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Welcome to the Pittsburgh Tech Guy!  Your local source for good, dependable technical support and information!  Keep up with the latest Tech news here!

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Tuesday
Feb052019

Download Video from Amazon Prime Video

Select movies and videos streaming on Amazon's Prime Video—available via Amazon Prime for $119 a year or separately for $12.99 per month—can be downloaded to a phone or tablet running iOS, Android, or Amazon's Fire OS. Note that you have to be the paying member to download; it doesn't work for Amazon Household members.

You'll see a download button () on eligible videos in the Prime Video app on either iOS or Android. For an eligible TV show, you can download the whole season, or click next to an individual episode.

Amazon Video downloads

When a download is complete, a Downloads button will appear in the app on iOS. Tap that to access all your downloaded videos. On Android, tap the hamburger menu () to find them.

If storage is an issue, on iOS go to Settings () > Streaming & Downloading > Download Quality and select Good, Better, or Best, which are described by how much space an hour of video uses up (Best is 1 hour using 0.9GB of data and storage on iOS or 0.46GB on Android).

On Android, go to > Settings > Stream & Download > Download Quality. Android users get a Data Saver setting for really small, low-res versions. If you want to change it with each download, set it to "Always Ask" and you'll get a pop-up with each click of the . Set it to only download on Wi-Fi to spare your carrier or your phone data charges.

Amazon Prime Video - download options

As far as availability, there are limits, but you'll find most Prime Originals and anything Amazon distributed easy to grab. Add-ons from premium channels like Showtime and Starz do not allow downloads (sorry, American Gods fans).

Of course, Amazon is more than willing to rent or sell you individual movies and shows that are not streaming on Prime. Apple iOS users will have to buy or rent on Amazon.com via a browser and then return to the app to watch (that way, Amazon does not have to give Apple a cut of the purchase price). Note that Amazon usually displays the HD version, which can be more expensive and take up more space than SD. Click "More Purchase Options" for SD. Tap Library () on iOS to find purchases. On Android, use > Video Library.

Tuesday
Feb052019

Download Video from Netflix

You can't download the entire Netflix catalog to view offline, but you can have your fill of Netflix Originals. To find something, tap the Downloads icon () on the bottom of your screen > Find Something/More to Download.

If you already have something in mind, go to a movie or show listing and look for under the description. If it's a TV show, scroll down and look for the next to the individual episode(s) you want. Tap it and your selection will download to your device; when you want to want to watch later, again hit the Downloads () button on the main screen.

Netflix Downloading

On Android devices, the interface is similar but lacks a dedicated Downloads icon. You'll find My Downloads under the hamburger menu (). This is where you can start playback, but also selectively delete downloads. Click the pencil icon () at top, select individual movies or TV episodes, and trash them.

If storage is a concern, set Netflix on Android to Standard Video quality, which downloads faster and uses less space. Tap the hamburger menu () > App Settings > Download Video Quality > Standard.

Netflix for Android - App Settings

In App Settings, also set the Netflix app to only download over Wi-Fi, activate "Smart Downloads" so the app grabs the next episode when you finish one, check internal storage to see how much space you have left and how much is currently used by Netflix videos, delete all downloads at once, and best of all, set the Download Location: if you have external storage options like an SD card, you can tell Netflix to send downloads there. Playback is limited to the device that downloaded it; the app essentially puts DRM on the file, locking it to the device where that app that downloaded it resides. Thus, you can't swap cards with friends or even your own devices (like a PC).

Tuesday
Feb052019

Are Your Passwords Secure? Google's Password Checkup Knows

Google is attempting to make Chrome users more secure with the release of a new extension that automatically checks to see if the passwords you are using are safe. It's called Password Checkup and it launched today.

It doesn't matter how strong a password is, if the account your are protecting suffers a data breach it could end up in the hands of hackers. Keeping track of which data breaches affect you is difficult, and it's why password managers started getting popular and offering to automatically update passwords for you on a regular basis. A good example of that is LastPass.

