GTT Edmonton Meeting Notes, Stay Safe Online, November 11, 2019

            Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting November 11, 2019

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held November11 at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.

17 people attended.

Reading Tip: These summary notes apply HTML headings to help navigate the document. With screen readers, you may press the H key to jump forward or Shift H to jump backward from heading to heading. Read the Additional Resources section following the meeting notes to learn about our one on one telephone support, the National monthly teleconference, and the support email list.

 

2020 Membership Dues

Thank you to those who paid their CCB 2020 membership. We have a total of 32 paid up members for 2020.

 

November Topic –Stay Safe Online

Lisa Boone from the Athabasca University informed us of many perils we need to be aware of in the online world and she provided recommendations for dealing with those security concerns.

Disclaimer: The opinions and recommendations of Lisa’s are her own and not endorsed by the Canadian Council of the Blind. However, Lisa is an IT  professional and her comments and recommendations are worthy of your consideration as you evaluate how to stay safe online. Following is a summary of her presentation.

 

Internet Browser Address Bar Secure Indications:

For browsers such as Chrome, Edge, Safari, Firefox – consistent across all of them the address bar says httpsfor secure connection, the https means you are communicating with a legitimate web site and the data you send to that site is encrypted. Don’t communicate with sites that show only http instead of https in their address.

Visually, secure sites also show a padlock icon and screen readers will announce that the site is secure. You may need to press Shift+Tab at the address bar to have your screen reader read the secure designation.

 

When it comes to online banking there is an EV certificate, a third party that confirms a safe site (I.e., digicertt). In a browser address bar these EV certificates show a banks name (e.g. TD Bank, then the https and the text are green. Red colour means it is not secure. Chrome now does not indicate this way when an EV certificate is confirmed. Other browsers currently show the EV certificate. Safari shows the certificate by using green text in the address bar

 

Stop using Internet Explorer. Microsoft does not support it if it gets hacked.

 

Using apps or browsers?

Is it more secure to use the web site or app? (e.g. Amazon, eBay, Kijiji, etc.). Safer to use an app on mobile devices then a browser. On a computer, there is no real best way app or browser.

 

Apps leak information. App developers never tell us they leak. Info can be username, password, email address. Apps can send packets of data and malicious people grab those packets.

Android is wide open, and you are not sure an app is encrypting your data you may want to look at the Check out the recon site and download the app to see what network traffic is going out without you knowing.

http://Recon.meddle.mobi   tracks what kind of traffic is going out from your phone so it blocks info going out from phone (android, iOS, windows).

Also, ask the app vendor if the app data they send out from your phone is being encrypted. Less risk with apple developers then other operating systems.

 

Passwords:

Do not use birthdates, names, mother’s maiden name or addresses

Try to make a password at minimum 8 characters

Use sentences, phrases, symbols and numbers in place of letters.

 

Online shopping:

Use a separate credit card with a lower limit or debit visa that is separate from our normal account. That way hackers are not accessing your major credit cards and accounts. Vanilla or prepaid credit cards can be safer because they are not linked to you.

 

Sign up to Take Advantage of a deal:

Anytime you need to create an account just to get a promotion like Spotify, Recipes, etc. use a junk email you’ve created for just such instances and let it receive all the resulting spam that typically follows. Remember the email and password because you may have to verify it from an authentication email.

 

Often email providers require 2 factor authentication. This is encouraged so that the person trying to access your email account, needs to also have your phone number or fingerprint.

 

Email Accounts:

Don’t install Gmail or Outlook on a computer. Use a browser to access emails if accessible. When you open an email that has malware, the browser server gets to deal with it, not your local hard drive. Never open attachments that end in the extension .exe or .bat. Be suspicious of any link that says click here.

 

Phishing Emails:

Most phishing activity is about banking. They want you to click their website and log in to your account. The result is they now have your username and password.

These are scammers trying to get access. Their fishing emails are usually shocking and look accurate. No government, bank or large corporation is going to ask you for private information or money. Check the email address. Big companies will not use outlook, Gmail or Hotmail. Apple or your IT department.

This is the email version of the fake phone calls from Revenue Canada, Microsoft, the bank.

