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Monday, January 16, 2017

1778. Credit Monitoring Services

I see a lot of online ads for credit monitoring services, and I’m tempted to sign up for one. Are they worth the money?

This is a little outside our normal area of expertise, and look we're not tax attorneys we're not legal advisers.

So you need to take everything we say with a grain of salt and that it's from technical advisors not legal ones. But the answer, generally is no if you have to pay for credit monitoring it's probably not worth it.

Now you do need to keep track of your credit score and you should watch your credit reports but you shouldn't have to pay for it. If you go to ,you should sign up to be able to look at each of your three major credit reports once a year. I space mine out looking at each of them, one every four months, so I get a good idea of where my credit is going. In addition you'll find the website that is credit and karma with a K.. useful it lets you to do free credit monitoring. You do need to give them your social security number and that feels a little weird but they're completely on the up and up and they're definitely worth the time.

I've recently become aware of a useful website called and it provides free credit monitoring just like the services you'd have to pay for. Now this is a website provided by one of the credit monitoring services. I'm guessing they found it was more useful to let people monitor their credit than have to fight with them afterwards. It's a free service. It's safe. It's definitely worth checking out So don't pay for credit monitoring, use one of these free sites to help you keep track of your credit score and your credit reports.

1777. Delete Yourself from Twitter

I have used Twitter for several years in order to promote my small business, but to be honest, I’ve had enough of it. I really need to completely kill my Twitter account, as if it never existed. Can you help?

Not being a huge Twitter fan I've often considered just cancelling my account and getting rid of it. And to be honest. There are some other people. I wish would do the same.

But in any case if you want to delete your Twitter account, you have to remember one important fact you can't do it from a Twitter application. On your phone or your computer you have to actually log in to a web browser and once you've done that go to Settings and from there choose deactivate my account.

That doesn't kill it immediately. That gives you a thirty day grace period where you can reactivate it again from a web browser, if you care to do so. If you don't do anything after thirty days your Twitter account will be deleted.

I'm just saying this is something that probably a lot of people could make use of.

1776. Block Robocalls and Telemarketers

On my cell phone, I get far too many junk calls. Robocalls, telemarketers, and random sales calls (I hear from someone selling carpet cleaning a lot. I mean, a lot!) Is there some way I can block these jerks from calling me?

One thing's for sure - Spam callers like this are super irritating and getting yourself on the federal do not call list at can help a little but not really. All that does is block legitimate callers from calling your phone. You can yell at the spammers when they call you. But that really doesn't do any good either.

First of all my policy is if I don't recognize the caller ID I don't answer the call End of Story. You can subscribe to the same thing if you like.

But we actually came across an application that seems to work called Mr Number - I love that name. It's available for both IOS and Android. The IOS version requires at least IOS 10 or the most current version to work. Once you've installed the app. You'll at least be warned before answering a call from a spammer as long as Mr Number has information about the particular spam caller.

What Mr Number does is maintain a database of all of the known spammy phone numbers that people call from -it's not perfect. It doesn't work in every case but I have definitely seen my phone mark incoming call as spam because Mr Number has done his job.

Therefore the short answer is there's nothing you can do that will definitively keep you from getting robo calls and telemarketer calls. On the other hand there are tools you can use - Mr Number the application available in the App Store or the Google Play store can get you a start at least screening calls that you shouldn't be answering.

1775. Deal with Calendar Spam

I don’t even understand how this is possible, but recently, I’ve been getting a bunch of calendar meeting requests that are clearly spam: They’re mostly advertisements for Ray-ban sunglasses or something like that. I use meeting requests often for work, so I don’t want to completely turn them off. What’s up with these irritating, totally unsolicited meeting requests?

Welcome to the world of the public Internet. I've only heard of this happening on the Macs with the standard calendar application but it could happen to anyone. Spammers have found a new vector for bombarding unsuspecting folks with stupid and irritating advertising until Apple fixes the problem.

There's not much you can do. You could of course simply decline the meeting request doing so however alerts the spammers they have reached a live email address and that's never a good thing. Except in your replying maybe has the same effect. So you really don't want to click any of those links in the meeting request.

Apple's aware of the problem and recently they've added an option to the calendar application to at least report the spam but that doesn't really solve the problem until they find a way to block it. You need some way to handle it yourself. There's a couple of alternatives I've read about and if you need some way to handle it.

