Write it down

Have you changed your password for something lately? Did you have trouble? You can absolutely cut down on the pain and suffering if you make a note of these tips.

When you change your password for something somewhere, you must change it everywhere.

A world where you can unlock your car by pressing a button, but where you need a password to fire up your computer is annoying.

I often help people who changed their email password on their computer and then could not get email on their phones or tablets.

Here’s the thing: You’re not changing the password on your computer.

You’re using your computer to change the password that’s kept in a secure area on your provider’s server.

You use that same user name/email address and password to access your email from every device.

Once you change it online, change the settings for your email apps on your phones and tablets, and if you’re using an email program on your computer, change it there.

If you don’t do that, you’re not going to get your email there.

This is true for any password you use to sign in to anything online.

Do you have an Apple ID? Did you reset your password from your iPad? If you did, you need to change that password on your iPhone, too.

And on iTunes on your computer.

And please update the records you keep of your password information.

None of us can keep all this in our heads. Write down your user name and password. Write down what it’s for!

I don’t have to count sheep at night. Instead I replay in my head the image of people picking up scraps of paper and post-it notes, and people paging through notebooks filled with passwords…and no mention of what those passwords are for, or of the user name that accompanies them.

Try this:


WHAT IS IT?                USER NAME/EMAIL              PASSWORD                 NOTES

Shaw email                  [email protected]             $0rryN0tS0rry              changed May 2011

Microsoft ID                [email protected]     Te$ting123           Sign in to computer; Sign in to Office365
AppleID                       [email protected]                1bAdAAPL           iTunes, iPad, iPhone           

You get the idea.

To recover your passwords, your account information must be up-to-date

You can reset your forgotten passwords in online services. Why write down your passwords if you can just reset them?

  • Can’t remember your AppleID password?
  • Your Gmail/Google password?
  • Your Microsoft password?

You can always click on that link that says reset password.

And maybe that will work. Microsoft of Google or Apple will send you another link to click on or a code to type in and you can recover your account and change your password, right?

Right. That will work if:

  • You provided another email address, or
  • You provided a phone number, and
  • You have access to it.

If you provided a telephone number that’s not current, or you used to be with Shaw and now you’re with Telus and you don’t have access to your old email, you’re out of luck.

Keep your account information current! Keep a record of your login/password information! And don’t forget to update every device that uses a password that you change.

We’re almost there

Just two more weeks until The Payton & Dillon Budd Memorial Ride for the Canadian Mental Health Association. I’m so grateful to all of you who’ve sponsored me in the Ride Don’t Hide event.

There is still time! Please click on this link to make your secure on-line donation and support the CMHA: https://goo.gl/WnnSd3.

Any amount you can spare is much appreciated. Thank you!


FBI and your router

We’re updating…

I’m buried under a stack of emails from companies updating their privacy policies. I’d tell you more, but I have to stop what I’m doing and reboot my router before my bike ride.

Why am I getting so many Privacy Policy Emails all of a sudden?

It’s all about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that went into effect in Europe on May 25. 

This new digital privacy law will make it easier for people to understand what personal data companies are collecting and how they’re using that data.

If you’d like to read more about this, take a look at these posts from Vox and Cnet.

Two things to take away from this:

  • If you’re outside the EU, none of this applies to your data
  • Most people don’t read privacy policies

Have you ever read a Privacy Policy or Terms of Service document?

Why does the FBI want me to reboot my router? Is this a scam?

Our story so far: Russian malware, called VPNFilter, infected roughly half a million routers worldwide. The FBI seized the servers that were distributing the malware.

Rebooting the router will remove some of the malware. It will leave part of it, and that’s the part that tries to contact the server to reinstall the stuff that reboot flushed out.

Because the FBI now controls the servers, they can determine which routers are infected and contact the appropriate ISPs who should notify their users. There is currently no way for the end user to know if their router in infected.

You should reboot your router.

