The Central Midwest District UUA merged in 2013 with the Districts of Heartland and Prairie Star to form the MidAmerica Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
This site is for archival information only. For the latest events and news, please go to MidAmericaUUA.org.

CMwD Blogs


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Find District Churches on Facebook

We currently have 52 links to our District congregations' Facebook pages. If you don't see yours listed, send us the link and we'll be glad to make it one of our FAVORITES!

If you're not a Facebook user, you can still see many of the congregation pages. Here is another copy of the LINKS.

-- Gretchen

Moderate Your Facebook Pages

A trend I'm noticing more lately is inappropriate entries showing up on congregations' Facebook pages. Some are junk ads, some are evangelistic "graffiti" on Walls and Discussion Groups. Simple moral of story for Facebook admins is: watch your page or group and delete any entries that are unrelated to the purpose of your page/group.

You can set it so that no one can post but admins. When you click "Edit Page" under the main photo on the top left, it opens up a list that includes places you can restrict who can post links or wall posts.

As a website designer/administrator, my bias, especially for non-profit organizations, is to have a dedicated website that contains no ads or comments. I realize the attraction of networking via systems like Facebook, however, and just remind you to stay vigilant. Especially since the only good filters available are your own eyes and the access settings.


#1 handy tip for living in an electronic age: pay attention


Is It Real or...

What to do with all those e-mails that come in looking like they're about something important -- like your bank account or e-mail account? These days we're all busy and I know it's difficult to take the time to check on things first. But it pays to pay attention! Ask yourself some questions, like "Is it real? How do I know?"

1. If it's not your bank, that's obvious. Delete!

2. Otherwise, is there an address and phone number?

2. If there is, can you check them out by doing an internet search? Do they match what you know?

3. If those are real, are the links in the e-mail real? Hover over one with your mouse and see if the tooltip message that pops up matches the text in the e-mail. For example, if it says "yourbank.com," does the web address that pops up say something more like "yourbank.someplace-else.com"?

4. Call your bank or service provider. Odds are that they either know about it or will appreciate knowing there is a scam circulating with their name on it. Sometimes giving them a heads-up them will help them alert others.

5. If it's a deal, and it's too good (or too weird) to believe, it probably is. Delete!

6. Read all the words!

Here's the FBI's electronic scam blog: http://www.fbi.gov/cyberinvest/escams.htm





Sp*mmers and Sc*mmers

Just when you thought it was safe to go out on the web...

This week I almost got taken in by one of those scams. They keep thinking up new stuff! This one looked relatively legit. Starts out like this:

Dear Sir/Madam...I'm sorry to disturb you so abrupt. We are a domain name registration service company in Asia, On 26th May. we received a formal application submitted by Mr. John Wang who wanted to use the keyword "*****" to register the Internet Brand and with suffix such as .cn /.com.cn /.net.cn/.hk/.asia/ domain names.

After our initial examination, we found that these domain names to be applied for registration  are same as your  domain name and trademark. We aren't sure whether you have any relation with him. Because these domain names would produce possible dispute, now we have hold down his registration, but if we do not get your company's an reply in the next 5 working days, we will approve his application...

There was a first name, an address in Chiina and an e-mail address and website that looked "real." Just to be on the safe side I did a search for the website and discovered a) that domain name had expired, and b) several references to this scam and similar ones.

Since I manage several websites, my e-mail address is "out there" so perhaps this scam won't be as likely to hit you unless you're a webweaver. But...

I'm glad I followed my own advice and looked before I clicked. In addition, I researched the unknowns.

More words of wisdom: don't panic. If you get some kind of e-mail that pushes your panic button, that may be your first clue that it's spam, scam or just plain junk. Delete! Delete! Delete!



Practice Safe Computing

Greetings, friends!
gretchen-da2010Recently a message was posted to one of our e-mail lists. The subject line was simply a name, and the e-mail contained only a link. This is a common form of malware -- something intended to get into your computer. We've seen a few of these lately, and that reminded us to pass along our recommendations for practicing safe computing, or "look before you click."

1. Don't ever EVER open an attachment or click on a link if it doesn't look "right." Pay attention. For example, the ones we've seen recently look like it came from someone on the list (it did) but you likely don't know the name in the subject line, you aren't expecting a link to be sent to you, there is no other message, and the link is something odd and that you never heard of. (Extra tech tip: generally you can "hover over" a link and a "tooltip" will appear showing you whether the link actually even matches the text you can read.)

2. When in doubt, call the person who sent it. If they didn't knowingly send it, it could be their computer has been infected with a program that sent out similar messages to everyone in their address book. Sometimes these will show up in their "Sent" box.

3. If it is YOUR account that has been hacked, most emai providers recommend that first and foremost, you change your password immediately. Make sure it is a "strong" password -- that is, it doens't contain any recognizable words, your name, address or pet's name, has a combination of numbers and upper and lower case letters (some systems will also accept other characters such as & or $). There may be additional steps you will need to take to make sure your account is again secure.

Read more ...