Tag: 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 I would buy a good brand 32GB USB3, such as Kingston or Sandisk, and use it just for this task.
Lynda from Almoradi asks:
Everyone loves free WatsApp calls, and other free apps, which made me wonder, are they really free? Also I have a friend who forwards me, via WhatsApp, quotations, jokes and chain letters, urging me to forward on to my address book! I never do but I am curious as to what is the point of these? Does this make money for someone and does it use up data. Apologies if this is common knowledge as I am not very techno wise.
Aunty Says:
Hi Lynda. WhatsApp now have upwards of 900 million users which is an immense marketplace for advertisers, and this is where/how we pay. These quotations and jokes that do the rounds are mostly harmless but unfortunately they will use up a small amount of your internet. Anyone knowingly forwarding this kind of junk should be banned from using the Internet for 6 months and made to sit a rehabilitation exam.
Keith via email asks:
Hi Aunty. When I receive an email or message in Spanish is there any way to convert that message into English on my iPad or iPhone?
Aunty Says:
Hi Keith. I’m not an Apple user but I use the Google Translate app on my Android phone which works great with Google Gmail and Chrome. I believe there is a similar app called iTranslate in Apple’s App Store which will do a similar job with Apple’s email app and Safari.
Any questions you can email me at auntyvirus@costablancapeople.com and I’ll see you all next week.
 

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 would like some advice so I know what I am paying for, or even have a go myself if it isn’t too technical. I do hope you can help.
Aunty Says:
Hello Brian. It’s not too difficult so have a go yourself, what’s the worst that could happen!? What you will need to do first is purchase a Micro SD card, which you can pick up from Media Mark or Carrefour for under €15 for a 32GB one. Switch off your phone/tablet and locate the slot where the card will go, you will either have a slot on the side somewhere or you will need to gently prise the back cover off but if you’re not sure then I would suggest Googling this with the model of your phone. Once your new SD card is installed you can switch your device back on and go to “settings” “apps manager” and you will see a list of all kind of apps that are on your phone, some you will recognize but most will be system/android apps. Locate Skype in the list and it will give you the option “Move to SD card”. Do this for any apps you recognize but don’t worry because if an app can’t be moved it will have the “Move to SD card” option greyed out. You can do the same for photos but try this first and let me know how you get on.
Mark via email asks:
Hi Aunty, I use Google Chrome for surfing the Internet and for accessing my Gmail. After some kind of update or scan last week it now comes up in Spanish, and although I can get by it’s the spell checker that is annoying me as it is constantly showing errors and it tries to change English words to Spanish words. Can you please tell me if I can force it back to English?
Aunty Says:
Hi Mark. Probably the easiest way is to use www.google.co.uk (rather than .com or .es) as this will force the English version, and Gmail and most search results will then be the UK ones. Windows and Chrome both check your location and choose what language accordingly and as .com sites are global this will cause this kind of problem.
Any questions you can email me at auntyvirus@costablancapeople.com and I’ll see you all next week.
 
 

Aunty Virus

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 Chrome, Firefox. IE or Edge etc) that will be storing your login details and again this will be different for each browser. If you email me some more details of how you are accessing your emails I can give you some more specific instructions.
 
Alan via email asks:
Dear Aunty. I have been having problems with websites opening unsolicited pages and it is usually when I have just started up Google Chrome and go to various websites that I use. Once the first webpage is opened and I click on the down arrow to scroll down, quite often another website will appear and it starts redirecting me to sites which offers to check for malware, which I never pursue. I have done full scans with Windows security twice but it does not find any problems. Is this a problem related to cookies or is it to do with Google Chrome? I have used Firefox browser sometimes and not had the problem. Any ideas on what I can check for?
Aunty Says:
Hi Alan. It sounds like you have some nasty infections and you will first need to do a full scan with Malwarebytes and see what it finds. This may well clean your system but if not then try the Chrome Cleanup Tool (type it into Google search) and follow the Chrome reset options.
Joan via email asks:
Hi Aunty. I have a Samsung tablet and I’m continually getting an error message “there is insufficient storage to install this app” but as far as I know I haven’t asked to install anything. I only have a few photos and I don’t use the tablet for much other than Facebook, a bit of chatting with Skype and browsing the web.
Aunty says:
This app could be anything Joan and quite likely an update for one of your existing apps or an Android system update. A bit of housekeeping to remove any unused apps plus clearing out some cache will fix this but it can be very fiddly. There are a couple of free apps that you can download that will save you hours of time but as you have no space you will need to free up a small amount of storage to allow the cleanup app download. Go to “settings” and “App Manager” and look down the list for any apps that you no longer use and click on “Clear Data” and “Clear Cache”. Do this for a couple of apps and hopefully you will clear enough space to install the free Clean Master app from the Play Store. If you don’t already have an SD memory card then invest €15 in a 32GB card and use the Clean Master app to help move photos and apps from your tablet’s internal memory onto the SD card.
Well that’s all for another week. Email me your questions to auntyvirus@costablancapeople.com and I will see if I can get you sorted.

