social security number, your location, your phone number, your email address, your job, your friends or family names, your photo, all could have been used to find information about your real identity.
  • Do not post information about your schedule schedule, your vacation schedule, even your work schedule, if a potential bad guy gets that kind of information, they will know when you are not home.
  • Never respond to invitations to share user names or passwords.
  • Be careful about exposing any personal information unless you know exactly who you are interacting with.

All About Online Banking

Banking today isn’t about standing in line anymore. Instead of waiting in line, go online, and discover the advantages of internet banking. Access your account 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Do all of your banking from the comfort of your own home. In fact, the advantages are numerous:

  • Look at your financial statements anytime you want. The online transaction record is updated instantly, so when the bank knows you made the transaction, you know too.
  • Save precious time and money. Going to the bank often requires booking time off work, driving a considerable distance, and spending hours in line. Doing your banking from home will save you has money, and will help you avoid unneeded stress.
  • Reschedule your payments. If you need to skip a payment, or pay off your credit card early, a simple click of the mouse and the transaction will be complete.
  • Send yourself money. If you are in the business or habit of sending money internationally, or even between cities, you could save yourself considerable hassle by transferring your money electronically from the comfort of your chosen internet connection.
  • Borrow money when you need it. If you have a financial product such as a line of credit, you can borrow money from it over the internet. A simple click and you can place the money in your checking or savings account.
    The possibilities of using the internet to conduct financial transactions has greatly increased the flexibility of the modern internet user. Instead of spending your life waiting in line at a bank, go online, and save your time and money.

Cheap Nintendo Wii Accessories

One can maximize the use of Nintendo Wii with a few more must-have accessories. These Nintendo Wii accessories add to the fun and experience of Wii gaming. They can even be perfect gifts for someone who already owns Nintendo Wii.

There are many sites listing the must have Nintendo Wii accessories. There are many online forums as well, that discuss them in detail. You will find many sharing their incredible experience while some may point out the faults. Do read them for knowledge as they also give you an idea as to what should be expected. Most of these sites have their own set of top accessories for Nintendo Wii, though a few common and the popular ones are the extra controllers, rechargeable batteries, game cube controllers, game cube memory cards, Wii points, SD card and the component video adapter .

The extra controller facilitates one to play head to head Wii sports games such as tennis or boxing. The extra controllers are the Wiimote and the Nunchuck. The combined cost of both of them would be around sixty dollars. The Wii supports four, but even one extra controller is just as much fun. Rechargeable batteries are a must for the avid gamers. If Nunchuck is left attached to the consoles, the battery drains out at a lightening speed. The rechargeable battery is one of the practical and cost saving Nintendo Wii accessories. Other attractive Wii games and accessories include the Nintendo wave bird. It is priced at only thirty five dollars and you can go wireless too. Game cube controller is also a well-liked accessory that works with the "virtual console". One does not need to buy the classic controller in this case. This is also nominally priced at twenty five dollars only.

There are some more bought after cheap Nintendo Wii accessories as well. A dollar twenty five game cube memory card will help you to save your games. If your Wii's memory is almost full with the virtual games do not worry. Just buy a SD card and expand your memory. These moderately spacious cards are available for thirty dollars.

All of the above accessories for the Nintendo Wii are readily available on console's online store. One may even get them on certain online retail outlets or in a console store near you.

The future-game freaks who love the Wii by now exactly know where to invest for added fun and excitement. The young, I am sure, will use the pocket money to buy these accessories while the adults can save for the astonishing Nintendo Wii accessories.

Computer Maintenance – Computer Repair in Hawaii

Computer Repair Hawaii

Computer Repair Services in Hawaii is not so much different than the mainland, especially on the island of Oahu, but there are a few challenges. Having lived on Oahu over 45 years ago in Ewa Beach, and returning just over 7 years ago, the scene has changed drastically. Things were more rural back then, and of course there was no internet.