Now Google is making Chrome users more secure if they take the time to install a new, free extension called Password Checkup. Once installed, it will check every time you sign in to an account using a username and password. If the password used appears on any data breach lists the user will receive an alert urging them to reset the password. If the same password is used for other accounts then an alert will be sent for those, too.

Google is making it very clear that using Password Checkup does not share any identifying information about users, their accounts, passwords, or devices. The only information shared is anonymous and regarding the number of lookups that return an unsafe set of credentials. In other words, there's no real downside to installing the extension and helping protect your online accounts.

Thursday
Jan242019

Can you spot a Phishing Attack? Take the test and find out!

Phishing attacks, which aim to trick you into handing over your personal information by masquerading as someone you know, are prevalent and effective. How susceptible are you to falling victim to one? A new quiz from Jigsaw, a company under Google's parent Alphabet, can help you find out.

"Identifying phishing can be harder than you think," the Jigsaw team wrote.

The quiz presents you with eight example emails, and you have to determine whether they're phishing attacks or legitimate. One example message looks like an email from Google informing you that someone has your password.

"Google stopped this sign-in attempt," the email reads. "You should change your password immediately."

The message appears legitimate, but here's the issue: Hovering over the "change password" link indicates it points to a subdomain of "ml-security.org," not Google.

"This is almost identical to an attack used to successfully hack politicians' emails," Jigsaw wrote. "Always be sure to check URLs carefully."

The quiz also warns people to be wary of messages from unknown senders, PDFs you're not expecting, and more. "Be cautious about hyperlinks and attachments you open from emails—they may direct you to fraudulent websites where you're asked to input sensitive information," Jigsaw recommends.

To take the quiz for yourself, head here.

In December, Amnesty International warned that a mysterious hacking group defeated the SMS-based two-factor authentication systems offered by Google and Yahoo to phish upwards of 1,000 people. The phishing attacks targeted journalists and activists based in the Middle East and North Africa through phony emails and login pages.

Meanwhile, that same month, word spread that a group of hackers linked to the Chinese military managed to breach both the European Union's communication network and the United Nations with the help of email-based phishing attacks.

Wednesday
Jan232019

The iPhone SE is available on Apple’s online Clearance Products store

 Apple’s iPhone SE disappeared from the iPhone lineup last fall, when the company introduced the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. But as MacRumors pointed out initially, the SE reappeared on Apple’s site in the company’s Clearance Products store this past weekend, and it quickly sold out. MacRumors points out again that the SE is back in the Clearance store, so grab one while it's hot.

You can’t find the iPhone SE at the retail Apple Store, though you may be able to find one at a carrier store. If you’ve wanted one but had no luck through the methods above, now’s your chance. Since it’s on clearance, stock on these phones is limited.

Apple is selling unlocked 32GB and 128GB versions of the iPhone SE in Gold, Rose Gold, Space Gray, and Silver. As of late Wednesday, the 128GB models are sold out. Here’s a list of what’s available as of this writing.

The iPhone SE has a 4-inch LCD, which is smaller than the displays you'll find in Apple's current lineup. Some people prefer those smaller screens, and some people prefer the smaller prices that go with them. In fact, the clearance prices are well under the original $349 (32GB) and $449 (128GB) prices.

Wednesday
Jan232019

How to hide and password protect photos on iOS

Apple consistently makes improvements to its camera app every year. New features are added and the Photos app gets a boost to incorporate them. The improvements never go beyond what’s needed to view photos and perform basic edits. Your camera roll isn’t really sophisticated even though iOS itself is. If you want to hide photos on iOS, you can but anyone who has access to your phone can unhide and view them. Real security would be to password protect photos instead of just putting them in an album literally named ‘Hidden’.

The Photos app doesn’t let you add a password to photos but the Notes app allows you to create password protected notes, and a note can include an image. You can use a password locked note in the Notes app to hide sensitive photos.  Click here for the full artcile on Addictivetips.com

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