Computeractive 617

Computeractive is the UK’s best-selling computer magazine and your friendly guide to PCs, gadgets and the web! It includes regular news updates, project ideas, help and advice on popular reader queries, articles on anti-virus software, features on consumer rights, and a whole lot more to help you get the very best out of your computer. Get PC advice in plain English today – get Computeractive!

United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
26 Issues

in this issue

1 min
from the editor

History’s more famous Daniel Booths include an American drag queen called Sweetie and an 18th-century Governor of the Bank of England (shame those two never met). They help to push me off Google’s first page of search results. I’m there on page two though, linked to some interviews I’ve given as editor of this magazine. I’m happy with this level of fame. I’d hate to be plastered all over Google, any embarrassing exploits exposed for the world to see. There are ways to remove yourself, as Robert Irvine explains in our Cover Feature, but even if you do that you still have to erase your Facebook profile from search results, not to mention any photos and videos. Robert reveals how to do all this too. My relationship with Google is simple: I…

2 min
windows 11 hit by start menu and file explorer bugs

Microsoft has suggested a solution for a problem in Windows 11 that has left users unable to type anything after opening the Start menu. The problem was widely reported just a few hours after Microsoft released the operating system on 5 October. Users complained that it meant they couldn’t search using the Start menu. Microsoft says affected users can fix the problem by launching Run (Windows key+R), then clicking Cancel to close it. The company didn’t say whether this was a serious problem that will need fixing in a forthcoming update. The Start menu has moved to the centre of the taskbar in Windows 11, in one of the biggest design changes to the new operating system. If you don’t like it there, you can move it back to the left by tweaking…

1 min
turkish hacks increase, but russia still biggest threat

Hackers backed by Turkish authorities are a growing threat, Microsoft has warned, though Russia is still by far the world’s most active attacker. In its Digital Defense Report 2021 (, Microsoft listed Turkey as a “new entrant” in its analysis, saying its Sea Turtle hacking group has attacked telecommunications companies in the Middle East and the Balkans. Microsoft also mentioned threats from China, Iran, North and South Korea and Vietnam. However, Russia remains by far the world’s biggest cyber-terrorist, responsible for 58 per cent of attacks in the past year. Its success rate has improved, jumping from 21 to 32 per cent. The UK was one of the top three countries targeted by Kremlin-backed hackers, behind the United States and Ukraine. Industrial espionage and intelligence gathering were the main reasons for hacking, Microsoft…

1 min
switch from virgin to bt (and vice versa) more easily

You’ll soon be able to switch more easily between Virgin Media and Openreach networks like BT, Sky and TalkTalk under Ofcom’s new One Touch Switch process. Currently it’s relatively straightforward to move between providers that operate on Openreach’s copper network – you just need to contact your new provider and it will do the work for you, including asking your old provider to send you a final bill. But switching has remained a lot harder when moving between an Openreach provider and one that runs its own cables, such as Virgin and CityFibre. In such cases you have to contact both your old and new provider in order to implement the switch. This can lead to many frustrating phone calls as you try to co-ordinate the move. You’re also likely to be without…

1 min
social-media sites must tackle financial scams or ‘face action’

Facebook, Twitter and other social-media firms will face action if they don’t do more to crack down on financial scams, the UK’s financial watchdog has warned. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said there was a surge in “dodgy financial promotions” advertised online during the pandemic lockdowns, as more people shopped online and experimented with online investment schemes. Its head of enforcement Mark Steward said it was putting sites “on notice that we expect them to be involved in this process of protecting the community”. Fraudsters stole nearly £570m in 12 months to April, a wave that trade body UK Finance calls a “national security threat”. There are signs that websites are beginning to take financial scams more seriously. Last month Google banned investment ads that aren’t authorised by the FCA, including those promoting gold…

1 min
in brief

GIFFGAFF INCREASES ‘GOODYBAG’ DATA Giffgaff ( has increased the amount of data you get in its pay-monthly ‘Goodybag’ deals. Proportionally the biggest increase is in its £6 plan, which doubles from 500MB to 1GB. The largest increase by volume is in its £12 plan, rising from 12GB to 20GB. Use Giffgaff’s online calculator to work out how much data you need: All its plans come with unlimited UK calls and texts. TALKTALK GIVES JOB SEEKERS FREE INTERNET TalkTalk is now offering six months free 35Mbps broadband for job seekers, in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions. At the end of the six months customers can then choose to move on to a TalkTalk contract or cancel with no fees. The offer is available nationwide, after being trialled last year in…