Increasing Page and Text Size:
classmates using Windows
Internet Explorer there should be a tool bar above the the top of our
website pages that has the word "Page" or "View".
If you do not see either of these options,
tap the ALT key once to bring up a tool bar. You should see
options similar to the ones shown below:
Clicking on either Page or View will give you
options to increase the size of the whole page or just increase the size
of the text. If you are happy with the changes, you can leave the
tool bar in place or tap the ALT key to remove the tool bar.
explorers and operating systems should have similar functions.
Check your operating systems Help file or do a internet search on the
phrase "increasing page and text size for" and add the name of your
How To Forward Email:
Art Caldwell received this from a friend a while back and thought it might be helpful to those in
our class who are relatively new to computers and email.
"Do you really know how to forward emails? 50% of us
do; 50% DO NOT. Do you wonder why you get viruses or junk mail?
Do you hate it? Every time you forward an email there is
information left over from the people who got the message before you,
namely their email addresses and names.
As the messages get forwarded along, the list of addresses builds, and
builds, and builds, and all it takes is for some poor sap to get a
virus, and his or her computer can send that virus to every email
address that has come across his computer. Or, someone can take
all of those addresses and sell them or send junk mail to them in the
hopes that you will go to the site and he will make five cents for each
hit. That's right, all of that inconvenience over a nickel! How
do you stop it? Well, there are several easy steps.
Try the following if you haven't done it before:
(1) When you are on the page you want to forward, click the
Forward button. This puts you inside the message where you can
take a minute to delete all the addresses listed. If you know how
to highlight the addresses and cut them out of the email, go to it.
If you don't know that technique, then bring your
cursor down to the end of the last address in the email. Click on
that spot and then hold down the backspace key until all the addresses
disappear. First though, you MUST click the "Forward"
button and then you will have full editing capabilities against the
body and headers of the message. If you don't click on "Forward"
first, you won't be able to edit the message at all.
(2) Whenever you send an email to more than one person, do NOT use
the To: or Cc: fields for the list of email addresses. Always use
the BCC: (blind carbon copy) field for listing ALL the email addresses
you want to send to.
This is the way the people you send to will only see their own email
address. If you don't see your BCC: option click on where it says
To: and your address book list will appear. Highlight the addresses you
choose BCC:. The names you have selected are listed in the BCC
column; click OK you will be back to the forwarded email and ready to
send it, it's that easy. When you send to BCC: that
message will automatically say "Undisclosed Recipients in the "TO:"
field of the people who receive it.
(3) Remove any "FW:" in the subject line. You can re-name the
subject if you wish or even fix the spelling.
(4) ALWAYS hit your Forward button from the actual email you are
reading . Ever get those emails that you have to open 10 pages to read
the one page with the information on it? By Forwarding from the
actual page you wish someone to view, you stop them from having to open
many emails just to see what you sent.
(5) Have you ever gotten an email that is a petition? It
states a position and asks you to add your name and address and to
forward it to 10 or 15 people or your entire address book. The email can
be forwarded on and on and can collect thousands of names and email
A FACT: The completed petition is actually worth a couple of bucks
to a professional spammer because of the wealth of valid names and email
addresses contained therein. DO NOT put your email address on any
petition. If you want to support the petition, send it as your own
personal letter to the intended recipient. Your position may carry
more weight as a personal letter than a laundry list of names and email
addresses on a petition. (And don't believe the ones that say that the
email is being traced; it just ain't so!)
ACTUAL FACT: Most e-mail petitions are worthless because they do
fully identify the signer by street address, etc. nor does it prove that
the signer really signed it. Don't forward them.
Some of the other emails to delete and not forward are:
( a.) The one that says something like, "Send this email to 10 people
and you'll see something great run across your screen." Or
sometimes they'll just tease you by saying 'something really cute will
happen.' IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!!!!! I repeat.... IT AIN'T GONNA
HAPPEN!!!!! (No matter how many you send it to or how long you wait....
