Everyday Tips from the ComputerMom 

April 2017
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Happy April! The days are definitely longer, I just can't wait for it to warm up a bit! 

This month I have two very specific articles - one for Verizon customers about your email migration, and one for Mac users upgrading to MacOS Sierra. Finally, for everybody, a short article about dealing with "noisy" websites.

Hope you enjoy this issue, and, as always, give me a call if you need any assistance.

Julie Marto 
PS - Slow computer? Might be time for a spring cleaning! Drop it off with me for a flat rate tune-up!  

Verizon/AOL Migration 

Last month's newsletter topic, email, was very well timed for you Verizon users. In case you missed my second email, Verizon is getting out of the email business, and all of you need to make some sort of decision about how to proceed. If you want to keep your verizon.net email address,  you will have to migrate it to the AOL servers. I've helped quite a few of you with this process in the last few weeks, and everybody's case is slightly different. Here is what I have discovered working through this process.
  • You cannot do anything until you get your personalized email from Verizon telling you that your account is being migrated. Verizon is migrating clients in waves, and I would guess less than 25% of you have been migrated at this point. If you have not yet gotten an email from Verizon, sit tight until it arrives. However, make sure you look for their email as they give you 30 days to make the change, after which your verizon.net email account will simply be shut down.
  • I recommend that, even if you plan to eventually discontinue using your verizon.net email, every one of you take them up on the opportunity to migrate to the AOL servers. This way you will continue to have access to your verizon.net email, regardless of your ultimate decision. Your email address will remain the same - the only thing that changes is the "post office" where you pick up your mail. 
  • When you do the transition, you will have to choose a new password, create a security question for AOL, and give AOL your name, phone number, and date of birth. This is to provide recovery options in case you get locked out of your account.
  • If you currently go directly to Verizon.net to read your email, you will now have to go to AOL.com instead. You will have to enter your complete email address and your password. If you go to the Verizon website after you have migrated, you will no longer have an option to check email.
  • If you currently use an email client to get your email (Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Thunderbird, etc) you can retain your current server settings, but you will have to update your password. Any mail, folders, and contacts currently in your email program will stay there.
  • If you choose to migrate to a different email account (I recommend Gmail or Outlook.com) you will be able to export and import your email and contacts, but not until they send you the migration email. This is, however, a manual process, with multiple steps. I'm happy to help.
I know this is a lot of information, and some of it is very confusing. I'm happy to schedule appointments with any of you who need help with this. My experience has been that a one hour appointment is sufficient to set things up in the best possible way for you. 
Apple MacOS Sierra Caution

You Mac users know I generally recommend that you keep your operating system updated, in order to make sure you have the latest security patches. Apple released the latest version of their operating system, called Sierra, last September. At that time they changed the name from OSX to MacOS, and began a process that makes it more like their iPad and iPhone operating systems, like adding Siri, and additional integration with iCloud.

I often do Mac operating system upgrades for my clients, but it's also a reasonably easy process to do on your own, and I expect that many of you will upgrade to Sierra by yourself. When you turn the system on for the first time after upgrading, it asks you to confirm several new preferences. The one I wish to discuss is the option to " Store files from Documents and Desktop in iCloud Drive".

If you check this option (and I believe it is pre-checked, you will have to uncheck it at start-up) all of your documents and desktop items will be REMOVED from your Mac and sent to the cloud. That might be just fine if you have enough iCloud storage space, you are happy having your documents stored in the cloud, and you want to be able to access your documents with other Apple devices. 

However, if you do not  have enough iCloud storage space for all your documents, you will have to buy more storage space. Even worse, if you decide you don't want your documents stored in the cloud, Apple will not automatically return your documents to your computer. You will have to log in to iCloud Drive and re-download all of the documents they have uploaded. Here is a good article that describes the issue and why you should be concerned.

My recommendation is that, unless you really know what you are doing, make sure you UNCHECK this option when upgrading to Sierra. If you have already upgraded, and you sent your documents to iCloud by mistake, I can help you straighten it out!  
Block noisy websites

Don't you hate it when you are minding your own business surfing the web, and all of a sudden a website starts to blare at you? I know I do, and yet I don't like keeping my volume on mute all the time.

This month I came across this article, which describes how to block noisy websites in all the major browsers. It's a bit technical, but I think it's good information worth sharing with all of you. Enjoy!