Saturday Bonus Questions & Answers – 92521
It’s Saturday! And you know what that means. It’s time for more Bonus Questions & Answers.
Sometimes the best tips and tricks are hidden in the questions and answers we publish. And rarely do we post questions and answers on this website. Today, we’re featuring some of the questions and answers from past issues of our InfoAve Weekly newsletters.
These answers were selected at random from past InfoAve Weekly newsletters.
Saturday Bonus Questions & Answers – 92521
Kathy’s son was tricked by scammers
I’m writing for my son. This morning he got a notice that his computer had been hacked, spyware and other unwanted stuff in it. Believing this guy my son let him into his computer. My son gave him control of his computer. He watched the guy do everything. Now my son is having second thoughts because the phone number was from overseas. The company is Ad BlockPlus. I was wondering if you know anything about this company or did my son get taken for almost $500. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you, Kathy P.
We’re sorry to hear about what happened to your son, Kathy.
AdBlockPlus does not offer paid support. What happened to your son is a typical tech support scam. The first thing he needs to do is call his credit card company and tell them he was scammed and request a chargeback – this is a forced refund. The next thing he needs to do is do use System Restore to go back to a time before the scammers were on his computer.
It’s important to note that even if a company does offer paid support, $500 is an outrageous amount considering you can buy a nice new computer for less than that.
We’re sorry that this happened to him. Make sure he gets in touch with his credit card company right away.
If you need any more help, please let us know.
Kathy wrote back: “Hi TC. Thank you for getting back to me, I really appreciate it. I will pass this on to my son. You guys have always been a help to me throughout the years and I thank you. I just love your stationery and have your “home page”. Thanks again… Kathy.
Bonnie said her text suddenly got very tiny in Gmail
Yesterday, my emails in Gmail went to very small text. Those I send use the settings I set but my Inbox and received emails are very small text. Is there a way to get my larger text back?
Hi Bonnie. Text on most websites (including Gmail) is quite easy to make bigger or smaller on the fly.
You can use your CTRL key plus you mouse wheel to increase or decrease the size of the font on Gmail (and most other websites). You can also use your CTRL key and the + (plus) or – (minus) key to change font sizes.
Please let me know if this helps you, Bonnie,
Bonnie wrote back: “Worked perfectly! Thank you so much! Bonnie.”
Debbie wants more information about the Yandex browser
Have you ever heard of a browser named Yandex? It’s a Russian browser and I wondered what you thought of it. Thanks in advance & TY for all you do for us!
Hi Debbie. Thanks for your nice comments.
I didn’t test the Yandex Browser, but I did some research for you:
Yandex is to Russia what Google is to most of the rest of the world. Yandex is Russia’s biggest & most popular search engine and webmail provider. It’s now expanded into the Web browsing business with Yandex Browser, built on Chromium the open-source version of Google Chrome.
It supposedly has extra protection against compromised websites, fake sites, and questionable downloads using Kaspersky (you guessed it – another Russian company).
The problem we’ve found with these types of browsers – and there have been many over the years – the protection leaves a lot to be desired. Not speaking specifically about Yandex, but generally about browsers with many “extra protection” features built-in — you end up with a lot of false positives, which generally becomes a nuisance.
When I tried to read more about the browser and what the company has to say about it on their blog on the Yandex website, I was greeted with:
Блог команды Яндекс.Браузера…
The entire blog is in Cyrillic. I don’t understand a word of it!
Moving on to the License Agreement which is in English, I found this:
Copyright © 2014, The Chromium Authors. All rights reserved.
Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:
Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
Neither the name of the Google Inc. nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission.
So there it is, Yandex is based on Chromium, just like Google Chrome, Opera, and Microsoft Edge Dev. I did not test Yandex. There are so many other browsers out there, I don’t see any reason to use a Russian browser. But to each his own. I don’t think there is any danger in using it. You may find it quirky and leaning heavily toward Yandex Search. If you want to try it, I don’t think it will cause any harm. You can download it at https://browser.yandex.com/
We are in no way recommending that anyone download the Yandex browser. But if you do try it, please let us know what you think.
Bob asks about a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death)
Hi TC & EB. Tonight, as I was about to power off my desktop PC it went to a Blue Screen and said it was restarting and what failed was “tcpipsys” with SYSTEM SERVICE EXCEPTION in all caps. It seems to be working okay but should I do something or worry that my PC is on its last legs? Thank you.
Hi Bob. If you only get a BSOD (Blue Screen) once in a blue moon you don’t need to worry. It’s usually a hardware fault that won’t occur again. But if you get them frequently such as every day or two, you might have a hardware issue that needs to be fixed.
I think every Windows user has seen a Blue Screen at some time or other. If this is the first one you’ve seen or the first one you’ve seen in a long time, don’t worry about it. Seeing one does not meet your computer is chomping on its last byte.
I hope this eases your mind.
Robert wrote back: “Thank you TC for the reply. This is the first Blue Screen I have seen on any of my machines since my original 1995 Gateway model with 562 MB of RAM (powerful eh?) and I have had a few machines since then. You and EB always ease my mind when I see anything of yours online. Thank you again. Robert.”
Sharon A. is frightened by an email she received
I received this email and knew someone was phishing. I was quite shocked as they have one of my not-very-secure passwords. I’ve never received an email quite like this one and it’s very concerning and actually scary to me. Please give me your take on this. Is it something new going around? How did they get this password? And is there anything I need to do? And by the way, I didn’t click on any links nor do I have a webcam. He’s not getting any of my money either. Thanks, guys!
Hey, I know your password is: 544929930#
Your computer was infected with my malware, RAT (Remote Administration Tool), your browser wasn’t updated/patched, in such case, it’s enough to just visit some website where my iframe is placed to get automatically infected if you want to find out more – Google: “Drive-by exploits”.
