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Boulder Computer Maven Newsletter - June 2011

Dear Friends,

This is my customer newsletter, containing information that I hope will help you use your computer more enjoyably, safely, and efficiently. Previous newsletters are available on the newsletters page of the Boulder Computer Maven web site.

This month's topics were suggested by the winners of the Suggest a Newsletter Topic, Win a Prize! contest that I announced in my March 2011 newsletter. I'd like to thank them and everyone else who submitted suggestions:

If you change your E-mail address, please send me your new one. If you don't want to receive this newsletter, let me know, and I'll remove your name from my mailing list.

If you have questions or comments or want to schedule an appointment, please call me at 303-444-8247.

Best Wishes,
Steve Winograd

Helping People Use Computers in Boulder for Over 25 Years

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How Safe Is Cloud Storage?

A cloud storage service lets you store your personal data files (like documents, pictures, and music) online. You can access your files from any computer that's connected to the Internet, and you can even share selected files with friends and family.

Cloud storage companies typically store your files on multiple computers in multiple locations and encrypt the contents to protect them from unauthorized access. However, there are risks:

To protect against those risks, I recommend:

How to Back Up Your Web Mail Account

Web mail accounts like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, Comcast SmartZone, and AOL mail are another type of cloud storage. To protect against losing your messages if your web mail service has a problem, I recommend that you back up your web mail account in one of these ways:

If you've created an address book or contacts list, you can use your web mail service's Export feature to copy it to a file on your computer.

Alternatives to Buying Microsoft Office

Many of you use Microsoft Office programs like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to create and edit documents and presentations. But Office is expensive, with list prices starting at $149.95 for the Home and Student 2010 version. If you're buying a new computer, consider these free alternatives to buying Microsoft Office: