Thursday, November 29, 2012

Getting Your Old Files to Your New Device

Webnotes by: Theresa Payton, Fortalice, LLC. Content also covered on WBTV's "Protecting Your Cyberturf" segment featuring Theresa Payton and Kristen Miranda.

There’s nothing like a new phone, tablet or computer is there?  It’s faster, lighter, and has more features on it.  But, you sometimes have year’s worth of information on your old device.  It’s often hard to know what to do to get that information moved over so it’s not lost forever but who wants to use the old and new forever too?  

Sometimes just the thought of all the hours it will take to move everything over and get it exactly  how you like it might make you just skip getting something new altogether!  But, cyber expert, Theresa Payton, says don’t let that stop you from getting new technology.  She outlines how to do this in 4 easy steps with some tips and tricks that don’t require an engineering degree or reading pages and pages of instructions!

4 easy steps!
1.  Plan What to move
  • List the files you know you need
  • Some examples include
    • Photos
    • Music
    • Spreadsheets
    • Documents
    • Financials
    • Website bookmarks:  export “favorites” to a file and load these onto your new device or computer!
    • Also consider things such as:  favorite email client settings, contacts/address books, and any specific software program configurations
  • Look on your hard drive and estimate how much space these files take up which will help you determine the best method to move them over

2.  Be Spic and Span! - before you do a backup, run antivirus and antimalware software
There is no point in taking infected files with you!  Run antivirus and anti malware software as your next step

3.  Stop!  Before you move a thing, do a full backup of everything first!
  • There are many ways to do this and you need to decide what options work best for you needs.  We suggest the following:
    • External hard drive or thumb drive:  An external hard drive is a great way to create a back up of all of your information and then place a copy onto your new computer or device
    • Forgetful at Back ups?  Consider back up services in the cloud
    • Old and new are the same?  
      • Some companies, like Dell, offer a transfer cable that you can purchase.  The cable connects the new and the old computer like a small network so you can move files over.
      • Migration programs:
        • For Mac Users, the Apple store will do the transfer for you!  But, if you want to do this yourself, you have a few options to choose from.  Apple has the cloud but it also has a program called the “Migration Assistant” that will help you move your PC to a Mac or a Mac to Mac; or if you have Mac to Mac, you can use the “Home Sharing” option; and you also have the “Transferring purchases” option for anything you previously bought through the online Apple store.
        • Windows users have an option called the “Easy Transfer” program.
    • Small set of files?  If it is just a small amount of information that you want to move over, you could email it to yourself and then download those emails on your new computer

4.  Move over those important files. 
  • Make sure you do a full back up of all files, even if you are not sure that you need them anymore
  • Use your new device for at least 2 weeks to make sure you did not forget something!  
  • Once your new computer or device is up and running, remember to make regular back ups

Word of the week:   Photobombing.  
When a person, animal or object rushes into a photo frame unexpectedly before the picture is taken.  Or when a clever photoshop artists adds something unexpected to the picture)


Microsoft transfer instructions can be found at:

Apple transfer options and instructions:
Apple store genius bar process: 
Migration assistant for Mac to Mac:
Migrating a Windows PC to a Mac: 

If you do not already use a back up service in the cloud and are wondering how to pick a service that’s right for you, Computerworld did a recent price and feature review.  This article shows their top 5 favorites: 

External hard drive back up:  For those small jobs, a thumb drive or even CDs might do the trick.  If you need a lot of storage space consider purchasing a 1 Terabyte or 2 Terabyte external drive.  An example of one of these is the Rugged Lacie drive.  These are great to have around for your daily, weekly, and monthly back ups!

Samples of Photobombing:


Webnotes by: Theresa Payton, Fortalice, LLC. Content also covered on WBTV's "Protecting Your Cyberturf" segment featuring Theresa Payton and Kristen Miranda.

Cyber Monday, it’s one of the most popular shopping days of the year for consumers, retailers and cybercriminals!  This year ICE and Global law enforcement conducted Project Cyber Monday 3.  This was their sting operation to shut down 132 web sites selling counterfeit goods.

ICE, which is the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's group within the Department of Homeland Security sent agents undercover online.  How did they find the cybercriminals?  By shopping just as if they were you and me!  They bought stuff from pro sports teams and the latest name brands that are popular this season.

They confirmed with the stores that sell the real deal that they were fakes and then shut down the domain names.  But cyber expert, Theresa Payton, says it’s no time to let your guard down!

1.  Stick to names you know and type them in yourself; don’t navigate to them from links in emails, ads, or searches
2.  Pay attention to how the items look online vs. at other retail stores
3.  Use your credit card for the best level of consumer protection
4.  Use a website safety checker to validate the site

1.  The site is a name you have not heard of before
2.  The site looks “official” but it’s a variation on a big name like “” 
3.  The site asks for a lot of personal information before you even make a purchase
4.  Mis spellings and bad grammar
5.  Poor quality graphics or pictures of the items on the website

1.  Contact the FBI’s internet crime center at: 
2.  Contact the Federal Trade Commission at: 

WORD OF THE WEEK:  NotInMyBackyard Diggity.  This is a free tool (only available for machines running Microsoft) that will scour the web to alert you to sensitive information that’s wide open on the web for all to see.  Businesses and consumers can use it to check across sites such as PasteBin, YouTube, Twitter, Dropbox, Microsoft SkyDrive, and Google Docs.  It can look for names or specific files.  

