Speed Up Your Broadband

Fibre-optic broadband has been available to many Sheffielders for about three years, though not everyone makes use of it. Many Grapevine readers are using the same broadband supplier they originally signed up with, but it is worth a look at changing supplier to save money – and increase the connection speed.

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Spy on your Cat and Dog

Meet Bob! He is the three-month-old border terrier that recently became part of my household, writes Adrian Arksey. If you are on Facebook or Instagram, you will have noticed that users often post pictures and videos of their pets. It is now possible to use smartphones and computers to keep an eye on Fido and Felix.

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Bleeding Bug!

Have you used a website that had a little padlock on it when you were asked to log-in or enter personal information?

If so, you may be affected by the ‘Heartbleed Bug’. It takes advantage of a major security flaw at the heart of the internet – and during the past two years might have been exposing users’ personal information and passwords to hackers.

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Virus Protection For All Your Devices

It’s not just PCs that need protecting from viruses – your Mac or mobile phone may need protection too!

A computer virus is a programme, or piece of code, which is loaded onto your computer without your knowledge – and intended to cause mayhem. Viruses can replicate themselves, and are always man-made.

How should you protect your computers, phones and tablets?

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The Web Way to Hire Movies

If you are planning a night in front of the telly, don’t bother traipsing out in the snow to rent a DVD – that’s if you can find anywhere which hires out movies these days (Blockbuster has closed down).

It is much easier to obtain whatever you want to watch via a smart phone, or smart television. TV box sets can be streamed from the internet at the push of the button. Here are the most popular movie suppliers.

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Criminals & Cryptolocker

A new email con is doing the rounds – and could ruin everything on your computer. Police warn that millions of UK internet users could be at risk from a ‘ransom’ email spam which appears to have come from a financial institution.

The email has an attachment which seems legitimate, but is malware designed to encrypt your computer files.

If the attachment is opened, a displayed countdown timer demands a ransom to decrypt the files. The encryption takes over everything on your PC – documents, and even photos.

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If You Need Help With A New iPad This Christmas…

Many Grapevine readers will be thinking of buying an iPad for themselves or a family member this Christmas, writes Adrian Arksey.

If you need help setting up the device, please call me. I can configure your emails, sync your iPad with other gadgetry, and set up a Cloud system. I can also give advice about iPad apps. One or two are sure to be of interest to you – out of the 475,000 available.

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Email Addresses Recycled

This summer, the web firm Yahoo announced that email addresses and identities would be reassigned if they had been inactive for a year. This means someone with an awkward email name such as johnsmith4737, will be able to obtain plain johnsmith.

Yahoo have attempted to reach all their users, and tell them that if they do not log into their inactive addresses, they will be recycled. This has caused a bit of a row, with some people claiming that sensitive information from these email accounts could fall into the wrong hands.

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Stop Hackers!

Your PC is vulnerable to attack by cyber thieves if its router security setting is not high enough.

Make sure your Wi-Fi connection is adequately protected from hackers. The main types of wireless security which home routers use are WEP and WPA/WPA2. But – and this is scary! – some don’t have any protection.

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