My malware gave me full access and control over your computer, meaning, I got access to all your accounts (see password above) and I can see everything on your screen, turn on your camera or microphone and you won’t even notice about it.
I collected all your private data and I RECORDED YOU (through your webcam ……
After that, I removed my malware to not leave any traces.
Transfer exactly 900$ with the current bitcoin (BTC) price to my bitcoin address.
It’s a very good offer, compared to all that horrible xxxx that will happen if I publish … (yada, yada, yada).
Hi Sharon. We get about fifty of these a week with part or some of what may be a password and a guess at a username.
We wrote an article about this a while ago. Almost everyone gets these kinds of emails.
Make sure you always use strong passwords and that you change the ones that are used for financial transactions every six months -and you have nothing to worry about. The best way to do this is to use a good password manager like LastPass or RoboForm.
If you have any other questions, please let us know.
Kenneth wants his Windows 10 lock screen picture to change — but it doesn’t
I have done something wrong. Maybe I touched some key I should not have touched. The problem is when I start my computer ACER appears but I use to have a different picture every few days. Now I only have one picture. What do I do to get new pictures every few days from Microsoft?
Hi Kenneth. Here’s what you need to do.
Right-click on an open area of your desktop (i.e. without any icons).
Choose “Personalize” > “Lock screen”.
Under “Background” make sure it’s set to “Windows spotlight”.
When it is set to “Windows spotlight” you’ll get a new background picture on your lock screen every few days.
Virginia’s taskbar is now ghostly white
Yesterday I changed the picture on my desktop and in doing so, I inadvertently changed the color of my Taskbar from comfortable black to stark white so that I can barely see the Icons there. The place in the settings to turn it back to black again is greyed out so I can no longer click on it! Can you offer any help with that?
My everlasting thanks for all you two do to help us. Sincerely, Virginia B.
Hi Virginia, thanks so much for your support and your nice comments!
Right-click on your desktop, choose “Personalize”. When Personalization settings open, click “Colors” in the menu on the left.
Under “Choose your default Windows mode” you must choose “Dark”
Under “Choose your default apps mode”, choose “Light”.
Under “Show accent colors on the following surfaces”, check both options.
I hope this solves your taskbar problem.
Diane wants to know if she can use Windows Photo Gallery on Windows 10
Is there a way to go back so I can use Windows 7 Photo Gallery instead of the Windows 10 Photo app? Thanks so much for all that you do for me with using my pc. I look forward to my Daily and Friday newsletters. You’re the best. Diane
Hi Diane. Thanks so much. A couple of years ago, we published an article showing how to install Photo Gallery & Movie Maker on Windows 10. Because it’s been so long since I went back and checked the laptop I installed them on, and they both worked perfectly
So, today, just to be sure, I installed Photo Gallery and Movie Maker on a different laptop running the current version of Windows 10 (Version 2004), and they both installed and worked perfectly.
Thanks to your email, I updated our article and posted it on our InfoAve Website. You can read it here. The article shows you, in detail, how to download and install Windows Photo Gallery & Movie Maker on any version of Windows 10 including the newest version.
Again, Diane, thanks so much for your kind comments and for your support.
Cathy wants to try a VPN
How do I get a VPN? I would like to try using it.
Hi Cathy. We’re all for people trying new things and usually, we’d encourage this because we can all learn by trying new things. But in this case, I need to ask you why you want to try a VPN? Do you think it’s going to make your browsing safer? It won’t. Do you think it’s going to prevent you from having your identity stolen? It won’t. Do you think it will protect you from hackers? It won’t. Do you think it will prevent you from being tracked? It won’t. Do you think it will prevent you from tech support scams and malicious files and websites? It won’t.
There are times when a VPN is necessary, for instance, you work from home, and you are working for a company and dealing with sensitive information and you need to create a secure connection between you and your employer. This is common if you work from home for a doctor’s office, hospital, government entity, etc.
If you’re a home user who thinks a VPN is some virtual shield that will protect you from all the terrible things on the Internet, it won’t. Once you install a VPN you may have trouble connecting to your Gmail account, credit card accounts, online banking, etc. These sites will ask you to verify that you’re really you since you will appear to be connecting from a different location than you normally do. And if you keep changing VPN server locations (one of the features of the VPN that makes you “anonymous”) you may be continually asked to verify your identity every time you try to log in to Gmail, your credit card accounts, online banking accounts, etc.
If, after reading this, you still want to try a VPN, we recommend you try a browser-based VPN first.
You can turn it off and on within your browser and you can switch VPN servers with a click. Since it’s free and it’s a browser extension you can turn on and off or leave on or off or easily remove, it’s an effective way to test the VPN waters without installing a VPN on your computer that changes all your network settings and browser settings.
Susan wants to know if she needs to use the software that came with her external hard drive
I LOVE your Newsletters! In this day and age of scams and fake news, your Newsletters are so refreshing, offering trustworthy programs and answers to great questions! Thank you EVER so much! My question: I’m running Ashampoo for backup onto a Passport external drive. Is it safe to uninstall WD Backup as well as their toolkit, etc.? I don’t see the need for it unless I start having trouble with Ashampoo? Thanks so much, please stay with us, we so need you!! 🙂
Hi Susan. Thank you and thanks for being with us through the years! Yes, Western Digital software is completely unnecessary and can be removed.
We are not going anywhere!
Susan wrote back: “So good to hear you’ll continue to be helping us! Honestly, I don’t know where we would all turn to without you. Thank you so much for doing what you do! Thanks for answering my question so quickly, you guys are amazing! Faithfully yours, Sue “