 

Contests:

Scammers do this all day every day. Always be aware. One of the first things to ask them is “what is my name?”. There are social media scams such as if you pay $ you will get a gift card from Costco.

In Canada, the only thing required of someone if you win something is to answer a skill testing question.

Your email may be actually sending the email. Never click on a link in an email when they claim you’ve won something. You can phone your bank or CRA to confirm. Don’t respond. Delete it forever.

 

Fraud Reporting Departments:

Big companies like Amazon often have a fraud reporting department.

 

Snopes.com does investigation of rumors and hoaxes like costco or walmart card. They will tell you if its true or not

 

The Anti Fraud Center, RCMP, and Consumer Affairs Canada  are all good reliable sources to check for information about fraud and scams. Please report fraud.

 

Other Safety Tips:

  • Don’t willingly give codes or personal information. Ensure they confirm your info rather than you divulging it.
  • Debit machines have red tape on them to show the debit machine has not been tampered with.
  • Place daily limits and weekly limits on withdrawals of bank accounts.
  • Use tap as it is safer or Apple Pay on your smart phone with fingerprint confirmation because you are not giving away your pin.
  • Check your statement often. Call the bank.
  • Clear out your internet browser cookies or cache. Be advised you will then need to re-enter passwords on web sites.

 

Privacy Settings:

All computers, smart phones, social media accounts have privacy settings. Turn off location tracking and decide which apps you will allow to use your microphone or web cam. If you have gone away, don’t post your pictures on social media until you get back home.

 

Spoofing Phone Numbers:

In Canada, spoofing phone numbers is legal and the scammer computer grabs any phone number in Canada which then appears on our call displays even though the scammer is likely calling from abroad. The spoofed number may even be an actual number such as CRA or Microsoft. The government is relying on the phone provider to protect us from spoofing and bogus numbers. Again, be smarter than them and let them tell you about yourself rather than the other way around. Even better, don’t answer the phone at all if you are not expecting the organization to call you. They can leave a message.

 

Private Browsing:

Chrome has incognito mode (a private browsing mode) presumably to prevent websites that want to know when you visit their site (airlines, google,) but browsers are smart, and you never really hide from those sites. They still track you.

 

DuckDuckGo.com instead of google search claims to be a private browser that does not store/track search or location info. Set it as your default search engine or use it’s extensions.

Google and Bing try to catch your search data

 

Ad Blockers:

Ad blockers are good to have. But Youtube is rewriting their core and if you have an ad blocker you won’t be able to use YouTube

Unblock is one ad blocker

 

Antivirus Software:

In Windows 10, windows defender is sufficient if you are reasonably cautious. The huge downside of Defender is that it is really slow to scan your system. If you turn your system off every night, you are not giving it enough time to do its job. Let Windows 10 go to sleep and log off your computer rather than completely shutting it down. This allows Defender to do its scan. Keep your Windows 10 up to date to ensure you are closing any loopholes that Microsoft has patched.

 

Legacy Windows7, 8.1,2000

Download windows defender separately. You will also have to download SHA2 algorithm that ensures it is from Microsoft. Those older Windows systems will prompt you to download SHA2 before it will install windows defender.

 

Upgrade to Windows 10?

Likely older hardware will have trouble running on new operating systems. Take your system to a computer store or Geek Squad

 

A special tool – Microsoft Safety Scanner is another double check virus scanner that may be up to date if windows defender virus definitions are not up to date yet. It’s an applet, download it, launch it and it automatically installs. It’s only valid for 10 days.

 

Next Meeting (Monday December 9 at 7pm)

  • Topic will be our annual presentation and tech demo by Steve Barclay, CEO of Canadian Assistive Technology. Steve has over 30 years’ experience consulting and selling assistive technology across Canada and always has interesting tech to show us. He is also glad to answer questions about your needs. We recommend you come and see what is new and exciting in tech and take advantage of Steve’s vast experience. It’s the Christmas season so if anyone wants to bring any Christmas baking or treats that would help make the evening more festive.

 

Additional Resources

Telephone Support

Contact our GTT coordinators, Kim Kilpatrick in the East or Albert Ruel in the West to book one on one telephone support.

