028: Who do you Trust? Web of Trust (WOT)

I was asked a few weeks ago by Di if I trusted a particular website she wanted to download some software from. It’s not an easy question to answer. I spent a fair bit of time googling the product and the site owner and came to the judgement that the site and what they are offering seem legitimate.

But it’s a lot of work and something I’m asked to do relatively frequently. As part of that investigation, I stumbled upon a product that will do it for me. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great guide. Today I want to introduce you to WOT The Web of Trust extension for Google Chrome and other browsers. We discussed extensions a few weeks ago so I won’t go over that again, I’ll just link it up above and delve into the specifics of this extension.

WOT is a free extension that checks the reputation of each site against WOT’s database of trust gleaned from millions of users across the internet. Any time you do a search WOT scans all the links on the page and puts a small WOT donut beside each link: Green for safe, Yellow for suspicious and Red for unsafe. If the page is unrated it gets a grey donut. It’s worth noting that a great donut is not necessarily a warning, more a sign that the site may get few visitors.

You can also click on the donut to see a detailed WOT page for the site. If you try and go to a site with a poor reputation, a pop-up will appear, warning you that the site is potentially malicious. Really handy.

One other nice feature is that if you’re reading your email in Chrome WOT will highlight the unsafe links in email without cluttering the page with all the safe links. This can be another handy tool for spotting scams in emails.

The other great thing is that you can rate and review any site yourself. In recording this episode I found that a link in my emails to sendgrid.net was marked as red (unsafe). Sendgrid is an email delivery service used by both legitimate and disreputable companies alike. I was able to go in and rate the site as yellow, suspicious which I believe more accurately represents the site and I also left a detailed review explaining why. This then adds to the collective wisdom of the site as a whole.

It’s worth noting that there has been a privacy issue noted with WOT back in late 2016, they were found by a German media outlet to be storing the search data in a way that could be identified. The extension was removed and reworked and re-released in early 2017 with boosted anonymization techniques to protect users. I’m not one to get massively hung up on privacy issues but if you’re really concerned then you’ve been warned.

I personally think this is an excellent extension, especially for users nervous about the websites they’re going to.

A special thanks to Di for her question, I hope this helps you feel safe.

At The Tech Doctor Network our goal is to help you feel comfortable with your computers.

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Have a great week!

027: Maggie’s Q: How do I back up the photos on my iPhone?

 
In this week’s episode, we have a viewer question.
Maggie asks: How do I back up the photos on my iPhone?
 
If you would like your question answered email ask@techdoctor.com.au or leave a comment below.
Thanks for asking Maggie! Like many IT questions there are several possible answers, so I’ll give you a couple and let you choose the one that works for you.
 
If you have a computer, you can simply plug your iPhone into a free USB
port on the computer using the same cable you use to charge it. In Windows 10, a window will pop up showing the internal storage of your phone. Inside
that is a DCIM folder and inside that will be one or more folders. My iPhone
has 4: 100 Apple has old photos and movies in it, 101 Apple has newer photos and movies in it 100Cloud has older photos and movies saved in iCloud in it and 101Cloud has newer photos and movies saved to iCloud in it.
 
All you need to do is copy these folders to the Pictures folder on your computer and you have a backup. This will take some time. If you’re intending to delete the files from your phone, then this becomes the only copy of your pictures, so you really need to have a backup, but we’ll cover that in a later episode.
 
Option 2 is Apple’s own iCloud. Apple gives you 5Gb data storage for free but I know because you’re asking that you likely have way more than 5Gb of
photos. If you’re happy to part with some of your hard-earned money you can simply pay Apple AU$1.49 per month to upgrade that to 50Gb and let Apple backup all your photos. The problem is that you have to pay that AU$1.50 every month that’s $120 over the next ten years. Maybe it’s worth
it, maybe it’s not. It’s entirely up to you.
 
There’s also a 200Gb plan for AU$4.49 per month and a 2 terabyte plan for AU$14.99 per month, but you are only likely to need them if you take a lot of  video and never delete anything or you’re backing up a computer as well.
 
Option 3 is a Google option. Google has an App for the iPhone called Photos that allow you to back up your iPhone photos to Google.
 
All you need to do is download the app, log in to your Google account (see the Google account episode) and it will begin to backup your photos and videos. You can either choose to backup full versions of your photos that will count against the 15Gb of storage you usually get with a Google account or you can select high quality mode and Google will back them all up for you for free.
 
