Doug Rutherford

Virtual Village columnist Doug Rutherford teaches computer networking and security for Yukon College and three post-secondary educational institutions in British Columbia.

A Painting a Day

The Coronavirus lockdown and physical distancing has led us to trying to find activities to keep ourselves busy. The stress and uncertainty have played havoc with the mental health of most of us. A friend, who is a professional artist, attacked this problem and challenged herself to paint a small (4×6 or 5×7) watercolour each …

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The Internet is Forever

It’s natural that you have some complaints about your boss, co-workers, or customers. No job is perfect and we are only human. However, how you express your feelings may prove to be a problem, not only in your present job, but also your chances of getting another in the future. While social media may be …

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It must be true – I saw it on the Internet

One of the conveniences of the internet is that it allows anyone to be a publisher; this is also one of its biggest problems. Before the internet, there was usually a filter between you and outrageous claims. However, in many cases that filter no longer exists and people are still learning to take internet assertions …

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Virtual Village: Virtual Village: Facebook is “Like Farming”

Did you ever wonder what’s behind those math questions on Facebook? You know, the ones that “most people will get wrong.” Or what about those count-the-triangles picture games, which apparently most of us get wrong too? What do they have in common with recipes, iPad giveaways, and eye test puzzles? Most of these posts are …

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Buying and Selling Online

I’m back after a bit of a vacation and a bout of pneumonia, but I’m ready to sell you on some safety tips for online classified ads. One of the earliest features of the web was the introduction of classified ad services, such as eBay, CraigsList, and local services such as Borealist. These offer a …

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Virtual Village: The Support Crunch

Some colleges and universities have closed or scaled down their information technology programs. In the Yukon, for example, we went from having a full, stand-alone, two-year diploma to a collaborative program where the teaching is shared through four colleges.

Virtual Village: Identity Theft

A statistical trend that receives little appreciation is that crime rates in Canada have been declining steadily for more than 20 years. There are exceptions, however. Identity theft has become more prevalent. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, there were just over 17,000 victims in 2012, with losses of about $16-million. I’m going to write …

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Virtual Village: How Secure are Tablets?

Tablets are on the rise. They are touch-screen based devices that are smaller, more portable and more convenient than a desktop computer. The first commercially released tablets were introduced by Microsoft about ten years ago but were not well received. However, in 2010, Apple introduced the iPad and the market grew markedly. These were smaller, …

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Virtual Village: How Safe is Online Shopping?

Since the inception of e-commerce about 15 years ago, there have been many myths regarding its safety. Online shopping and banking are extremely useful, particularly when you live in a remote location. But, how safe is it? The short answer is that there are some risks. However, these are smaller than many people think. For …

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