Alexander: Secure photo sharing for day care users

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 21, 2014 - 5:30 PM

Q: Because I’ve had problems with Google’s Picasa service, I need to find an easier, more reliable way to privately share photos with my day care’s client families. … The service does not need to be free.

Michael Kauper, Minneapolis

A: I suggest you set up an account through Dropbox, which lets you store up to 2 gigabytes of data for free (you must pay for more storage).

Once you download the Dropbox program to your PC, create an online file folder for each child’s photos. To create a link to a folder, right-click it and choose “Share Dropbox link.” Create an e-mail to that child’s parents and “paste” the link into it.

By clicking on the link, the parents will be able to see only the photos in that folder (they don’t need the Dropbox software). You can also arrange it so that all the parents can see all the children (one folder for all children).

Q: A recent Star Tribune article (see tinyurl.com/ogrg7ms) said that that National Security Agency (NSA) hacked computers in other countries by planting miniature wireless circuit boards that transmit data via radio. … NSA said it doesn’t use these devices domestically, but should I be afraid?

Chuck Behling, Coon Rapids

A: It’s difficult to know what to be afraid of when the government routinely spies on our Internet and telephone communications. But I doubt that it would it be cost-effective for the government to plant an advanced radio transmitter on all of our PCs. Most of us aren’t that important to the government.

Q: I have an iPad, an iPod Touch, a Nook e-reader and a Samsung camera, each with its own charger. The chargers are similar but have slightly different electrical output. Can I use the same charger for all these devices? And, when traveling abroad, do I need a transformer or just a plug adapter to charge the devices?

Lorenzo Freccia, The Villages, Fla.

A: These devices operate on minimal electrical current, so even a small difference in output from a charger could have serious consequences. While the iPad and iPod Touch can share charger cords and wall plugs, the other gadgets should be used with their own chargers. Outside the United States, use a transformer (or converter) to adjust the local current and plug adapters for the local electrical outlets.

E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander@gmail.com or write to Tech Q&A, 425 ­Portland Av. S., ­Minneapolis, MN 55488. Include name, city and telephone number.

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