We occasionally get the chance to write stuff about computers!

Computer tips and helpful info.

Viruses, malware and random bogus phone calls from supposed technical support departments from various utility companies including Microsoft technical support!

What should you do during a phone call when they say “I need remote access to your computer as you have a problem?

Hang up even if you think it’s from a valid utility company including Microsoft they will never phone you!

Be wary, in most cases it’s a random coincidence that you may have upgraded your broadband or changed your internet provider perhaps the computer is just not performing as it should, these remote scammers are very convincing they can lead you to believe there’s a problem to allow them access to your computer.

“I can fix the problem but it’s going to cost you ££££!”

During a scam call most users will realise what’s happening then hang up while the scammers are remotely logged onto their computer unplugging it or switching off the broadband router, some scammers will call you back being very threatening and abusive, we have seen instances where they can lock your computer with an encrypted password making it permanently inaccessible!

Never give out your passwords, bank details, personal information don't keep any logon details or passwords on your computer desktop. If you have been drawn in by a phone fraudster contact your bank explaining what’s happened in most cases they will assure you everything will be ok, if you have passed on credit card details or passwords the bank will cancel these for you.

I frequently get asked what’s the best plan of action as most feel violated after an incident, change your passwords to something totally secure also different from your current passwords, get your computer checked and scanned to make sure they have not left anything on the computer during their remote session to allow access at a later date.

If you have succumb to a phone fraudster give us a call we can check your computer for vulnerabilities to put your mind at rest.

Need help with virus or malware removal please give me a call.

Do you know your passwords? Most responses we get are “I cant remember them”.

Why are passwords so difficult to remember?

The main reason when prompted to created a password it has to be a word or a phrase at least 8 characters long it also has to contain a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters including numbers, that’s going to be difficult to remember unless the word or numbers mean anything to you.

A majority of passwords are thought up instantly when prompted then not written down your just never going to remember them!

When creating passwords use a word that is easy to remember that means something to you that no one would guess then add a 4 digit year, it could be any year there are thousands of them also take a bit of time to think of a great password.

Can I use the same password for everything? The answer is no, use one password for banking, one for emails then create a general password for everything else preferably have three memorable passwords then write them down in a book or diary, do not put them in notepad then save them on your computer desktop labeled passwords! I’ve seen this a lot over the years this is not a good idea.

Another tip is put a letter in front or the end of each password I:E B for Banking, E for Email and G for General this will help make it easier for you to remember what passwords you used for which sites as the rules don't state theres is a minimum amount of characters to use the more letters and numbers make the passwords more secure.

Don’t use words in your password like your dog’s name, surname or just use the word password and never give anyone your passwords no matter how well you know them!

Need help with passwords please give me a call.

Email, what a great communication tool.

You can send an email to another country in seconds many years ago it could have taken weeks for a letter to arrive!

Microsoft released Outlook Express V1.0 in 1996 allowing users to easily send and receive emails phasing this out with the introduction of Windows Vista in 2006 with a new look Windows Mail program, Windows 7 released in 2009 had no mail program and Microsoft quickly introduced Windows Live Mail part of the Live Essentials package in 2009 finishing in 2012.

Windows 8 released in August 2012 saw the return of the cumbersome mail app with limited functionality, Windows 10 has a beefed up version of the Windows 8 mail app but this app is very much tied to a Microsoft account, the people and calendar apps are cloud based but you can’t create groups within the people app!

It’s the end of Windows Live Mail! Microsoft are upgrading the backbone of outlook.com for a better user experience, this will leave users out in the cold connecting to their system if your using any version of Windows Live Mail as they are no longer supporting this mail program!

What choices do you have? You can use webmail this has a basic interface sometimes plagued with adverts but for some this can be a cumbersome exercise navigating around the system, an email program is much easier to use, with an email program you can easily file emails, create address books and create groups much more simply than if your using webmail.

There are many email programs on the internet that you can download such as Mailbird, Foxmail, Opera Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird etc… these are free programs and easily configured just by entering your email address and password and the program will do the rest, modern mail programs also come with spam filters filtering out unsolicited mail but remember to check the spam folders frequently!

Do you need help configuring your mail program including transferring emails and address book?

Need help with email please give me a call.

One question we frequently get asked “What is the difference between inkjet and laser printers”.

There are various types of manufactured printers including inkjet, laser and wax.

Inkjet printers can be expensive to run, ink is applied to the paper and need to be used on a regular basis or the heads can dry out, problems can arise especially with Epson and Canon printers as the print head is integrated into the printer, when changing the cartridges you are only replacing the ink tank, Canon printers have a replaceable head but can cost as much as the printer to replace, HP cartridges have a combined replaceable ink tank and print head everything gets replaced when changing the cartridge.

Laser printers use powder known as toner this gives a much better print this will not smudge if you spill water on the print like an ink jet printed document, the toner is heated up and etched onto the paper the print looks sharper, these printers are directed toward the professional trade, toners and consumables can be expensive to replace.

Xerox wax printers produce in my opinion the best print and use coloured wax blocks, these printers are designed to be left on as they need to warm up quickly to heat the wax that is then applied to the paper, these are also directed toward the professional trade also expensive to run.

Most modern printers are WIFI compatible these can be situated anywhere provided they are within a close proximity to your internet router, if you have an iPad you will need a modern WIFI printer and compatible modem to be able to print, other tablets will need an app installed to be able to print and scan.

One tip I can give is leave your printer in standby mode, every time you switch it off and on it will go through a cleaning a cycle this will use ink!

Need help setting up a new printer, give me a call.

For more details please phone New Milton 01425 627767 Mobile 07876 207636

Registered Office: 11, Aspen Place, New Milton, Hampshire, BH25 6NX.

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