In general, it’s a simple as unplugging the power cord, counting to 30, plugging it in again and waiting a moment for everything to reconnect.

If you are doing this in a business environment, you need to contact your IT person before you just start rebooting things!

It would be safer for you, but contribute less to the greater good, to reset your router, taking it back to its factory settings, and then change the Administrator password and do a firmware upgrade. (Yes, I know that’s time-consuming and a hassle.)

If you don’t know how to do any of that (or even what I’m saying!) at least reboot it.

If you don’t know what to unplug, consult your router’s manual. (You probably won’t find it in your house, so look for a copy on the manufacturer’s website.)

If your router is provided by Shaw, Telus, or another ISP, consult them.

A more technical explanation is here. That article includes links to the FBI and US Department of Justice notices.

Why do I ride?

It’s just three weeks until Ride Don’t Hide. Here in Kelowna, the Payton and Dillon Budd Memorial Ride raises funds for mental-health programs and services, including suicide prevention, in our community.

I believe mental illness is an illness, not a character flaw. And I believe everyone should have access to the help we all need, without guilt or shame.

I’m happy to be involved in the ride, and so grateful to all of you who’ve contributed. We’ve raised $750 so far. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get to $1,000?

If you’d like to help, please sponsor me. Click here to make your secure online donation: https://goo.gl/WnnSd3. Thank you so much!

Cate Eales will retire June 29 from running Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. She welcomes your comments and suggestions for future column topics, good fishing spots, epic bike rides, and songs to learn on the ukulele.

Send email to [email protected].

Uh-Oh! Undo that thing

Everybody makes mistakes, like answering “Yes” when a program asks if you’re sure you want to delete that thing.

I can tell you from experience that you can be absolutely sure and at the same time completely wrong.

Also, how to fix a mouse with a mind of its own.

Quickly recover deleted files

If you delete a file and you realize right away that it was a mistake, press the CTRL and the Z key at the same time. The key combination of CTRL+Z tells Windows to “undo” the last thing it did.

If deleting the file was the last thing you did, you will probably get it back.

If you haven’t emptied your recycle bin, double-click it and see if you can locate the file. If so, you can either right-click on it and then click "restore," or just click once on it and then click "restore this item" at the top of the window.

The file will go back to its last location.

If you’ve deleted email, look in the deleted Items folder in your email program. Email doesn’t go to the recycle bin.

If you can’t find your file after all that, try Recuva from Piraform.

Restore events to Google Calendar from Google Calendar trash

Late one night I meant to change the time of an appointment on my Google Calendar, and instead of changing it, I deleted the event. Uh-oh!

It turns out there are two ways to recover from this. (Three if you count just entering the whole thing again.)

First, if you’re quick enough you can click on the Undo link at the top of the Calendar. But if enough time goes by that link fades away.

You can still get that event back.

On the left side of the Calendar window, highlight the calendar where you want to restore your event.

Click once on the down arrow just to the right of the name of the calendar.

Click on View Trash.

Locate the event you want to restore. (It’s probably at the top!)

Put a check mark in the box.

Click on Restore selected events.

When you’ve restored everything you need to, click on the Back to calendar link, and you’ll see your event again. Whew.

Bring a dead mouse back to life

If your mouse is unresponsive, try these fixes until you find the one that works.

For a wireless mouse:

Check that it is turned on.

Check that the transceiver is all the way plugged in to a USB port.

Try it in a different port.

For a Bluetooth mouse, go to the Settings in Windows and try to reconnect.

Replace the mouse batteries.

Turn the computer completely off and turn it on again. 

Replace the mouse.

For a mouse that plugs into the computer:

Plug it into a different USB port.

Turn the computer completely off and turn it on again.

Replace the mouse.

If your mouse works, but it’s too quick or slow or jerky, go to Windows Settings for Mouse and adjust as necessary.

