Desert Sky Computing

Need a Project Completed?

Besides repairing and servicing computers I am also a Graphic Artist. If you need art for your Business Cards, Logos Posters, Flyers or Website. I can provide you with the design you need. Please, email at My prices and the reasons they are so low are explained on my Graphic pricing page.

Graphic Design

Website Design

Digital Photography

About Desert Sky And Me

Who Am I?

The traditional "About" webpage is designed to explain what the website is all about. What the user (you) can expect to see and do on the site. It is also where introduce me. So, let's start there. My Name is Jim Canfield and welcome to “Desert Sky Computing” I am retired after spending more than 50 years in Graphic Arts, Computer IT and as a Corporate Trainer in the Printing Industry. I am excited about helping individuals experience the power of their computer and making them aware of the many opportunities available to them.

In many of my in-home repair jobs, I notice a common trait that users had. That is; they use very little of the power of the computer and consider it a necessary evil to send emails or video conference relatives. Most manage to find their way to several of the SocialMedia sites. Many are intimidated to bank online.

There is so much more out there that I felt it would be a great project to put together a group of supporting articles that would keep the average user safe, and knowledgeable, and offer them way to start enjoying the power at their fingertips.

I believe modern technologies can and should be presented in a non-intimidating way to new users. I also know the incredibly rich diversity of information and services on the World Wide Web as well as other web based applications. The goal is to include ways of using the capabilities of your computer. So let's get started. The first image below is a link to help understand some of the terminology used on this site. As youcome across new words on the site, if they are shown as a link, it will open the terminology page and go to the definition for tht word. Just hit the back button to return where you left off.

It is interesting to note that malicious infections come to us as: Spyware, viruses Bloatware Ransomware, Trojans, Adware,PUPs, Worm rootKits Tracking CookiesCookies With today's Zero-day Exploits, it might appear overwhelming but, as complicated as it may sound, there are basic, easy ways to stay safe.

You Have The Power To Stay Safe

The thing to remember is that in "almost" every case, you the user are the person that invites the infection onto your computer. Hackers know they have limitations. Until recently, it was extremely difficult for them to infect commercial sold software programs or to install malware on hardware you might purchase in a store. Not any more, the only good news is most of that high level intrusions are reserved for banking institutions, hospitals and big software manufacturers,

The most likely malware you will encounter is what is commonly known as phishing. Which leads to the what we are most likely to come across. "Self-Inflected" malicious software.

Malware is such a potential problem we will be covering it in detail. The middle image below will lead you to answers for most issues and right image will cover (phishing) Phishing is used by hackers to throw a line out on the web, or email to see if anyone is willing to bite. It is not as easy to avoid as you might think.

terminology page malware page no phishing

You may access many of the webpages on this site in different ways. For example, the images above, once clicked on, will send you to a page associated with the topic of the graphic. Just hit your back button to return to this page or use the navigation buttons at the top of the screen to wherever you want. If a word is unknown to you, please use the Terminology page to read up on it. Most explanations are short paragraphs to help you understand a topic. Some paragraphs on these pages may be highlighted if I believe it is a new word to most people. Click on it for a definition and then you may return where you left off.

Sharing Some of My Favorite Sites

I do not receive endorsements for the websites, or software shown on this site. These are just examples that I believe represent some of the best software available to users. I do receive a fee for articles that I write for other sites, but this site has no commercials and has three main purposes, to educate users on computer related items and help them solve problems without the cost of hiring a repair person. The second reason is to promote Desert Sky Computing and finally to promote RedBarArt, (The graphic portion of this website.) The images below all contain 9 links. Clicking on the "Read Me First" link will explain each links programs. The first is everything related to reading.  Read online or download a book to your Kindle reader. Read the latest news the way you want to see it with customized news sites. The second link is all about Exploring. From traveling around the globe to viewing it from outer space. Finding some of the worlds most beautiful artworks, both classic and new. The third image is all about music. Sites that offer free music or others that require subscriptions. Just about all will offer you music from Classical, and Rock, to Country Ballads.

magazines links explore the web link music links
       read-me-first           read-me-first            read-me-first

As I mentioned before, the choices are endless. There is however, danger, see my article on The Danger of Attractive Sites which describes the pitfalls that trap many of us. Just remember surfing the internet is no different than any activity, even crossing the street. Follow the rules, stay in the white lines, no problem, no sweat.

Below are tips that can help make you safe.

It is so important that I will repeat the steps to stay safe. They are as easy to practice and they are easy to ignore. I just want to make you aware of some bad habits that can open the door to danger. Not discourage you from exploring the web.

On Your Computer

Your computer may be your last defense against infection. Following these simple rules may help stop Identity Theft or infection.

  • Update any software that communicates with the internet. Programs like Windows, Adobe Reader, Browsers like Edge, Chrome and Firefox are windows to the internet. Read about Internet Programs on the Browsers page.

  • Do not check "Keep Me Signed In" box on your computer, if you are using a mobile device. particularly if you are signed in on another computer like a friend or public computer. While not a major outside threat to an office desktop, please keep in mind minors that might use your computer.
  • Use caution when connecting to a plumbic wireless account. Like, hospitals, cafes, hotels, etc. Once logged in, anyone may have access to your computer.
  • Plugging another person's flash drive, CD or DVD into your computer without checking it for virus first.
  • Don't use one password for all your accounts. I know it is hard but make a file for all your accounts and assign a password to each. Avoid personal data, proper words. Mix your password up with Caps, symbols and letters. It is really hard to beat a good password manager like LastPass or Norton Password Manager. This link will explain how they are used to protect you. Password Managers.

On Web

The web is the highway to every computer connected to it. Please adhere to the following:

  • You are in dangerous areas when you start searching for free, porn, movies, clipart, screen savers, downloadable music or anything your know you are not really going to get for FREE. Even when some of these items are free, they may contain adware or toolbars that are designed for merchants not for you.
  • Remember, search engines with the best reputations do not as a rule, post ads at the top of a search window without notifying you that it is an "Advertisement or Ad". If yours does switch to Bing or Google.
  • I know it is hard but try to avoid searches for celebrity gossip, or any search engines that flash a lot of ads or photos. If you search try to sticking with Google or Bing. They check their sites to help prevent you from the bad stuff. Also consider preventative measures like: Norton Safe Page, Norton Home Page, Norton Safe Search, Edge's Sandbox, VM or Guardio. Safety Extensions.
  • Never click on websites presented to you or enter personal information when requested by websites. Your bank, Microsoft, Apple or private accounts WILL NEVER ASK FOR YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION. NEVER.

On Social Media

Feels like a no brainer but this is one of the most common mistakes from individual users on Social Media.

Keep your personal information to yourself. Don't let people know you are going on vacation, or leaving your house empty. Don't post incriminating photos of yourself or friends. If you world not put it in the local newspaper, don't put it on the web. Consider making your Facebook page and other Social Media Sites, private. Keep your profile private unless you are a business. Hackers, love to see your children's names and birthdays, you dogs name and maiden names online. They use this information to hack your computer if you get lazy and use your daughters birthday as the password, etc.

One More Time!