What would happen on a trip if you were to lose your passport, credit cards, driver's license, etc? I find it to be a good idea to scan all except the credit cards and then save it as a word file using Microsoft Word (MS Word). As for the credit cards, I make a list of that using MS Excel. I have the name of the card in one column and the card number in another column. You can also do a list in MS Word. Using MS Excel is a personal preference.
In saving these files I make sure to password protect them. Since the method to password protect a file differs by program used and version of that program you need to go to the help section to determine how to password protect the file. I then email the file to myself. What I am doing here is adding an extra layer of security to information that if it fell into the wrong hands would make me more susceptible to identity theft. One would need to know both my email password as well as the password I am using to protect the respective files that contain this sensitive data. I would suggest making the passwords for your email and files different.
One does not have to limit to just credit cards, passport and drivers license. Scanning current drug prescriptions you are using and saving them to a word type file is another good idea where you have a copy of the prescription. This way if you were to lose the prescription drugs you had packed, you should have an easier time refilling it. You can also put the numbers of your travelers checks in a file as well. I also keep my phonebook in my Google contacts list so should I need a number I can get it wherever I have an internet connection which would include my smartphone.
Doing all of these is not a magic bullet should you have a loss. It will however make it easier to travel and in the case of a passport get a replacement more easily in the event of losing any important documents. I would also suggest that you avoid using an unsecured public wireless network to obtain any of this. If you have a smartphone, you can likely access this information using it. That said another way to store your files is if you are using a syncing program likeDropbox or Sugarsync. You can log onto the one you are using to access the information in question. I will suggest here that you do not save this information on the hard drive of any computers you may be travelling with. Better that it is in the cloud where the data and you are not in the same place. Also should your computer get lost or stolen, you can still access it from another computer. If anyone is interested in opening a Dropbox account let me know before setting up your account. I will send you an invite to join Dropbox and both of us will get an extra 250mb of free storage. A win/win for both of us. Note: as I mentioned in my blog last week, you cannot upload or save a password protected file in Google Docs.
Hopefully you will never need to access these files in an emergency. However, having them in an emergency can make your life easier when it occurs.
There are times when that appliance, home entertainment unit, or computer does not start and panic will start to set in. It is basic but sometimes the issue can be resolved by simply checking to see that the appliance is connected to an outlet or if the outlet is controlled by a light switch checking to see that the switch is in the on position.
So the next time that appliance fails to start, don’t panic. Check to see that it is plugged in. If that light switch is turned on, plug something else into the outlet. You may be surprised at how much time you saved by not panicking where the issue is not the appliance but rather the connection and a whole lot of troubleshooting is not necessary and you’re able to go as you normally would in no time.
When many people first got a personal email account it was an America Online (AOL) one. Their browser was user friendly and the easy to navigate AOL features that were user friendly. We remember the old AOL CDs that were mailed out and in stores all over. There was the monthly subscription fee which enabled access to a dial up connection and all the other AOL features.
Today having an AOL email address is free. That is one of the changes that AOL has made over the years. Another change is they are no longer known as America Online but rather the initials AOL.
Like Gmail discussed in a previous blog, attachments are limited to 25mb. AOL however does have unlimited storage. There also is a filter for incoming emails that allows you to handle them in the manner you choose depending on the criteria that is set. You still have the option of playing a sound when new mail arrives. Some of us may remember "You've Got Mail" when there was a new message in your inbox. Well when you sign into your AOL account using the AOL browser, you still get that message when you have new email.
One of the better features of AOL mail is when replying to someone else's email you have the ability to highlight any text from the stream that you want to remain in your email that you are preparing, then click the "Reply" button. It will then automatically list the highlighted text, with a header on it in your email. You also have the ability to block email from specific addresses you specify. This filter can also be set to allow email from specific addresses as well.
I am not too comfortable with the interface of the Contacts List. For starters there is nowhere to input a website address. The contacts do not open quickly as well. The contacts can be found easily in AOL mail on the left hand side. When using the AOL browser it is not as easy. If you are not familiar using the AOL browser you may forget that it is in the "Mail" menu under "Address Book".
There is also no automatic save feature like there is when using Gmail. You need to click on "Save Draft" otherwise you could lose the email you are preparing should your computer freeze or another issue arises.
There are those who may like AOL with their own browser. It is not for everyone but those who have been using it for many years may feel comfortable with its familiarity.