Data Doctors Tech Tips
Tech Tips for Non-Tech People
We give quick, one minute tech tips each weekday! Join us on a radio station near you as we talk tech. It's Tech Tips for Non-Tech People! You can post questions on Facebook anytime!
If you share lots of photos on social media, there’s not much keeping others from making use of your images in a variety of ways.
One way to maintain some form of ownership of your shared images is to watermark them with your name or logo.
There are lots of apps available for any type of smartphone, but the app that I like to use is called Logolicious.
It has dozens of fonts to choose from if you want use text or you can upload a logo for a very professional look . You can save templates to maintain a consistent look and easily rotate and scale the watermark with your fingers right on your phone.
The text can be in various colors and you have total control of how transparent both text and logos appear in your images.
Logolicious is available for both Android and iPhone users and paying the developers for the app is completely voluntary.
Check it out at https://logolicious.com
We all experience a variety of challenges on a regular basis and our ability to manage those challenges can have a direct relationship to our happiness.
Life’s challenges can lead to stress, anxiety and depression if we don’t find a way to manage them and believe it or not, there’s an app for that.
The SuperBetter app encourages users to ‘live gamefully’. This approach is designed to bring the mindset and psychological strengths like optimism, creativity, courage, and determination that come natural when you’re playing a game
SuperBetter is backed by science that’s been validated in published studies that can help you build resilience and improve your mental health.
It’s resilience training powered by the science of games that millions of people have adapted both through the app and the best selling book of the same name.
If you’re trying to adopt better habits that will help you achieve your goals, build resilience and a positive attitude in life, checkout the SuperBetter approach at https://superbetter.com
Privacy has become one of the biggest concerns and challenges for the average person to navigate in the digital age.
While just about every platform we use offers some form of privacy controls, understanding how and when to use them isn’t always obvious.
Anyone looking for help managing digital privacy in a single place should checkout the Jumbo privacy app.
The creators of the app say it will empower you to take control of your privacy and security, right from your phone.
Once it scans the apps and websites you use, it provides recommendation to improve your security and privacy.
If you’re starting a new job and want to clean up old social media posts, Jumbo can help with that too.
We’re all looking for a better way to manage privacy and security, so checkout the Jumbo Privacy app at https://jumboprivacy.com
Today’s tip is an important reminder to anyone that uses images that they find on the Internet for personal or professional reasons.
Just because you can find the image online through a search site, it doesn’t mean you can use it without permission.
If you aren’t careful, you can end up in a legal process that could cost you thousands of dollars per image because you infringed on someone’s copyright.
If you’ve got a website loaded with images and you have no idea where they came from, you should remove or replace them for your own protection.
There are a whole host of options for acquiring images that you can use for free, including the folks at Getty Images or by using the usage rights filter when doing a Google Image search.
Images can also be purchased for no more than a couple of bucks through sites like Canva.com or BigStockPhoto.com.
For a more detailed understanding of this important issue, read my column here: https://www.datadoctors.com/help/columns/21988
From time to time, you may receive a legitimate file attachment from a friend or co-worker that you determine is safe to download, but you can’t open it.
The most common reasons is that you don’t have a program that can specifically work with the type of file that was sent.
You can certainly ask the sender to resend in a format you can open or perhaps even spend the money on a software program designed to work with the file or use today’s tip to solve the problem.
A free website at https://zamzar.com is setup to help you convert just about any file from one format to another.
They can convert more than 1100 file formats that range from documents to images and even video and sound files.
You can either click on a link that will allow you to select the file or files from your computer or drag and drop the files directly onto the website.
Then, simply select the file format you wish to convert to and click the convert button to either have it emailed to you or download as soon as it’s converted.
Who amongst us has never forgotten their passwords, not to mention the frequency of friends that get locked out of their own accounts?
As it pertains to Facebook, there’s actually something you can do preemptively to help you get back into your account if you ever get locked out.
The ability to recover your account through a group of pre-designated trusted contacts was introduced by Facebook some time back and it’s something worth thinking about setting up.
The process requires you to select three to five of your trusted friends that can help you regain control of your profile if you need them.
In the event you get locked out, you can have Facebook send a security code to the friends that you pre-selected that they send to you.
By requiring 3 different codes, Facebook eliminated the possibility of any one friend having the keys to your kingdom.
No more dealing with trying to convince someone that you are who you say you are.
If you’d like the instruction for setting this up, they’re posted here: https://www.facebook.com/help/119897751441086
There’s a first world problem that most of us that love technology experience on a regular basis: not having a convenient way to charge our devices around the house.
Even if you live alone, unless you’ve purchased wall chargers for all of the prime locations around your house, you either have to wait until you’re going to another room to charge or move the charger from another location.
You may be able to pull off the single location charging station but most of us can’t.
For those that would like an inexpensive way to charge their smartphone just about anywhere in the house, there’s a solution from a company called Snap Power.
Their solution is simple: just replace any wall plate with their replacement plate that includes USB ports while still allowing a regular charger to be plugged into the outlet.