Kim: 877-304-0968 Ext. 513

Email: GTTProgram@Gmail.com

Albert: 877-304-0968 Ext. 550

Email: albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

 

GTT Blog and Monthly Teleconference

CCB sponsors a national GTT monthly teleconference. You may subscribe to the GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences, meeting notes from GTT chapters, and other information. To subscribe, activate the Follow link at the bottom of the blog web page to enter your email.

GTT Email Support List

CCB also sponsors a GTT email support list to provide help and support with technology for blind and low vision Canadians.  To subscribe to the email list, send an empty email to:

GTTsupport+subscribe@groups.io

 

GTT Edmonton Overview

  • GTT Edmonton is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT Edmonton promotes a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with assistive technology.
  • Each 2 hour meeting consists of a feature technology topic in the first hour and a general tech discussion in the second hour.

[End]

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Privacy Protection, October 14, 2019

October 14, 2019

Privacy protection

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my tip on privacy protection.

 

Privacy protection

We are constantly striving to protect ourselves from scams and scammers, but most of all we need to ensure that our privacy, confidentiality, and independence are kept safe from prying eyes and those who thrive on destroying our right to these precious commodities.

 

Signing an employment contract

Now, you need to make sure that your employment contract contains terms and conditions that you expect to be there.  Before you sign anything, ask your future employer to provide you with an electronic copy.  You can also suggest to them that signing an electronic copy is acceptable.  You will either need an electronic signature which you would need a bit of help to create Or ask if you can reply to an email that they can send extending the offer and this too is acceptable.

 

Things to pay attention to:

  • Salary, benefits, period of contract, probation period.
  • Anything that pertains to working conditions and workplace requirements.

 

That’s it from me for this week!

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to any of the following libraries.

Recipes – A collection of hard to find recipes

Audio mysteries for all ages – Comfort listening any time of the day

Home and garden – A collection of great articles for around the home and garden

Or you can subscribe to all 3 for the price of $30 annually.

Visit http://www.donnajodhan.com/subscription-libraries.html

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Privacy Protection, 2019Sep09

September 9, 2019

Privacy protection

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my tip on privacy protection.

 

Privacy protection

We are constantly striving to protect ourselves from scams and scammers, but most of all we need to ensure that our privacy, confidentiality, and independence are kept safe from prying eyes and those who thrive on destroying our right to these precious commodities.

 

Applying for insurance policies

It does not matter what type of insurance policy you are applying for; life, accidental, house, or anything else.  It is probably best to do this with a reputable insurance company.

 

If you choose to go with an independent insurance agent, then you need to ensure that you know this person well enough to trust them with your private details such as date of birth, Social Insurance number and more.

 

Whichever alternative you choose, ask for an electronic copy to be sent to you so that you can read for yourself what you are about to sign.  When you are about to sign, best to take along someone that you trust so that they can read the hard copy to you so that you can ensure that your electronic copy matches what is being read.

 

That’s it from me for this week!

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to any of the following libraries.

Recipes – A collection of hard to find recipes

Audio mysteries for all ages – Comfort listening any time of the day

Home and garden – A collection of great articles for around the home and garden

Or you can subscribe to all 3 for the price of $30 annually.

Visit

http://www.donnajodhan.com/subscription-libraries.html

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’ll be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Privacy Protection, August 12, 2019

August 12, 2019

Privacy protection

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my tip on privacy protection.

 

Privacy protection

We are constantly striving to protect ourselves from scams and scammers, but most of all we need to ensure that our privacy, confidentiality, and independence are kept safe from prying eyes and those who thrive on destroying our right to these precious commodities.

 

Applying for a credit card

once you have made up your mind which credit card you would like to apply for; next you need to find which bank issues said card.  Then you should go to said bank and ask for assistance to complete the application form.  It is always best for you to do it this way so that you do not need to depend on someone else to assist you with the hard copy form.

 

If you choose to do it the online way, then chances are that you would run into challenges with websites that are not very user friendly.

 

You could also apply for your card using the phone banking way.  However, you need to take the necessary precautions to ensure your privacy when your credit card confirmation letter arrives in the mail.

