Newsletter for November 2017

New Workshop: “Are you thinking of buying?”

You might find that your old printer is playing up. Should you try to get it fixed? If you decide to buy a new one, you notice that you can spend anything from $80 to $500 – how do you decide?  And, what brand to buy?

What if your old PC has finally had it. Should you buy another, in which case how much should you spend, what do you look for, how do you understand all the specs? Or, should you be getting a laptop instead? Or perhaps a tablet? How to decide? Continue reading

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Newsletter for September 2017

Come along, meet the Tutors and learn about the Courses we are running next term. Maybe it’s been a while since you attended a course and the Open Days will give you the opportunity to see what is on offer and to sign up for a course. You should also try to encourage your friends to come along.

If you’re affected by the termination of email services by Vodafone in New Zealand on 30 November 2017, check out our special Workshop discussed below Continue reading

Online Challenges

Click to see where you can file an online NZ Tax ReturnMany times recently I’ve been met with the challenge of completing forms on line. This can sometimes be an absolute nightmare particularly when you’re completing them on behalf of someone else who isn’t “fond” of computers.

I’d tried hard to be patient and muddle my way through, as each website invariably asks for the same information, but unfortunately sometimes not in the same format. Government department forms are so long you almost give up completing them. Continue reading

Microsoft Don’t Make Phone Calls!

It’s 6:35pm on a normal weekday evening on the Kapiti Coast, dinner’s almost ready to serve and…….the phone rings. You pick it up and there doesn’t appear to be anyone on the other end. Suddenly after about 5 seconds a foreign voice comes on the line and quickly introduces themselves as “Microsoft Support”. They tell you that they’ve detected a problem on your computer and they want to connect to it and remedy the issue.

Does this all sound familiar – it should, because almost all of us will have encountered this targeted scam in the past few months – sometimes repeatedly! Continue reading

You Don’t WannaCry… Do You?

You’d have to be living in a cocoon to have missed the reports in the mainstream media this week about the WannaCry Worm which has infected vulnerable computers around the world. WannaCry is transmitted when people open infected email attachments and can spread itself quickly within organisations over their internal computer networks. Home PCs and laptops are just as vulnerable!

What is WannaCry?

It’s a computer worm categorised as ransomware! When a PC (or laptop) is infected by WannaCry or any of its variants, important files are encrypted (scrambled) and can no longer be read or used. The primary target is your documents and pictures.

Once infected, you have to pay a ransom to gain access to your documents and pictures.

How do I recover from a WannaCry Infection?

If you want to recover (decrypt) your documents and pictures, you have to pay $US300 in Bitcoins to some ratbag. If you take more than 3 days, they double the charge to $US600 and after 6 days, they simply walk away leaving your PC information completely inaccessible.

If you don’t want to pay the money, you better have a (recent) backup of your documents, pictures, music and videos. You’ll likely need to reset your PC (reinstall Windows!) to remove the infection and then restore your documents, pictures, music and videos from the backup.

If you want to avoid having to choose a recovery method then read on… Continue reading