Friday, May 31, 2013

I Should Have Known....Back Up Your iPad!

I received this email from a friend today:

"Just in case you haven't backed up your iPad or iPhone lately, here's my experience.

Last week my "contacts" inexplicably went kerflooey.  Suddenly, I had 692 contacts, most of them with first name only or last name only or email only.  It was a mess.  Since I was backing up to ICloud, each time I opened the next device or iTunes, those corrupted files exploded onto that platform.

Yesterday I spent about 3 hr. on the phone with an Apple Sr. Tech Advisor.  Eventually, we got to the dreaded point of having to do a Restore from backup.  I had assumed that restoring to the Cloud would work, but since my Cloud was corrupted, we had to go back to what I had backed up on my computer--9 months ago.  So after making my IPad look like it did last September, I spent another 8 hrs. or so getting everything back in order.

Bottom line, use the Cloud if you want, but manually back up to your computer once a month. Connect your device to your computer and open iTunes, click on the device icon, go to summary tab, choose back up to my computer.  I wish I had!"

So, for those of you who are also depending on iCloud, here is how you back up to your computer monthly:

1. Turn on your computer and open iTunes. Check to see that your iTunes is updated if you haven't done this in awhile....

2. Detach the AC Power from your power cord, plug the USB end in to your computer, and the other end into your iPad.

3. Make sure your iPad is on, and it should show up in the left side bar of iTunes (From iTunes menu, choose View, then Show Sidebar):

4. Click on your iPad in the sidebar and you will see some options. On the left in the main screen, you have the opportunity to manually do a back up to your computer.

5. Choose "Manually Back Up Now".

From this same screen, you can also choose to sync your iPad to this computer over wifi.
If you choose that option, you will not have to plug in again. It will back up to the computer when you are on the same wifi network (i.e. your home network) unless you change the settings back to iCloud. 

6. After you are sure you have done a back up to your computer, you can change your settings to back up over iCloud again. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

I Didn't Just Fall Off a Turnip Truck. Really. I Should Not Have Fallen For It.

So, I have been selling things on Craigslist, and more recently I have chosen to use Amazon for several reasons:

The Scammers are alive and well on Craigslist. When I listed my camera for sale. I immediately got three texts..... very definitely recognizable as Scammers. Craigslist even warns you specifically not to ship things or to accept Cashier Checks or Money Orders from them. So I know that. I didn't just fall off a turnip truck. I have given presentations on Internet Security.

How was I so easily fooled on Amazon? Amazon is really secure and safe. In fact, there is a place in the settings where you can say, "Shipping only within the United States".  Like I told you before, I have successfully sold items on Amazon.

So, last night we are heading out to dinner with friends. I get an email which looks like an inquiry from a potential buyer through Amazon. He asks, "Send Pictures". He gives me his personal Yahoo email.
I don't think much of it. I sent him pictures. To his Yahoo email.

This morning I get an email which looks like the real thing telling me my item has been sold, Amazon has the payment, and I should ship my camera.

To an address in Lagos, Nigeria.

My stomach started to hurt. What had I done?  The good news is I still had my camera!

Well, I called Amazon Seller Central Customer Service. He showed me that the email was a scam, and reminded me I had it in my settings not to ship outside of the U.S. Also, he patiently walked me through several ways that I could check to see if, indeed, the item had been sold.

It was later that I realized my mistake. Rather than replying through Amazon to the potential buyer, I had fallen for his scam to get me to reply to his email, hence, opening the door to his fraudulent email. Both Craigslist and Amazon have a conduit in place to allow communication without revealing your identity.

I learned my lesson, and I will continue to sell on Amazon, and I hope you will give it a try as well, but always be careful.

Want to Sell Your Used Electronic Stuff?

Last year I discovered Amazon Seller's Account.  I have an iPhone, and so I never use my Garmin GPS anymore. I went on Amazon to get an idea of the value of my GPS, and I saw a link that said, "Have one to sell?"

This opened up a whole world to me for selling electronic items no longer of use to me. For instance:

  • iPhone means I no longer need my GPS or my Garmin Forerunner.
  • Newer Macbook Pro means I no longer need my perfectly good older one.
  • Bluetooth in my car means I no longer need my Motorola Bluetooth earpiece.
  • Ipad means I no longer use my Kindle

I could go on.

I was able to easily open a seller's account on Amazon and begin selling these items. Some other items I have been able to sell include memory no longer being used, cameras that have since been replaced and other computer and camera peripherals. It is really easy to do. Amazon does all the work for you, but you have to ship it. Amazon takes all the guess work out of the transaction. Some nice things that Amazon does:

  • Walks you through the item description
  • Tells you the lowest price that someone is selling it for
  • Maintains your privacy
  • Collects a shipping amount for you
I have sold everything I have listed on Amazon except one item.  And, I just listed my Canon Camera body and lenses, because I got a new camera for my birthday.  

Anything you need to watch out for? YES! I will deal with that in my next post.