Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

Safety Tips For Social Networking Websites

Social Networking sites are a way for users to interact on the internet. There are many of such sites that have come up and are a platform for people to form their communities, make online friends and discuss common things that interest them. A few among such are Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, LinkedIn etc. One needs to be careful what information you share on these profiles and what information needs to be kept under the covers. Here are a few of those things that you must take precaution on not sharing with others on a social networking site:

1. Personal Messages: As a net etiquette, one must not share personal information on a social networking site. In many of them, such as Facebook, the information shared is displayed on the wall, which is visible to everyone. If it’s a personal note, it may not be appreciated by a lot of others.

2. Sharing of Contact details: One of the major security threats would be to post your contact details on the net. It would be an open invitation to the intruders. If you are going on a vacation and post those details on the net as well, you are inviting burglars indirectly to pay a visit to your house in your absence.

3. What you feel about your workplace and employers: You must be careful in not to disclose information related to your workplace as well as gossip or talk ill about your seniors on a social networking site. This can stake your job as well as create bad relations with people at work. Some organizations even fire employees and take things discussed on such sites in very serious terms. For this matter, websites such as Facebook are blocked and employees don’t have an access to those in their organizations.

4. Inter-linked sites: People who use one social networking site are bound to use one of the others too. Many of us are a part of Facebook and LinkedIn at the same time. Considering the same scenario, if you share some information on Facebook, it is quite likely that the information may be accessible on LinkedIn too. This applies more so, when two sites are linked to each other on one of your profiles. So what you post on one is accessible on the other too. Considering that you post contradictory information on both these sites, it can affect your job and your employee status.

5. Password: This is the worst bit of information that can be shared on the net. Passwords and password retrieval questions need to be kept as secure as possible. For password retrieval hints, don’t choose a very common question, the answer to which can be guessed by anyone. Once your password is taken by another person, your account can be misused.

Social networking sites are meant to socialize and keep in touch with your friends and create and add more to your existing circle and keeping these few criteria’s in mind, it is all safe.

What Is A Good Web Browser To Use?

A browser is a platform which enables us to view the world wide web (www) pages. Some of the most popular browsers are Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome and Apple Safari. Besides some common features, each of these browsers is equipped with some unique ones to help you decide which one would you like to pick up for your internet usages.

The kind of Internet browser you have, will determine on the kind of web surfing experience you enjoy. Even though most people download a couple of browsers to use them for different activities, it is however recommended, not to. Using too many browsers at the same time can create a conflict amongst them and you may find many of your web applications not responding properly.

Now coming to which browser would be the best to surf the net, here are a some basic features one needs to keep in mind:

Ease of use: Along with a stylish look, the browser needs to be such that even novice users feel comfortable while surfing the net. Too many complicated features will create confusion in the user’s mind. In contrast it should provide an easier way to surf, such as tabbed interface and inbuilt web-search.

Good Security: This is a prime factor while deciding on the browser one chooses. We are all aware of certain websites giving a virus attack to our PC’s, as soon as we visit them. Most of the times, we are unaware which of these websites are harmful to browse. A browser should not be vulnerable to such attacks. At other times, pop-ups intrude and hamper the smooth browsing. So a browser needs have an inbuilt pop-up blocker too. Another aspect one needs to take care of is ongoing phishing, where a user’s sensitive information like password and credit card details can be easily leaked out. A browser with good security features would see to it, that you can have a relaxed online experience.

Speed: A browser should be equipped to provide good surfing speed. It should not take ages to open a graphic intensive page and java enabled applications. Along with the internet speed, browsing speed also depends on how long your browser takes to process the pages and run scripts on them.

These are a few things that you would need to keep in mind while selecting web browser, so as to make your surfing experience an enjoyable one.

How To Improve Computer Performance ?

improve-computer-performanceComputers often freeze or crash when one needs them the most, in the middle of an important presentation, a term paper that’s due the next day, or while updating our financial software. Many computer problems can be solved with free or low-cost products or just by using a few common sense tips to improve performance and keep your PC running for a long time.

