Childproofing Your iPad

Childproof your iPad

One the most annoying things in life is that although it might take you a few weeks or months to master a new piece of technology, your kid can just pick it up and start using it without a second thought.

Growing up in the technical age, our children have a huge advantage over us, which is why it’s essential you protect your files and bank balance.

You’ve probably heard the horror stories of parents having their bank balances severely depleted by their kids who were just ‘playing’ on their iPad, well now’s the time to take action (if you haven’t already done so) to make sure you’re not the next victim.

From toddler to teenage years, it’s important to make sure your iPad has the right parental restrictions activated. Thankfully, Apple has made it easy for you.

Restrictions on 

Turning on restrictions allows you to control which applications are permitted on your iPad.

You can do this by going to Settings > General Settings > Restrictions > Enable Restrictions. You will then be asked for a four digit passcode, which can be different from the passcode you use to unlock the iPad.

Switch off app downloads

By default, when you download an app, iTunes will prompt for a password, even if it’s a free app or game. But if you have recently typed in your password, there is a grace period where apps can be downloaded without being verified.

To prevent your child merrily downloading God knows what to your iPad it might be a good idea to turn off the App Store.

If you decide on this course of action, it might me wise to turn off the ability to delete apps.   Remember, it takes the intervention of a parent to download apps to the iPad, so if your kid deletes a game because they are tired of it or simply by accident, you will need to reenable the App Store, download the app or game, and then restrict the App Store again.

Age restrictions

If you don’t want to disable the App store you can restrict apps based on an age range instead.

The categories in the age-based restrictions are 4+, 9+, 12+ and 17+, with that last one including apps such as web browsers that give full access to the web, and thus, full access to websites you would rather your 12-year old not see.

Many kids, even six-year-olds and seven-year-olds, will be perfectly fine on the 9+ setting.  This is the rating given to the LEGO games and applies to apps that have cartoon violence but no “realistic” violence.

The same can be done for movies, TV shows, books and websites.

Switch off in-app purchases

Have you heard of freemium games?

These are the ones that are free but stacked with in-app purchases – usually currency or food within the game that can easily add up to a rather high price tag.

This is why it’s so important to turn off in-app purchases.

When you turn off in-app purchases, the option to buy these extras within games and apps will be disabled. This means no surprises when your iTunes bill comes in your email.

The setting for this is towards the bottom of Allowed Content, right above the time interval for requiring a password (see navigation path above).

 

Congratulations, you now have a childproof iPad – so now you have the relevant restrictions in place, how do you download apps?

First, you can simply turn on app downloads in the restrictions page, download the app or game, and turn app downloads back off again. Or, you can download the app or game on your PC using iTunes and then sync your iPad to your PC.

Another options for making sure your child doesn’t run up a huge iTunes bill is to remove your credit card from your iTunes account, or set an allowance to limit their spending.

Whichever course of action you take, it’s important to make sure your iPad (or other tablet) is childproofed – unless of course you want a hefty bill to land in your inbox.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Source: iPad

How Safe is Your Information?

Information safety should be your primary concern.

Do you realise how easy it is for your digital life to be hacked, watched or stolen?

Probably not, which is why you need to keep reading.

Here are some thought provoking questions for you to answer:

Mobile Phone

  1. Do you have your Bluetooth and WiFI option switched on all the time – even if you are not using them?
  2. Do you have any Password Manager Apps or banking Apps?
  3. Are you email savvy?

Laptop

  1. Do you have your Bluetooth and WiFI option switched on all the time – even if you are not using them?
  2. Do you have a Password Manager program on the device?
  3. Do you save your passwords on the device when prompted?
  4. Are you email savvy?

PC

  1. Do you have a Password Manager program on the device?
  2. Do you save your passwords on the device when prompted?
  3. Are you email savvy?

If you have answered yes to ANY of these questions – please feast your eyes on this video, the first half is very relevant.

Don’t leave the front door unlocked on your life – please be vigilant and change your technology habits.

 

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Source: Transcendit

How to Make Your Mouse Pointer Bigger

Mouse help

 

How many times have you been searching the screen for your illusive mouse pointer?