If you have a Logitech mouse or a Microsoft mouse, use their software to give you more control over your mouse.

If clicking your left mouse button gives you unexpected results, you might have reversed the button settings.

Fix this in Windows Settings for Mouse. If, by the way, you’re left handed, you can make the right button your primary button and laugh your head off at the rest of us when we try to use your mouse.


We’ve almost reached our fundraising goal for the June 24 Payton and Dillon Budd Memorial Ride Don’t Hide event benefiting the Canadian Mental Health Association. How about sponsoring me?

Click on this link to make your secure online contribution: https://goo.gl/WnnSd3.

Your help is much appreciated.

Cate Eales will retire June 29 from running Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers.

She welcomes your comments and suggestions for future column topics, good fishing spots, epic bike rides, and songs to learn on the ukulele. Send email to [email protected].


Gmail, and other, updates

The latest on Windows 10 Spring update, Gmail, and bike rides.

Windows 10 Spring Update

You might be asking yourself, “Where is it?”

It’s still rolling out despite several issues. If you want it now, visit: https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/software-download/windows10 and run the Update Assistant to make sure your computer is good to go.

Meanwhile, it turns out the update is incompatible with some solid-state drives. The known incompatible drives are from Toshiba and Intel. Ironically, one type is the SSD in the new Surface Pro tablet.

Microsoft is working with Intel and Toshiba to correct the problem and eventually offer the update to those affected machines. To keep up to date, I suggest checking the Known Issues section here.

Feedback on the new Gmail

Last week, I mentioned that I was mildly disappointed that switching between Mail and Contacts wasn’t as easy as it used to be.

A reader named John offered three solutions:

  • If you have set up Shortcuts in Gmail just type G then C (even lower case)
  • Use Google Apps (upper right Menu block) and locate Contacts and move the Icon up to the top or where ever you want.
  • Don't like this one it takes 2 steps — Use the web and search "Contacts", works in Chrome and Opera browser, when signed in.

Hope that helps, I'm sure lots of others have more solutions.

That is totally great, and it’s going to make me learn about Gmail shortcuts, because I could not get that first tip to work for love or money. I’m going to study up.

The new Confidential Mode was missing from my Gmail. It showed up for me a few days later. And here’s what I learned:

While it’s tempting to describe this feature as “secure email,” it’s not all that secure. And it may or may not be email.

It allows you to set an expiration date on messages you send, and to restrict them from being forwarded, copied, or printed. You can require a passcode for validation, and you can revoke access to the email at any time before it expires.

That sounds more exciting than it is. What’s happening is the messages are stored (securely) on Google’s servers. The sender and intended recipients can access them, but hey. There’s still on Google’s servers.

The messages look like Gmail if you’re both using Gmail, but if your recipient uses something else, that message looks like what it is — a web page with a message on it.

Yes, it’s a password protected webpage, but it seems that you can copy that link and send it to someone else, granting them access to the message. Also, good grief, your recipient can take a screen shot. Adjust your privacy and security expectations as necessary!

Ride Don’t Hide fundraising progress

Hurray! The weather improved so I could do a few bike rides! I’m looking forward to riding on June 24 to help raise money for the Canadian Mental Health Association. Would you like to help?

More about the ride from the CMHA:

At CMHA Kelowna we want to let anyone struggling in silence to know they are not alone. That’s why we are dedicating our Ride Don’t Hide event to the memory of two brothers in our community. The Payton and Dillon Budd Memorial Ride is a rallying point for us all: Anyone can experience poor emotional or mental health. Anyone can be at risk for thoughts of suicide. No one should have to hide or stay silent. On June 24th, join us and ride in plain sight to raise funds for programs and services in our community.

If you would like to sponsor my ride, follow this link to donate securely online: https://goo.gl/WnnSd3. Your help is much appreciated.

Cate Eales will retire the end of June from running Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. She welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to [email protected].

More Getting Along With Your Computer articles

About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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