Author: Aunty Virus

Aunty Virus

Mary from Benijofar asks: After this recent virus that was on the news (that crippled the NHS) I’m worried that I don’t have a backup of my computer, and should anything like that happen I would be lost. I followed your advice in one of your previous articles and I have copied my Pictures and Documents folders onto a USB stick (which I add to every few weeks) but do I also need to have some kind of recovery disk to include my Windows and apps? I have a Lenovo laptop with Windows 10. Thanks in advance for your help. Aunty Says: By keeping a separate copy of your personal stuff on a separate device Mary you are doing the most important thing, but you absolutely must remember to unplug the USB stick once you have copied your files, as that particular strain of virus (ransomware) is capable of also infecting your data on external hard drives & USB memory sticks. If you also want to backup your Windows system you can quite easily create a “recovery drive” onto another USB stick by using the built in Recovery app. Click on the Start icon and type RECOVERY and double click on the “Create a Recovery Drive” option. A new window will popup, click on “next” and it will tell you how big a USB stick you will need. Personally...

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Aunty Virus

Beth from Murcia asks: Hello Aunty. When I go onto some of my favourite websites or email page, loads of adverts keep popping up. When this happens it can stop me from typing and even freeze my laptop. Is there any way that I can stop these ads appearing as they are so annoying? I am using Windows 8 and Google Chrome. Aunty Says: Hello Beth. I’m still a huge fan of Adblock which you can get from www.adblockplus.org It is “pay what you like” which is basically free if you don’t feel like paying for it. You should also definitely give your machine a full scan with Malwarebytes and your favourite antivirus program. Brian via email asks: Hi Aunty. I have a question that’s not technically computer related but I hope you can still help. I have a Samsung Galaxy phone which has become very slow and is now all but unusable because (I am told by my niece) due to all of the apps I have installed. I use Skype and Facebook and a few games. She advised me to install an “SD card” and then transfer some of my stuff from the phone’s internal memory onto the new SD card, which will apparently free up some valuable space. I have no idea how to do this and before I take it into my local shop I...

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David and Beverley via email ask: Hi Aunty. Thanks for all the helpful advice published in your column. We have an Outlook email account (previously Hotmail and still has the hotmail.com address) and until recently we had to login by entering both our email address and our password. We prefer it that way as we believe it is more secure but recently we’ve not needed enter our login details as Outlook has saved our name and password, and try as I might, I cannot find a way of reverting back to how it was. No amount of searching Outlook help or Google searches has revealed the answer. Can you throw any light on the problem please? Aunty Says: The exact procedure will really depend on how you are accessing you email and what versions of things you are using, but I’ll try and give you some idea of where to look. If you access your email via an app on your computer, such as Windows Live Mail or Outlook, then look for a security section somewhere under the “tools” menu or the settings icon and from there look for something like “email account settings” and a tick box which will be something like “Always prompt for logon credentials” or “remember passwords”.  However If you are using the web to get to your email then it will be your browser (Google...

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Aunty Virus

Edward via email asks: I am currently having to deal with UK and Spanish solicitors but they are asking for documents to be signed and faxed but I live in Hondon and the nearest place that has a fax machine is 25km away and is often closed. Surely there must be a way I can turn an email into a fax and send it over my ADSL internet? Aunty Says: Hello Edward. Unfortunately you can’t simply send an email as a fax but I used to use www.myfax.com to get around this. If I remember correctly they let me use it for 30 days for free and after which I simply signed up with a different email address and got another free 30 days! It amazes me how many business’ still insist on communicating via fax when they know that no one has fax machines anymore. Arthur from San Miguel asks: hello Aunty. With reference to James from Almoradi’s problem in the last edition, I had the same problem a little while ago and found a simple solution.  I too suffered from someone hacking into my router for seemingly very long periods of time and ‘stealing’ very large amounts of very valuable bandwidth allowance.  I solved the problem by constructing a simple device that limited the Wi-Fi receiving range of my router to less than a room length.  Any device operating outside...

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Aunty Virus 6th December 2016

Aunty Virus Your computer and tech Agony Aunt, the original since 2004 Mataeus via email asks: For years I have been using an app called Utorrent and Piratebay to download films but these last few weeks I have been getting a lot of advertising pages and now my laptop is taking more than 5 minutes to start. You had previously recommended Malwarebytes and Windows Defender so following your advice I changed over from AVG and now I’m having all sorts of problems and I think I have been hacked. Not happy so what will you do? Aunty Says: Hello Mataeus. If you choose to download pirated films from dodgy websites such as The Piratebay then you will have to take it on the chin when (not if) your computer gets messed up. Malwarebytes and Defender will do a good a job as any of the basic free security programs but I would suggest maybe you use Chrome with the adblock extension installed and do a bit of research and subscribe to a good  VPN service. A recent update of the utorrent app actually infected some user’s machines and rendered them pretty useless. Dan via email asks: Hi Aunty. I am running windows 7 and I often get emails with attachments that have a .MOV files ending but when I click on them I get a message saying “.MOV not...

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