• Nerd Chick Adventures: Vacation Rental Phishing Schemes
    Nerd Chick Adventures: Vacation Rental Phishing Schemes
    When traveling with the whole family, I prefer to rent homes, condos or apartments over staying at a hotel. I find that having a kitchen and the extra space makes a big difference to our family’s comfort, and the price per night is often comparable to hotels. Unfortunately, owners of vacation rental properties have become targets of scammers who use photos and information posted to these sites to create fake property listings, soliciting payment from unsuspecting vacationers who unknowingly pay a thief, thinking that they are making a reservation for their upcoming vacation. I discovered this scam while looking for a condo to rent during an upcoming trip to Disneyland. Before I started a general search using or as I normally would, I sent an email to Kim Nguyen, the owner of a unit in the area that we rented last year. I asked if she would be running any discounts in the month we will be travelling, or if she offers a returning traveler discount. I didn’t receive a reply. Several weeks later, I discovered a message in my junk mail folder, a reply to the email that I had sent to Kim. The sender’s email address wasn’t the one that I had written to, but I assumed that she had migrated to a new Gmail account. The message asked if I had received a reply that had been sent previously and whether or not I was still planning my vacation. It reference... Read More
  • How to Get Your Hands on a New iPhone
    How to Get Your Hands on a New iPhone

    By now you’ve probably seen your neighbor, your friend or your cousin Bob running around with a new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, gloating about how it’s so much bigger, faster, cooler and, well… bigger than their old iPhone. Perhaps this has you yearning to join the ranks of iPhone 6 owners. Yet with a retail price starting at $649 off contract, you may be wondering just how to afford the newest must-have gadget. Here are our tips for snagging a good deal and getting some money back from your old phone should you take the leap and get a […]

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  • Top Three Easy Smart Home Upgrades
    Top Three Easy Smart Home Upgrades

    Smart home technology offers ways to make your home more state-of-the-art than the Jetsons’ abode. They can offer better energy efficiency, innovative security systems and a myriad of added conveniences to your living space. The multitude of choices can be quite overwhelming: where should you begin when exploring ways to make your home more “connected?” Here are three easy and inexpensive options for bringing your home into the next generation. If you’ve ever set the thermostat down to its “crisp and cool” setting and then kicked yourself for forgetting to turn it up before walking out the door for work, […]

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  • Celebrity Photo Hack – Is Your Data Safe?
    Celebrity Photo Hack – Is Your Data Safe?

    Unless you spent Labor Day and the week following on a Zen, digital media blackout, you’ve probably caught wind of a huge leak of hacked celebrity nude photos. Early reports blamed an iCloud breach, leaving many wondering if their own photos and files are vulnerable. Here’s how to keep yourself and your personal data safer – not safe, but safer – online. When hundreds of nude photos of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton first surfaced on anonymous photo sharing sites 4Chan and AnonIB over the weekend, the initial concern was that someone had hacked into iCloud. The sheer […]

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  • Apps for Health and Wellness
    Apps for Health and Wellness

    Our handy smartphones improve our lives in so many ways, from providing a source of entertainment to keeping us conveniently connected with loved ones and driving us to be punctual for our myriad of appointments throughout the week. Armed with a few handy apps, your smartphone could even help you to improve your health, wellness and general state of mind. I went on a wellness field trip without leaving home to check out some of the many health and wellness apps on the market. Here are a few of my favorites. Happify promises to “increase your happiness with real, life-changing […]

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  • Amazon Kindle Unlimited Can’t Beat the Public Library
    Amazon Kindle Unlimited Can’t Beat the Public Library

    As a reader of three or four novels a month, purchased primarily through my Kindle Fire, I am always looking to save money on book purchases. When I heard about Amazon Kindle Unlimited, a $9.99/month service allowing you to borrow all the books you wish in a month, keep them as long as you like, and then return them when you’re done, it sounded like a smokin’ hot deal. Is it worth the hype? Not really. Here’s what I found out. I’ll start with the good things about the program – or at least the parts that got me to […]

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  • Nerd News: Watch Out for Fake GoDaddy Email
    Nerd News: Watch Out for Fake GoDaddy Email

    GoDaddy customers, beware! There is a new phishing scam making the email rounds this month. Here is an example of what to look for: Subject: Status Alert: Your account contains more than [number] directories. Body: Your account contains more than [number] directories and may pose a potential performance risk to the server. Please reduce the number of directories for your account to prevent possible account deactivation. In order to prevent your account from being locked out we recommend that you create special tmp directory. Or use the link below: [innocuous-looking GoDaddy link which really points to a Russian domain] If […]

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  • Finding Tech Bargains
    Finding Tech Bargains

    As a self-professed Nerd and spouse of a gadget junkie, I can attest to one thing: technology is expensive. Now that many back-to-school lists include computers, mobile devices or parts to rehab an ailing family PC, the fall has become a good time to find tech bargains since stores compete to get your business. You can save a few bucks, if you know some “insider” tips. 1. Comparison shop. There are some great bargain consolidation sites that gather all the best deals from across the Internet and post them in one place. Even if you have your heart set on […]

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  • Three Free Programs Every Windows PC Should Have
    Three Free Programs Every Windows PC Should Have

    You probably already know how important it is to have virus and malware protection on any computer that gets on the Internet, but with so many options it can be difficult to know what you need, and it’s easy to overpay. Here are three free programs that every Windows PC should have installed to stay safe and run smoothly. Microsoft Security Essentials is a free antivirus program that comes pre-installed on Windows 8 machines and is available for download here: It’s compatible with older versions of Windows, including Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. Once you install the program, […]

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  • Hiding from Social Media
    Hiding from Social Media

    Social media can be great: funny posts from your best friend about her new job antics, keeping up with your nephews in Des Moines, and impromptu get togethers – “John just posted he’s at Starbucks. Let’s go meet up!” But what about when you’d rather NOT be found by your Facebook followers? Or when you want to cut ties with someone you’ve purged from your life but they’re still ingrained in your Facebook history? It turns out, there’s an app for that. Location-based social-media sites like Foursquare and Social Radar are designed to make it easier to connect with your […]

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