Wifi a Problem?

Most broadband issues start because the connection isn’t fast enough nor reliable. If you are experiencing issues the first thing to dry is to run a cable from your computer to the router and disable wireless on your computer. If that makes the problem go away then you know that the issue is your WiFi signal, if not you need to look closer at your Broadband. In most cases it is not feasible to leave a cable constantly plugged into the machine but the WiFi can be worked on.

Assuming that the speed of your line is sufficient there are a few things to consider. One is the router itself. Most people stick with the same router for years even though they have switched provider or contract as they don’t want the hassle of changing passwords etc. Every time you upgrade it is worth upgrading to the latest router so you are benefitting from the latest Technology including WiFi 6 (as long as your tech supports it).

A solution that many people go for are extenders but these tend to take an already weak signal and just repeat it. The best solution is a mesh router solution. If you can then there is actually no substitute to having an ethernet plugged in direct to your router you will get a much better connection.

If you have tried all the above and nothing has helped then a line upgrade may be the ultimate solution. The cost of this depends on the provider you go with but don’t forget you will have a monthly fee as well as the installation fee.

Password protecting files

Sometimes it is important to password your files whether it is because there is sensitive information in them that you need to email or because you want to save them securely on your computer. There are a number of ways to do this.

One way is to zip the files using software such as 7-zip or winzip this gives you the option upon zipping to encrypt the files with a password. Not only does it reduce the size of the files it also securely protects them. The only way to unzip the files is to use the password. It is therefore important that you make a note of this password. If you are sharing the files with other people then make sure the password is sent separately and ideally by a different method.

If you are using Microsoft Office products you can password protect the document within the software this can be to open the file and also to allow the user to edit it. This means that someone can open the file but not make any edits to it without knowing the password to be able to edit the document.

Always make sure that the password is a strong and not easy to guess and don’t share with anyone unless absolutely necessary. Also when storing passwords make sure they are secure and not easy for people to access.

Using Tik Tok

It has been more than 3 years since Tik Tok was launched and became popular with Tweens and Tweens. It has been downloaded over 1 billion times and is owned by Chinese company Bytedance.

It is not only a place for lip-syncing 14-year olds but you can also find comedians, athletes and major brands such as Coca-cola, Nike and Google running adverts on there.

To be honest I don’t even understand it. It combines elements of Spotify, Snapchat, Vine and Twitch.

Getting Started

The first thing you will need is a pair of headphones. the only way to enjoy TikTok is with sound. Once you download the app you can immediately start browsing videos. But if you want to post yourself you will need to sign up for an account.

You can make an account using your email, phone number, or a third party platform such as Facebook. The app will automatically assign you a username.

Once signed in you can change your username in the by hitting the edit profile button. Here you can also add a bio, picture and profile video.

By default TikTok accounts are public, meaning that anyone can see your profile and videos. If children are using this then you may want to adjust the privacy settings but taping on the three dots in the top right of the profile.

Navigating

The app is divided into two main feeds. The default is for you, an algorithm generated stream of videos, swipe left and you’ll find other, following which shows videos from people that you are following.

How to recover deleted files

Have you accidentally deleted a file from your computer and had that heart stopping moment? Here we give you advice on how to find that file that has disappeared from where it should be.

Look in the recycle bin

Double click on the Recycle Bin or trashcan and you will be able to see everything that’s inside. You can then simply drag it back onto your desktop. If it’s not in there then hopefully you are regularly taking backups of your computer and files.

Using File History

If you are running Windows 10 select the Start Button, Select Settings > Update & Security > Backup > Add a drive and then choose and external drive or network location for you backups.

Restore that important file or folder

  1. Type Restore files in the search box on the taskbar, and then select Restore from your files with File History
  2. Look for the file you need, then use the arrows to see all its versions.
  3. When you find the version you want, select Restore to save it in it’s original location. To save it to a different place, press and hold (or right-click) Restore, select Restore to, and then choose a new location.

No Backups?

If you don’t have any backups and the file isn’t in your trash then you might want to use one of the may file recovery apps our there, either a free one or a commercial app like Piriform Recuva, or Stellar Data Recovery.

Another option is Disk Drill which was originally designed for Mac but is now also available for Windows.

Also check if you have it saved on a cloud based service such as Dropbox, iCloud or OneDrive

Connecting a Laptop to a TV

The easiest way to connect your laptop to your TV is to use a cable. Most laptops over the past 5 years have been built with HDMI ports. The HDMI port looks like a longer thinner version of a USB port. Most HDMI cables are relatively cheap and the port on your TV should be easy to find.

You will need to set your TV for HDMI input and then your laptop should automatically configure to provide the best settings. If it doesn’t automatically configure then on your desktop right click your mouse and go to Display settings > Display > Adjust resolution ( you can also access this from control panel). Select the the TV in the drop down box that appears. It is advised to use the recommended version but you can change the settings to suit your needs.

Older laptop

On a laptop that doesn’t have an HDMI port you may need to use a VGA one. This only provides video output so if you need audio as well you will need a separate cable (3.5mm lead) that plugs into you laptops headphone port.

If your TV does not accept HDMI then you will need to get an adapter to go on the end of the VGA cable.

Streaming

Another way to connect your laptop to a TV is using a dedicated media stream such as Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick or Apple’s TV.

You plug the dongle into the HDMI port on your TV and it will act as transmitter that connects to your laptop or other device.

Spilt liquid on your computer?