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 my computer room would not receive/transmit an adequate signal.  The device I constructed was an empty cardboard toilet roll tube wrapped inside and out with aluminium kitchen foil.  This was then placed over the router’s antenna and problem solved.  Three months have now passed without a single recurrence of the problem.  I later found out that a neighbour a couple of houses away had been using my router to speak through Skype to her vast family in Madrid at my expense!!  The solution is simple and saves a lot of time having to go through the rigmarole of continually changing passwords and now no one can use my WiFi except me.
Aunty Says:
Excellent idea Arthur and thanks for the suggestion. Dragons Den maybe?
David via email asks:
I have an old Compaq laptop with Windows 7 that I want to use just for downloading music and films but I’ve heard different reports about this as it’s not safe. A lot of my friends use Kickass and Pirate Bay without any problems and I don’t mind paying for a service but which website do we choose? Do you have any thoughts on it?
Aunty Says:
Hi David. Downloading films and music is a controversial subject so I have to be careful what I say. I cannot encourage it because it can constitute copyright infringement but I can discuss some of the popular ways it is done. Pirate Bay, Kickass and ISOhunt seem to be the most popular websites for searching and locating torrents, but you will then need a program installed on your computer to collect all of these bits (torrents) of the film and then coordinate the downloading of the film. BitComet and uTorrent seem to be very common and they’re all free. Good luck and keep all of your security software up to date as it’s a minefield out there and I would strongly recommend using Google’s Chrome with the fabulous Adblock extension installed. It’s a great idea to use an old computer.
That’s all for this week, email me your problems to auntyvirus@costablancapeople.com and I will see what I can do.
 
 

Aunty Virus

Pat via email asks:
Hi Aunty I recently lost connection to my wireless printer and have been advised that it’s the HP printer drivers on my laptop. Is this something I can fix myself or is this too complicated for a novice?
Aunty Says:
Hi Pat. Downloading and installing the latest driver for your printer may well fix the problem and it’s not too tricky to do this so certainly give it a go. You will simply need to go to the support section on the HP website and enter the model number of your printer and download the driver package.  Follow the installation wizard and your wifi printing  should resolve itself.
Bill via email asks:
Hello  Aunty. After last months storms my internet TV box stopped working and my TV supplier suggested I buy a Surge Protector plug for both the TV and my laptop. Today I was advised by my local computer shop that they had never heard of people needing surge plugs! What are your thoughts and advice on the matter please?
Aunty Says:
Hello Bill. Surge Protectors are necessary here in Spain as the mains electricity can be a bit unstable but you should really pay around €30 and invest in a fairly decent one. I’ve always liked Belkin and some of their models offer insurance so they must be fairly confident that they do the job.
Mike via email asks:
Is it easy to get rid of “Delta Search” from my Windows 8 laptop?  I have tried different systems like AVG and McAfee but it still comes up when I first go on the internet?.
Aunty Says:
Hi Mike. I’m pretty sure both Malwarebytes and Adwcleaner will get rid of the Delta Search Browser Hijacker but it can hide itself in other places on your computer so try them and let me know how you get on.
Andy via email asks:
Hi Aunty. Can you advise me please on how to get Windows defender up and running on my Windows 8.1 HP laptop? Every time I try, I get a message that this application is turned off.  I then follow the online instructions to try and turn it on but cannot actually get it to do so. I am already using AVG and Super anti-Spyware. Could this be preventing me from using Defender?  And do you think that Defender would be an advantage over the other two apps? Would appreciate any advice you can give me.
Aunty Says:
Hi Andy. Yes AVG will be stopping Windows Defender from running, and I personally would uninstall AVG via Control Panel and use Microsoft’s Defender as your antivirus program. I don’t think there is much to distinguish between SuperAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes but you should definitely have one of these alongside Defender and keep it updated and do a weekly scan.
 
Email me your problems to auntyvirus@costablancapeople.com and I’ll see you all next week
 
 
 
 

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 recognized by Windows Media Player”.
Aunty Says:
Hi Dan. Files with the .mov extension are originally intended to be watched using Apple’s Quicktime program. There are a few of things you can do to try, the easiest being to download  Quicktime from www.apple.com and set it as your default player, it’s probably better than Microsoft’s Media Player. Alternatively you can download VLC player from www.download.com which will pretty well play any type of video or music file.
John via email asks:
I have an HP 1410 laser printer which has worked brilliantly with our tower but we now have a new laptop with Windows 10 but I cannot get the printer working. Previously I had no problems installing it with the CD that came with the printer but now with the new laptop I’m unable to get it to work. I followed your advice from a previous article and simply plugged the USB cable in and let Windows automatically search and install the necessary software but this didn’t do anything. Please help!
Aunty Says:
Hello John. I´ve had a quick look on the HP website and HP don’t seem to have released an updated driver for Window 10 so if there are no pre installed drivers which will automatically install when you plug the printer in then I think you may have to get a new printer. You can get a wifi enabled printer for just over €50 which is great value and as it is wireless you can also use it to print  from your phone and tablets.
That’s all for this week, email me your problems to auntyvirus@costablancapeople.com and I will see what I can do.
 
 
 
 

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