These photos are compressed to 16 megapixels each but the iPhone doesn’t
take photos that big so there is no loss. The other great feature of Google photos is that you can log into photos.google.com on any computer and see your photos there, organise them, play with them and even share them with your friends.
 
There are a few ideas for you Maggie. 🙂
 
If it helps, I personally do both number 1 and number 3 and mostly I do number 1 because I’m copying the recording of this video from my iPhone off to edit it.
 
I hope that was really helpful for you.
At The Tech Doctor Network our goal is to help you feel comfortable with your computer. Come back every weekend for new videos or subscribe and ring the bell below to be notified directly.
 
Leave any questions or comments below. I’m here to help. Thank you so much for watching and have a great day!

026: Wikipedia: the internet’s free encyclopedia

Wikipedia, the Internet’s free encyclopedia.
Wait, Wikis, aren’t they the big hairy guys from Star Wars? No, That’s a Wookiee.
What is a wiki? Basically, a wiki is a website where users can collaboratively modify content. The name comes from the Hawaiian word for quick.
Basically, a site where pretty much anyone can change what the site says. For an encyclopedia, that sounds like a disaster waiting to happen but in
general, it works surprisingly well.
As at the latter part of 2018, there is currently over five and a half million articles on the English language version of Wikipedia with a total of more than forty million articles in over 300 languages. Not bad for a site that started in 2001
Realistically Wikipedia is a great place to look up general information but you have to understand that just because it’s on the site doesn’t make it the
truth. That said you could say the same about anything on the internet. If you do like to believe everything you read on the Internet, I urge you to click on this link to the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus and leave a comment about it below.
The joy of it being a wiki, of course, is that if there’s a topic you’re a subject matter expert on, you can correct or even create a page subject to some conditions. Some pages have forms of locking on them to prevent vandalism and can only be edited by registered users or administrators.
That said there is tons of useful and correct information on Wikipedia.
It’s a great place to look up geographical information like the population or area of a country, it’s great for finding the exact size of a queen mattress in
your home country or the technical specifications of the new iPhone XR.
It’s also a great place to read up about technology new and old,  governments, plants, brands or whatever. There’s even a random article linked in the left menu if you really can’t decide what to read.
There are even games that use Wikipedia. Known by the name Wiki Racing or just The Wikipedia Game, where two or more people pick a starting page and attempt clicking on internal links to get to a predetermined destination page the fastest.
Leave a comment below with a great Wikipedia link that you found.
I hope that was really useful for you.
At The Tech Doctor Network, our goal is to help you feel comfortable with your computer. Come back every weekend for new videos or subscribe and ring the bell to be notified.
Leave any questions or comments below, I’m here to help.
Thank you so much for watching and have a great day!

025: What is this Cloud thing?

What is this cloud thing all about? Do I need an umbrella?

The Cloud is many different things depending on who you are, but in its most basic form the cloud is a bunch of server computers that can store and process your data.

Back in the early days of the internet, it would be common to use a diagram of your computer connected to the Internet which was a big cloud then connected to a website or whatever somewhere else. The reason it was pictured as a cloud is because the internet is designed to always find the fastest way but it may not be the same way every time, so it seemed to disappear into a cloud and then come back out the other end.

The internet then sort of became synonymous with a cloud. Later as the internet started to do more than just be pictures and text on webpages,
the concept of internet-based server computing and storage was born and
dubbed Cloud Computing.

What this means for you and I is that the internet (or cloud) can both store and process things for us, without them being tied to our computer. Once this video you are watching was completed and edited by me, I uploaded it to YouTube’s server. The servers there process it into multiple formats and store it for me waiting for you to watch. YouTube is a cloud service.

Gmail is a cloud service. We log into the Gmail site and there is all of our email. Google received it for us, stores it, processes it and, if we ask it to, it forwards it to others or reply or whatever. They also handle the backups for us.

Backups and storage are a huge part of the cloud. Several companies have built huge businesses storing data for individuals and for each other. The massive economies of scale of these giant data centers, scattered all over
the world, with really fast connections in between them, mean companies can store huge amounts of data and quickly replicate it around the world.

It’s really reassuring to know that not only is my file accessible from anywhere it’s stored in many places, so that if a particular part of the world suffers some sort of disaster, it’s not the only copy.

Back in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina struck the Eastern USA, the data center where I housed several of my websites at the time was mildly impacted, with several outages over a few days. 13 years on, the internet is a different place and that same site can be replicated across the cloud with virtually no downtime.

