Tag Archives: how to

How to Associate File Types in Windows

You want to open an attachment or file. You click on the file and one of three things can happen.

  • » It might open just the way you wanted it to.
  • » It might open, but in a program you don’t want to use.
  • » Or it might not open at all … without your assistance.

Who doesn’t love a message telling you to “Choose how this type of file is opened…”? If the computer can’t figure it out, how can you?

Actually it’s not that hard to sort through this type of issue. If a file is opening in a program you don’t want to work in or it won’t open without your input, you simply need to associate that type of file with a particular program. The key to this is simply choosing “Open With” on the file itself.


Opening Files in the Right Program

It’s very common for pictures to open in a program you don’t want. After all, there are many different programs on your computer that will allow you to look at pictures.

To set your preferences for how your computer opens certain files, follow the same steps you would for setting preferences with image files. (1) Right-click on an image on your machine. Select (2) Open with” and then move to the bottom menu option to (3) Choose default program.


In the menu that appears you have the option to choose from common programs already associated with that particular type of file.  Alternatively you can browse for a particular program.


If you see the program you prefer, simply select it and be sure that the “Use this app for all .jpg files” option is checked. This ensures that all similar files are opened the same way every time. Continue reading

The Windows RDP: What is it and why should I care?

Many of us use our home computers for a few simple tasks. We email. We do a bit of internet surfing. We play with our digital pictures, file taxes or write reports. But your home computer is capable of much more than Facebook and Word. There are dozens of features on your computer that you may be completely unaware of that can change the way you use your computer.

What if, for example, you could use your home computer to remotely access your work computer or vice versa?  Among all of the apps, languages, and camera settings within the catalog of Windows Utilities, you’ll find RDP, or remote desktop protocol.

You probably don’t even know it’s there

RDP is simply the ability to access one computer from another. If you are sick and need to work from home one day, you might use RDP to login to your work computer to grab the files and programs you need to make your day productive from the home office.

ICON_linked_computersOf course something like RDP comes with plenty of requirements and cautionary notes, but at the heart of the utility is simplicity and connectivity. A client computer, like your home computer, can log into a remote host computer, like your work one, with relative ease allowing you to commute easily or allowing you to collaborate with others in a myriad of ways. Continue reading

Zero-Day Malware: Six Steps to Avoid and Evade

It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie and perhaps it could be, in a sense.  In all those movies where the self-proclaimed “hackers” pound the keyboards with super-fast clicks, it seems so easy to get access to a bank account, or a security system, or – ya know – a top secret government facility.

In real life, hacking isn’t done so easily or quickly, but as more an more hacking attacks break the news, the vulnerabilities found in the security framework of companies like Target®, JP Morgan® and Anthem® are becoming all too prominent.  Of course, your home computer isn’t a big company. That doesn’t mean it isn’t vulnerable to attacks.

Zero-day malware is a way to describe tools that help hackers exploit vulnerabilities. The reason and old idea gets a new name is because of the rate at which these attacks can be formulated and carried out.

What is it?

zero-day_iconThe term zero-day malware has been applied to different things all in the same category of threat. It is perhaps best to think of zero-day malware as more of a family name than a single label. The top items inside the “zero-day malware family” include:

• An attack using a vulnerability in software that was there from the beginning. A sneak attack using a crack in a digital foundation, if you will.

• A virus that is deployed through a sneak attack. This includes just about any type of malware under the sun.

What makes the zero-day malware unique in regards to all of the other malware we hear so much about is how it is sent to unsuspecting users. Continue reading

Top 5 Tips for Faster, Easier and Safer Shopping Online

So black Friday is over. You’ve fought the crowds; you’ve scoped the sales, and now you’re going online.  Whether you’re out to find a better deal or just getting prepped for cyber Monday, there are some important things you can do to make shopping safer and easier.

1. Remember the -s

https_iconShopping online? Whenever you go to a site that handles sensitive information – especially your credit card info – it should be protected by encryption.  To check, look in the url.  If the site is secure, it will have an -s after the http.

It’s not important that the whole website be secure, just the part the handles your account info, so look for the https:// when you’re in the checkout area.  If it’s not there, think twice about putting in any important information.

2. Don’t get lost in the site

magnifying_glass_iconSome websites are easier to navigate than others.  Finding the promotions isn’t hard; those will be the first thing you see.  But what about all of that side-information like shipping rates, and return policies?

Use the key combination CTRL+F in all of the major browsers.  This brings up a search box where you can look for specific words on the page.  Go to the homepage and look for words like “shipping” and “policy”

If that doesn’t lead you where you want to go, search instead for “sitemap“. The sitemap is a page on a website that’s designed to be a hub for the various links on a page.  Go here and repeat the searches. Continue reading

The Sharing Economy & the Cloud: Top 5 Services that Come to You

Our modern economy is a collaborative economy. Websites and companies are springing up to bring empty houses and travelers together, empty seats and riders together and even empty parking spots and cars together. It makes sense that websites would be developed that bring individuals with specific skills together with those who are in need of the skills. From babysitters to tech gurus, you can find just about anything you need in our modern world of cloud services.

Here is a top 5 of the sharing-economy’s most notable names in the arena of in-home help. While there are lots of peer-to-peer driven services out there, these are examples of how the cloud delivers the potential expertise of millions of people, right to your door.

1. Skillshare.com

stock_using_laptop3Sometimes your knowledge is what sets you apart. Knowing how to do certain things can be powerful, especially if others are anxious to learn what you are willing to teach. This is the premise behind Skillshare.com, a website designed as an elaborate learning or tutoring center.

At Skillshare you can take virtual classes in photography, hand lettering, search engine optimization, algebra, film production, auto repair and much, much more. If someone knows how to do it, they are teaching it on Skillshare.

Continue reading