Despite frantically moving your mouse, you just can’t spot it.

That means it’s time to make your pointer bigger.

An adjustment can easily be made through Control Panel’s Mouse tool. How you find it depends on the version of Windows you’re running, so here are the instructions for Windows 7, 8 and 10.

Windows 7

Click Start, type mouse and select Mouse in the Control Panel section.

Windows 8

Go to the Search charm and type mouse in the text box. Click the option that says Mouse and has an icon of a mouse.

Windows 10

In the Search field, type mouse. Select Change your mouse settings. In the resulting Settings app, click Additional mouse settings.

Now you should be in the Mouse Properties dialog box.

Mouse properties boxClick the Pointers tab. Pull down the Scheme menu and select something. You’ll find a variety of options in different sizes, colours and outlines. Your selection will then be displayed in the box to the right of the Scheme menu. If you want to see how a pointer looks in actual use, click Apply and mouse around a bit.

 

 

 

mouse settingsThere are more possibilities in the dialog box’s Pointer Options tab – especially in the visibility section.

There you go – couldn’t be easier. Now you’ll never have trouble spotting your pointer again.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Source: PCWorld.com

 

 

How to View Recent Webpages When Offline – Chrome and Firefox

How many times has this happened to you? You’ve been doing some online research (probably away from the office), lost connection, but need to get back to a webpage you’ve just been looking at.

You might think you’re stuffed and will now have to wait until you can get online again and start the whole process over, well not if you use Chrome or Firefox. Both browsers allow you to display content in their respective caches, although it doesn’t work for sites that provide live feeds, such as Facebook or Netflix.

Chrome

Chrome’s solution is still experimental, but here goes.

To get ready for offline mode in Chrome type into the URL address bar:

chrome://flags/#show-saved-copy

Then select Enable: Primary from the dropdown menu under the Enable Show Saved Copy Button heading.

Once that’s done, restart your browser for the feature to take effect.

To test it, take your PC offline and open a webpage from your recent browsing history. You should get Chrome’s offline error message—except now you’ll also see a Show saved copy button. Click that button and you’ll see the version of the webpage as it was when you were last online.

Firefox

With Firefox you can view pages from your cache by clicking on the menu “hamburger” icon on the upper right corner.

Then select Developer > Work Offline.

Firefox will now display the page you want as long as it’s in the browser’s cache.

That should make your life a little bit easier.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Source: PCWorld

How to Safely Remove a USB Drive

We’ve all done it – been impatient, or had somewhere else to be, so rather than waiting for the message to say it’s safe to remove the USB, we’ve pulled it straight out.

You may have been lucky and got away without causing any damage to your files or computer, but it’s always best to follow one of these methods of safe removal.

1. Window’s own tool

The best way to remove your USB is by using Window’s own tool.

Just click the Safely Remove Hardware icon in the notification area, then click on your device and wait for the “Safe to Remove Hardware” message.

What happens if it says “This device is currently in use”?

Keep reading…

2. What to do next

Think about what could still be running – it could be a portable programme loaded from that drive, a document or photo that’s still open etc.

You can also open Task Manager (right-click task bar and select Start Task Manager) and take a look at both the Applications and Processes tab.

3. Third-party utility

You could also try a third-party utility such as USB Safely Remove, which tells you what programme is causing the problem (see number 2) and offers to stop the programme and even force it to stop.

4. Log off and on again

A bit annoying and time consuming, but by logging out of your account you’ll close down every file programme, including whatever is stopping the ejection of your USB.

5. Shut down

This one is more of a pain than number 4, but it never fails to work.

Shut down your PC, remove the USB and then reboot your computer.

It’s important you always take care when removing USBs and failing to do so safely can cause catastrophic damage to your PC or laptop.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Source: PCWorld

7 Ways to Protect Your Online Privacy

Internet privacy

The Internet has undoubtedly made your life easier.

You can find just about anything on it from the comfort of your own home and has made shopping around a lot easier.