In Oahu, people seem to work on one side of the island and work on the other. Since there are only 1 or 2 ways to get around, traffic can be extremely congested, and parking can be a challenge. So while you are looking for a Computer Repair Shop to drop off your computer, or waiting for a Mobile Technician to drive out to you, timing can be a challenge. For some reason, even in Paradise, things can get pretty busy. With that said, I just wanted to put out my two-cents that affect both the customer and the service provider about computer repair in Oahu.

Traffic Challenges

If you live in Waianae, Waialua, Haliewa, or the North Shore, Windward and around Waimanalo, you will have to rely on Mobile Technicians willing to come out to your location, or to drive the distance yourself. The problem with dropping off a sick computer yourself is that most shops open about 9-10am and close at 6pm. You either have to take time off from work, hope traffic is light after getting off work, or just wait until a day off.

For some reason, there are no shops I am aware of in Waianae, Haliewa and all through the North Shore. Shops on the Windward side are scarce as well, but I vaguely hear that there may be a shop out in Kaneohe, but they must not do much advertising. If you have a Macintosh, there is definitely a shop in Kailua, just be aware that not all shops repair both PCs and Macs, and while do mobile technicians.

My Rant About Windward Computer Repair

Concern computer repair for our valued Windward customers, I have to rant a little bit. Windward customers in Kaneohe and Kailua are fiercely loyal to their local businesses, which is a good thing. But when it comes to computer repair and they are looking for a mobile technician, they always want someone who looks closer to where they are, which at first, looks to make sense.

If they call you and you actually have a physical location and provide both in-shop and mobile services, they get hung-up on your shop's physical location even though they are calling for mobile service. The truth is, that they have no idea where the technician is coming from. The technician might already be scheduled to be out in that area for another customer and can easily set an appointment for you as well. They are not just just sitting around at home all day waiting for you to call, so you just can not accumulate where they will be dispatched from. That may sound harsh, but it always surprises me when we spend some valuable time over the phone with a prospective customer, trying to understand their computer problems and comfort them with our solution to their problem, and as soon as we mention that our shop is over the hill on the other side of H3, they start backing out of the conversation almost as if they thought they were doing "us" a favor and say thanks but no-thanks, we'll just call someone a little closer. I do not get it, and even when I can truthfully say that I have a tech in the area already, they do not care. I know other shop owners who get this same response about mobile repair on the Windward side. The fact is that we are happy to serve customers on the Windward side, and we appreciate their loyalty once they finally hire us to repair their computer. But it is a hurdle starting that relationship. I might add that it is a beautiful drive to the Windward side, especially if you get to drive back through the Northshore if you have the time. I always look forward to a good Shrimp Plate lunch from one of my favorite shrimp trucks along the way.

Parking for Mobile Computer Repair Technicians

If your business or home is located in a reliably populated area away from the areas I just mentioned, you'll have plenty of options for both in-shop and onsite computer repair in Oahu. But if you need service in the congested business areas of downtown or Waikiki, parking is a problem. My suggestion is that if you want prompt service, that you provide information to the technician about the most convenient place to park as well as any parking fees (which may be added to your bill). You might even be able to pre-arrange parking in a reserved area for vendors. And lastly, it even helps to know details such as any vehicle height restrictions for parking garages, or detours due to emergency or special events.

Giving Directions

When setting an appointment for mobile service, it is vital that you provide an accurate address and phone number. Many local Hawaii residents prefer to give directions and landmarks than actual addresses, but Mobile Technicians end up learning the island very well and even use GPS devices these days. Some even print out directions with Yahoo or Google before coming out. We would prefer that you just give us your complete address and then maybe a landmark if you live in an obscure hard to find location. We need the address for our invoice anyway. We appreciate the directions, but customers somehow assume we will be driving to their location the same way they do everyday, but the fact is that we might be coming from the other way, and then left become right, and right becomes left and it gets confusing while driving.

