Biggest tips guide ever! (Part 8)

3/30/2012 6:01:15 PM
Biggest tips guide ever! (Part 8)


Keep files in sync

Always have the latest version of a given file to hand; use Dropbox ( or SugarSync ( and they'll do the sorting for you. Install the free software on your home and work PCs - and your IPhone, BlackBerry or Android device if you need to - and the most recent version of a file will arrive In the Dropbox folder that appears next to your Documents and Downloads one.

Share a mobile web connection

Got a 3G connection on your smartphone and need to get online to send an email from your laptop? If Wi-Fi isn't an option, try tethering your laptop and phone. Pair them using Bluetooth and then head to the Settings menu on your phone to share the connection as a mobile hotspot.

Password protection

A PIN will stop someone picking up your iPhone and idling scrolling through your Facebook messages; another for your SIM will stop someone downloading your contacts list: a code for your voicemail could stop phone hacking.

Spare battery pack

An extended battery pack offers more oomph, but also adds to the bulk. Nonetheless, a fully charged spare is a more efficient alternative to waiting for your dead brick to charge from the mains. If you must travel light, the likes of Philips and Belkin offer external battery packs that you charge in advance and then transfer power to whatever they're hooked up to. If mains power Isn't in reach but you still need to work, these could prove a lifesaver.

Improve laptop battery life

Switching off Wi-Fi when you're not using the web, not having lots of items running in the background, and setting the battery to balanced mode can all extend your phone's fife.

Add ports and possibilities

A sleek laptop that's light enough to take with you Is highly desirable: such a machine probably skimps on ports to keep weight to the bare minimum though. A docking station that stays at home, but adds supplementary ports, could prove a worthwhile investment, Think Ethernet, multiple USB and FireWire connections and an HDMI-out.


Should you be duped into downloading a 'virus scanner' that ensures your PC is compromised by the time your antivirus software has kicked into action, the clean-up can be messy. Tell-tale signs include strange pop-ups and your web browser being hijacked with add-ons that won't uninstall. If you suspect the worst, take your PC offline.

Description: MalwareBytes

MalwareBytes is a free virus scanner

We used to get calls from worried readers who were concerned that even If the PC was no longer connected to the Internet, viruses could still be ruining their computer's innards. They can't, but a Trojan or botnet virus could be lying dormant, waiting for the call to action from their master, Botnets are zombie PCs that have been taken over and are used to launch a denial of service (DoS) attack on a server somewhere. So it's vital you thoroughly investigate before you allow the PC anywhere near a web connection again.

Start up your computer in Safe mode. Usually, you need to press the F8 button to boot into this before the Windows loading page appears. In the 'Advanced Boot Options' menu, select 'Safe mode with Networking' and press Enter Run a Disk Cleanup (listed under Programs, Accessories, System Tools) to get rid of any strays, then run a scanner such as Malwarebytes (

Since your existing antivirus software may have missed or been disabled by malware, don't rely on this, [f needs be, connect to the Internet just to grab a suitable malware scanner, then come offline. Better yet, use another PC to download the file, copy it to a USB drive and install it from that.

With luck, the scan will complete successfully and you can follow Its advice about deleting quarantined flies. Restart the PC and run another scan to check all infections are gone. If the scanner fails, a deep-seated infection may be at play.

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