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Tricks & Tips

Archive for August, 2009



There are tons of applications out there to help make beautiful cards but like many people, I don’t have any installed, and don’t prefer those larger programs.  Here’s a quick way to use MS Word to create a simple greeting card or note.

MS Word includes templates for all sorts of letters and cards.  Choose File (or the Orb at the top left), and New.  Choose any pre-designed template and edit.  Search for new ones online, or… create your own card:

1. Find a photo to match your needs.  Visit images.google.com and search for any key word.  Example: Birthday Balloons.  Click the image to enlarge, then right click it and choose copy.

2. Open MS Word (or Open Office or other document editor).  Right click anywhere and choose paste. Here’s a video demonstration.

3. Rotate the image upside down.  Video demonstration.

4. Write your text in the bottom right corner of the document

5. Print and fold in half, twice

Need help? See my example from above – you can just edit from here:
Download:  Stevi – Get Well Soon.doc

NOTE:  Some images may not be licensed to copy or reproduce.  Check the image source’s copy right notice.

In the news…
USAA Bank now accepts iPhone photos of checks for deposits!
WOW!  Other banks that offer this require a steep monthly fee as well as specific model scanners.  Thanks to USAA for paving new ground.  Video demo, or read more…



Question: One customer asks, “Can my neighbor read anything on my computer?”

Answer: If you have wireless service, you’re opening the door for this potential. It’s certainly possible.  However, the likelihood is slim.  Especially if you’ve done all you can to protect yourself.

Wireless Security

The best prevention is good wireless security.  Each year newer methods are developed to secure wireless networks (as well as more ways to hack them).  Currently, the best wireless security available on most home routers is WPA2.  Do you have to enter a key to connect a new device to your wireless? If not, you may not have security setup properly.

Link:  Basic guide to setting up wireless security

There are other ways to increase security besides a simple password.  Ask us or your technology consultant for more information.

Tips for the Road – When traveling and connecting to new networks, keep these in mind:

  1. Never connect to an unsecured network
  2. Ensure website’s prefix begins with https:// (notice the S) when transferring secure data (banking, online purchases, etc) or look for the lock symbol
  3. Always use anti-virus and firewall software
  4. Keep your operating system (Windows, Mac, etc) up to date with the latest updates from the manufacture

Just because you’ve done all you can, simply having wireless or even Internet access makes you vulnerable.  Nothing is 100% secure.

In the news…

Back to school tax free weekend is coming up.  Does your state participate?  South Carolina’s is Aug. 7-9, 2009.  See complete state guide here.