As a business owner its transparency means you can use your website analytics to help define effective marketing campaigns. Mind you its transparency isn’t always good because it’s helped agencies such as GCHQ to develop tools and techniques to “snoop” on what people are doing whilst online.

You may think that’s a good thing, especially in today’s terrorist threats, but so you really want ad agencies scooping up information about your web movements so they can sell them on to the highest bidder?

If you’d rather they didn’t, here are a few tips to help you.

1. Search engines

Google is the number one search engine of choice for most people, but it also makes oodles of cash tracking your searches by selling on their data to advertisers.

How can you browse in peace? Well, the simple answer is to switch from Google to one of the smaller engines such as Blekko and DuckDuckGo.

2. Internet browsing

If you’re a Mac user you probably use Google Chrome, Internet Explorer or Safari, but you guessed it, they all snoop on you and track your searches even if you’re using private search mode.

If you want the snooping to stop switch to Firefox, Tor or Opera.

3. Email

You probably remember a while ago the fuss and bother that hit the fan when it came to light that Hotmail and Gmail were scrutinising the content of your emails. Again, the simple answer is to switch to a provider that encrypts your emails to keep them safe from prying eyes – such as Hushmail and Zixmail.

Mind you, changing email addresses is a bit of a faff, so I guess this one depends on how much you want to protect what you’re sending to people.

4. Social networks

These are the biggest giveaways of personal data. They are regularly trawled by hackers, criminals and the police. Pulling away from the digital social scene entirely may not be your cup of tea, so use them wisely and always be on your guard.

5. Encrypting files

For some this may seem a bit over the top, but if you’re serious about protecting your privacy encrypting all your files is the way to go.

Its a great way to keep all your files secure whether you’re sending them over the internet, backing them up or carrying them around on your laptop. The best place to start is by encrypting your hard drive.

Goof encryption tools include VeraCrypt and AxCrypt and if you use Windows 7 or 8 you can use BitLocker. Of course, your encryption is only as good as your secure password!

If you store you data in the cloud use a product such as BullGuard Backup.

6. Internet service providers

Yes, you guessed it, most of the popular ISPs also monitor your internet usage – including chat services, videos and Skype.

If you want to stop their income-generating fun try one of these services – VoxOx instead of Skype and Google Hangouts, Vimeo and Veoh rather than YouTube, Tresorit instead of Dropbox and Google Drive, and Crypto.cat and Pidgin.im rather than Gchat or Facebook chat.

7. Smartphones

The easiest way to stop apps from snooping is to ditch your smartphone and go back to your old school Nokia.

That might be a bit extreme, so how about switching off location services and turn off the apps that track you in the background. A useful app that roots out those that snoop is Protect My Privacy, which is available for both Android and iPhone.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.
Source: Bullguard.com

Opening Attachments in Outlook – Stopping Error Messages

When opening attachments directly in Outlook, have you received an error message?

It probably said something along the lines of needing to check the permissions on the folder in which you want to save it in.

Well that’s a bit of a red herring because the permissions are probably fine, it just means the folder is “full”.

How did it get so full?

Well, when you open an attachment within Outlook it first saves a copy to a subfolder of the Temporary Internet Files folder. Clearing out this folder should solve the problem.

Cleaning out the Outlook Secure Temp folder

Remember, this is IT so it’s not going to be as simple as it sounds.

The subfolder name Outlook creates (when it is first installed) in the Temporary Internet Files folder is random.

For example, in Outlook 2003 and earlier, it starts with OLK and followed by 4 random numbers or letters. In Outlook 2007, 2010 and 2013 it’s called “Content”. Outlook and then has a subfolder identified by 8 random numbers and letters.

As if that wasn’t annoying enough, by default you can’t browse to the folder and clear it out.

However, getting to your Temporary Outlook Folder can be done following these 2 easy steps.

