Free Password Protection for PDF’s

Posted by Janet Riley on Dec 8, 2017 in Newsletter

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. ~Dalai Lama

I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the out pouring of love and words of encouragement that my readers sent my way after Mom’s passing. Thank you!! November was a busy month. Besides the normal rush of getting ready for the holidays, I also had the additional tasks of taking care of Mom’s final expenses. There was a lot of communication going back and forth between myself and my siblings. Some of the communication included death certificates and bank statements. Call me paranoid, but I don’t like to send financial information thru email. It just seems so insecure. So my inquiring mind asked: How can I put a password on this PDF?

Then my inquiring mind asked Google. What I found was amazingly simple and FREE. How cool is that? So, Merry Christmas! I thought I would share.

First step is to put your information into a PDF format. There are two basic ways to do this. If you are creating the document from scratch via any Microsoft Product, you simply choose to save as PDF and Wah-lah, You’re done! And since you chose to create the information in a Microsoft Product, it is simple to add a password. In later versions of Word, I would open the View Ribbon, Click on Properties, Chose Protect Document and then click on Encrypt with Password. Problem solved.

It’s a little bit harder to take bank statements or other existing documents and convert them to PDF. For this you need a scanner. Most printers come with the ability to copy and scan. Hopefully, you already have that piece of equipment. If not, then you will need to race out and buy one, or rent one. The scanner will save your documents as PDF. Once you have the document in PDF format you will need a third party utility to add a password. If you have a subscription to Adobe Acrobat, then you are covered. Password protecting documents is included. If you are like me, and don’t want to pay a subscription for a feature that I will use twice a year, then you will appreciate this gem: PDFMate Free PDF Merger found at: Once there, click on the Free Download, and follow instructions to install. The user agreement states they have the right to recommend 3rd party utilities to you. Watch for those optional installs as you click thru the install screens. My install did not suggest additional software, but that doesn’t mean you will have the same experience.

Once installed, #1. Click the Add Files button in the upper left, and then double click the PDF document to password protect.  #2.   At the bottom of the screen, Choose the LayOut size (normally letter), choose if you want 1 to 1 conversion (1IN1) 2 pages reduced to 1 page (2IN1) or 4 pages saved as 1 page (4IN1).  #3. Check the box beside “Open Password” and add the password in the blank box to the right. If you want to give them rights to print the file then you will also need to put a check mark in the Permission Password box , and a check mark in the Printing Allowed Box. Boom, You’re Done! Only problem is remembering the password assigned.

Hope you find this useful. A Merry Christmas to All, and to All a Good Night!


Because it Made Me Laugh:


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Things I Learned From My Mother

Posted by Janet Riley on Nov 2, 2017 in Newsletter

Mom, aka Elva Dirksen

Can’t Never Did Anything!! ~ Mom

Mom would have been 92 this month and while she had been ailing for months, it was a surprise when we got the call saying she had passed. Neal and I had just visited her less than 12 hours earlier.

This month, I want to share my mom with you. Mom was a trooper. She was a fighter. She never gave up. She caught tuberculous when she was 18 and spent several years in a sanitarium. When she walked out of the sanitarium, a doctor told her he hadn’t expected her to live and also suggested she not have children. She married, and over the course of 19 years, gave birth to four. I like to believe I’m special (since I’m here and I wasn’t supposed to be). Please don’t try to convince me otherwise.

When faced with hard tasks, mom would encourage us by saying “Kent never did anything!” Kent is my baby brother. It was infuriating to hear Kent never did anything. Like I didn’t already know that? Kent had mastered the disappearing act when chores needed to be done.   I was in my twenty’s before I figured out she was saying “CAN’T” never did anything! She was correct (in both instances) . If you think you Can’t you Won’t! You’ve already lost the battle. If you think you Can, there’s a good chance you Will.

Mom taught us if a job was worth doing, you might as well save the time and do it right the first time. Doing the job twice is wasteful and inefficient.

