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Tip of the Week


According to a 2012 Pew Internet & American Life Project survey, 58 percent of American adults have a desktop computer and 61 percent have a laptop. With all that computer power out there, it's important to understand how to protect your at-home PC. Here are common mistakes that can affect computer speed and safety, from the experts at USTechSupport:


Mistake: Enjoying “free” software and movies from your buddy.


Downloading pirated software is not only illegal; it can cause significant damage to your computer. The “free” software and media your buddy gave you can do more harm than good to your computer because it may be riddled with malicious viruses and malware, making your PC susceptible to attack. Remember, it's better to buy than borrow when it comes to software and media.


Mistake: Clicking on enticing pop-ups.


Pop-ups caught your attention? Think before you click. Pop-ups that offer free goods, deals on products and even conversation with beautiful people can be alluring. But do you know where that click will take you? Clicking on suspicious pop-ups can lead you down a rabbit-hole of even more unwanted pop-ups and spam. Take the time to research the subject yourself, rather than clicking on the first questionable advertisement.


Mistake: Leaving multiple files open.


You're an expert at multitasking, meaning you need to constantly access many files. But leaving multiple files open in different applications can put a significant strain in your system. Try to keep only necessary resources active and see how much faster your machine responds.


Mistake: Responding to an email with an “incredible opportunity.”


Everyone has received them - that email investment opportunity that seems too good to ignore. The reality is, many scammers prey on trusting individuals or those who are enticed by get-rich-quick schemes. These scammers may even complete an initial transaction, only to later wipe out all your accounts. Never provide personal information, including banking information or your Social Security number, to anyone over email.


Mistake: Visiting adult websites.


“Triple X” can also mean triple the issues. Some sites harbor more than just adult material, they can create a domino-effect of pop-ups, forcing your PC to a grinding halt as it deals with the incoming viruses that drain the system's resources. Avoiding suspicious sites is part of keeping your computer running at its best.


- ARA


BBB Watch


The BBB offers these tips to consumers when purchasing athletic equipment:


- Avoid products that claim to focus on one certain area. Some products claim that they can burn off belly fat or tone legs. Be skeptical of these types of work out items. Experts advise only with a consistent routine that works the whole body can results be achieved.


- Buy what you will use. While the "newest and trendiest" work out machine may seem like a necessity, if it is not practical for everyday use, it is probably not worth the investment. Make sure that buying decisions fit with your personal daily routines and help you reach the results you want.


- Read the fine print. It is important to do the math when looking into purchasing workout equipment. What does "three easy payments" really add up to, or be aware of deadlines when trying a "free trial month". Also, look for hidden fees that may not be included in the cost like shipping and handling or restocking fees.


- Don't be fooled by the fit models in the advertisements. Be aware that the "satisfied" customer in the advertisement may be a result of the product in conjunction with a good exercise routine and healthy eating habits. The before and after results may not be proof that the item works.    


- Check every business with the BBB. Research the company that you are purchasing from and make sure that other customers were happy with their product. Look for the BBB Accredited Business seal on both Web sites and only purchase with businesses that have a good rating with BBB.


For more consumer tips, visit www.bbb.org.


The List


According to The Street, here are the best retirement cities in America:


Spokane, Wash.


Bend, Ore.


San Antonio


Pittsburgh


Asheville, N.C.


Charleston, S.C.


Omaha, Neb.


Fargo, N.D.


Gainesville, Fla.


Traverse City, Mich.


Number to Know


$696.82: The price of Apple stock the week that the company announced the new iPhone.


Tech Talk


Amazon.com recently began collecting sales tax in California, making it the eighth state to force the online retailer to charge sales tax. Amazon will collect sales tax in six other states by 2013.


GateHouse News Service