1. Step 1 – Locate the folder

It’s location is stored in the registry in the following key (dependent on which version of Outlook you’re using):

Outlook 97 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Outlook\Security
Outlook 98 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.5\Outlook\Security
Outlook 2000 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\Outlook\Security
Outlook 2002/XP HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Outlook\Security
Outlook 2003 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Security
Outlook 2007 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Security
Outlook 2010 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Security
Outlook 2013 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\Security

2. Step 2 – Get access to the folder

These steps will help you gain access to the folder:

  • Open the “OutlookSecureTempFolder” registry key from the location provided in Step 1
  • Copy the path from the key
  • Open Explorer
  • Paste the address in the Address Bar and press Enter

Thank you to Howto-outlook.com for these useful tips.

If you’re struggling, fear not, they’ve created 2 free tools to do the job for you:

OutlookTools offers besides locating, opening and cleaning up the SecureTempFolder also quite a lot of additional features to troubleshoot and tweak Outlook.

OutlookTempCleaner focuses only on dealing with the SecureTempFolder and can also be used in (corporate) login and logoff scripts to clean up the folder without any end-user interaction.

Outlook tool

OutlookTempCleaner can detect and empty Outlook’s Secure Temp folder automatically for you.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

How to Separate Work and Play on the Same PC

Most people use the same laptop for work and play.

If you work for a large concern there are probably rules and regulations outlining how this should be handled. But for those of you working for smaller companies, you need a simple way to separate the two activities.

A recent article in PCWorld takes a look at this issue and comes up with 3 suggestions.

1. Using different browsers

This is the easiest method.

All you have to do is use different browsers for work and play. PCworld suggest Chrome and Firefox because both have synch capabilities allowing you to share browser histories, favourites, bookmarks and open tabs across devices.

Of course, there is a downside in that you can only have one default browser at a time. For example, if you use Chrome for work, it will be set as default. That means, if a friend sends you a link to something that evening and you click on it to open it, it will automatically open in Chrome. To get round it, you’ll have to right click on it and copy and paste in into Firefox.

The other option is to create multiple profiles within your browser.

2. Multiple Windows accounts

A bit of a hassle to set up, but once it’s done, it’s really easy to use.

Once you’ve set up your different user accounts all you have to do is log in to the work one when working (all your defaults and files will be there ready and waiting) and then, when it’s time to play, log into your personal profile.

3. Google accounts

If you are a great Google user, another option is to have two separate Google accounts. If you do this though it’s important you understand some Google rules:

  • Whichever Google account you signed in with first is the default account whenever you navigate directly to a Google site – so you need to sign into both accounts (using the box top right of screen that shows your profile picture)
  • When you want to use your personal account (assuming your work profile is set as default), go to the box in the top right corner and select your personal account
  • Google Drive doesn’t support multiple accounts, so if you sign in with your work account, you will have to sign out and sign back in to access your personal account’s Google Drive files
  • YouTube does support multiple accounts, but it doesn’t integrate with the rest of Google. If you want to switch between your work and personal accounts on YouTube, you’ll have to g go through the process of adding your personal account separately. Plus, there is no default account, so the one that appears is the last one you used

Hopefully, that has given you a few ideas about how you can manage your work and play activities on your laptop. If you have any other suggestions leave a comment below.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

What Do You Do When Your Computer Won’t Turn On?

Windows XP

We’ve all been there.

One day your computer’s working fine and the next it refuses to switch on.

What happened?

Did the techie gremlins sneak in over night and render your computer useless?

Probably not, but there are a number of things that could be preventing your Windows machine to boot up. Here are a couple of possible causes.

1. Nothing happens when you press the power button

In this case there’s almost certainly a problem with power getting to your PC, so the best place to start is your power cord.

Unplug the cord and check it for damage (if you find any replace it). If it looks OK plug everything back in, making sure they’re all firmly in their sockets, and try again. If you still get no joy try plugging something else into that power socket to see if the issue is there. If not, check the surge protector (assuming you have one) to make sure that hasn’t been inadvertently turned off.

If all of that’s OK your last option is to replace the power cord or AC adapter.

2. PC starts but fails before Windows can load

If this happens you need to go into your PC’s set-up programme to make sure your hard drive is recognised and in the boot sequence.

If another issue is causing you a problem it’s best to call in the experts rather than try to figure it out for yourself – you’ll save yourself a lot of time, frustration and, potentially, money.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.