Category Archives: Computer Bytes

Be Quick, Be Safe

by Bill Scobie

Time is running out for the free Windows 10 upgrade. Microsoft seems to be holding to their deadline of July 29 for people with Windows 7, 8, and 8.1, to upgrade to Windows 10. However, for people with accessibility needs, Microsoft has recently stated that Windows 10 will remain a free upgrade. Details of how to qualify have not been released.

If you are using Windows Live Mail 2012, Microsoft has finally admitted that they are not going to maintain it. At least, that is how I read their announcement that people with email addresses will no longer be able to check their email using Windows Live Mail 2012. The handwriting on the wall: use or switch to Microsoft’s newer Mail app.

Too many apps on your iPhone and you can’t find them? The built-in search Spotlight (long a fast way to find and launch apps on a Macintosh computer) can be a fast way to find and launch apps without having to spend time reorganizing them into folders. Swipe down on any home screen or swipe right from the first home screen and use the search box that shows up. Start typing the name of the app and when it matches, just tap that app name to launch it. But there is much more that Spotlight can do. Experiment with locations, math, weather, searches you would otherwise open a web browser for, and see how much Spotlight can find for you.

Windows 10 has a built-in antivirus called Windows Defender, which is active if you don’t have another antivirus or security program installed. The only way to disable Windows Defender is to intentionally install another antivirus program. Microsoft wants you protected.

On a Mac, it is easy to leave open many apps when you are used to just closing windows and documents. There is an app called Quitter that can be set to automatically quit open but inactive apps. Thus, you don’t have to pay attention to what might be slowing down your computer. It is and is free.

On an iPhone, when shooting video, you might want to snag a photo of what you are videoing. When shooting video in the built-in or native iOS camera app, look for a round, white button in the corner. Tapping that will snap a photo while still shooting video.

Phishing, those tricking techniques that use email or IMs to lead you to a fake but real-looking website, has some relatives now. “Vishing,” or voice phishing, takes advantage of how we trust a voice on the phone more than text via email. “Smishing,” or SMS phishing, plays off the fact that we are now used to confirmation texts for things like password resets. It asks us to confirm some other personal login information by phone, which is answered by those phishing for information. Bottom line: find some way to confirm that the phone number is a real one for the company you think you are calling.

Questions? Call Bill Scobie of Scobie.Net, fixing computers and networks for small businesses and home. 628-2354 or