The theory is all well and good, but how do you, the viewer, make use of the cloud? You probably already are making some use of it, with services like iCloud, Gmail Google Drive, Dropbox, Facebook or YouTube.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing some more specifics on these topics but I needed to lay the groundwork first.

I hope that was really useful. At The Tech Doctor Network, our goal is to help you feel comfortable with your computer. Come back every weekend for new videos. Scroll down, hit subscribe and ring the bell to be notified when new episodes are out.

While you’re there, leave a comment or ask a question. We’re here to help.
Thank you so much for watching and have a great day.

024: Google Chrome Extensions Evernote/Lastpass/Great Suspender/Monument Dash/Adblock/Ebay

Hey there YouTube!

Chrome extensions, are they like those tail fins on cars like
the EK Holden? No!

Chrome extensions are little additions to chrome that extend its capability and customise the browsing experience. They allow the user to customise Chrome to their preferences.

Extensions are usually downloaded from the Chrome Web Store or can be directly installed with other programs. For example, Evernote which we learned about in Episode 18 installs a Chrome extension that allows you quick access to save web pages in a variety of forms to our Evernote List.

Extensions are designed to have a single fixed purpose and be minimal. To access existing extensions simply go to the hamburger menu, click more tools and then extensions. Here you can see some of the many extensions I use every day and a few that I’m testing at the moment.

To add new extensions you need to go to the Chrome Web Store which you can access by going to the menu at the top left of the extensions, clicking open Chrome Web Store from the bottom. You can also access it by clicking the chrome apps button at the left end of the bookmark toolbar and then clicking on the web store apps or the link at the bottom right corner.

The Web Store itself lists probably tens of thousands of available extensions with many ways to search and filter them. I won’t spend too long here other than to suggest that you have a look around and try a few and see what you like.

I will, however, recommend a few of my favourites. I’ve already mentioned Evernote and another program I spoke about, LastPass relies heavily on its Chrome extension.

Another useful extension is Adblock plus. There are many of these types of programs, I tend to look for the one with the lots of downloads and a good rating. The one I have has a logo of ABP and is currently at version 3.4.

Grammarly is a great extension that helps with spelling and grammar and the paid version adds a bunch of other features. Momentum is a great New Tab replacement with its own personal dashboard including To-do, weather and inspiration.

The Great Suspender is an amazing extension that puts apps to sleep after
an hour, great for people like me who have lots of tabs open but don’t want
them using lots of available memory.

The last one I’ll mention is eBay; an extension that allows you to keep tabs on the items you’re watching, buying or selling on eBay.

I hope that was really helpful for you. At The Tech Doctor Network, our goal is to guide you each step of the way as you become comfortable with your computer.

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023: Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows (Bonus Melbourne Cup Day Episode)

Today is Melbourne Cup Day in my home city of Melbourne: a day of high fashion, horses and a four-day weekend for most people.

[If something looks odd with me, I’ve shaved. I’m supporting Men’s Health by taking part in Movember. Please feel free to donate to support this wonderful cause.]

I’m celebrating with an episode talking to you about what on earth keyboard shortcuts are and how they help.

A keyboard shortcut is a series of two to three keys that you press together
that do something quickly for you. If you do a lot of typing you have both hands on the keyboard then these shortcuts allow you to keep your hands on the keyboard, rather than reaching for the mouse. They’re really useful and a time saver once you get used to them.

Many keyboard shortcuts utilise the Ctrl keys on the bottom row of the keyboard the outer left and right of the main part of the keyboard, the Alt keys either side of the spacebar, the Windows key between the left Ctrl and Alt keys, and the Function keys across the top of the keyboard.

Three of the most common keyboard shortcuts that work in almost every
program are Copy: hold the Ctrl key down and then press C this is usually denoted like this [CTRL+C]. Paste: which is [CTRL+V] and Cut: which is [CTRL+X]. Copy stores whatever is currently highlighted in a special storage area called the clipboard. Paste simply takes that same item from the clipboard and puts it back in your document where the cursor is located. Cut is copying something but also deleting it from the document which is great if you want to move it somewhere else. [CTRL+Z] will undo whatever you’ve just done.

Other useful windows shortcuts include [F5] which causes the screen to refresh in many applications including web browsers and windows explorer. Also for windows explorer is the Windows key + E [Win+E] which opens a new windows explorer window and then [CTRL+Shift+N] which creates a new folder for you in the current folder.