1. Virus Scan Program

The most essential thing to have is a virus scan that is run weekly. Most new computers come with a virus scan already installed. If the computer you are using doesn’t have a virus scan there are free scans available online, but one really should be installed on your computer if you spend any time at all online. Spend the time learning how to use your virus scanner. Find out how it’s updated – most update automatically – and use the options to set it up to run automatically at a set time every week. Most computer problems can be prevented just by having a virus scanner installed.

2. Run the Scandisk program

At least every two months you should run a program called Scandisk. It is automatically on your computer. Scandisk actually scans your files and even your hard drive and can let you know of any problems it discovers.

To run Scandisk, first make sure everything running in the background on your PC is turned off. To do this press “Ctrl-Alt-Delete” and your close program box will appear.

Highlight each item EXCEPT “explorer” and “systray”. Click on “End Task” to close the program.

Then go to your start button and choose “Programs”. Choose “Accessories” at the top of the list. Move your cursor down to “System Tools” and Choose “Scandisk”.

A box will appear giving your choices of what you want your computer to scan. You can have it scan your files only or your entire hard drive. Scanning your hard drive will take longer.

3. Run the Defragmenter program

Another program that you should run about every two months is called Disk Defragmenter. Defrag will arrange your files better so your PC can access them faster. It’s best to run this program after the Scandisk program is finished.

To run Disk Defragmenter go back to the “System Tools” and choose “Disk Defragmenter”. It’s best to run this program overnight as it takes a long time.

You should not be using these programs while using other programs on your computer. If the Scandisk or Defrag program keeps starting over you may need to run the programs in Safe Mode, a special diagnostic mode. Read the manual for your PC to find out how to put your PC into Safe Mode.

4. Use a Firewall program

For anyone on a DSL or cable connection a personal firewall keeps viruses, hijackers and hackers from your computer. Since you are constantly connected to the internet by using these connections there is a constant threat that others may try to access your computer. There are free firewall programs available for download.

5. Run a Spyware program

Anyother important program is a spyware search program. When you download something from the internet sometimes other software is included. This software is called “spyware” and it can do many things to harm your computer, including letting someone from another website see what websites you surf in order to send you advertising. Other spyware tries to steal your passwords or other personal information. You should run a spyware checker at least once a month or at any time you are experiencing problems with your connection or computer speed.

6. Run a hi-jacker search program

Another important program to have is a hi-jacker search program. A hi-jacker changes your homepage to a different search engine page and can also block links to common search pages. They are trying to force you to use their homepage. Some of the hi-jacker’s homepages are not pages you would like your children to see. You should use a hi-jacker search program at least once a month or whenever you are having a problem with your homepage.

7. Clear your temporary files

Sometimes your PC’s virtual memory will become full. When this happens your computer may run slow, give you error messages or freeze during a program. This happens because everything you do on your PC – every picture on every webpage, every document you type, every photo you change – is saved somewhere on your PC, even after you have left that page and closed the document. In order to erase this memory you need to do the following steps:

Open your internet browser. Go to “Tools”, “Internet Options”.

A box will pop open. It should be open to the “General” tab.

In the center of the box is a section marked “Temporary Internet Files”.

Click on “Delete Cookies” and “Delete Files” one at a time. This will delete the temporary files that are clogging the PC’s memory.

8. Change your history options

Another way to clean out your computer’s memory is to change how many days it saves visited pages. You will find a “history” box in your internet options. It asks how many days you wish to keep pages in history. This is the part of the computer that saves all pages you’ve visited for as many days as you wish. By saving these pages for a smaller number of days you can clear up more of your PC’s memory.

9. Clean out old files

Periodically going through the files in My Documents or other folders you have set up and deleting or archiving them on a CD can also help your computer’s memory and performance. Do you really need to keep a saved copy of last semester’s English term paper? If not, delete it. You can also go through the programs on your PC from the control panel and delete those you no longer use. Don’t delete any of the shared files, though, if it asks, because that can cause more problems.

