Season’s Greetings from tKnowIT 2023

Season’s Greetings to one and all,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

As in previous years, be caution from calls or emails claiming to be from BT or Microsoft suggesting that your computer has been hacked. If your computer pops up a message to say you are infected and to call a number, or it even talks to you, turn it off and call me for advice, it’s usually a browser ‘pop-up’ trying to scare you into thinking your computer is infected.

Season’s Greetings from tKnowIT

Season’s Greetings to one and all,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

As in previous years, be caution from calls or emails claiming to be from BT or Microsoft suggesting that your computer has been hacked. If your computer pops up a message to say you are infected and to call a number, or it even talks to you, turn it off and call me for advice, it’s usually a browser ‘pop-up’ trying to scare you into thinking your computer is infected.

Keeping your business data safe during work from home times

It looks like working from home and, more likely, hybrid working are here to stay. This means that businesses need to be confident that security in our staff’s homes is taken into account.
We’ve written a new guide to look at all the issues.

Website Design Changes

Welcome to the tKnowIT website.

You have reached this page as the page you are looking for has either moved or no longer exists.

As the search engines may contain old links we have provided this page. At the moment you can search through our current website design for the information you need (this page forms part of the current website design) or you can visit our old website design – and archived design – by clicking this link.

We are calling to tell you that your computer is infected

Have you had this call?

A growing number of people are receiving calls from companies claiming that they can tell your computer is infected and that, for a fee, they will fix it for you. Sometimes they will claim to be your Internet Provider, Microsoft or BT amongst others and will even give you UK based phone numbers.

I now get one or two calls a week from the public telling me they have had the call and asking ‘Is it true?’

It’s a scam and one of the new ways that people are trying to extort money from you.

They will often try to convince you by asking you to click some options on your machine that will typically display your event logs – which can look like the end of the world is nigh – if you have never seen them before. They will then ask for your credit card details and ask you to visit a website or send you an email with a link in it. Clicking this WILL give them remote access to your machine and likely lead to infections been installed – not removed.

What do they gain from all this? They get £60-£100 from you, access to your machine to attack other machines from, to scan your disk for personal information (identity theft) and, remember, they have your card details so ring the card company ASAP.

What should you do? I recommend you say thank you but you don’t believe them and put the phone down. Then run your own virus scanning software. It is possible that your machine is infected and is reporting back to them using something like the other annoying scam that is ‘Fake AntiVirus’.

If you don’t have any antivirus or you are still not sure then get your machine professionally scanned by a company such as tKnowIT or any of the other local IT companies you already use or can find in The Handy Mag.

Acer Iconia TAB W500 tablet review

The Iconia Tab W500 is a Microsoft Windows 7 based Tablet from Acer. There are not that many tablets running windows 7 and many reviewers say that windows 7 isn’t designed for, or doesn’t work on, a tablet. I’ve had the Acer W500 for a couple of months now and would have to say I disagree. It’s not perfect but it works and works well.

Acer Iconia W500It is heavier than many of the android based tablets but has a ‘well-built and solid’ feel to it. Unlike many NetBooks it uses an AMD processor rather than the Intel Atom and, when combined with the SSD device and 2GB RAM, provides a decent boot up time. Once running the SSD also means it can be put into sleep mode and resume almost instantly.
It’s ideal for surfing the internet and reading emails and a touch of light ‘office work’.

One of the advantages over Android tablets is that if a program will run on your windows PC or laptop then it is likely to run on the W500. Like other windows 7 devices it is also unlikely to crash – which is something Android users are having to put up with for now.
The down side of a windows device is that you may have to buy programs, such as MS Office, to give you more features and install some form of internet security software. The latter will impact on speed but no doubt when the same products mature for android and apple then they will also ‘become slower and safer’

The 1280×800 screen is bright and clear, the sound is loud and clear for music, skype, etc and the W500 also comes with a full-sized USB port, SD Card slot and HDMI port. Like most tablets it has front and rear facing cameras. There is an optional docking keyboard system but I found the onscreen keyboard reasonably easy to use although it was easier still with an optional stylus/pen.

Running windows makes the device more expensive than an Android device and it’s not quite as slick at starting apps as they are but once started they tend not to crash. It makes the NetBook redundant and runs all my windows programs – new and old – so I can confidently carry it around instead of a more expensive laptop.

Acer also do an Android based system called the Iconia Tab A500, which could be confusing but it resembles other Android based tablets which tend to be slimmer and more lightweight.

For those of you looking for a tablet that has a familiar operating system and will run those windows programs you can’t be without then I’d say it’s worth a look.

