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Monthly Archives: August 2014

Ipad security tips

The iPad is ideal for doing internet-based tasks on the go. But when you shop online you need to be careful to improve your iPad’s security, and make sure your money is protected.

Guarding against fraud is essential, and can easily be achieved by firstly putting a password on the device, and on any apps that store your details. If possible, do not save your credit or debit card information on websites as thieves could gain access to these.

System and app updates can be irritating at times, but are absolutely vital as they often fix security bugs, make sure your details are safe and protect you against malicious viruses. Equally important is resisting experimenting with the system – this can mess up key security on the device and lead to an easily hackable iPad.

Don’t click on pop-ups or links in spam emails as these can take you to insecure sites. The ‘https’ at the beginning of a URL makes it easy to check that you’re on a secure website.

Finally, public Wi-Fi hotspots are not always entirely secure, meaning your details could be at risk. Instead, opt for 3G or 4G if you’re out and about, or stick to protected Wi-Fi networks.

How to connect your laptop to your TV

Connecting your laptop and TV is an easy way to get more from your devices. In doing so you can access your favourite TV programme, iTunes film or YouTube channel. You can also watch TV services like BBC iPlayer, Sky Go and Netflix.

If you don’t have a DVD player you could watch DVDs on your TV by playing them on your connected laptop; or you could view a photo slideshow and display it on your TV screen – perfect for showing off holiday snaps!

To connect your devices look at the ports available on both your laptop and TV. Laptops and TVs made in the last 5 years should have HDMI ports. You will need to purchase a HDMI cable and connect it to both devices to stream video and audio to your TV.

Older devices should come with either an S-Video port or VGA port. You will need to buy and attach the correct cable. These only carry the video signal so plug a speaker into your laptop headphone jack for the best sound.

Once your devices are connected you need to switch your TV to the correct input by pressing the button that controls your AV settings. Scroll through the options until you find your laptop.

Finally, if it isn’t displaying what it should be, go to your laptop display settings and select TV. With Macs you sometimes need to click and drag the window off the right of your screen and it will appear on the TV.

How can I charge my gadgets while camping?

In our technology dependent age, setting off on a camping trip with no means of charging our phones and various gadgets we rely on can seem a bit daunting.

Luckily, there are lots of clever devices that can handle this task, so you can carry on camping worry free.

The first option is the good old ‘hand crank’ technology. The hand crank chargers have a spinning handle you crank around to produce energy for a USB charging slot. Plug your USB charging cable in to your device and charge the batteries of small personal electronic devices. These don’t store power so you will need to keep working the charger until your device is charged sufficiently.

Alternatively, you could power your electronics by harvesting the suns energy with a portable solar panel. You can buy solar phone charging panels from as little as £15 and there is a wide range available. The obvious downfall of solar chargers is that when the sun isn’t out, you can’t charge anything! Make sure you keep your device in the shade when charging, as it will overheat in direct sunlight.

Finally, you could use the energy from your camp stove to charge your devices with a PowerPot charger. This is exactly what it says on the tin, and is a cooking pot with a thermoelectric generator that creates power when you boil water.

Tips for keeping your inbox tidy

Email inboxes can become disorganised extremely quickly, and once this happens it becomes a difficult task to sort out. You can save yourself a lot of time and effort by keeping your inbox tidy and organised, and we have a few tips to help you do this.

The main thing to try to do is always take action on an email after reading it. This could be to delete it if it serves no further purpose, or to file it into a folder so you know where to find it later.

Email providers offer a range of folder and tagging options for your email, which you can utilise to organise your mail like a filing cabinet. Create a folder or tag for the different areas in your life, such as ‘work’, ‘family’, ‘finances’ and ‘car’ and move every email related to each folder into it. To make life easier, you can set up rules to automatically handle messages as they come in.

If you are tight on time it can help to mark emails you have only glanced over as ‘unread’, which will remind you to read it again.

Finally, make sure you unsubscribe from emails and newsletters you never read. If they do not give you the option to do this at the bottom of their email then your email provider will offer to block the email address.