It’s an elegant, simple to install solution that could make charging anywhere in the house a SNAP!
Your new world of charging awaits you at https://www.snappower.com/pages/chargers
All the wonderful software programs that you use on your computer rarely, if ever, comes with any type of traditional printed instruction manual and for good reason.
The industry standardized on dynamic manuals that can be easily changed, but that requires users to know how to find them on the company's support website.
Fortunately, there's a much simpler way to get help with just about any computer program that you're using...a nearly universal shortcut to help on any Windows-based software program is available by pressing the F1 key at the top left of your keyboard.
You'll either get a help screen from within the program or be sent to a specific website that has support links for the program in question.
If you're using a Mac-based computer, you can access the Help menu by pressing Command-Shift and the ? key to get a help search box.
Not only will you always get the specific help options for what you're running, it'll be the most up-to-date info, unlike something that was printed years ago.
If you have kids in your household, you probably have a list of chores for each of them to do on a weekly basis. If you’re still using a chalkboard or some other manual method for keeping them on task, there’s a better way.
Since kids and smartphones are inseparable, why not use an app that keeps track of all the household chores and bugs your kids for you?
An app that fits the bill perfectly is called ‘ToDoist’, because it goes much further than simple reminders and to-do lists.
The basic free version allows you to create up to 80 projects or chores and assign each one to up to 5 people.
You can create each chore, make them recurring then assign them to various members of your household. The app will remind each person via their smartphone and keep track of when they were accomplished in a progress chart.
Got roommates? It works with them too. Check it out at https://todoist.com
If you love taking photos with your smartphone, you know that sometime what seemed to be a perfect shot is ruined by something you didn’t see at the time you were taking it.
It could be an ugly powerline in a beautiful sunset, someone that photobombed you with a goofy face or the reflection off the glass that you were standing behind at the zoo.
Unless you have the luxury of going back to recreate the same image, using an image editing app can save the day. For these scenarios, my go to app is called Snapseed.
Snapseed, which is owned by Google, has nearly 30 different tools that will allow you to dramatically improve your images, but my favorite one is the Healing tool.
Healing lets you magically erase just about anything in your image right on your smartphone. Simply zoom into the area you want to modify and drag you finger over it to have it blended into the background.
If you make a mistake, just tap the back arrow and try again.
It’s absolutely packed with lots of other goodies too, so if you love photography, go get the Snapseed app.
It's that time of the year where we crank up our online shopping activity, which means an increase in package deliveries.
No matter where you live, the most common delivery will be to your front door, which package thieves are well are of and take advantage as a result.
It's not hard to figure out if someone's not home as most delivery drivers will ring the doorbell after they drop the package at the door. When no one comes out to pick it up, that's all the porch pirates need to see.
When possible, it may make sense to have all those deliveries to be sent to your place of work or a neighbor that you know will be home during the day.
If you have a more secure area for the packages to be dropped off around your house, leave a note for the driver at the door with the instructions.
If you're like most households, the volume of packages being delivered to your door is on increase, so you may want to invest in one of the many motion sensing doorbell camera systems that will provide real-time alerts with video and the ability to talk to anyone that approaches your door, no matter where you are.
Yesterday, I featured a special file management app for Android device, so today I’ll focus on helping iPhone users do the same thing.
Apple has some very useful storage management tools built into the phone, which you can access by going to Settings, then General, then iPhone Storage.
The first thing you’ll see is a graph with different colors to show by category what’s taking up your space and where the largest opportunities are to regain space.
You can also turn on an auto delete option for messages that are over 1 year old and easily review all of the large attachments you’ve received in messages, which is one of those previously hidden items that can eat up large chunks of storage.
If you’re like most users, you’ve probably loaded the phone with lots of apps, many of which you’ve only used once or really have no use for anymore.
By tapping any of the apps in the list, you can delete the app but keep the associated data or delete everything associated with the app.
Spending a few minutes once a month with this tool will help you keep things running smoothly!
Our smartphones are capable of so many awesome things but the challenge that this presents is that it takes lots of storage space on our phones. If you’re not diligent about getting rid of old files, you can quickly run out of space.
Understanding what’s taking up the space is the first step, which is where the Files by Google app for Android devices can help.
The app does more than just show you what’s taking up the space, it makes it easy to get rid of old messages, pictures that have been backed up online, duplicate files and those apps that you aren’t using anymore.
It routinely points out junk and temporary files that you can delete along with lots of other suggestions to keep your device from filling up.
Keeping lots of free space on your phone helps it perform better as well, so if you have an android device and want some help keeping it uncluttered, checkout Files by Google in the Google Play store.
Got an iPhone? Tomorrow’s tip is for you!
Anyone with kids knows the joy of seeing them create their first work of art using crayons and paper.
As they grow, you’ll want to save lots of projects and artwork, which means you have to keep track of where you store it all for many years to come.
Well, there’s actually an app just for this challenge and it’s called Keepy.
Keepy will organize, save and privately share those precious memories as your child grows. Whether it’s artwork, schoolwork, an award, sporting events or their first school play, the app makes it easy to capture them all.
