Fix-My-PC – Jonathan Frost – 17th July 2017.

Jonathan began by warning us not to trust anyone who rang up claiming to be from Microsoft who said that they have detected a fault on our computer.  They offer to cure the fault if we allow them access to the computer.

It is a scam.  Microsoft, our banks, HMRC etc. will not contact us by ‘phone if they need to deal with problems affecting our equipment or accounts so say, “Thank you for calling.” then hang up the ‘phone.

He asked how many of us back up our computer using an external hard drive.  If we have several hundred photos stored in the computer memory and it crashes we could lose all those memories if they could not be retrieved.  In fact, he suggested, it is better to back up onto two external hard drives because they are easily damaged by a knock or being dropped.

USB memory sticks should be used for transferring files or photos, but not for storing them, because memory sticks or flash drives can also be easily damaged.

Someone said he backed up his computer using the Cloud.  That is a slow process if you try to put in a lot of photos at once but is O.K. if you are adding  a few at a time over a longer period.

Modern technology is advancing so rapidly that communication and storage methods are fast becoming out of date.  Audio tapes and VHS and even CDs are becoming useless because you soon will not be able to buy a machine to play them.  Writing on paper or printed photos is often the best way to keep information for any length of time – they don’t need machines to interpret them!

Passwords are often easier to guess than we might think.  Criminals may be able to log in to your computer and get a super computer to guess yours.  Because these computers can perform millions of actions in a short time, they may be able to try enough combinations to determine you password in as little as three days!

Jonathan suggested that a more complex password of the type   ‘correct   horse   battery  staple’  would take even a super computer about 550 years to guess!   Obviously you would have to choose a sequence of words that you could remember.

He asked if anyone had computer questions that he could help with.  Antivirus software?  None would be good for a long time because more and more viruses occurred.  He recommended Avast free.    Avoiding  hackers and viruses?
1.Too many free apps on your phone may make you vulnerable  to both.
2. Never click on a link in an e-mail unless you trust the source.
3.If you still use XP don’t use it on the Internet – it is not safe.

He said that he and his son conduct a free computer clinic each Wednesday from 10am to 12pm at Broomhill library.

Finally he asked how many of us look at our website and did we have comments?   Most looked at blogs or future speakers, not many used the Forum.  Some blogs (like this one?) were too long.

A very good presentation that was helpful, but I think I need to attend  free clinic to get the full benefit!