Category Archives: Articles

Phishing – Don’t get caught

Last year the major financial institutions lost billions refunding customers who had suffered financial loss after being tricked into giving out their bank account details to online thieves by using a method known ‘phishing’.I thought that it might be an idea for me to concentrate this week on what to look out for when trying to identify a fraudulent e-mail although most of them are so obvious that you shouldn’t need too much help identifying them.

I also wanted to publish this guide as without meaning to sound harsh I honestly don’t think that these customers should be reimbursed by their banks when they are tricked because at the end of the day it will be costing customers such as myself - It isn’t the fault of the financial institutions that you were silly enough to give a fraudster all your bank account details so surely they shouldn’t take it Read the rest

Dropload

Most of you will recognise the name Ian MacMillan by now; he is an enthusiastic reader who has often suggested topics for me to cover in Click.A few days ago I received the e-mail below from him highlighting a useful free service which some of you may find of interest:

Just a quick e-mail to let you know about something I learned of a while back.Dropload (www.dropload.com) is an unusual free service which allows you to send and receive files of up to 100MB in size.At present the top e-mail accounts are limited to a maximum attachment size of 10MB, and some offer far less than that.The service offers the additional benefit that files uploaded and downloaded are automatically scanned for viruses.

Dropload is free but you need to sign up for an account first, which is easy to do.Once a file is uploaded the recipient is then sent an Read the rest

Google Earth

You may remember two weeks ago that I reviewed the Google Maps website and got quite excited about the satellite imagery contained with allowed you to type in a place name and zoom right in to view it from space.I was aware at the time of a new program on the horizon called Google Earth which is currently in beta (testing) format but since Google weren’t at the time allowing any new users to download the software I was unable to review it.This has now changed as the new beta version of Google Earth is now back online and free for all to download so it seemed appropriate that I should feature this extraordinary program in Click this week.

Whilst the Google Maps website allowed you to view satellite images with ease the website wasn’t laden with features which is understandable when you consider that it was just an Internet Read the rest

Google Maps

Many people don’t realise that there is more to Google than the ever popular and powerful search engine component.Recently the company have been introducing beta (test) versions of other services such as Google News, Google Local and Google Catalogue to add to their more established (but still relatively unknown) services such as Google Mobile and Google Labs.All of these services can be located by heading to www.google.co.uk and clicking on ‘more’

One feature that caught my eye recently was ‘Google Maps’ which can be located by either following the instruction above or by heading directly to https://maps.google.co.uk and whilst in many ways this service is pretty much identical to more established sites such as www.multimap.com I think there are several things that set it apart.Still in Beta test version, Google Maps cover the UK, Canada and the USA with more to be added when the service is fully functional.

When Read the rest

Windows XP Themes

A popular pastime for many users of Windows XP has been to customize their Operating System so it looks more like something they are comfortable using.Such customisations include changing the loading screens, start menu, dialog box appearances, icons, wallpaper which makes your machine just a little more individual than the standard Windows XP blue desktop theme which millions of users all have.

Personally I have always stayed away from participating in this kind of customisation because the majority of software on the market is either supported by advertising, costs money or is extremely bloated and slows down your machine. As you know I hate software that loads when you start the machine and a lot of the theme managers that I encountered sat continually in memory managing your themes.That attitude of mine changed recently when researching software that I could write about for this weeks article when I found a Read the rest

Rogue Diallers

The subject of ‘rogue diallers’ has been popping up a great deal in the media recently so I thought it was about time I recapped on exactly what a rogue dialler was and how you can protect yourself against them.

The idea behind a rogue dialler is surprisingly simple; you inadvertently download a small piece of software which alters your dial up settings so instead of dialling your normal freephone or local call rate number to access the Internet your computer starts using a premium rate number instead.Whilst you are blissfully unaware that you are now paying a couple of quid a minute to access the Internet someone is getting rich by Read the rest

Xbox 360

I must be honest in saying that I am not a big player of computer games; to be honest after spending all day using one for work I rarely want to continue using it for recreation.Having said that we do have a couple of Xbox consoles in our flat and they have always been a decent distraction when there is nothing better to do!

For those of you who don’t know what an ‘Xbox’ is I should really fill you in as obviously you’ve had your head in the sand for the last couple of years - The Xbox is a games console designed by Microsoft which competes against those released by rivals Sony and Nintendo.To be honest the Xbox has been pretty much trounced by the Sony Playstation 2 in terms of market share as not only was it unknown when it came to market but it was also Read the rest

Readers Letters

This week I’ll be publishing a selection of letters that have arrived in my mailbox over the last few days.

I read your article in Herald Express every week and thought you may be interested to know of the existence of our Computer Club in Marldon, a village situated just off the Torbay ring road.We presently have 41 members which we think is excellent since we have only been going for just over 12 months.Our members are mostly elderly who prefer informal, local guidance, rather than attending professional teaching establishments.

We, in fact, provide a service to the community and meet every month in our village hall, and our club is available to people from all areas.Demos are carried out, usually by me, and shown on a large screen using a digital projector. Do have a peep at our website (www.computer-club.org.uk) where you will see our programme.

During our last Read the rest

Charities

I do like to do my little bit to try and support worthy charities from time to time.The most impressive thing about my article today is that it will allow you to support a given charity without having to actually outlay any money.

As many of you will know I am very much involved in the business of inkjet and toner cartridges as it is the primary source of revenue for my company.Working with the recycling companies I have facilitated a way for Refresh Cartridge customers to donate their old cartridges in order to support national charities.

Did you know that of the 60 million inkjet cartridges used each year in the UK, only about 10% are recycled? This means that 57 million cartridges get thrown away each year and end up in landfill sites or are incinerated. Inkjet cartridges will take about 1,000 years to decompose in landfill sites Read the rest

CCleaner

Ian MacMillan is one of those guys that I always like hearing from as after 228 issues of Click it is becoming difficult at times to think up new and original subjects to write about.Fortunately Ian always has a handy suggestion up his sleeve:

Hi Chris.

It is becoming quite difficult to suggest something that has never been in Click before, but perhaps you should highlight CCleaner as it is a helpful alternative to Microsoft’s Disk Cleanup utility.It is a piece of freeware available at www.ccleaner.com which I have used it for a while without any problems.As well as freeing up some disk space it can remove privacy items such as web history.Most interestingly for a piece of freeware, it contains a registry cleaner which can find and remove old registry entries.This is useful as most registry cleaners are not freeware.

Ian MacMillan, via e-mail.

This is a fantastic suggestion Read the rest

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