10. Reboot the PC occasionally

The last thing that is very important to do but seems simple is just to turn your computer off periodically. Your PC needs to be restarted in order to reset itself after new programs or equipment is installed. It also erases the virtual memory from the last session and goes through a self-diagnostic to look for any problems. It sounds like a simple solution, but most problems can be fixed simply by restarting your PC.

Troubleshooting your PC’s problems doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or require technical expertise. By using just a few software programs and common sense most problems can be stopped and you will find that your PC has better performance and reliability.

How To Clean A Computer ?

If your family is like mine, your inventory of home-based electronic devices is growing. This acceleration requires regular cleaning, especially your PC. Only three decades ago, computers were medium-sized tractor trailer samples. Trained engineers protected the delicate hardware in dust-free, environmentally controlled rooms. Contemporary personal computers, some as small as three-ring binders, sit on our kitchen counters, desks and bedroom family card tables. Family members, including pets, touch keys and drag the mouse around. The computer collects dust, cracker crumbs, and Popsicle drips. Over time, accumulated dirt problems.

You can change the maintenance and cleaning problems in setting up your PC in a friendly place. To protect your PC, keep it in a corner protected from direct sunlight and long periods of fresh air. Place it on a solid surface with good air flow behind the back of the CPU.

You need a few household supplies: q-tips, soft cloth and detergent. The only specialist materials you need are canned air and inexpensive kits for cleaning the drive heads. PC cleaned not long and not worry, you will not damage anything following these instructions. Most PCs have several parts so that they one by one. Before you begin, turn off the power to your computer.

computer-cleaningHow to clean computer screen/monitor ?

The monitor, like your television screen attracts dust and sticky fingerprints. You can take the anti-static wipes that double as screen cleaners. If you have a shock when you touch the screen, static is a problem on your workstation. Consider placing a plastic mat under the seat to reduce static build-up. I have noticed that the paper towels work as screen cleaners. Avoid spraying liquid at your monitor. Moisten the cloth and wipe the screen once a week.

Keyboard Cleaning

Regular cleaning keeps your keyboard looking new. Use a soft cloth, such as a cotton diaper, moistened with a mild soap solution to wipe out the keys. While you perform the cloth on the plastic casing around the monitor and CPU. Sure to lift the keyboard and substance under the surface. Turn the keyboard upside down to shake out crumbs or use a damp q-tip to remove them.

Avoid allowing water to seep between keys. Keyboards do not like to get soaked. Accidents can happen and I can personally guarantee that if you spill a glass of water on your keyboard, all is not lost. Set the keyboard upside down on a towel. Let it dry overnight and it must be good. If the keyboard does not respond well after an incident off time, call a professional.

Mouse Cleaning

The mouse cursor on the screen as you slide the pointing device on a padded surface. When you notice that the mouse cursor does not respond quickly, it’s time for a cleaning. Most mice have a small cover that protects the ball hidden in the cabinet. Remove the cover by rotating, shaking the cracker crumbs, and wipe the ball clean. You must also blow into the ball cage or spray cans feed air into the opening. Replace the ball and set the mouse. Clean the mouse about once a month, especially if your kids are like mine and eat near the PC.

External Drives Cleaning

Your computer, especially older models, may also be external drives. Floppy, tape, and CD-ROM drives all gathering dust. The read-write head in each station scans the hard disk or tape as it reads and writes data. A dusty head can scratch the disc or tape and cause maintenance problems. Regular cleaning is a must.

Several commercially available products can help you clean drive heads. These cheap products, generally less than $ 10.00, you need to insert in the drive, a disk or cartridge moistened with cleaning fluid. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer to change the read / write head access to scan the surface. If you are lucky a drive with a yellow caution light you know that it is time to clean when the light comes. Otherwise try to clean your drives once a Monday

Central Processing Unit-CPU

The CPU is in the metal case containing the computer parts you do not see. The motherboard, modem, network cards and live in slots at the bottom of the metal box. A high-speed fan inside the box prevents overheating and shuttles data around, after the commands. Help the fan does its job and minimize dust accumulation by ensuring that clear air space behind your CPU.

