Tag: Tech

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

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 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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