Archive for Tech Tip

Tech Tip – Save Your Passwords Securely on Mobile Devices

If you’d like to be able to save all your login credentials in a secure and safe manner on your mobile device, an app like the ‘LastPass’ password manager may prove very helpful.  It’s one of many such apps, but it’s been rated highly.

LastPass is a ‘freemium’ model password manager that stores encrypted passwords online.

– Download the LastPass Mobile App from Google Play or Apple’s App Store.

– Follow the app instructions.

– Log in with the same LastPass account to sync data between devices, or you can swipe into the LastPass app with your fingerprint for extra security.

There is a built-in random password generator so all your passwords can be different.

Your passwords can be stored and viewed in a secure vault and the app offers autofill, sharing of passwords securely, password auditing, and the ability to keep digital notes with the passwords for e.g. memberships, prescription etc.

See https://www.lastpass.com for details.

Tech Tip – How To Disable Ad Tracking In Windows 10

Although many websites say they rely upon ad-revenue to provide free content, and some ads can be relevant, as web users we may still feel uneasy about allowing our online behaviour to become tracked, and too many ‘interest-based’ targeted adverts can be annoying and disruptive.  There is an easy way in Windows 10 to disable advertising ID/‘interest based’ adverts.  Here’s how:

– In Windows search (bottom left), type ‘Privacy’ and Go to ‘Privacy Settings’.

– In the ‘General’ section on the right-hand side of the window, turn off the first option relating to your advertising ID.

– For a higher level of ad blocking, go to the Microsoft Privacy Ad Settings page and disable interest-based ads on the browser, Windows and Microsoft account level. This should prevent your online behaviour from being tracked by marketers but will still enable you to see some generic adverts.

Tech Tip – How To Put YouTube Videos on Automatic Repeat

If you’d like to put a YouTube video on repeat play e.g. because you want to watch or show a work / instructional video, or even listen to your favourite music on a loop while working on your laptop, there are two easy ways to do it.  Here’s how:

Go to YouTube.com and navigate to your chosen video.

Method 1

Put the mouse over the video or the play button, right-mouse click, and select the ‘Loop’ option from the drop-down list

Method 2

Go to URL of the video you’re watching e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECVz610Rkns

Remove the https://www part.

Type the word ‘repeat’ after the word ‘youtube’ in what’s left of the URL e.g. youtuberepeat.com/watch?v=ECVz610Rkns

Hit the enter button, you will be re-directed to the listenonrepeat.com website, and your chosen video should now repeat until the page is closed.

Tech Tip – Encrypting Documents Stored on Google Drive

If you use Google Drive to store files in the cloud but worried that Google doesn’t provide a true password protection feature, you may want to encrypt your files before uploading them.  Here’s how:

If you have Microsoft Office on your PC, it has a built-in encryption feature.

– Go to: File > Protect Document > Encrypt with Password.

– Upload the file to Google Docs.

– Google can’t read the file, but it can be downloaded and opened on any PC with Microsoft Office Installed (using the password).

– If you don’t have Microsoft Office, you could use Boxcryptor.  This is free for syncing one cloud storage service between two PCs.

– Install Boxcryptor (see boxcryptor.com).

– Enable Google Drive in Boxcryptor’s settings.

– Access Boxcryptor from Windows Explorer’s sidebar.

– Go to: Boxcryptor > Encrypt option, and watch the checkbox turn green.

The encrypted files will then be placed in Google Drive, but won’t be accessible unless you have Boxcryptor installed and logged in.

If you’re looking for a solution that’s free and can be used with any cloud storage service and any device, you may want to try Veracrypt (for Windows, macOS, and Linux).  It creates an encrypted container where you can store files you want and put them anywhere for safe keeping.

– Install Veracrypt (see veracrypt.fr).

– Create a new encrypted file container within your Google Drive folder.

– Reach that file from Veracrypt’s main window (it will show as if it were an external hard drive).

– Drag your sensitive files there and unmount the volume.

You will need Veracrypt installed on any PC to access the documents inside that container.

Tech Tip – Link your Android Phone To Your Windows PC or Laptop

If you’ve ever emailed yourself a photo or screenshot to get it from your phone to your computer or uploaded photos to e.g. Google Photos or Dropbox and then download them onto your PC, you may want to try Microsoft’s ‘Your Phone’ app.  With the app, you can link and sync your Android phone to your Windows PC or laptop and simply drag and drop photos or screenshots, plus you can receive and send text messages from your phone on your computer. Here’s how to set it up:

This works for PCs or laptops running Windows 10 April 2018 Update (Version 1803) or later, and Android phones running Android 7.0 Nougat or later.  Both devices should be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

On your PC or laptop, type “Your Phone” in the search bar, scroll to launch Microsoft Store, find the “Your Phone” app.