FBI’s internet crime center: 
Federal Trade Commission: 

Tutorial on NotInMyBackyard Diggity:

Norton’s Safe Web checker:

Trend Micro Site checker:

McAfee Site checker:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How to Dispute Your Credit Report Online

Webnotes taken by: Theresa Payton, Fortalice, LLC. Content taken from actual consumer question submitted to America Now, for which Theresa serves as a cyber expert. 

Question:  If I want to dispute a couple of things on my credit report, how can I do it online?

Many people do not realize that you have rights that allow you to dispute credit report errors.  You can do some of the legwork online but you may also need to make a few phone calls and / or even send a letter for more complex issues.

Everyone's credit report contains critical information about where you live now, where you used to live, and tells people if you pay your bills on time.  It may even include an arrest record.  If you have previously filed for bankruptcy, that will definitely follow you on your credit report.

The important fact to note is that the credit report must be 100% accurate.  You are protected under the Federal act called the "Fair Credit Reporting Act" or FCRA.

Step 1:
Order a free report.  Go to

Step 2:
Look for and correct errors online.

The FCRA states that both the credit card company and the credit report agency must fix any inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. 

You can change address information and some minor inconsistencies.  If you are trying to remove a late payment history or dispute a bankruptcy or other financial judgments, this will require an extra step offline.  Each credit reporting company has it's own form and it's own process so you will need to dispute an item on every site.  

You will need to go separately to each site to file a dispute:

You will need to detail in a written letter, the information you think is inaccurate. Include copies of any document that supports the change you are requesting.  Make sure you keep a copy of all correspondence both online and offline for your records.

A great resource for understanding your rights to an accurate credit report and how to fix your credit is at the Federal Trade Commission's site.  Go to "Building a Better Credit Report" at

If you still have issues, you can go to the Federal Trade Commission and seek their assistance.  Go to or you can call them toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP .

They even provide a video, "How to File a Complaint' at .

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Q&A: Password Pointers!

Question: I have a password for work access, another one to log into my bank account, then a different password for email, and the list goes on and on.  When I create a "strong" password, I can never remember it. Do you have some tips?

Answer:  Yes!  A great way to create a strong password that you can remember is to use a phrase that represents how you feel when you log onto that website.  Translate the first letter of each word into a letter or number. Have fun with it!

Example: email keeps me in touch with loved ones
Ekmitw<31s        Note:  <3 is a heart

Question: What if I just can't keep all these passwords straight?  Is it okay to write them down, or store them on my computer or phone, or to use a password vault service?

Answer:  This is a personal preference. Here is some feedback on some of the most common options:

Writing them down:  If you need to write them down, don't completely spell out what every password matches back to for your accounts. Also, don't store your password book near the computer. Lock it in a safe when you are not using it. 

Electronic file:  Do not put them in an electronic file that you store on your computer or on your phone.  Even if you "hide" the file by calling it something else,  that is a lot like locking the door and leaving the key under the mat, you might be okay or someone might find it.  

Password vaults:  For some individuals,  you may decide you would like to use a password vault. We have tested several but some of the best ones were really meant for techies and are not easy to use. However, a few options are on the market that might work for you. As with every service, ask the provider questions:  how do you protect me?  If there is a breach, how soon will you notify me and what method (a letter, phone, email or all of the above)?  If you go out of business, where does that leave me?

There are many packages to choose from and you should read the features and reviews before picking one that is right for you.  To get you started, some options that you might want to explore are:
Norton identity safe (free), last pass (free for basic version),  dashlane (free), Trend Micro DirectPass, RoboForm, and MyLOK .

Monday, November 12, 2012

Be wary of this recent scam!!

BADABING! Bad-a app!

Webnotes by: Theresa Payton, Fortalice, LLC. Content also covered on WBTV's "Protecting Your Cyberturf" segment featuring Kristen Miranda and Theresa Payton.
We all knew it was just a matter of time.  An app to surf all the posts on Facebook and highlight inappropriate photos.  Well, there is an app for that and the bad news is, there will probably be copycats coming soon.  The good news is, it actually doesn’t work all that well yet.  

There are over 2.5 billion photos uploaded to Facebook each month.  So many photos, so little time.  So if you want to see your friends scantily clad, then for only $1.99, Badabing! promises that it will search your Facebook friends’ photos and send you the sexy snaphots that it finds.  Some can get it to work and when they do, the results are shocking.  Many have expressed that the app does not work and they want their money back.  But there’s a bigger issue at work here and cyber expert, Theresa Payton, explains.

A study was just released by the Internet Watch Foundation and what did it find?

1.  Large number of provocative photos posted by underage social network users
2.  Even worse, these photos are frequently taken off of social networks and posted on adult websites
--they sampled 12,224 images tracked by the United Kingdom-based foundation and 88% of the inappropriate photos were actually reposted on porn websites.
3.  Concern:  this is just another app to encourage kids to post and surf the net for racy photos.  Worse, it provides easier aggregation and surfing of racy photos for predators and perverts.

Fusker is an app or site that will quickly look for images and pull them together in one easy view.  These are often used against free hosted photo galleries like photobucket or instagram.  This can be a helpful tool but can also be used to search for racy photos that people thought they posted in a private, secure way.

For more information on the Internet Watch Foundation study and resources:

There is a “share with care” video that may help you have a conversation with your child.  The video is at:

An online safety game called “stop that post” can also be a fun way to talk about this tough topic with your kids: