Using Google Photos and Drive?

Written: July 10, 2019

I enjoy using all things Google, because for the most part they are free and work well on all of my devices (MacBook Pro, iPad, Samsung Phone). If that’s you too, then there’s a recent change coming from Google:

 

Google Drive, Google Photos

Simplifying how Google Photos & Google Drive work together
You are getting this email because you sync items between Google Photos and Google Drive.

Over the next few weeks, we are making some changes to help simplify how Google Photos and Google Drive work together. We are making these changes based on the feedback we’ve heard that the connection between these services is hard to understand.
• Your photos and videos will no longer automatically sync between Google Photos and Google Drive.
• You will still be able to upload to both services using the Backup and Sync app on your computer.
• We’re also adding a new “Upload from Drive” feature that lets you copy photos and videos to Google Photos. 
• Your existing photos and videos are still in Google Photos and Google Drive.

You can read our Help Center article or learn more about these changes in our blog post.

Fortunately, I have kept Drive and Photos separate with no syncing, so there’s no change in how I use each free service.

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Email phishing scam – American Express

Written: June 26, 2019

I receive dozens of emails daily, yet I approach anything that reaches my In Box with some skepticism because there are hackers out there that want me to click an email link, then trick me into entering my login credentials on a bogus web site. Today the follow message popped into my In Box, reportedly from American Express:

 

American Express

The subject line looked ominous: Ticket ID #1501K7505F0. My first clue was that I don’t have an American Express account.

Secondly the opening line in the message is: Dear valued member

A real email from American Express would have:

Looking at the from address it shows: 

 

So I know that the sender is not legitimate, because the real address would be something like info@americanexpress.com, not web@online.de

Finally, just hovering my cursor over the Click Here link reveals that this phishing link has nothing to do with www.americanexpress.com :

 

American Express link

So I know with 100% certainty that this email is not legitimate, rather it is a phishing attempt to lure me into clicking the link. Don’t be fooled by every email that comes into the In Box, instead, do some of this quick checks to verify that the email is legitimate before clicking any link. This is how to stay safe and yes, it does take away from your product work day.

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Portland WordPress Meetup: Streamlining the Custom WordPress Design Process

Written: May 21, 2019

WordPress users in the Portland area are fortunate to have a vibrant and relevant Meetup group, because you can learn so much from the experts and then go apply it to your own web site. Coming up on June 3rd from 6PM – 8PM is a presentation called: Streamlining the Custom WordPress Design Process.

Visit that link to register for the free event, and be prepared to come away better equipped to make design updates to your WordPress site. Here’s the agenda for the night:

 

In this meetup, Doug Yuen will give an overview of the key tools and techniques he uses to quickly build custom designed WordPress websites.

We’ll demo the Dynamik theme (a Genesis child theme), plugins (such as Beaver Builder, Gravity Forms, and Yoast SEO), and some helpful software programs.

This talk will also cover some best practices for saving time and reducing the chance of errors when building and maintaining WordPress websites.

Schedule:

6:00 – 6:15: Introductions. What you do, are you looking to hire, are you looking for work?
6:15 – 6:45: Speaker and topic.
6:45 – 7:00: Questions and answers on the topic.
7:00 – 8:00: Get help with WordPress. Bring your laptop for this part. There’s a wide range of experience levels, and we’re all here to help each other.
8:00: Soft close. You may hang out a bit longer to talk or finish up a project, but the official Meetup will end.
8:30: Socialize at Bailey’s Taproom (213 SW Broadway). Let us know if you’re interested in joining!

Thanks to Digital Trends for providing the venue!

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1&1 IONOS, Phishing Scam

Written: March 27, 2019

My web site is hosted at 1&1, recently renamed to IONOS after a merger, so I pay attention to email that comes from that trusted vendor in case there’s an issue with web hosting services. Today in my Junk mail folder there was a message that had the proper blue logo colors from IONOS:

fake IONOS enail
Email in Junk Folder

Apple mail is pretty good when it comes to filtering out unwanted email, but maybe 1 in 100 Junk messages are actually real messages that I need to pay attention to. The first two words of the email message are “Dear Customer“, however I know from experience that IONOS does know my first and last name, plus they know my account number, so a legitimate email message would have those listed to verify authenticity.

The first paragraph starts out with the word “we”, which is supposed to be capitalized, so I’m already 100% certain that this is a phishing email designed to trick me into clicking a link, then stealing my login identity. As I continue to read the message their are typos and misspellings, so yeah, this is not a very bright phishing scheme.

Finally, the link that the malicious schemers want me to click is revealed to be bogus as I hover my cursor over it, revealing the true destination:

fake IONOS link
False Link Address

So, I wasn’t fooled by this phishing email and hopefully you too can become more vigilant when looking at email messages that arrive either in your Inbox or Junk mail folders. The bad guys are getting more sophisticated in impersonating legitimate vendors by copying their colors, logo and fonts.

A real vendor always identifies your account number, first and last name, plus their links are at a trusted site that you already have used before.

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