Liquid spills are the cause of most laptop repairs. Below is the Top 10 list of liquids that get spilt and what you should do if your laptop succumbs to a quick wash.

Number 1 – we recommend you drink your coffee black and with no sugar as this means that there will be less corrosion should it get spilt over your keyboard.

10 – Nail polish remover: It can easily coat you laptops internal logic board, faster than you can change the toenails that you are painting

9 – Bodily fluids: I’m not going to go into details on this one

8 – Spirts: anything from Vodka through to brandy and cocktails. The more sugar in your drink the worse the corrosion is going to be on your logic board

(TIP: If your drink comes with an umbrella the worse the damage is going to be so keep your cocktail drinking away from your computer)

7 – Tea: The tannic acid in tea is a good conductor that will bridge circuits, create shorts and burn out components

6 – Sea water: This is a brilliant conductor and one of the most corrosive liquids known. Don’t take your laptop to the beach please leave it at home.

5 – Beer: The good news is that if your drink Corona or something similar it will do less damage to your laptop then other types of beer.

4 – Wine: The ingredients in the wine act as a corrosive soup and a circuit shorter. If you are going to have a glass of wine whilst working please keep it on another table away from your laptop.

(TIP: If you want to drink wine whilst surfing the internet please choose white instead of red it will do a little bit less damage should you knock it over)

3 – Fizzy drinks: All that sugar and dissolved CO2 is highly corrosive which is why it is so good at cleaning rust off bicycle wheel rims.

2 – Water: Ironically to clean liquid damage we submerge logic boards in distilled water. Tap or bottled water contains minerals which make it conductive and cause the corrosion. Distilled water doesn’t conduct electricity.

1 – Coffee: The most common killer of laptops!

What to do if you spill liquid on your laptop?

Shutdown and unplug your computer also remove the battery if possible.

DO NOT try and put it in a bag of rice it will make things worse. It prolongs the circuit boards contact with the corrosive liquid and makes the damage worse, plus we would then have to start picking bits of rice out.

Bring it to us immediately so that we can start the process of cleaning the liquid away.

Mental Health Awareness Week

Most of you will have seen previous posts from me regarding mental health and know that I am not one to shy away from the subject.

This Mental Health Awareness week I wanted to talk about how lockdown has affected me and like most people my depression has got worse and significantly so.

I am very lucky just as lockdown started I was allocated a therapist by my NHS trust after being on the waiting list for 6 months and not being one that usually gets on with counselling I was sceptical to say the least but we get on and it is actually helping. Going from once a fortnight counselling sessions to once a week because she realised I needed it.

Why do I think I have been affected so much because I can’t go out. I’m one of those in the shielding category so my four walls are my home at the moment. I’m one of those people that is usually at networking at least once a week, at the gym everyday, nipping here and there so being stuck indoors is not something I am used to. But one thing it has done is bring me closer to my friends we have all opened up about how we are struggling and have talked to each other. Now is the time to #bekind and reach out to those people who are usually outgoing and check that they are ok.

Coronavirus Tracking App

In the new world that we are living in the majority of the population will be downloading the new NHS Coronavirus tracking app. But how do you feel about downloading it?

I’ve heard people say that they feel that it is becoming a big brother state, that they will become anxious if they get an alert that someone they have been near reports coronavirus symptoms on the app.

The contact-matching process happens on a UK-based server rather than on an individuals smartphone which makes it more secure to a certain extent. However, with iPhones there is an issue with Bluetooth which means that if an app is running off-screen and in the background the use of bluetooth is limited.

How do you feel personally about downloading the app?


Microsoft Teams GiF Flaw

A security problem within Microsoft Teams meant that cyber-attacks could have been initiated by people sending funny Gif images but don’t worry this has now been fixed by Microsoft.

Like most chat apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, Teams allows colleagues to send Gifs to each other.

However, researchers discovered a problem that meant viewing a Gif sent by colleague could allow hackers to comprise an account and steal data.

This security hole has now been patched my Microsoft so you can safely send your colleague that funny image.

All the user had to do was view the Gif for the hacker to be able to steal a users data from their account.

If left unfixed this could have left companies exposed to widespread data theft, ransomware attacks and corporate espionage.

Microsoft Teams has seen huge growth over the past month as more employees are working from home and need to collaborate with each other.

Phishing Emails

The number of phishing emails has dramatically increased since the Coronavirus outbreak. With criminals trying to trick users into revealing personal data.

Google have said that they are blocking more than 100 million phishing emails a day and almost a fifth of them were specifically related to the coronavirus.

The virus may be the biggest phishing topic ever with emails purporting to be from people such as WHO and the Government. The emails are trying to persuade victims to download software, donate to bogus software and claim tax refunds.

Google is blocking 99.9% of these emails from reaching the end user.

It is not just scam emails that are being sent. People are also receiving fake text messages trying to get their personal information.

One malicious Android App claims to help track the spread of the virus, but instead infects the phone with ransomware and demands payment to restore the device.

PLEASE BE EXTRA VIGILANT

  • If you get an email or text message that you are unsure of delete it, DO NOT click on any links or download any apps that you are unsure.
  • Should your phone or computer become infected with a virus run an antivirus scan and malware scan immediately and contact us for further advice
  • DO NOT pay any ransom to reestablish use of your device
  • If you provide personal details including bank account details contact your bank and action fraud immediately to report this.

Should you need any further advice then please contact us


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