One or two times per year, or when you upgrade the memory, remove the screws from the back of the CPU and slide the lid of the box. Tape the screws to the cover, while you work. The screws are small and easy to misplace. Target a look of compressed air to an open area and spray the dust from the components. You will not hurt your computer to do so. When you’re done, slide the cover back on. It may be a tight fit. Especially for the screws back into place.

Your computer is now clean. The cost of PCs is significantly decreased in the last ten years, but the chances are that you are looking at the same monitor, keyboard and housing for a while. Spend a few minutes the care of your computer every week. You will be pleased with the results and save money!

Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

We do a ton of typing, (or at least our processors do). So when I came across this list of keyboard shortcuts I automatically thought it would be a great thing to share with you. These have saved me a ton of time. At first I hesitated to use them, but I started with one, then another, then another. Enjoy!

General Keyboard Shortcuts

CTRL+C (Copy)

CTRL+X (Cut)

CTRL+V (Paste)

CTRL+Z (Undo)

DELETE (Delete)

SHIFT+DELETE (Delete the selected item permanently without placing the item in the Recycle Bin)

CTRL while dragging an item (Copy the selected item)

CTRL+SHIFT while dragging an item (Create a shortcut to the selected item)

F2 key (Rename the selected item)

CTRL+RIGHT ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next word)

CTRL+LEFT ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word)

CTRL+DOWN ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next paragraph)

CTRL+UP ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous paragraph)

CTRL+SHIFT with any of the arrow keys (Highlight a block of text)

SHIFT with any of the arrow keys (Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text in a document)

CTRL+A (Select all)

F3 key (Search for a file or a folder)

ALT+ENTER (View the properties for the selected item)

ALT+F4 (Close the active item, or quit the active program)

ALT+ENTER (Display the properties of the selected object)

ALT+SPACEBAR (Open the shortcut menu for the active window)

CTRL+F4 (Close the active document in programs that enable you to have multiple documents open simultaneously)

ALT+TAB (Switch between the open items)

ALT+ESC (Cycle through items in the order that they had been opened)

F6 key (Cycle through the screen elements in a window or on the desktop)

F4 key (Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer)

SHIFT+F10 (Display the shortcut menu for the selected item)

ALT+SPACEBAR (Display the System menu for the active window)

CTRL+ESC (Display the Start menu)

ALT+Underlined letter in a menu name (Display the corresponding menu)

Underlined letter in a command name on an open menu (Perform the corresponding command)

F10 key (Activate the menu bar in the active program)

RIGHT ARROW (Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu)

LEFT ARROW (Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu)

F5 key (Update the active window)

BACKSPACE (View the folder one level up in My Computer or Windows Explorer)

ESC (Cancel the current task)

SHIFT when you insert a CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive (Prevent the CD-ROM from automatically playing)

Dialog Box Keyboard Shortcuts

CTRL+TAB (Move forward through the tabs)

CTRL+SHIFT+TAB (Move backward through the tabs)

TAB (Move forward through the options)

SHIFT+TAB (Move backward through the options)

ALT+Underlined letter (Perform the corresponding command or select the corresponding option)

ENTER (Perform the command for the active option or button)

SPACEBAR (Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box)

Arrow keys (Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons)

F1 key (Display Help)

F4 key (Display the items in the active list)

BACKSPACE (Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box)

Microsoft Natural Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows Logo (Display or hide the Start menu)

Windows Logo+BREAK (Display the System Properties dialog box)

Windows Logo+D (Display the desktop)

Windows Logo+M (Minimize all of the windows)

Windows Logo+SHIFT+M (Restore the minimized windows)

Windows Logo+E (Open My Computer)

Windows Logo+F (Search for a file or a folder)

CTRL+Windows Logo+F (Search for computers)

Windows Logo+F1 (Display Windows Help)

Windows Logo+ L (Lock the keyboard)

Windows Logo+R (Open the Run dialog box)