Mom taught us to expect the unexpected. One hot summer day, my sister was washing dishes and I was drying. Mom was outside the kitchen window watering her rose bushes. I don’t remember who thought it was a good idea to spray mom with the kitchen sink sprayer, I will assume it’s Ann’s fault because I’m really too sweet to think of dastardly things on my own. I do remember thinking we would be safe because we were inside. I was confused! Mom drenched us with the garden hose.

Mom taught us to work hard, pray harder, and leave the rest to God.   My family and I would like to say THANK YOU to those who have been covering us with prayers. We feel the love. And interestingly, this video came through my email today. I’m pretty certain my mom could have been a Navy Seal.

How To Get Through A Tough Day


AS always, if you need someone to work hard or pray harder for you or your business, give us a call. We would love to help.

~ Janet

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People are Your Top Security Risk-Get Help Now

Posted by Janet Riley on Oct 16, 2017 in Newsletter

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. ~Amelia Earhart

Definitions, compliments of Wikipedia:
Malware, short for malicious software, is an umbrella term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software, including computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, scareware, and other malicious programs. Malware is defined by its malicious intent, acting against the requirements of the computer user.

Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and, indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons, by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.
Phishing is typically carried out by email spoofing or instant messaging, and it often directs users to enter personal information at a fake website, the look and feel of which are identical to the legitimate one and the only difference is the URL of the website in concern.

An advanced persistent threat is a set of stealthy and continuous computer hacking processes, often orchestrated by a person or persons targeting a specific entity. An APT usually targets either private organizations, states or both for business or political motives. APT processes require a high degree of covertness over a long period of time. The “advanced” process signifies sophisticated techniques using malware to exploit vulnerabilities in systems. The “persistent” process suggests that an external command and control system is continuously monitoring and extracting data from a specific target. The “threat” process indicates human involvement in orchestrating the attack.
APT usually refers to a group, such as a government, with both the capability and the intent to target, persistently and effectively, a specific entity. The term is commonly used to refer to cyber threats, in particular that of Internet-enabled espionage using a variety of intelligence gathering techniques to access sensitive information, but applies equally to other threats such as that of traditional espionage or attacks. The purpose of these attacks is to place custom malicious code on one or multiple computers for specific tasks and to remain undetected for the longest possible period.

Cisco’s 2016 Annual Security Report states: Attacks are Increasing
The frequency, types, and severity of cyberattacks are continuing to rise. The top reported threats include:
* Malware (68 percent)
* Phishing (54 percent)
* Advanced persistent threats (43 percent)

Verizon’s 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report states: Bad Guys Are More Devious Than Ever
* 89 percent of breaches are motivated by financial gain or espionage
* 89 percent of threat actors are organized crime syndicates
* 9 percent are political actors
The top three data targets are: Credentials, Trade secrets, Banking data

Mandiant Consulting reports: Your People Are Your Top Security Risk
* 30 percent of phishing messages are opened by the target.
Assets (Laptops, Cell Phones, Tablets) are lost over 100 times more frequently than they are stolen.

Got Concerns? We Have Answers! Give us a Call Today!

Old News but it still makes me laugh:
Horses watch the Eclipse

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How to Shop for a Computer

Posted by Janet Riley on Sep 6, 2017 in Newsletter

Life is about using the whole box of crayons.

There’s something about September that makes me want new things. Maybe it has something to do with school starting, and years of shopping for new school clothes and supplies. If computers are on your list of things to buy, we would love to help. Call or stop “buy” soon.




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The only way to do great work is to love what you do. ~Steve Jobs

Posted by Janet Riley on Aug 7, 2017 in Newsletter

It’s good to be back in God’s country. I just spent five days traveling to and from Las Vegas for a trade show. I am fairly certain air conditioning is mans greatest invention! I’m also fairly certain my brain has been boiled, my creative processes have all died, I can’t think of anything new or entertaining to write about. So I’m going to cheat. Here are some fun facts from days gone by:

1948: At Manchester University, the world’s first stored-program electronic digital computer successfully executed its first program. It was called the Small-Scale Experimental Machine, but nicknamed “The Baby”.

1979: The first Sony Walkman, the TPS-L2, goes on sale in Japan. The portable, personal cassette player goes on to sell 200 million cumulative units and Janet Graduates from Marshfield!