Be Sure to Give and Get Correct Phone Numbers

As for your phone number, things happen and we may need to call you. We also like to call before we come out to ensure you'll be home. Fortunately, we are not like the cable companies that tell you they will arrive between 9-5. Mobile Technicians can usually provide you with a 30-60 minute window. But if you have something come up, we would appreciate if you could call us as soon as possible to postpone.

Also, be sure that you know which Computer Repair company you made the appointment with and have their correct number. Many customers call quite a few shops before they choose who they will make their appointment with and get phone numbers mixed up. Some even call us more than once because we have more than one phone number. It gets quite funny hearing the same person calling again, now using a better description of their problem because of talking to us earlier. The problem is that it might get confusing to remember who you chose in the end. Now and then I'll get a person calling us by mistake to cancel an appointment that we never made. Imagine the frustration of the technician when he drave out to your home or business just to find out that you said you called and canceled already, why are you here?

In-Shop vs Onsite Computer Maintenance

This basically boils down to price, turn-around time and convenience. In-shop repair fees are usually flat rate fee based, and takes days to get back, but you will get more thorough service this way. Shops are also more prepared for the extremely difficult problems. With shops, you can just walk-in during normal business hours, although you should call first to get guidance on what to bring. For laptops, you should always bring the AC Adapter (battery charger). For desks, we usually only need the computer itself (no cables or peripherals, although it would not hurt if you bought your CDs).

Onsite service is usually hourly fee based, and may even have a trip charge. Onsite service by nature is by appointment only, but many problems can be diagnosed and repaired within an hour or two. With onsite service, it is critical that you describe your computer problem as well as possible, because if it sounds obvious that it might be a hardware problem, your computer may be a better candidate for in-shop repair. It's already difficult enough to get certain types of parts on island such as motherboards and CPUs at a Computer Store, so you can expect that a Mobile Technician will not have every part needed to fix every computer in their vehicle. Some parts even have to be ordered online and can take a week or so to arrive. Hopefully you can see the complications this may cause with setting another appointment as well as how the technician will bill you for the first and second appointments. It would just be better to bring these problem computers to a shop.

Major Limitations for Mobile Only Technicians

I certainly do not want to knock mobile only technicians, because I got my start that way. But you have to know that these ones can only serve a small finite number of customers in any given day. Many people get attached to their computer guy once trust is established, but it can get frustrating when your trusty Mobile PC Tech can not make it out fast enough. They might even need to take a vacation and when you get a hold of them on their cell phone, you find out they are on the mainland for a week or two. If you can not wait, you have to find someone else.

Mobile repair is limited as well for reasons spelled out in the "In-Shop vs Onsite Computer Maintenance" section above. There are also certain types of maintenance that will never get done onsite due to how long it will take. If I think I have to perform a surface scan on a hard drive just for starters (which can take 2 hours or more in some cases), I almost immediately recommend I take the computer back to the shop to complete at the flat rate. Some computers develop multiple problems and can take 4-5 hours to repair. For one, it will save you on further hourly charges, but it will also help the technician to be on time for other appointments after you, since he probably only allotted 2 hours for your appointment. The complicated part is that a mobile technician may not have a shop to take your computer to, and may only be able to take it to their home. If you are okay with that, then fine, no problem.

I would add that a technician that has both in-shop and onsite experience are the best technicians. For mobile only technicians, it can be hard to get this experience because they will rarely get a customer that is willing to pay a technician to spend 4-5 hours onsite, not to mention having to dedicate their own personal time as well to be there . But if the technician does not ever get the chance to spend time on the real hard problems, it is unlikely that they will ever progress to become a master technician. If you were choosing a doctor for a complicated surgery, how concerned would you be about his or her experience? The answer is obvious.

Anyways, while our computers and online lives might not be life and death situations, we seem dependent on them suddenless. So I hope this insight into both sides of Computer Maintenance and Repair in Hawaii help you make the right decisions when that inevitable computer problem occurs. That way, you can be armed with the insight to make the best choice available for your computer needs.