You can try one of these two things. One of them is to log into iCloud via a web browser access the calendar settings and then select to receive all calendar event invitations via e-mail. It's easy enough to redirect all emails like that to a particular folder or just delete them. That means you won't see event invitations in your calendar however which is really where you want to get them.

Another alternative is to create a new calendar. Maybe you call it spam. Then when spammy event invitations show up, you just move them to that new calendar. Doing that doesn't alert the sender that you receive the invitation. You can hide this calendar so it doesn't show up and occasionally simply delete that calendar and create a new one. That means you never touch the invitations individually except to move them to a new calendar.

Like I said neither of these solutions is perfect and I have thoughts on what I'd like to do to the jerks who spam me this way but until Apple works out a way to just simply block them, these are the best solutions we have to offer.

1774. Close all Tabs in Safari on iOS

I tend to open a lot of tabs when using Safari on my iPhone. I have had occasions when I wanted to close all the tabs, but I couldn't find a way to do it other than manually shutting them down one by one. Is there a trick to this?

This generally isn't a problem on devices with larger screens but on the iPhone it's easy to get into a situation in which you have so many tabs open that you can't find the one you need. If you're working in Safari on IOS you can tap the tabs link at the bottom right of the browser. It looks like two overlapping pages in the current version of IOS to create a new tab page and you can click on the little X in the upper left corner of any page to close that tab.

The problem comes when you want to close them all and start fresh. The solution is simple but not obvious. You would most likely never think of trying the right solution. The answer rather than tapping the tabs a link at the bottom right corner press and hold it. When you do that. IOS presents three options, new tab, close thirteen tabs or however many you have open and cancel.

Selecting the second option close thirteen tabs or however many makes it simple to close all the open tabs. If you already open the tabs link you can get the same effect by pressing and holding on the done link at the lower right. Who thinks of these things.

This presents the same three options allowing you to close all the tabs. Although this isn't a serious problem, knowing how to close all the tabs with one click can certainly save you a lot of time. You would think that you could just shut down the browser and restarted and accomplish the same thing but it doesn't because Safari remembers the set of tabs you had open the last time you were in the app. Take a second and try this press and hold trick and you'll be able to close all the tabs at once.

1773. Change size and Color of Mouse Pointer

I often lose the mouse pointer in Windows 10. It's just too small for me to see. How do I change the size and color of my mouse pointer so I can see it?

It sure can be difficult to see the mouse pointer in Windows sometimes especially when you have a lot of windows open concurrently. The default size for the mouse pointer ought to be OK but you certainly may want to need or change the size or color.

Every version of Windows has had a mechanism for changing the mouse pointer size but it's never been easier than it is in Windows ten. In Windows ten, you can just run the Settings app select Ease of Access and then Mouse. It maybe even easier just to type mouse pointer into the search box in the lower left corner of the screen that should take you right to the correct place.

Once you find the mouse pointer accessibility settings you can change the size to a small medium or large pointer. You can change the color to white black or inverted where the color changes based on the background.

If you want to change the shape of the mouse pointer. You'll have to go to the control panel application find the mouse applet and select the pointers tab. There you can change the mouse pointer to be a number of different shapes. Back in the good old days I remember I could change the mouse pointer to be a galloping horse or tapping fingers. But those kinds of fanciful mouse pointers have gone by the wayside since they were never very helpful. Now most of the time a simple arrow will do but it's simple to change the mouse pointer size and color using the settings application in Windows 10.

1763. Add and Remove Stock Apps in iOS 10

I’ve updated to iOS 10 on my iPhone, and after all these versions of iOS, I still see apps I have never used and am never going to use. In previous versions of iOS, there was no way to remove the Stocks app and the Compass app, among others. Has anything changed that would allow me to unclutter my phone and get rid of these useless apps?

I am sure there are some people that use the Stocks app on there iPhone and look at it every day but I am not one of those people. I have played withe the Compass app once. There is this Watch app that I will never use becasue I don't think I will ever get an Apple watch.

Doug has never looked at the health app and never knew it was there.

So to remove these apps that are built into the phone unlike previous versions of iOS 10, you can simply press and hold the icon and when the little X appears you can simply click on the X and remove it.

If you want to put it back on the phone you can go to the apps store and reload it.

One thing to note if you are trying to remove these apps to gain a little space on the phone it won't help becasue you may think you are removing them you are not. You are just hiding them. With these built in apps there is really no way to really get them off the phone. But at least in iOS 10 you can hide them so they don't clutter up the display.

You should not that this feature works for most of the stock apps but not all of them. We tried removing the Health app but it won't go away and you will not see the little X.