1981: IBM introduces its Personal Computer (PC), known as the IBM Model 5150. IBM’s first PC ran with a 4.77 MHz Intel 8088 microprocessor and used Microsoft’s MS-DOS operating system.

1983: Microsoft introduces Windows, which featured pull-down menus, tiled windows, mouse support and more. Also the year Janet graduates from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and dual minors in Computer Science and Behavioral Science.

1993: Directors of CERN release the source code of World Wide Web into the public domain, making it freely available to anyone, without licensing fees.

2000: In only six hours, the “ILOVEYOU” computer virus spreads around the world to over 2.5 million personal computers running Windows.

2001: Apple unveils first iPod for $399. The 5 GB digital music player could store 1,000 songs on its hard drive.

2001: Wikipedia, the free Wiki content encyclopedia, goes online. At the end of year one there were 19,700 articles. As of August 2, there are 5,453,475 articles in the English Wikipedia.

2005: Video sharing site YouTube launches. There are now over four billion video views every day.

2007: Google enters the cell phone market by introducing the Android platform, based on a modified version of the Linux operating system.

2012: Stock value of Apple, Inc. surpasses $500 billion.

2015: Apple, Inc. is the first company to reach a stock value of $700 billion.

2016: Only 20 Fortune 500 companies actually engage with their customers on Facebook, while 83% have a presence on Twitter.

2016: Stock value of Apple, Inc. returns to $523 billion.

2017: Comp-U-Talk celebrates 33 years of providing computer support to Coos County Businesses and residents. We love what we do. We hope it shows. We have one request: If you appreciate us, please keep us in business and tell your friends. If not, please tell us, so we can make it right.

Enjoy the dog days of summer and surf safe.


Because it made me laugh!

cats in order

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Cyber War-Your Worst Nightmare

Posted by Janet Riley on Jul 6, 2017 in Newsletter

your files are encryptedQuestion?: I heard about a virus going around wiping out computers-is this anything I need to worry about?

Answer: YES!!

This question, or some version of it, lands in my in box every week. This past month, the WannaCry Ransomware, made lots of companies cry. And just a few days ago, a variant, Petya, joined the barrage. It was just a matter of hours before NotPetya emerged. The really bad news: NotPetya is consider cyber war. Even the author of Petya doesn’t want to take credit for this attack. This attack doesn’t seem to care about money. It just encrypts your data and throws away the key. It’s sole intent is to cripple.

So how do you protect yourself?

Keeping your system updated is critical. Besides updating Windows, you also need to keep current with your anti-virus software, malware detection software and all utility software.

Making regular backups is a must.

I like to have backups on-site and off-site. When bad things happen, it’s nice to have the speed and ease of an on-site backup. But there are no guarantees the next version of Malware won’t wipe out your local backup. After all, if it is attached to the infected computer then it can become compromised just as easily as the system itself. To protect against that, I also send backups offsite. People will fuss about the added expense saying, “It just doesn’t seem necessary”, or “I can’t afford it”. But you need to change your thinking: Off-site backups are like fire insurance or car insurance. You buy it. You never intend to use it. But if you have ever experienced a house fire or a car collision, you know how thankful you were to have it. Even with a large deductible, it was still a blessing.

So what makes offsite backups different? A quality backup, will include versioning, keeping two or more copies of the same file. This is critical. No one wants the heart ache of discovering their system is encrypted and the backup software replaced good files with encrypted files. That would make you WannaCry!

Cost of infection is always more than just the ransom you pay. There is also the cost of lost production. PLUS the added expense of Anti-Anxiety Meds!

Worried about your antivirus? We recommend Avira. You can purchase on line for $45, or take advantage of our dealer special for $35/each.

Need a quality backup plan with versioning? We can get you started for as little as $20/month.

Want someone to keep tabs on your software patches? Whether you want it done annually, quarterly or monthly, we’ve got you covered. We also offer an affordable monitoring service that will report back anytime something looks suspicious.

If any of these ideas make you tingle, give us a call. It is much more pleasant to prevent chaos than to reverse chaos. And as the above quote says: Survival is not mandatory!!


 On a more pleasant note and because I eat kale and coconut oil and this made me laugh!

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