[Delete] deletes the highlighted item sending it to the Recycle Bin while [Shift+Delete] deletes it completely, bypassing the Recycle Bin, so be careful.

Now it’s your turn; have a play with using the Windows key and the four arrow keys and see how you go moving windows around.

The final shortcut I’ll leave you with is [CTRL+F] which is the search or find shortcut, allowing you to type a few letters, a word or a phrase and see if or where it is contained in the current document or webpage.

I hope that was really helpful for you. There’s also a great reference sheet from Microsoft Support Keyboard Shortcuts.

At The Tech Doctor Network our goal is to guide you each step of the way to help you feel comfortable with your computer. Come back every weekend for new videos. Press the subscribe and the bell icon to be notified of new ones.

Thank you so much for watching and have a great day!

022: Saving yourself from Scams

Hey there YouTube, do you want to give away all of your hard-earned savings to a scammer?

Stay tuned to hear some ways to detect the scams and stay safe online.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes a scam as a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation. Basically, someone trying to take your money without a physical threat.

I receive some form of scam usually via an email about 5 to 10 times
a day. Thankfully, most of these end up in my spam folder and I never actually see them. Some though, do slip through so I thought I’d take a moment to have a look at a few and explain how I recognize
them as scams.

The first 3 points I look at are: Is it too good to be true? This is
a simple one that people often forget be it due to greed or some other
blindness, we forget the basic internal fact check: If it seems too good to be
true it’s probably a scam.

Secondly: What do they want from me? Usually, it’s clicking on something or a request for personal information that they can use to scam you in some other way.

Thirdly: Where are they trying to lead me? This is, in fact, almost the easiest one to spot. Did you know that simply by putting your cursor to hover over a link, most programs will display either as a pop-up beside the cursor or down the bottom left or right corner of the screen, the address where clicking the link will take you. If it doesn’t match up with what they’re saying it’s time to be on high alert.

Here are some examples that I found in my spam folder this week:

The first one, other than the warning that Gmail has posted, the obvious thing for this one is that it’s from the Canadian Tax Office, and I live in Australia, so it’s clearly a scam.

The second one is from a well-known big Aussie company, the hardware store Bunnings, but hovering over the link shows that the link will take me to a website called work-careersservice.com. Scam

The third example, a job that earns thirty-five thousand dollars a month. That fails the too-good-to-be-true test. Scam

These are just a few examples from emails I’ve received in the last few days.

I hope that was really helpful for you. At the Tech Doctor Network, our goal is to guide you each step of the way to help you feel comfortable with your computer.

Come back every weekend for new videos and please subscribe and hit the bell icon to be notified for each new episode.

Leave your questions and comments below. I’m here to help you. Thank you so much for watching, have a great day!

Buzzer sound by guitarguy1985 on Freesound.org: https://freesound.org/people/guitarguy1985/sounds/54047

021: A scary reminder about backing up (Bonus Midweek Episode)

There’s lots of horror stories in IT, don’t let your story be one of them.

Happy Halloween guys, I thought it was time for a quick midweek reminder.

Computers are fairly cheap, your data is precious. I’ve had way too many sad users that I can’t help, most of whom would have been saved by a good backup. If you do have a backup, have you tested it? Can you actually access and restore current files?

I know an organisation that had been dutifully rotating its
backup drives weekly for five years. Thankfully the admin decided to test the content one day and found that the data on the drive was three years out of date. The copy process had broken down and no one had checked.

Thankfully a disaster was averted in this case. I’ll have a full episode or two on backup soon but between now and then, stop and think
carefully about your data and what would happen if it disappeared.

I’ve personally raked through the ashes of a burnt-out home business and found what I think was the backup drive in beside the computer.

Unfortunately, they were both just a molten mess of metal and plastic.
Don’t let the zombies eat your computer’s brains.

Thanks for watching, please subscribe and leave a comment below with
your computer Horror Story, and have a great day.

020: How to install Software from the Microsoft Store

One thing I forgot to mention on the episode a few weeks back about Installing software is the Microsoft Store.

Sorry about that, I’ve been installing software manually for decades, and it was only later that I was installing something else and realised there is often a better way.

The Microsoft store is a curated and managed selection of Apps that meet a collection of Microsoft Certifications to be sold in their store. It’s not just for paid programs though, there are many great free apps in there as well. The Microsoft store is accessed by the shopping bag icon in the taskbar of windows.