IT AIN'T GOING TO HAPPEN!!!!!!!! We are still seeing some of the same
emails that we waited on 10 years ago!)
( b.) I don't let the bad luck ones scare me either, they should
( c.) Before you forward an 'Amber Alert', or a 'Virus Alert', or
some of the other emails floating around nowadays, check them out before
you forward them. Most of them are junk mail that's been circling
the net for YEARS! Just about everything you receive in an email
that is in question can be checked out at Snopes. Just go to
www.snopes.com . It's really
easy to find out if it's real or not. If it's not, please don't
pass it on. (Editor's Note: Snopes now
provides a free weekly update email service.)
So please, in the future, let's stop the junk mail and the viruses.
Also get rid of the advertisements at the bottom of your emails!
pay for your internet why advertise free for them? If they want
advertisement, let them pay you to use your space!!!!"
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How To Spot Spam
(Forwarded by a classmate from an article on FactCheck.org)
The author is anonymous.
Practically all e-mails we see fall into
this category, and anytime an author is
unnamed, the public should be skeptical. If
the story were true, why would the author
not put his or her name on it?
The author is supposedly a
famous person. Of course, e-mails
that are attributed to legitimate people
turn out to be false as well. Those popular
messages about a
Jay Leno essay and
Andy Rooney’s political views are both
baloney. And we
that some oft-quoted words attributed to
Abraham Lincoln were not his words at all.
There’s a reference to a
legitimate source that completely
contradicts the information in the e-mail.
Some e-mails will implore readers to check
out the claims, even providing a link to a
respected source. We’re not sure why some
people don’t click on the link, but we
implore you to do so. Go ahead, take the
See if the information you find
actually backs up the e-mail. We’ve examined
mail in which the back-up material
clearly debunks the e-mail itself. One
message provided a link to the Tax
Foundation, but anyone who followed it would
have found an article saying the e-mail’s
figures were all wrong. Another boasted that Snopes.com had verified the e-mail, but
Snopes actually said it was false
The message is riddled
with spelling errors. Ask yourself why you should trust an
author who is not only anonymous but partially illiterate?
The author just loves
using exclamation points!!!! If the author had a truthful
point to make, why are they needed? There's a growing theory that the
more exclamation points are used, the more untruthful it is and ditto for capital
The message argues that it is
NOT false. This tip comes from Emery who
advises skepticism for any message that says This is NOT a hoax!
There is math involved. One message that
falsely claimed more soldiers died during Bill Clinton's term than
George Bush's urged, "You do the math." We did and it
Tips To Ripoff Lines
If you hear these or similar lines, just say "no thanks" and hang
"You've been specially selected to hear this offer."
"You'll get a wonderful free bonus if you buy our product."
"You've won one of five valuable prizes."
won big money is a foreign lottery."
"You must send
money right away."
"This investment is low risk
and provides a high return than you can get anywhere else."
"You have to make up your mind right away."
need to check our company with anyone," including your family, lawyer,
accountant, local Better Business Bureau or consumer protection agency.
"We'll just put the shipping and handling charges on your credit
"You don't need any written information about our
company or references."
Call the FBI scam hot line: 858-715-1648
Gift Cards: You know you
are old...when the cost of children's winter boots gives you sticker
shock. The site manager recently spent Christmas in Maryland with
his bright and energetic grand-nieces ages 5 and 7 and needed January to
recover. This year they got their birthday and Christmas gift
cards at the same time, and he scored many points as they were able to
combine their cards to purchase their own UGG boots.
Because he can't find his glasses but remembers when the owner of
Musinsky's Shoe Store came to the house to collect our small monthly
installment payment, he searched the Internet for some prices: highest
adult UGG prices were in the $120s; kids up to $99 (circa 2007-8).
