ZINIO logo

Computeractive 576

Add to favorites

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!

Read More
United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
R 39,96
R 602,18
26 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
from the editor

There are lots of low-tech ways to re-use an old PC. I’ve got an old tower unit in my bedroom that I’ve skilfully turned into a table-cum-shelf. It took me about three seconds, and shouldn’t take you much longer. All you need to do is place some books on it, and maybe a cup of tea. Job done. The tasks we explain in our Cover Feature require a bit more work, but they’re vastly more rewarding. You’ll learn how to transform your PC into devices you’d otherwise have to pay hundreds for, such as NAS drives and security cameras. It’s proof you can teach an old computer new tricks. If you tackle some of the tasks, I’d love to see photo evidence. Email it to me and we’ll publish it on our…

2 min.
windows update that fixes search is crashing pcs

A Windows 10 update that was released to fix a bug with the Search box is itself causing serious problems for users. Microsoft released the KB4535996 update for Windows 10 on 27 February, saying it would fix an error that was making the Search box appear blank, grey or black. It was also meant to fix problems with laptop battery life and printer settings. But within a week of the update users were reporting several problems, including tools like Task Manager and File Manager crashing without warning, waking from sleep every few hours for no reason, and increasing how long it was taking their computer to start. It was even causing some computers to suffer the infamous Blue Screen of Death error, which has plagued users for many years. More generally, users were blaming…

1 min.
bt fined for overcharging 118 calls

Ofcom has fined BT £245,000 for overcharging EE customers for calls they made to 118 directory enquiries services. The regulator imposed a price cap on 118 numbers in April 2019 in order to “protect vulnerable people and ensure fairer prices”. Many older people and those without the internet still call 118 for information. However, BT – which bought EE in 2016 – failed to introduce this new rule immediately and continued charging 6,000 customers for a total of around £42,000 between April and June last year. BT did manage to correct most bills before EE customers paid them, but in the end customers were still overcharged £10,000. All customers have since been refunded. Ofcom called BT’s error a “serious breach” of its rules, particularly considering that potentially vulnerable people are more likely to…

1 min.
uk security chiefs: change your internet camera’s password

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is urging people with internet security cameras and baby monitors to change their default passwords so the devices can’t be hacked. Such devices let you monitor your home over the internet via a live camera feed. They can also send you alerts through the web when they detect activity, and record footage for you to watch later. But this also means they can be accessed by hackers who guess their passwords, letting them watch what’s happening in your home. Burglars can use this to work out when you’re not at home. There have even been reports of hackers spying on children through baby monitors. The problem arises because some cameras have default passwords set by the manufacturer that are easy to guess, such as ‘admin’ or…

1 min.
google removes ‘edge isn’t safe’ warning

Google has stopped warning users that it’s unsafe to install browser extensions from the Chrome Web Store on the new version of Microsoft’s Edge browser. As reported in Issue 575 (page 9), users visiting the Chrome Web Store in Edge were seeing the message ‘Google recommends switching to Chrome to use extensions securely’, above a link to download Chrome. Google was heavily criticised for the message, which many experts saw as a scaremongering attempt to discourage people from switching to Edge. They also said it was misleading because any security flaws in extensions are likely to affect both browsers. Initially, Google didn’t comment on the message, but later said it was shown because Edge doesn’t support Google’s Safe Browsing feature, which tells users when they’re about to visit an unsafe website. It has now…

3 min.
in brief

RESIZE IMAGES IN WINDOWS POWERTOYS Microsoft is working on a new version of Image Resizer for its PowerToys collection of relaunched programs. The forthcoming tool is a modern edition of the image-resizing option that came with Windows 95. It will let you quickly resize pictures using settings you’ve chosen. UPDATE YOUR NETGEAR ROUTER NOW Netgear has urged people using its routers to install an emergency firmware update to fix four security flaws that hackers could exploit to take over your network. The company posted links for downloads to more than 50 affected models, including the Nighthawk X4S 7800 (pictured). Visit www.snipca.com/34269, www.snipca.com/34270 and www.snipca.com/34271 to see if your router is at risk, then follow the instructions. TOMORROW’S WORLD Last year, six-month-old Freya Minter from Essex became the youngest ever female baby to learn how to…