Windows Logo+U (Open Utility Manager)

Accessibility Keyboard Shortcuts

Right SHIFT for eight seconds (Switch FilterKeys either on or off)

Left ALT+left SHIFT+PRINT SCREEN (Switch High Contrast either on or off)

Left ALT+left SHIFT+NUM LOCK (Switch the MouseKeys either on or off)

SHIFT five times (Switch the StickyKeys either on or off)

NUM LOCK for five seconds (Switch the ToggleKeys either on or off)

Windows Logo +U (Open Utility Manager)

Windows Explorer Keyboard Shortcuts

END (Display the bottom of the active window)

HOME (Display the top of the active window)

NUM LOCK+Asterisk sign (*) (Display all of the subfolders that are under the selected folder)

NUM LOCK+Plus sign (+) (Display the contents of the selected folder)

NUM LOCK+Minus sign (-) (Collapse the selected folder)

LEFT ARROW (Collapse the current selection if it is expanded, or select the parent folder)

RIGHT ARROW (Display the current selection if it is collapsed, or select the first subfolder)

Screensavers Make You Relaxed

screensaverInternet is full of a variety of screensavers. Not only this, these screensavers have the added facility that they can be downloaded and installed extremely easily. Screensavers on different themes are readily available on the Internet.

If you are a nature lover you can choose from a range of breathtaking natural images. Sometimes, even computer generated nature images are equally enthralling. Similarly, if you are fond of aquariums you can get screensavers relating to extremely beautiful aquariums with a beautiful multiplicity of fish in them.

If you are a stunt buff and really like watching those terrifying stunts, Internet is at your service. The screensavers in this category relate to aeroplane stunts, speed stunts and a horde of other moving images and sequences. Not only this, you can even select those screensavers that are slide shows of impressive pictures on various topics and personalities.

Precautions Before Downloading Free Screensavers

You must be cautious before downloading the screensavers of your choice and adhere to certain preventative measures. First of all, you should start your downloading only from those sites that are trusted all over. Then you should make it a point to check these screensavers with the latest anti-virus so that you are free from various kinds of viruses and a range of other harmful software.

You simply have to right click the anti-virus icon present on your desktop. You will see a menu with an option ‘scan with…’ in it. You select this option and then make a left click to select the screen saver software that you want to down load. Double-click it and it will be installed on your computer.

Sometimes, it may happen that your screensaver is extremely detailed. It means that it will have a heavy load of files. These files will use a lot of memory of your computer and make it work very hard. As a result your computer may freeze also. Then you have to restart your computer. This has one major disadvantage that any information that was not saved prior to this is lost. So, desist from downloading screensavers with your important files open.

Some screensavers may also lead to a crash in our hard drive and this may also lead to loss of information. Such loss of information is permanent and cannot be retrieved by using any kind of software. Therefore it is utmost necessary that you should check the configuration of your computer before attempting to download a screensaver, If the specifications of your computer are at par with those mentioned in the web page from where you want to download your screensaver, go for it without any fear.

You can also create your own costumed screensavers using some related software applications. You can fill in those videos and audio that are extremely liked by you. Even these software applications are available on the Internet for free download. But again you have to be cautious and abide by all those precautions that are necessary for downloading screensavers.

Tips For Buying Cheap Laptop

used-laptopLaptops have become extremely popular these days. Every person prefers to have a laptop for work or fun purpose. State-of-the-art laptops are being introduced into the market at a rapid pace. These new laptops are available at a very high price range. But you need not be disappointed. You still can get a good quality laptop at cheaper price. I have listed some points that will prove very useful in your endeavor of buying a high quality and an inexpensive laptop.

1. Buy A Laptop Of Older Make

Actually, technology is advancing at such a rapid pace that new and better products are being produced with considerable tempo. Same is the case with laptops.

2. Buy Used Laptops

Yes, this is also an effective method to save your valuable money. Products like laptops have a very high depreciation value. According to an estimate a laptop is worth half its original price after about an year. You will find a plenty of old laptops in good condition.

3. Buy Laptops From Gamers And Power Users

This is also a way to get a cheap laptop because gamers and power users have to continuously upgrade their electronic gadgets. They cannot compromise on an older technology. So, go and hunt for your friends or acquaintances that are addicted to gaming. They may have laptops of almost latest technology and they might be desperate to sell those so that they can buy the absolutely latest one.

4. Search In Gaming Forums And Communities On Internet

People who join such forums are addicted to gaming and would do everything to get the latest technology to run their latest games. You should search for trading sections in these forums and you surely will strike a fruitful bargain.

5. Search The Local Bulletin Boards

If you have any such bulletin board near you, find enough time to go through it. Similarly, if your locality has a lot of software companies, there may be a lot of such bulletin boards that you market not be aware of. Make a sincere search for them. Actually, software companies have projects at their disposal. After the completion of each product they tend to sell their computers and laptops. Many acquaintances of mine have benefited enormously from such cheap bargains.

6. Get Used Laptops That Have 512 Mb Memory

If you take care of this thing, you will not be ever disappointed from your purchase of an old laptop and thus get proper value for our money. What I mean to say is that old laptops have old processors whose speed is not that fast. But having 512 Mb memory will make up for this lack of speed and you will find your laptop suitable for your work. If you want to run an application on your laptop, 512 Mb memory will take care of almost all the applications.

Tips to avoid slow running Windows xp

windows-xp-slowThere are many things that make a computer slow in software or hardware. It may be small hard disk or low memory. Also it can be anything from the BIOS and/or operating system settings, programs of your CPU and insufficient RAM. And of course, it may be your network.

Here are some tips to help you to avoid unnecessary slow running of windows xp :

1. Any e-mail program you use, keep it clean by removing unimportant mails regularly.

2. Make sure you have a good anti-virus program, no need to keep more than one anti-virus in single computer. That should be up to date, automatic monitoring and auto update.

3. A good anti-spyware program is also important to keep is your computer. This should also be auto update and auto monitor.

4. It is good habit to run Disk Clean Up Daily. Path : Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Disk Clean Up  (A box will open – Make sure that every box is  checked, click “OK” -then “Yes”.

5. Delete cookies and cache files every day. Path : Start>Control Panel, (if you have not already done so, click Switch to Classic View), then Click Icon of Internet Options>A pop-up window will appear – Delete Cookies. Click OK to delete files then check “Delete all offline content ” > OK. Your clear history should be no more than 7 days.

6. A very important step in almost every missing. The Empty Prefetch folder. Path:Start>MyComputer>C-Drive> Windows>Prefetch (folder)>Select All, Delete All Files. Click Yes Close the window.

7. Empty Recycle Bin regularly.

8. Scan the hard drive of your computer. Path: Start>My Computer>Right Click “C” – box opens – click on Properties at the bottom – another box opens – click on Tools, click now posts sure that both “Automatically fix file system errors” and “scan and attempt recovery of bad sectors” are enabled, click Start. You may need to complete this step for a long time.

9. Defrag your computer regularly. Path: Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Disk Defragmenter – Windows – Select “C” drive, click Defragment. It will take time.

The last two steps (8 and 9) may take a while, if not recently done so. This should be done like a routine at the day end or before starting the work in the morning. It takes no longer than 20 minutes and often much less.

How to save and manage sessions in ‘Opera’ browser?

Opera IconOpera‘ browser has a unique feature to save and manage sessions in different windows with different names so as to open each session separately, like ‘blogs/forums/tech sites’ etc. Whenever you click on ‘Opera’, before opening it will ask you to choose from the saved sessions of your choice.

To Save your desired session, please follow these steps:
Step1: Go to ‘File> Sessions> Save this session’  on ‘Opera’ browser window.

save session opera browser

Step2: To save your favorite session just fill up the bar by your desired name:

save session opera image

Step3: To manage a session, go to ‘File> Sessions> Manage sessions’ :

manage opera session

It is very easy to collect, open and manage favorite sites in different windows in just a single click.