Friday, April 26, 2013

Blocking Websites With Avast! Antivirus

You Need An Antivirus Solution

It is important to be safe online. There are so many viruses, malware, spyware, and websites that are quite frankly - very inappropriate - which means we have a need for an antivirus solution to help protect against those things.

Avast! Antivirus is one such solution. OH - and by the way - IT IS FREE! There are premium versions available for commercial use but for all you home users out there - just say "Bye, Bye" to all those yearly antivirus subscriptions.

Block Individual Websites

The view of a blocked page
For those of you using Avast! - here is a little tip you may not have known about.

You can block certain websites through your Avast! Antivirus program. How cool is that?

  • Are Dad's regular visits to Best draining the account?
  • Is Mom about to overdose on purchases?
  • Want to prevent the kids (and anyone else) from visiting an inappropriate website?

A Note About https://

It should be made clear that Avast! will not block any secure sites in this manner. To be clear, then, consider the following... would be blocked. would not be blocked.

There are some cases where you would want to block both. If you have any of these - you may want to consider implementing a filtering solution such as OpenDNS for your home.

Here is the video on how to set up the blocking.

Have an awesome day and stay safe online!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Entrance Animations in PowerPoint

I was recently asked by someone how to make your content visible one thing at a time and one click at a time using PowerPoint.

Controlling the appearance of your content during a presentation can be extremely useful when working to keep the attention of your audience. This tutorial shows how to apply animations to the various pieces of content that you have on a slide so that they come in with each click.

The less fun way, of course is to create a whole new slide for each piece of content. NAH!

One tip, though - In my example I use a variety of the different animations on one slide (and lots of them) - I would caution against this in a real presentation. Maintaining some consistency without overusing the animations can help to keep your presentation a bit more professional. In short - while fun, try not to go overboard on this stuff.

Have an awesome day!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Creating Hotspots With PowerPoint

Have you ever needed to create a PowerPoint? It is a pretty popular program in schools for creating presentations as part of your assignments.

This tutorial will provide you a technique of creating hotspots which are specific areas, typically on an image, that are made clickable. It is not a step by step because the steps can vary slightly based on the version of PowerPoint you are using. Nonetheless, this technique can be useful and can even be applied to other presentation software.

How have you used hotspots before? Are there some ways you can think of using them in your own presentations? I would love to hear some more ideas.

Have an awesome day!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Set Up Service Blocks on Verizon Phones

This one is for all of the parents out there who have Verizon cellphones for their children. Did you know that you have the ability to block certain services on their phones? This can be useful from both a safety and a disciplinary standpoint. It could even save you some money!

Let's take a look at how to get there.

First you will need to have an account setup with Verizon and have some credentials to login to their website. I will let you take care of that part on your own. I will guide you from there.

Here is the screen after you first login.
After you log in - you should see a list of your phones. In my case, there are four. The two smartphones are for my wife and I while the two basic phones are for our two oldest children. These are the phones that need to have some blockage put on them.

From this page - click on 'View Plan'. It should be on the lower left as highlighted in the picture above.

Find the section marked 'Service Blocks'
On the resulting page, you should find a category called 'My Services' and a section called 'Service Blocks' within that category.(Scrolling might be necessary) You will need to click on 'Service Blocks' to expand the section. Please note that portions of the image above have been 'ripped away' so you can focus on the important area of the screen somewhere in the middle.

Click 'Manage' to access the settings for Service Blocks
Click on the Manage button.

Make sure the blocks are set up on the right phone!
You should now be on the 'Block and Unblock Service' page. Your phones should display along the top. Please be sure to select the phone that you want to apply settings for. You may find that some of your block options are different depending on the type of phone you have and perhaps what your plan is.

Notice the data and Internet section on the basic phone list.
In my case, I wanted to block any data usage on the basic phones for the kids in order to avoid any unwanted charges. Blocking data, however, can work to protect your children from browsing the Internet with their phone and seeing things you don't want them to see.

As you can see, there are other things that can be blocked as well such as certain types of messaging or all messaging. This could be helpful in enforcing something to be able to turn messaging off on the phones that the kids use. You can also block web purchases.

Just remember that your options could vary based on type of phone and type of plan. Nonetheless, it can be real helpful to know that this ability exists.

Have an awesome day and stay safe online!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Custom Formatted Typing Shortcuts - Word 2013

If you have used Microsoft Word before, you are probably aware that there are several common typing mistakes that Word will correct for you automatically.

Did you know that you can use that same feature to create your own custom shortcuts? Even specially formatted ones? This is really great for those high keystroke counts or special formats with many steps.

Here is an example of how you can set up one of your own.

Please feel free to share how you might use this feature - I would love to hear some more examples.

Have an awesome day!