 

This letter will contain your credit card number and your 3 digit security code along with your expiry date.  Take this letter to your closest bank and ask staff to read this to you and copy it down in a format that you can read.  Keep this letter safe and do not forget to sign your credit card.  Sign it in front of a bank staff member to be safe.

 

That’s it from me for this week!

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to any of the following libraries.

Recipes – A collection of hard to find recipes

Audio mysteries for all ages – Comfort listening any time of the day

Home and garden – A collection of great articles for around the home and garden

Or you can subscribe to all 3 for the price of $30 annually.

Visit

http://www.donnajodhan.com/subscription-libraries.html

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’ll be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

 

 

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Privacy Protection, July 8, 2019

July 8, 2019

Privacy protection

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my tip on privacy protection.

 

Privacy protection

We are constantly striving to protect ourselves from scams and scammers, but most of all we need to ensure that our privacy, confidentiality, and independence are kept safe from prying eyes and those who thrive on destroying our right to these precious commodities.

 

Applying for health cards

This time, and if you do not have a trusted person to help you, give a call to your provincial MPP’s office.

If you do not know their number, then follow these steps.

Phone 1800 622 6232 and ask for the number of your Federal MP.

Upon obtaining this number call it and ask for the number of your provincial MPP.

Then call this number and explain what you are attempting to do.

Tell them that you are vision impaired and that you need assistance to obtain your health card.

Tell them exactly what you need; you need to know what documentation you need to take, where to go, and if possible to find someone who can go with you if you do not have a trusted person to go with you.

 

That’s it from me for this week!

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to any of the following libraries.

Recipes – A collection of hard to find recipes

Audio mysteries for all ages – Comfort listening any time of the day

Home and garden – A collection of great articles for around the home and garden

Or you can subscribe to all 3 for the price of $30 annually.

Visit http://www.donnajodhan.com/subscription-libraries.html

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

 

 

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Privacy Protection, June 10, 2019

June 10, 2019

Privacy protection

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my tip on privacy protection.

 

Privacy protection

We are constantly striving to protect ourselves from scams and scammers, but most of all we need to ensure that our privacy, confidentiality, and independence are kept safe from prying eyes and those who thrive on destroying our right to these precious commodities.

 

Completion of college and university applications

Here, a good idea would be for you to visit the office for special needs students at the college or university that you are applying to and seek their assistance.

You would be amazed to find that these offices are extremely helpful and that staff are standing by to help you.

To find the phone number for the college or university in question, you could start by calling the main information number and then asking to be connected to the office for special needs students.

If the operator is unable to help you then ask for the registrar’s office.

 

That’s it from me for this week!

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to any of the following libraries.

Recipes – A collection of hard to find recipes

Audio mysteries for all ages – Comfort listening any time of the day

Home and garden – A collection of great articles for around the home and garden

Or you can subscribe to all 3 for the price of $30 annually.

Visit http://www.donnajodhan.com/subscription-libraries.html

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

 

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Privacy Protection, May 13, 2019

May 13 2019

Privacy protection

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my tip on privacy protection.

 

Privacy protection

We are constantly striving to protect ourselves from scams and scammers, but most of all we need to ensure that our privacy, confidentiality, and independence are kept safe from prying eyes and those who thrive on destroying our right to these precious commodities.

 

Applying for a passport

These are the following ways that you can do this and it all depends on whether you are applying for a new passport or applying for a passport renewal.

You can do it online but the relevant website is not user friendly for a vision impaired person.

Or you can obtain the relevant forms at the nearest post office.

However, you will again need help to do this with the aid of a trusted person.

You could get a head start by phoning your Federal MP’s office and asking them to tell you which supporting documentation you would need and you could also ask them to help provide you with a trusted person if you are unable to find someone.

Chances are that they will help you all the way.

From completing the forms to accompanying you to the nearest Service Canada office to present it to the agent.

However, you should be prepared that this may not be the case but it is worth a try.

To obtain the name and phone number of your Federal MP, call the toll free number 1 800 622 6232

 

Remember now:  Make sure to store your passport in a very safe place as it contains details of your date of birth and if your passport is ever lost, it means that your details are probably now in the hands of unauthorized persons.

 

That’s it from me for this week!

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to any of the following libraries.

Recipes – A collection of hard to find recipes

Audio mysteries for all ages – Comfort listening any time of the day

Home and garden – A collection of great articles for around the home and garden

Or you can subscribe to all 3 for the price of $30 annually.

Visit http://www.donnajodhan.com/subscription-libraries.html

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Privacy protection, April 8, 2019

April 08, 2019

Privacy protection

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my tip on privacy protection.

 

Privacy protection

We are constantly striving to protect ourselves from scams and scammers, but most of all we need to ensure that our privacy, confidentiality, and independence are kept safe from prying eyes and those who thrive on destroying our right to these precious commodities.

 

Signing cheques

When you go to sign a cheque, there are some banks that provide raised line cheques but the problem here is that even if you can use these raised lines to help guide you, a vision impaired person has no way of telling whether or not the pen is writing.  That is, whether or not the pen has ink enough to write.

Here, you need a trusted person to help you complete your cheques but if you do not have access to someone you trust; it is probably best to visit your banking institution and seek assistance of a staff member.

 

That’s it from me for this week!

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to any of the following libraries.

Recipes – A collection of hard to find recipes

Audio mysteries for all ages – Comfort listening any time of the day

Home and garden – A collection of great articles for around the home and garden

Or you can subscribe to all 3 for the price of $30 annually.

Visit http://www.donnajodhan.com/subscription-libraries.html

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

 

 

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Privacy Protection, March 11, 2019

March 11 2019

Privacy protection

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my tip on privacy protection.

 

Privacy protection

We are constantly striving to protect ourselves from scams and scammers, but most of all we need to ensure that our privacy, confidentiality, and independence are kept safe from prying eyes and those who thrive on destroying our right to these precious commodities.

 

Completion of medical forms

As of now, the only way to complete medical forms is for you to complete hard copies and for a vision impaired person this is a real challenge.

Why?  Because sighted assistance is needed in order to do so.

Most medical offices do not even have their pre surgery forms or any related documentation in an electronic format and receptionists are simply too busy to read anything to you.

So the choice is down to finding that trusted person to assist you.

 

That’s it from me for this week!

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to any of the following libraries.

Recipes – A collection of hard to find recipes

Audio mysteries for all ages – Comfort listening any time of the day

Home and garden – A collection of great articles for around the home and garden

Or you can subscribe to all 3 for the price of $30 annually.

Visit http://www.donnajodhan.com/subscription-libraries.html

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

March 11 2019

Privacy protection

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my tip on privacy protection.

 

Privacy protection

We are constantly striving to protect ourselves from scams and scammers, but most of all we need to ensure that our privacy, confidentiality, and independence are kept safe from prying eyes and those who thrive on destroying our right to these precious commodities.

 

That’s it from me for this week!

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to any of the following libraries.

Recipes – A collection of hard to find recipes

Audio mysteries for all ages – Comfort listening any time of the day

Home and garden – A collection of great articles for around the home and garden

Or you can subscribe to all 3 for the price of $30 annually.

Visit http://www.donnajodhan.com/subscription-libraries.html

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

 

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Scam Alert, February 18, 2019

February 18 2019

A scam alert

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my scam alert.

 

A scam alert

Emails telling you that you just won a huge lotto

 

Talk about being taken in and this is one of the most common scams and these scammers play on your emotions and are depending on you to fall hard for this type of email.

 

You are congratulated on winning a huge lottery somewhere in Europe.

You are told how much you have won and it is usually in either Uros or Sterling pounds.

You are told that you need to collect your prize within a certain time frame but you need to provide details of your email address in order to be able to collect your lotto prize.

 

Simply delete this email for it is a fraud.

 

What happens if you have a mental lapse and reply to this type of email?  Well; it will be all over before you know it.

 

Much sooner than later, unknown persons will be hacking into your system and it would only be a matter of time before they take control of your hardware and then as they say the rest will be history.

 

That’s it from me for this week.

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

Recipes –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-recipes.html

Audio mysteries for all ages –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-audio-mysteries.html

Or you can subscribe to both for the price of $20 annually.

Now you  can subscribe to “‘Let’s Talk Tips”‘ which is my monthly resource for the most current and reliable informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media, Business, and Advocacy.

http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna