Warning for Apple users – Mac Defender Scam

Apple users should be aware that there is a new attack affecting Macs. If you see a web page or software which offers you “Mac Defender” “Mac Security” or “Mac Protector” it is a scam, and you should not enter any card details. Your computer has been infected by malware which has redirected your web browser in an effort to steal credit card details.

Apple will issue a software update which will remove the malware. Alternatively, you could use the removal tool from Icronic.

Mac Defender Removal Tool from Icrontic

More information from Apple


Marketing on twitter: how to get noticed

In this article we will discuss various different ways of using Twitter and how to make use of it as a small business. The advice contained here is aimed at the very small business, as well as individuals who are their own brand such as authors, journalists and artists.

Types of Twitter user

There are several kinds of Twitter user, they are not mutually exclusive.

The first kind is the social user. The social twitter user enjoys friendly banter with others, engages in random conversations, and plays #hashtag games. (Witty comments all posted using the same keyword prefixed with a # so that others can see and join in.)  They may well present information or a persona that they would not want to be linked with their professional life. This kind of tweeter generally follows and engages with most of the people that follow them. This is the average twitter user.

The second kind is the reporter. The reporter actively seeks out news stories and items of interest and then retweets them to their followers. The reporter is often also a social user.

The third kind is company announcements. This is what it sounds like; a business that uses twitter purely to announce products, articles, press releases, or other commercial events.

The fourth kind is the damage limitation account. Typical of very large business such as BT or the Royal Mail, these exist purely to sweep twitter for negative information and respond to it in as low profile a way as possible, and fix the problem as quickly as possible to make it go away. This kind of user may even delete tweets once a problem is dealt with.

A final, rare kind, is the spoof account. Two popular ones are @Queen_UK and @DMReporter, spoofing the queen and the Daily Mail respectively.

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An explanation of twitter

This is a description of how twitter works. It is very hard to see the point of twitter unless you try it, but this should help those of you trying to understand the references to it in the news.

Twitter lets its users post a public message (tweet) of 140 characters in length. Those messages are automatically seen by their followers. Anyone can follow any other Twitter user and their tweets will be displayed in their “Twitter stream.” A tweet can also be aimed at or mention a person by including their name prefixed with an @ symbol. For example “@Refreshtech Hello Steve!”

In addition, tweets can contain a subject prefixed with a # (a hash) and that is called a hashtag. Clicking on a hashtag brings up a list of all the other tweets containing the same hashtag. In this way it is possible to see a stream of tweets on a given topic. The most popular hashtags at any one time are called Trending Topics. Twitter shows a list of these on the front page. Finally, if a person likes a tweet they can “retweet” it which will send it out to all of their followers.

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Amazon Kindle: getting the content you want

I have recently come in to possession of an Amazon Kindle eBook reader. Amazon have gone out of their way to make it as simple and easy as possible for the purpose of reading books. This device fulfills its purpose perfectly, allowing me to download books from the Amazon store and read them on an electronic ink display that is far closer to real print than it is to a computer screen. I get all the advantages of reading on an electronic device, but I find myself reading blissfully uninterrupted by tweets, emails and messages, and without the tired eyes that I would get from reading on a computer. There are even several thousand free out-of-copyright books available on the Amazon store – just go to the Kindle ebooks section and sort by price to see them. If that isn’t enough, many more out-of-copyright books from Project Gutenberg are available in ebook versions for the Kindle. You can even download them directly from the Kindle by getting hold of The Magic Catalogue available here.

But books are not all that I read. [Read more…]

Ten rules to keep your computer safe and fast

Here are our top tips to keep your computer safe from infection and running smoothly. If any of these tasks seem daunting, Refresh Technology will be pleased to help you with them. A computer health check and software clean up is just £15 if you bring your computer to our office.

  1. Don’t use Internet Explorer, use an alternative like Firefox or Chrome and install Adblock Plus to block adverts as they can be a source of infection.
  2. Install some anti-virus software and make sure it is up to date.
  3. Make sure that Windows Auto Update is enabled and is always up to date.
  4. Backup your data to a USB memory stick, hard disk or via an online service.
  5. Look out for fake messages about virus infection that do not come from your anti-virus software.
  6. Do not install software from websites that you do not know.
  7. When installing software, use the advanced option if available, and make sure to untick any toolbars, browser add-ons or extra software that might be included with it.
  8. Consider removing any software that runs in the background, it will slow you down.
  9. Do not run any software sent to you by email, even if you know the sender.
  10. Don’t click on any links in an email purporting to be from your bank or from Paypal. They are probably fake.

Microsoft Powerpoint – The Basics

Microsoft PowerPoint is a piece of software that allows you to create, and manage presentations.  You can use a presentation for a variety for reasons such as illustrating a talk, preparing simple handouts on a lecture you have give, or just leaving some information running in a continuous loop on a screen, or the list goes on, it’s a very useful piece of software.  The aim of this guide is to show you have to create, save, re-open and close a PowerPoint Presentation using PowerPoint 2003 or PowerPoint 2007. [Read more…]

Powerpoint 2003 – The Basics

Please read Microsoft Powerpoint – The Basics before reading this article. [Read more…]

Powerpoint 2007 – The Basics

Please read Microsoft Powerpoint – The Basics before reading this article. [Read more…]

Free Software! What’s the catch?

Imagine that you have just bought a new computer. It might have cost you upwards of four hundred pounds. So you get it home, plug it in, manage to look at some web pages, and… then what?

You probably want to use it to type some letters. You want to create your Christmas cards on it. You want your children to do their homework on it. But there is a problem. You don’t have the right software to do it. [Read more…]

Excel 2007 – The Basics

Please read Microsoft Excel – The Basics before reading this article.

Starting A New Spreadsheet

Starting a new spreadsheet in Excel 2007 is very easy.  All you need to do is open the software and it will load itself into a blank spreadsheet ready for you to edit.

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