Why you need to use different passwords

Many people use the same password for everything because it’s easier for them to remember.

There are a number of reasons that this is a bad idea.

Say that you use the same password for your personal email account and your computer login at work. You give your colleague your password to access your machine at work for some reason. Someone sees this written down or overhears you say it or you don’t really trust the work colleague (or they simply guess it’s the same as the dogs name). Finding your email address is easy as you’ve probably forwarded them loads of jokes or been copied on someone else’s jokes list. Now, typically an email address and password will let you access a webmail system. This means an unknown number of people could get into your personal email account.

passwordsChances are you use the same email address and password to get into your favourite online eTailers. It doesn’t matter if not, they just click the ‘forgot password’ option and a random new password is sent to your email account – which they have access to. They can then log into your eTailer, order some items but change the shipping address.

While they’re on the eTailer site they can often find out additional information to start the process of cloning your identity for other purposes. Your address, age, marital status, security question, mother’s maiden name, previous order details to get an idea of how much money you spend on certain products. This also means they can tailor an email phishing attack to appear as though it’s from the etailer with an unbelievable special offer which you need to click the link to get. You then give them your credit card details including the 3 digit code. They can now buy a few more things from other sites using all the correct card details and card address.

If you use the same password for your Favourite Social Networking site then they can get in and post a few dodgy links on your page to downloads that will infect your friends machines and for good measure send them a few emails with ‘watch this funny video’ type links – with your endorsement. Next thing is you find all your friends phoning and asking why their machines are now infected with Fake AntiVirus warnings after click your links.

Changed your passwords yet ?

First major update for windows phone 7

From late 2010 there was talk of a pending update for the windows phone 7 that would give it features like copy and paste. Microsoft themselves did not start talking about it officially until around february 2011.

I can’t really say that I missed the lack of a copy and paste feature and had several other things on my priority list.

First reports of the update turned out to be a minor update to prepare windows phone 7 (WP7) devices for future updates. Some phones ‘bricked’ when this minor update was installed. Worryingly for me it appeared to be mainly Samsung Omnia 7 models that were affected and that’s my phone. I am not totally clear on the process but I believe that updates are passed from microsoft to the phone makers and phone service providers who then test them and the service provider tweaks it and releases it to their users. Orange , my provider, held back until a couple of weeks ago when the minor update appeared. of course I got all excited thinking it was the major update but anyway my phone updated ok.

Today the major update appeared and I applied that to my phone. It went on without any problems and I now have a feature that lets me select, copy and paste.

A quick look through the menus does not appear to show anything else new but maybe they are for later.

I am hoping for customised ring-tones as the default ones are driving me mad.
I am also hoping for the sync feature to include synchronising of Internet Explorer favourites. This is something I found the Apple iPhone 3G managed quite well.

I’ll post more in the coming days if I find anything as I use the WP7 with the update.

New website for tKnowIT at

Welcome to one of our new look websites. Over time the word ‘new’ will become pointless but until there is more content and structure to the site then it’s relevant.

The site uses WordPress. At the time of writing the main tKnowIT website uses a Joomla based Content Management System (CMS). After a great deal of thought I decided that the tKnowIT site should use Joomla rather than WordPress. Both have their advantages and disadvantages but I decided that Joomla would allow me to produce a website that met my requirements for appearance and structure and allowed me to upload new content easily. WordPress can do the same but it did not have the full structure and feature set I got from Joomla.

Both Joomla and WordPress do make life simpler than it used to be though. With a static website I needed to sit down at a specific machine with my web design software, Dreamweaver, and create new pages, menus and revisions and then republish the design. For a site with as much content as the website this became difficult to manage – and it became to easy to ‘put off’ updates. The site design was also redone at least once during its life as a static html based website. although CSS stylesheets, etc can make this process easier it consumes too much time for a large site.

I still think that static html based websites can work though. Search engines can easily read the page content and for start-ups and businesses with a need for only a few pages they’re a good starting point. I have noticed that dynamic websites can take a while to display the content if the platform or database server is not performing to a decent standard – resulting in slow page load times – which the search engines are not going to look favourably on.

So why a seperate site using WordPress for tKnowIT information. Well partly to see how new information can be delivered to search engines, social networking systems, etc but also to see how search engines feed on the information compared to something like Joomla. As WordPress is also more of a blogging tool then I am more inclined to enter random comments, opinions, mini-reviews of things I am trying out, etc.

Post added from Windows Phone 7 App

Posted from WordPress for Windows Phone

Looks like a fairly useful app. Create and edit posts, check stats and review comments amongst the features I can see.