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Computeractive 537

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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!

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United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
SPECIAL: Get 40% OFF with code: JOY40
R 38,80
R 584,80
26 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
from the editor

When developers update software, it can feel like that cynical supermarket tactic of regularly moving items so you walk around the store for longer, inevitably spending more money. But while software companies also want your cash, there’s little psychological trickery in their tweaking. Instead, they’re addicted to change for the sake of it, adding more and more features until a program implodes under the weight of toolbars, tabs and dropdown menus (see the Outlook story on page 7). ‘I tweak, therefore I am’, seems to be their ethos. I know that many of you are happy sticking with old programs that have always served you well, but find it hard to run them in modern operating systems. So in this issue’s Cover Feature we’ve explained the best ways to keep them alive,…

11 min.

Let all patients ‘Skype’ GPs says Health Secretary All NHS patients should be able to have video chats on their phone with their GP, the Health Secretary has said, despite scepticism from some doctors. Matt Hancock, who replaced Jeremy Hunt in July, is a fan of the app ‘GP at Hand’ (www.gpathand.nhs.uk), made by UK company Babylon. It offers free video consultations with doctors, and provides automated responses to symptoms, using an algorithm to judge the urgency of your condition before advising you what to do next. If your symptoms are serious enough, you can book a next-day appointment at a surgery that is signed up to the app. At the moment, only five surgeries (all in London) offer the app. Its plan to launch in Birmingham was blocked in August by NHS England,…

2 min.
in brief

WANNACRY HACK: NORTH KOREAN CHARGED A North Korean man has been charged by the FBI for the WannaCry ransomware attack that took down NHS computers last year. Prosecutors said Park Jin Hyok (pictured) is believed to be living in North Korea, and works for the country’s Reconnaissance General Bureau, a major intelligence agency. He is also suspected of hacking Sony Pictures and a Bangladeshi bank. TV-LICENCE SITE IN SECURITY ALERT The TV Licensing organisation has urged customers to check their bank statements for suspicious activity following a security alert. It said anyone logging into the site between 29 August and 5 September may be at risk because some personal details submitted between those dates weren’t encrypted, including email addresses, sort codes and account numbers. A spokesperson apologised, adding there’s “no evidence that anyone’s…

3 min.
what will make tech giants stop child abuse online?

Faster streaming has brought many benefits to everyday life, from uninterrupted downloads to online TV. But it’s also fuelled the sickening rise of child exploitation online, allowing paedophiles to broadcast sexual abuse live. Anyone with a half-decent internet connection can watch this abuse for as little as £12. In some cases, they can even select the age, hair colour and gender of the child. Home Secretary Sajid Javid recently drew attention to this “growing problem” in a speech calling on tech companies to do more to tackle abuse online (transcript: www.snipca.com/29117). Describing the fight against abuse as his “personal mission”, he warned firms he would “not be afraid to take action” against them if they don’t rise to the challenge. “Tech companies will not take action until and unless they are forced to…

1 min.
one-ring-then-cancel ‘wangiri’ scams

What’s the threat? Fraudsters are phoning people then immediately hanging up, hoping their intended victim will make a note of the number and call back to find out who was ringing them. This number is an expensive international phone line, leaving the victim with a hefty bill, some of which goes to the criminals. The fee just for connecting is high, and increases when the person on the other end puts you on hold. The scam originated in Japan, where it’s known as ‘Wangiri’ (meaning ‘one ring and cut’), and has spread around the world. Criminals use software to make automated calls, mostly to mobile phones, that end after just one or two rings. How can you stay safe? The same common-sense advice applies here as with other scams: always think twice about phoning…

1 min.
new tools

Imagine as you browse the web a little voice whispering in your ear: ‘This site was hacked last month’. Now imagine a browser extension doing the same with pop-up warnings. That’s HackNotice, created by Texas-based security expert Steve Thomas. Clicking the warnings, which appear at the bottom-right of your screen, takes you to HackNotice’s site, where another click directs you to a third-party site for more details. As you can see in our screenshot, it warned us that Plusnet had been “hacked recently”, though it was actually a small data breach (as explained on uSwitch: www.snipca.com/29067). You can install the extension (plus Android and iOS apps) from the URL above. Once it’s installed, click the ‘H’ icon in your browser toolbar, then ‘Sign Up’ and create your account with a 14-character password.…