Being a widower whose wife was a great gift
buyer and wrapper, he has taken advantage of relatives' lowered
expectations and become a fan of the Visa Gift 2 Go card. One-stop shopping
with easy wrapping...his are delivered inside what he hopes is a funny
Christmas card. Recipients can register the card for online
purchases which goes over well with a teenage grandchild in the wilds of
northern Maine and a four-hour drive from major clothing stores.
Another good use is to give yourself one to
make small online Internet purchases in place of your regular credit
cards. Registering a card for online shopping is not a requirement
but the user may run into merchants who will not accept the card without
it. The manager did register his card and has made multiple purchases to date without a problem.
These cards are short-term. Currently in
2012, it is 5 years nationally and 7 years in MA. They are not
reloadable but you can roll the balance into a new card. The
October, 2012 service charge at Walgreen was $4.95 for a $50 card.
Please Note: Mass. gift card regulations differ from Federal
regulations. For the latest information on both, click on
and search under "gift card fees" for the latest federal regulations and
under "gift card laws" for the MA regulations. The latest set of federal regulations
were completed in August, 2010. Fees must be clearly marked on the
card or on the casing in which it is sold.
Under MA law, your gift card is forever if the company has not given you
a starting date and an expiration date. They can do it in several
ways so if you don't see these dates, check the rules using the above
For your next bar bet: the first company to
introduce electronic gift cards was Blockbuster in 1996. And in
case you are wondering, these companies do get a piece of the action
from the national banks for each use of their card. A recent
article about consumer discontent with these cards was
Gift That Just Stops Giving."
You can buy a Gift 2 Go card by clicking on:
www.gift2go.net. This will
take you to Visa's Awards 2 go site. Find the Gift 2 go section on
the right hand side of the page and click on the "Learn More" button.
This card does come with an inactivity fee of $2.50 a month after any
period of 12 inactive months...best to use your cards up within 12
months or gift them to your in-laws and let them worry about the monthly
If you prefer prepaid reloadable cards, be sure to
read the fine print. They come with a higher minimum monthly
maintenance charge and can have additional fees for other options that
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Unwanted Postal Mail
Fighting Junk Mail: When it's
too cold for the daily hike, the site manager has been looking on the
internet for help in reducing the amount of junk mail that comes to his
house. Two promising sites are the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
and the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business
Click on http://www.privacyrights.org
to get to the Clearinghouse's main page. Select "Junk Mail/Faxes/Email"
from the column on the left.
The Office of Consumer Affairs has a help category on Privacy that
includes a large section on Junk Mail. Click
here to see how to access this
Unwanted Mail Catalogs: If you are
currently receiving catalogs in the mail that you no longer want, you
might be interested in clicking on
Catalog Choice. A
recent email from the company indicated they now have over 200 catalog
companies that have agreed to honor requests from them to remove
customer names from their files. You can see the list of their
participating companies at
Vendors. However, you cannot use this site for catalog
companies not on their list.
Direct Mail Advertising: At the
present time, companies are not legally obligated to remove your name
from their lists. Someday perhaps, our great-great grandchildren
will have a sign up list similar to the telemarketing one. In the
meantime, the direct mail industry has a web site that you can use to
try and opt out, the Direct
Marketing Association. The DMA makes no
guarantees, but If you are successful using this site, you will
need to reapply every five years.
General Consumer Tips
Starting January 24, 2012, airlines will
no longer be able to hide taxes and fees. They must now include
those in the advertised fee and this includes disclosure of baggage fees
when passengers book a flight. Airlines will be fined if they do
not include baggage cost on the e-ticket confirmation.
If you make a reservation at least one week before the flight's
departure, you have up to 24 hours after you make the reservation to
cancel without penalty as long as the purchase was made through the
airline website or through a travel website. Airlines must
promptly notify travelers about delays that are going to be over thirty
minutes. No longer will airlines be able to bump up the price of
your ticket once you have purchased it.
(Reprinted from the Massachusetts Retirees United
news letter "Matters" of February, 2012 edited by Marie Ardito.)
