Social Media SIG
Answers by Jessica Scott
Facebook email messages
Q: When I get messages in Outlook that say someone posted something on my wall, the screen goes blank if I click on the link.
A: Even in a case like this, it's best not to click on an email link, which might be a fake link that will take you to a site you don't want to visit because it will fill your computer with malware. Go to Facebook and sign in as you normally would. You'll be able to see whatever has been posted on your wall.
Michael Shalkey: Understand that it's fairly easy to make a phony site look legitimate. Grabbing the graphics, test and design of a Web site is not difficult.
From the audience: Many recent emails look like they've come from an office printer.
A: Michael Shalkey: Whatever it looks like, the goal of the senders is to get you to go somewhere you'd never want to go. I have a client who lost money immediately to a site in the Ukraine because she got a message on her machine that said it was infected with all kinds of malware that could be removed with the program that put the message on her screen. She clicked on the message, ordered the software and provided a credit card number. Just as she pressed the Send button, she thought better of it and immediately called her credit card company, only to be told that the money had already been taken and the credit card company had no partners in the Ukraine to try to recover it.
The fact that the window dims when you try to close it means you might already be infected with something. Do a backup now.
Q: Doesn't Windows 7 do backups automatically to protect you from losing your data in such cases?
A: Michael Shalkey: No. You have to set it up. If you buy a computer from Ventura County Computers, we might have set it up for you if you had two internal hard drives, but otherwise you have to set up the backup through Windows or some other program. To do that in Windows, go to Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Backup and Restore. Backing up to a separate partition on the same drive is not really a backup because if the drives, you could not recover the information.
Michael Shalkey: You might have noticed a change in the Google search page in the past few months. There's a black bar at the top that lists, Web, Images, Videos, Maps, News, Gmail, More and, if you have a Google+ account, an item on the far left that says +You. Clicking on that takes you to your Google+ login page. On that page, the contents of the bar change to +You, Gmail, Calendar, Documents, Photos, Sites, Web and More.
Google+ is free and is similar to Facebook but with a different user interface and fewer games. It lets you establish circles for people, but they don't know what circle they're in. Typical circles might be friends, workers, business, members of specific clubs, and so on. You have complete freedom on what circles you establish and who is in them. Users can also follow individuals and see their posts. For instance, I follow some HR photographers, who put their cameras on tripods, take three pictures - one at the normal f-stop, one at one stop above that, and one at one stop below the normal f-stop - and then merge them to get effects that are almost three-dimensional.
Google+, Facebook differences
Q: What's the difference between Facebook and Google+?
A: Michael Shalkey: Primarily the user interface. Many people moving from Facebook to Google+ are doing so because they decided that they had really messed up Facebook after a certain period of time and wanted to start over.
Facebook also said at the start that everything on Facebook would be private and then kept revising the rules. Google+, on the other hand, started out by saying everything is public, and people seemed more comfortable to expect that going in. For example, I post my pictures on Google+ because I want everyone to see them. Google+ is more casual on purpose.
Jessica Scott: If you sign up on Google+ you automatically get a Gmail account.
Michael Shalkey: Google+ also has Hangouts, which allows multiple connections for online meetings with sound and video. A few weeks ago, Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama had a Hangout for anyone interested. If you search for Google+ hangouts and various iterations of that search, you'll find lists of hangouts and help files on how to use them.
After trying several Hangouts that had no occupants, Jessica found one with a man in Spain who spoke limited English but carried on Spanish conversations with two CIPCUG members who spoke Spanish.
Q: Does the number of people in a Hangout affect the bandwidth I need?
A: It affects the bandwidth us4ed by the Google servers, but not your individual bandwidth. The number of people on your own network will affect the speed you get, of course.
Q: Are Hangouts available on mobile phones?
A: I'm not sure.