You no longer have to save every physical item which reduces clutter and the need to remember where you stored it.
If you’ve got kids, you’ve got memories to capture, so checkout the Keepy app at https://keepy.me
Our phones become much more than a calling device with the introduction of apps, which made our phones ‘smart’.
The vast majority of users when searching for an app to fill a need, will default to finding something that’s free.
With millions of apps in the app stores, unless you’re constantly checking to see what’s new, you’re going to miss lots of apps that you may have found very useful.
That’s where an app that keeps track of newly free apps called Apps Gone Free can help.
Many app developers will choose to make an app that normally costs money free for a very short period of time in an effort to get more users quickly.
Without something like the ‘Apps Gone Free’ app, you’ll have no idea of the latest offerings.
It operates using editors that will research and review apps that are temporarily free and provide a synopsis so you can decide whether to give it a shot or not.
The app provides daily suggestions based on the latest offerings, so you can go to one place to see the latest and greatest in free apps.
Apps Gone Free (iPhone):
Comparable Android App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.appsfree.android
A variety of translation apps have been available for your smartphone for quite some time, but our old go-to app was our favorite because it allowed you to translate physical signs using the camera on your phone.
Since it was acquired by Google some time back, it became a free app and more importantly, the technology was incorporated into the Google Translate app.
Not only can you translate words using your camera, you can convert handwriting as well as spoken word using the app on your smartphone.
It’s an amazing combination of translation tools that every traveler should learn how to use.
As with any translation app, it’s far from perfect, but if you stick to a small number of words, instead of long complex sentences, you’ll find it to be very effective.
The real-time translations is available in many languages and if you know you aren’t going to have a connection, you can download language libraries to your phone so that it still works offline.
This is one of those apps that we recommend that if you’re going to a foreign country, don’t leave home without it!
We’ve all heard the complaints from parents that lament how much their kids substitute screen time for physical play time. iPads are awesome entertainment and education devices, but only if what is being used on it has value.
If you have younger children that love using an iPad, take it to the next level with the system offered by the folks at Osmo.
What makes Osmo different is that it uses the iPad to encourage interaction with items in the physical world, so it’s a way to use what the kids love to expand their learning.
It’s a really interesting approach that uses a special stand and small mirror that goes over the front facing camera, which makes it possible for the app to see what’s going on in front of the display.
There are lots of different activities that it will encourage, such as Masterpiece, which allows your child to trace anything that is projected onto paper in front of the iPad.
Osmo could be helpful for parents that want to have their iPads do more than basic game play. Learn more at: https://PlayOsmo.com
Getting your day off to a good start requires some form of exercise for a large number of you.
Staying motivated to exercise can be increased by an app that will benefit others, based on you exercising every day.
An app called ‘Charity Miles’ will convert your daily exercise routine into a charitable contribution for lots of charities that could use the help.
Whether you jog, run or ride a bike every morning, your healthy activities can generate 10 to 25 cents per mile for charities using the app.
If you've ever seen those regular social media posts about Charity Miles from your social networking connections, you now know what they are referring to.
It's a great way to support well known charitable organizations on a daily basis, especially if you need to the motivation or are already motivated to get out there every morning.
Once you start using the app, you can think of yourself as one of those famous sponsored athletes doing something good for others!
Remember when we had to use the back button in our browsers to see a website we previously visited? The invention of tabbed browsing changed all that, allowing us to have lots of different websites open at the same time.
The downside to this awesome feature is that each additional tab takes up valuable working memory (RAM), which taken to the extreme, can cause lots of performance issues.
Closing tabs you no longer need is a good practice, but what happens if you click on the wrong tab by accident? Searching your recent History for that wanted page is one option, but there’s a much easier way to bring that tab back.
In any brand of browser, in Windows you can use the Ctrl-Shift keys and in the MacOS, you can use Command-Shift then tap on the letter 'T' to bring back your most recently closed tab.
It’s so much faster than searching through your browser History, especially for those pages you actually opened days ago.
The cool part of this tip is that it works for each subsequently closed tab as well, so simply repeat the keystrokes to keep opening previously closed browser sessions.
If you’ve been an iPhone user for some years, you’ve probably taken tons of pictures of just about everything under the sun.
Because it’s so easy to take pictures everywhere, most of us end up with a bunch of unwanted images that stack up and eat up our storages space.
The iPhone does a lot of things right, but managing old photos isn’t one of it’s strong suits.
If you’d like some help going through your old pictures efficiently, check out one of our favorite apps called Cleen - https://cleenapp.com
Instead of having to use thumbnails to figure out what’s in a photo, Cleen shows you the images in full screen mode so you can actually see the whole image.
What makes it so fast is that you simply swipe in one of three directions to tell the app what you want to do - up to keep it, down to get rid of it and for those images you aren’t sure about, to the left for the deal with it later queue.
At any point that you want to wrap things up, just tap the trash icon to get rid of the ones you’ve tagged for deletion so far.