Evaluating Charitable Organizations: The
Boston Globe Magazine of November 20, 2011 suggested these online
resources if you want to check out an organization before donating:
For MA residents, the Attorney General's office has
several tools available. Reports of financial charities doing
business in the state can be found at
You can call the
Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division at 617-727-2200 ext.
2010 or email them at
www.irs.gov/charities (maintained by the IRS)
www.charitynavigator.org (evaluates and ranks charities on how much
goes to a cause versus how much goes to administrative costs)
www.guidestar.org (offers extensive information including IRS
reporting forms and executive salaries...does not charge for basic
financial data reports)
Debit/Credit Cards: There are a
variety of legal actions going on between merchants and the Visa and
MasterCard companies concerning the monopoly these companies hold over
the merchants. The Massachusetts Consumer site (
www.mass.gov/consumer ) had a
recent online article that mentioned what businesses cannot do when you
buy with a credit card.
Specifically, merchants cannot add a surcharge to
your bill if you use a credit card but they can offer customers a
discount to use cash. American Express, Visa and MasterCard
prohibit merchants from asking you to provide a phone number, home
address or other personal information. Visa and MasterCard also
prohibit merchants from requiring minimum charge amounts.
You can file complaints at the following
addresses: Visa USA, Consumer Relations, PO Box 8999, San
Francisco, CA 94128; MasterCard International, Public Relations,
2000 Purchase St., Purchase, NY 10577; American Express Customer
Service, PO Box 297812, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33329-7812.
Online Internet Pharmacy Fraud: NABP, the National Association
of Boards of Pharmacy, maintains a list of verified internet pharmacy
practice site (VIPPS) which allows you to search by state for all of
their certified sites that will process requests from your state.
Click on www.nabp.net to reach
their site; click on "CONSUMERS" near the top right of the page; click on Verified Internet Practice
Sites; click on the "Find a VIPPS-accredited pharmacy today" line and
the program will give you a list of all
qualified internet pharmacies for your state.
On the Consumers page, you can also click "Buying Medicine Online" to
learn about the possible hazards of internet purchases.
FBI Suggestions On Internet Pharmacies: Legitimate
pharmacies should: 1) Require a prescription from a licensed
doctor, usually by mail (if they accept a fax copy, they will always
call your doctor to verify the prescription). 2) Make you submit a
detailed medical history. 3) Clearly state their payment, privacy
and shipping fees on their site. 4) Use secure or encrypted
website connections for transactions.
IRS Scams: The MA Consumer Affairs Office
recently sent an email advisory warning of an increase in tax refund and
scams. The IRS does not use email to contact
residents about tax refunds but uses postal mail instead.
Locally, a Beverly, MA non-profit group funded a program for two
police officers to develop and present seminars to educate residents.
The funding came about after a Beverly senior paid $50,000 for the
"taxes" on her winnings of $4,000,000 in a mythical Canadian lottery.
Money Scam: A
classmate recently found that the classmate's friends email addresses
had been stolen and used to solicit emergency funds to bail the
classmate out of a difficult situation. A common source of email
addresses for scammers are emails that people are encouraged to forward
to their friends. Many if not most of these emails and petitions
are likely to be fraudulent and a rich source of addresses for scammers or those
people who collect them to sell to scammers.
If you want to forward an email and you are sending it to more than
one person, you can protect your friends' email addresses by forwarding
or sending email from your address book as a blind carbon copy (BCC:).
To protect everyone's email address, you can delete them from the body
of your email before sending. To
learn how, click on How To Forward Email
Tire Safety: Another news clip that Ed
forwarded a while back is an ABC news story on the dangers of tires
being sold as "brand new" that have been sitting on dealers' shelves for
years. Their research shows that aged tires driven at highway
speeds are more prone to tread separation that can lead to dangerous or
fatal accidents. The manufacturing date of the tires you buy are
part of the sidewall information. Have the dealer show you the
dates or do some research on the web under "determining the age of a
Restocking Fees: The email tale of woe
about Best Buy's restocking fee of 15% apparently is true and a good
argument for getting something in writing at any store about its restocking
fees and return policies before you make a significant purchase by cash,
debit card or check. Purchases over $250 by these methods at Best
Buy means that you will have to wait for ten days (in theory) to get a refund check
from the corporate office. See the arguments for and against this
practice at www.snopes.com (search
on "many unhappy returns" when you get to the site).
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Massachusetts Consumer News
Mass. Resident/Consumer Web
Sites: The main state government site has grown
considerably in the past few years. To access it, click on
http://www.mass.gov to see the home page. You can click on the
tab "For Residents" for some 14 major groups of topics that may
be of value to you.
For a major source of consumer information, you can click on
then click on the tab "Consumer Affairs" to see the major consumer help
categories and a host of subtopics.
Mass. Consumer News Emails: The Office of Consumer Affairs
now issues periodic advisory emails. You can subscribe to this service
on their home page (http://www.mass.gov/consumer). Look for Online Services on the upper left of their home
page and click on "Subscribe to the Consumer Insider."
Consumer Hot Lines: The Mass.
consumer site has added two toll-free hot lines (sorry, toll-free for
residents only). They are: (888) 283-3751 and (617) 973-8787. The state's consumer agency covers the following
six major groups: Division of Banks, Division of Insurance,
Division of Professional Licensure, Division of Standards, State Racing
Commission and the Department of Telecommunications and Cable.
Odds and Ends
For those who have pleasant memories of prop
airplanes and getting dressed up to fly even if it was only from Boston
to New York, Ed Cummiskey has sent us a collection of pictures from
about former passenger planes and airlines.
Speaking of dressed up
and no puns intended in the heading, that's Mrs. Site Manager boarding
for a short flight to New York and then on to our honeymoon in Bermuda.
It took so long to take the picture that I turned around to apologize to
those waiting behind me. There were about 25 to 30 passengers,
mostly smiling and all waiting patiently...not sure I would get the same
Best Air Purifier Site:
Due to an increasing reaction to dust (and vacuuming), the site
manager followed his doctor's advice and allergy-proofed his bedroom
according to the steps outlined on the Internet medical sites. He
then started looking for an air purifier. Fortunately for
sufferers, there is a great site to start at:
If you are looking for your first air purifier, this
is the best place he has found so far. Even if you know what
you want, he would urge you to run your choice against the
recommendations at this site. Given that some of the best and worst air purifiers on the market today sell for about the same
price, an investment of time at this site is worth it...especially if
you are looking for extra justification to defend your choice to others
who live with you.
In addition to a top-ten list with lots of detail about how the ratings
were earned, there is a goldmine of information on indoor air quality,
airborne disease, purifier technologies and an impressive education
section called "Buyer Beware."
For seniors who want to hook up a DVD player to an
older computer system: having trouble playing a DVD on your PC with Windows Media Player? Our
webmaster suggests trying it on another DVD player that is not connected
to a PC. If it plays successfully on the other DVD player, go back to
your PC, click the Start button and then click on My Computer. Make
sure your player is listed as a DVD and not just a CD player.
PC does say DVD, you may need to get a newer version of the Windows
Media Player. If you have an older PC however, chances are that your PC
may not have the power and speed to handle the disc properly. In those
cases, the webmaster usually encourages his customers to forget the PC
and buy an inexpensive DVD for their TV set.
Before buying that DVD, you may want to try a software program called
VLC Media Player by VideoLAN. With this program, the
site manager has had good success in playing DVDs that had not worked
with Windows Media Player on his Windows XP system. A free version
of this media player is available on the net. A knowledgeable
friend (or someone who owes you a favor) can do the download.
There are several sites to download from.
The site manager used the one from the parent company VideoLAN (
www.videolan.org ). The
download was pretty straightforward as he recalls and you can exercise
an option to make it your default media player.
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