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Computeractive

Computeractive 606

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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Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Dennis Publishing UK
Frequency:
Biweekly
R 39,24
R 591,41
26 Issues

in this issue

1 min
from the editor

I came across Himalayan-sized mountains of junk when I moved house recently: books I don’t remember reading, clothes I don’t remember wearing, gadgets I don’t remember using. It reminded me of the state of my desktop, which is crammed with software I don’t remember installing. The result is a colourful mess of icons I don’t recognise and never click. It’s come to this because whenever I need to perform a task my first thought is always ‘there must be a program for that’, not ‘I wonder if Windows can do it’. I’ll take Will Stapley’s Cover Feature as a cue to change my approach. He’s unearthed 30 Windows features that do jobs you may have thought required third-party software (I did, anyway). I’ve since uninstalled seven programs that were surplus to…

3 min
update windows defender to fix file-dumping bug

You should check whether you have an update for Windows Defender to fix a bug that was dumping thousands of files on to Windows 10’s system drive. Each file is tiny, and they’re all harmless, but together they can devour a large amount of storage space. The problem, which began with the release in late April of version 1.1.18100.5 of Defender, causes files to clog up the C:\ProgramData\ Microsoft\WindowsDefender\ Scans\History\Store folder. To check whether you’ve been affected, open File Explorer then click the View tab at the top and make sure the ‘Hidden items’ box is ticked (1 in main screenshot). Next, type C:\ProgramData\ Microsoft\ into the address bar, then scroll down and click the Windows Defender folder. Click ‘Continue’ if the folder requests administrator privilege, then click Scans, History, Store. If you’ve been hit…

1 min
dell to fix 12-year-old flaw: check if your pc is affected

Dell is to release an emergency security update to fix a flaw that dates back to 2009 and affects over 380 PC and laptop models. The flaw was spotted by Kasif Dekel from Israeli firm SentinelLabs, who said hackers could have exploited the vulnerability to gain access to Dell laptops during the years it went undetected, but that there was no evidence they had. Dekel discovered the flaw in the DBUtil BIOS driver that comes pre-installed on many Dell laptops and desktop PCs in order to install firmware updates via the Dell BIOS Utility. It’s thought that hundreds of millions of Dell computers have the flaw. It affects Windows computers only, not those running Linux. To see if your computer is at risk, visit Dell’s website (www.snipca.com/38197) then scroll down to the table of…

1 min
bt promises fix for smart home 2 router problems

BT will release a firmware update to fix problems with its Smart Hub 2 router that’s frustrating thousands of users. The Smart Hub 2 is a dual-band router, which means it transmits on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Both frequencies have advantages: 5GHz is faster but has a smaller range, while 2.4GHz is much slower but reaches further. However, numerous customers have complained on BT’s forums that devices are able to communicate with each only when they’re connected to the same frequency. The problem occurs most frequently when users try to connect streaming devices, such as speakers, to their Wi-Fi network. One forum member, called sl_strachan, said he could only connect his iPhone 11 to his Sonos speakers by turning off 5GHz and using 2.4GHz. Other users have done the same thing, but…

1 min
in brief

DON’T TRUST CALLER ID ON YOUR PHONES Ofcom has warned the public not to rely on Caller ID to avoid fraud because scammers are increasingly faking their phone numbers. Huw Saunders, an Ofcom director, told BBC Radio 4’s Money Box that the UK is behind other countries in tackling the problem. He added that it will be easier to stop ‘number spoofing’ once VoIP replaces the old phone network (Public Switched Telephone Network), which is planned for the end of 2025. GOOGLE TURNS ON DEFAULT TWO-FACTOR Google has said it will soon turn on two-factor authentication for all accounts by default. This means that you’ll need to tap “a simple prompt” on your phone (pictured) whenever you try to sign into your account on another device, such as your computer. Read Google’s blog…

1 min
in brief

CHECK IF EMOTET BOTNET STOLE YOUR EMAIL More than 4.3 million email addresses stolen by the Emotet botnet have been added to Have I Been Pwned? (https://haveibeenpwned.com), which lets you check whether your address has been part of a data breach. However, in this case you must register for a notification alert at www.snipca.com/38104 (read more at www.snipca.com/38102). Emotet was removed from all infected computers in April after an international police operation. SPOTIFY INCREASES SUBSCRIPTION FEES Music-streaming service Spotify is increasing its subscription fees. Individual accounts will rise from £9.99 to £10.99, while Duo accounts will rise from £12.99 to £13.99. Family accounts (up to six people) will increase by £2 to £16.99. The £9.99 Premium subscription stays the same. These increases already apply for new subscribers, while Existing subscribers will start paying…