Recently we told you about a Google quiz from It lets you know whether you’re good at spotting hacking attempts in your email. Even so, we almost fell for one ourselves.

We got an email that seemed to be from AT&T, telling us: “You recently talked with someone at AT&T or told us online you forgot your User ID.” It listed our user ID and links to going paperless, setting up auto-pay, or getting AT&T news. All of that looked exactly like a standard AT&T email. It even listed the correct phone number for AT&T.  We called it up and the rep said the email was a phishing attempt. She warned us not to click on anything.

But it’s safe to right-click a link and paste it into Word. When we did that for each link, they all had a phony address in common:, with a long trail of characters after that. Joy accidentally went to when she just meant to Google it, and it looked like the kind of site a beginner would create 20 years ago. The real AT&T address is

Phone Fun

Here are some fun and useful things to try on your iPhone with its latest operating system, version 12. (Android tips later.)

  • Do notifications drive you crazy? You’re in the middle of something and your phone sounds off to tell you the latest news from Zanzibar? Swipe right on the notification and choose “manage.” Then choose “Deliver quietly.”
  • Can’t remember what the doctor said? That’s OK. He doesn’t remember what you said either. Record it. Tap “voice memo,” and hit the record button. Back it up to your private space on iCloud by going to “Settings” and tapping your name. Then tap “iCloud” and “Voice Memos.” Toggle it to the “on” position.
  • Change Siri’s accent to Irish or South African. Go to “settings,” tap “Siri and Search,” then “Siri Voice,” and choose.

Android users who are bothered by the constant ping of notifications can tap “Settings.” Under “Sound,” choose “Default Notifications.” Then choose “My Sounds,” select “None” and “Save.” That silences them all. If there are apps you want to hear from, go to “Settings,” “Apps & Notifications,” and make adjustments. For example, in “Messages,” tap “Notifications,” then  “Default,” “Advanced,” and “Sound.” We like “Gentle Gong.”

To change the voice of Google Assistant, a free app on your Android phone, tap and hold the Home button on your phone, click the funny symbol on the right, click the three dots in the upper left, choose “Settings,” tap “Assistant” and then “Assistant Voice.” Tap the voice you like best. We chose “British Racing Green.” (By the way: It’s called that because it is the color assigned to cars from Great Britain in international races.)

To make a voice recording on an Android phone, tap the “Keep Notes” app, which is located in the “Create” group. Under “take a note,” tap the microphone and blast away. That note can contain thousands of words. The app does transcripts too. But we also like the free apps “Smart Recorder” and “Otter,” for either Android or iPhone.

Password Check

Recently, we mentioned a website,, which tells you if any of your passwords have been stolen. Unfortunately, if it says yes, you have no idea which one it was or when it happened. Now Google offers a free extension for Chrome users called “Password Check.” It alerts you before you enter a bad password.

Get Password Check free from the Google Chrome webstore. Once installed, every time you sign into a website, you’ll get an alert if a password isn’t OK. So far, all of ours have been fine, despite the warning from HaveIBeenPwned.

Book Me a Ride

Here’s a fast way to find the best deal from Uber or Lyft. Use Google Assistant.

Your Android phone comes with Google Assistant built in, but it can be downloaded for free to iPhones, using the app store. To use the Assistant for Uber or Lyft, say “Hey Google, book me a ride to the airport.” (Or wherever you are going.)

You’ll see an estimate of the price for both services. It might be something like “$7 – $24.” The low end would be for car pooling. Tap the one you want, then tap “open app.” You won’t commit  yourself in the Lyft app until you tap “Select Lyft.” In Uber, you won’t commit until you tap “Request Pool” to share a ride with someone else, or “Confirm UberX,” to go on your own.

Those without smart phones who want to use Uber or Lyft can call “Go Go Grandparent” or visit their website. They’ll call  Uber or Lyft for you, no smart phone required. Their fee averages $2.50 a ride.

Internuts has fun pages from the Readers Digest. This is one of those rare internet addresses with a hyphen, so be sure to put it in. Once you’re on the page, take a look at these:

  • “Funny Town Names.” These include Embarrass, Minnesota, Burnt Corn, Alabama, and Hell, Michigan, to name a few. Embarrass claimed to have had the coldest day in America during the recent Midwest Polar Vortex, but they have no proof. It was so cold, the thermometer broke.
  • “Banned Baby Names.” The name “Robocop” was banned in Mexico. “Ikea” is off limits in Australia. No Chinese parent can use the “@” sign for a name. All of these names were tested in court.
  • For a change of pace, go to and search on “Fun to Imagine.” Nobel-Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman shares his thoughts on the universe.


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