Download and install the Your Phone app for Windows 10 from Microsoft e.g. here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/p/your-phone/9nmpj99vjbwv?activetab=pivot%3Aoverviewtab

Next, install the counterpart on your Android phone. For example, when you launch the app on your PC, type your number in to receive the install the app link via text on your phone. Alternatively, you could visit the Google Play Store, type “Your Phone Companion” into the search bar and then Install the app on your Android phone.

The two apps should sync, and once you’ve answered and granted the permissions questions on your phone, you should see your phone appear in the Windows “Your Phone” app on your computer.

Click to access recent photos or messages + see the Settings page.

Tech Tip – How To Send Large Files For Free

If you need to send a file online, but that file is too big to send by email, there are several simple, effective and secure alternatives.  Here are some suggestions:

– Use file compression to shrink the file size anyway before sending/transferring. For example, try RAR compression instead of ZIP.  Open source 7-Zip provides effective file compression.

– Upload your file to a cloud-based storage service and share / retrieve from there.  For example, Google Drive (offers up to 15GB of free storage), Dropbox (offers 2GB of free storage space and a variety of sharing options.), Microsoft’s OneDrive (offers 5 gigabytes of free storage), MediaFire (offers 50GB of free storage + simple sharing tools).

– Use a free file transfer service e.g. WeTransfer where you can send files up to 2GB without needing to register, or use free FTP software e.g. Cyberduck, FileZilla, or Chrome’s sFTP Client extension.

Tech Tip – Drag & Drop Tasks To Your Calendar

In Windows 10, the Tasks experience in Outlook.com (powered by ‘To-Do’) means that when looking at your inbox, you can save time and create tasks by dragging and dropping an email to your task list. You can also easily schedule items by dragging a task to your calendar. Your tasks then travel with you on the To-Do app.

You can see how it’s done on the Windows Blog here:

https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2018/12/16/windows-10-tip-schedule-items-by-dragging-a-task-to-your-calendar/#WX3WrBWATdGxSk48.97

Tech Tip – Phishing Quiz

Identifying a phishing attempt may be harder than you think and being able to spot one is an important part of maintaining your cybersecurity defences in the modern business environment.  Here’s a little phishing quiz from Google that can help you to spot the signs that can enable you to tell a real email from a phishing email.

Go to https://phishingquiz.withgoogle.com/

Click on ‘Take The Quiz’.

Your Latest IT News Update

£15K Fine For Ignoring Data Access Requests

SCL Elections, the parent company of the now defunct Cambridge Analytica, which was famously involved in the Facebook profile harvesting scandal, has been fined £15,000 for failing to respond to a data access request from a US citizen, and for ignoring an enforcement notice by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

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London-based, registered charity ‘Full Fact’ will now be working for Facebook, reviewing stories, images and videos, in an attempt to tackle misinformation that could “damage people’s health or safety or undermine democratic processes”.
Online community Reddit shut some users out of their accounts and forced password resets due to “unusual activity” which may have been a ‘credential stuffing’ attempt by hackers.

Windows 7 Activation Errors A Coincidence Says Microsoft

Just after the January update on 8th January, Windows 7 users began to experience activation errors, but Microsoft put the issues down to coincidence, despite admitting that it had reverted changes made to activation servers in the update in order to fix the problem.

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Over Half Of Us Will Buy Food Online By 2021

A study by Capgemini has found that more than half of UK consumers will order their groceries from online retailers by 2021.

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Tech Tip –  Make Text Bigger!

Even though Windows 10 has scaling options that can make things generally easier to see, you may want to keep the screen resolution how you like it, but also have the ability to make fonts much bigger.  The Windows 10 October added a separate control for scaling the size on fonts.  Here’s where to find it:

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Tech Tip – Make Text Bigger!

Even though Windows 10 has scaling options that can make things generally easier to see, you may want to keep the screen resolution how you like it, but also have the ability to make fonts much bigger.  The Windows 10 October added a separate control for scaling the size on fonts.  Here’s where to find it:

– Go to Settings > Ease of Access > Display to make text bigger.