It contains menus at the top for Home, Apps, Games, Devices and Film & TV. We are mainly going to concern ourselves with the first 3: Devices is for Hardware: Surface Tablets, Laptops, Desktops and Xbox consoles and accessories. Film & TV allows you to buy or rent Movies and TV show to watch directly on your computer or push to your TV if you have the correct setup. We will get to episodes about that sort of thing muuuuch later. 🙂

The Home screen is simply a jumping off point to find whatever you might be interested in and highlights new and popular content from the other categories.

The apps section shows some highlighted apps at the top and then bands of collections of software: Best Selling, Top Free, Top Paid, Windows Themes, Apps picked for you, New apps Microsoft love, Creative apps and more and more. It ends with a list of software categories that you can scroll through.

The games section similarly shows highlighted apps then bands Top Paid, New games etc ending a collection of game categories for your browsing pleasure.

While you can get some of the free apps without a Microsoft Account, many of them do require an account. In much the same way as a Google Account, you may already have a Microsoft account if you use Outlook.com, Hotmail.com, Live.com or MSN. If you don’t already have an account there is a relatively simple process to go through to create one. Simply click Microsoft Account and then Create one. You will need to provide an email address, a password and your Country.

Once you are logged in you can simply click “Get” and the app of your choice will be downloaded and installed.

Buying a paid app is as simple as clicking the “Buy” button, confirming your login and selecting a payment method. You can pay from your Credit or Debit Card, Paypal and Possibly even have it charged to your mobile phone. Kids, please make sure you have the permission of an adult before doing this. Some applications can be very expensive!

As well as being safer and easier, the other advantage is that all your Microsoft Store Apps will be upgraded automatically as new versions are released. This can be quite handy, a real time saver and much more secure, as you know you will always have the latest, safest version available. The downside is that some software is available paid in the store that is available free elsewhere, and there is some software that is simply not available in the store at all.

I hope that was really helpful for you. At the Tech Doctor Network, our goal is to guide you each step of the way to help you feel comfortable with your computer. Come back every weekend for new videos and please subscribe.

Leave your questions or comments below. I’m here to help. Thank you so much for watching. Have a great day.

019: Help! Someone knows my password

Help! Someone’s stolen my password.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had several people come to me with a slightly unusual problem. They’ve received an email where someone has sent them their password, and not surprisingly, they’re fairly confused by that.

Here’s a sample of one of the emails.

In it, you can clearly see your password. It’s from some random person. It’s to your email address (or you wouldn’t have received it) but the To: line also
includes your password as does the body of the email.

In the body of the email is some insinuation that you have been
watching porn and that they’ve recorded you doing it. They also claim to have collected all of your contacts from Messenger, Facebook and email and what they’re doing is basically asking you to pay them $5000 so that they won’t release that information to your contacts.

There’s lots of interesting language in this and there’s also a few things where they’ve covered their tracks well. They’ve asked you to pay in Bitcoin which can’t be traced, they also state that they have a special pixel in this email so that they know that you’ve read it, which can be done.

But all in all it’s a complete scam with one caveat. Your password is actually
publicly known. So, how does something like this happen? From time to time websites get hacked the bad guys are out there poking around at websites and sometimes they find a way in and as part of that they occasionally manage to steal a list of usernames and passwords. In this case, this has happened. These lists are often then put up on websites
or sold.

The long and the short of it is they do actually have your email address
and password (or at least “that” password). Hopefully, it’s not your only password. If you’ve watched Episode #012 where I talk about passwords and
LastPass and having different passwords for different websites.

Basically, it’s blackmail. It’s a scam but it’s a great identifier that that password is publicly known and needs to be changed. But there’s a way
you can check. If you go to haveIbeenpwned.com and there you can put in
your email address and it will tell you if that email address is linked to any
known password breaches.

Some enterprising villain has decided to pair the usernames and passwords found and attempt to blackmail you with them. There’s nothing to worry about from them specifically but it is important to change your password on any site that you’ve used that password on.

Basically you can delete and ignore that email but what you can’t ignore is the message that it’s sending, that you need to change your password. Be alert but not alarmed.

Thank you so much for watching The Tech Doctor. We’re here to help you get to know your computer, be comfortable using it and look after it yourself. We release new episodes every weekend, so please come back and subscribe.

Also if you have any questions for, us please leave them in the comments below.

Thank you so much for watching and have a great day

[Outtake] The word pwned comes from a computer game where somebody
accidentally mistyped the word “owned” it became a bit of an internet meme for being owned by someone else.